American Horror Story has been on network television for six years, each season with an alternating theme but a familiar cast and featured guest stars. On Sept. 5th, the first episode of the seventh season premiered.
This year, the topic is “Cult,” which is an extremist social group focused on a particular person, place or thing. The emphasis is on the aftermath of the 2016 election in a small Michigan town.
When Ryan Murphy, the co-creator of the popular show, announced the subject matter, many fans were divided, including Laura Bradley, a writer for Vanity Fair.
In an article titled, “The Election Is the Worst Part of American Horror Story: Cult,” Bradley stressed that a “tense post-election political climate promised that this season could court hostility from practically any direction.”
The controversial topic, however, did not scare Murphy, who expressed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that, “It’s not about Trump, it’s not about Clinton.” Rather, it’s about a bigger idea: the cult of personality, the hive mindset, what drives people to vehemently follow others.
During the premiere, the character Ally Mayfair-Richards, played by Sarah Paulson, is so troubled by Trump’s win her old phobias return, causing distress for her family. On the other side, Kai Anderson, portrayed by Evan Peters, is so ecstatic over the results of the election he forms a cult with his sister.
Anderson’s goal is to shake up the town, but Mayfair-Richards’s illusive visions of clowns influence her to become suspicious of his activity.
Minna Juarez, a fan from Helix who’s watched the show before, mentioned that she is thinking about tuning in this season because of the election element.
“A lot of [writers] wouldn’t put something political in a show like that,” she declared. “It’s kind of cool.”
Nevertheless, hesitant viewers and critics aside, the first episode brought in 3.93 million viewers, according to Deadline.
With only 10 more episodes to go, Cult will hopefully bring a creative yet intriguing script, enough to make everyone satisfied.