“American Horror Story: Asylum”: A Torturing, Lingerie-Clad Nun, and Other Seasonal Joys

Courtesy of FX

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

American Horror Story: Asylum opens with a scene in which the lead singer of Maroon 5 and Channing Tatum’s wife break into a derelict insane asylum, and start having ridiculous honeymoon sex. During a spout of fellatio, the frontman of Maroon 5 is suddenly attacked by ogre, sending an arterial mist all over his bride’s face.

Channing Tatum’s wife screams accordingly.

The show then flashes back to the year 1964, when the asylum Briarcliff was fully operation, and run by Catholic nuns, hardened priests, and one mad scientist. The great Jessica Lange plays a fanatical, trash-talking nun in red lingerie who views mental illness as “the fashionable explanation for sin,” and likes to torture nosey lesbian journalists. Mixed in with the gore and darkness is an intriguing (if sometimes glib) examination of faith, mid-’60s social politics, and the limits of progressivism. Also, there might be anal-probing space creatures involved somehow. (For the record, this all comes to you courtesy of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the guys behind the hit show Glee.)

These are things that appeal to me. If they appeal to you, as well, then you’ve found yourself a new cable-TV treat just in time for Halloween. This season of American Horror Story premieres Wednesday, October 17 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

Here’s a TV spot to whet the appetite:

Click here for more TV and movie features from Mother Jones.

To read more of Asawin’s reviews, click here.

To listen to the weekly movie and pop-culture podcast that Asawin co-hosts with ThinkProgress critic Alyssa Rosenberg, click here.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend