The first season of “American Horror Story” gave us men in rubber bondage suits, teenage murderers, ghost housekeepers with extremely active libidos, very creepy pregnancies and nosy neighbor Jessica Lange repeatedly gnawing on every corner of crown-molded scenery in the haunted house next door. It was perverse, occasionally disturbing and totally addictive, a show that, along with AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” confirmed that TV audiences crave a quality, borderline-R-rated fright.
But after the “American Horror Story” finale aired last December, something reallyweird happened: Executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk announced that Season 2 would be a complete reboot. The setting would change. The narrative would be new. And while some of the actors might return, the characters would be completely different.
The results of that Control-Alt-Delete experiment can be seen Wednesday night, when “American Horror Story: Asylum” debuts on FX. Call it a miniseries, which is how the first “American Horror Story” was described this year for Emmy consideration purposes, leading to 17 nominations. Call it an anthology show, as Murphy — also co-creator of “Glee” and “The New Normal” — has. Or call it what I’ve decided to call it: “American Horror Story: Nun.0.” All the updated labeling doesn’t change the fact that, two episodes in, this new “Horror Story” is nearly as depraved, unapologetically over the top and engrossing as the first season was.