Oh, American Horror Story. You have such campy, spooky promise, and when you deliver, you really deliver. The scenery was always a draw: even when the plot flailed, the sets gave your eyeballs a treat. Now that AHS is gradually leaving Netflix, queue up your television and relive the architectural highlights, before the episodes disappear like so many bodies.
Hotel (October 3rd)
Begin with Hotel, arguably the weakest season and the first to get the axe. Hotel Cortez is an art deco delight, lush and golden with killer maroon couches — and that's just the lobby. Zero in on those light fixtures. Sigh over the penthouse suite tub. Brush past the fact that it comes on like a sexy, goth-y music video, which while appropriate for Lady GaGa, doesn't hold up past a few episodes.
Freak Show (October 5th)
This season had more going for it: mostly the Bowie musical numbers with national treasure Jessica Lange. It also had a retro-circus aesthetic, which I'm a sucker for — the amount of times I've read Something Wicked This Way Comes provides direct insight into why I kept watching. Anyway. In addition to the under the big top scenes and Elsa's romantic chamber, check out Gloria and Dandy's abode: the genteel, floral insides are as light and lovely as the inhabitants are monstrous. Plus, the outside is famous.
Murder House (November 19th)
The ghost shack that started it all. Rosenheim Mansion might look abandoned when the Harmony family rolls up, but they soon make it shine. Warm wood paneling, Tiffany glass, and a Craftsman kitchen with modern appliances: it's almost enough to make you put up with its more ethereal inhabitants.
Coven (December 5th)
I saw The Craft as a pre-teen; needless to say I am here for witches, Kathy Bates, and the ageless Angela Bassett, casting spells in a beautiful New Orleans mansion. French styling abounds. Everything is white and pretty and vintage, broken up with black and brass.
Asylum (December 6th)
Briarcliff Mansion is gothic and creepy, with an entryway that seems to go on forever yet never lets you leave. While perhaps not the most inspiring in terms of personal decor, one has to appreciate how textured walls, twisting hallways, and use of medical paraphernalia set the mood.
Actually, I take it back about the decor. Lana's apartment was mid-century cute.