Skip to main content

Change is a Good Thing

I'm a binge watcher. A product of my time. There are still, however, shows I will watch as they air. Sure, most of them are award shows, but that still counts, right?

American Horror Story falls into the very tiny category of non-awards shows I'll tune into live every week. After hearing a ton of hype, I watched the first couple seasons on Netflix, then started tuning in every Wednesday starting in season three. Even if I hadn't watched the first couple of seasons, I wouldn't have missed anything. Each season is a brand new story, a chance for the showrunners and a troupe of actors to explore something new.

After the third season, though, I felt like something was missing. The cast of characters kept getting bigger, more subplots kept developing, and, to me, the series began to feel scattered and unpolished. In short, it lost its edge. Despite loving the show and the amazing cast, I couldn't finish last season.

I went into this year thinking I was going to skip it altogether. I became what network executives have nightmares about: an audience member who had lost interest. That changed, however, with this season's marketing campaign, which, for the first time, relied on not revealing the new theme of the season until tonight's premiere. I tuned in and got hooked for what seems like the first time in a long time. The season, which is called The Roanoke Nightmare, follows a new docuseries-esque format, which I really think is going to give the season a focus its lacked in recent years.

When I turned off the TV, I got to thinking about why AHS works. TV has always relied on consistency to keep viewers glued to their screens every week, but this show is a hit without having to follow the same characters in the same situations season after season.

In reality, TV is really the only medium that can get away with this. Sure, there are franchises of films, bands and solo artists putting out similar work, magazines and websites that put out similar content (this blog included), but there's an evolution to artists in those fields.

Musicians especially thrive on evolution. Both Prince and David Bowie, two legendary artists who we unfortunately lost in the last year, changed their sound and their look constantly, keeping people on their toes and excited to hear what they were going to do next.

Filmmakers and actors explore different genres, types of characters, and stories throughout their careers. Rob Reiner went from making The Princess Bride in 1987 and When Harry Met Sally... in 1989 to Misery in 1990, and Misery's Oscar winning star Kathy Bates (who, coincidentally, is in AHS) made Fried Green Tomatoes the following year. Romantic comedies to thrillers, thrillers to Fannie Flagg adaptations, it's all possible. People go see movies with their favorite names attached and walk out of cinemas amazed and charmed by artists' versatility.

Why is that, though? Why do people seek change in their entertainment? On the surface, it doesn't exactly make sense. In a world that changes constantly, don't we want something that's going to stay the same? To make us comfortable?

In some cases, sure, but here's what I really think. Change is what makes us human. Our relationships, our locations, our families, our careers, they all change over time. People evolve. They grow. They rise above tough situations and they find solace in the good. It's what we're used to. Maybe we see something human in changes in entertainment. It's what makes us connect. As our favorite entertainers change, we ride along with them, knowing somewhere in our hearts and minds some of what it took them to get there.

That's just a theory, though, and if it's anything like the theory I had about AHS season 6, it's probably dead wrong.

If you dug this, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and Letterboxd, and, as always, thanks for reading.


Popular posts from this blog

Be Smart

It still shocks me when people tell me they no longer go to the movies, but even I was surprised that I went to see a movie twice in one week. Yes, I am no stranger to a repeat trip to the theatre, but Booksmart hit me hard. I very rarely see a new release that rockets to the top of my list of all time favorites. In fact, I don't think it's happened since I saw Whip It 10 years ago.

If you haven't yet heard about Booksmart, it's an original, funny, empathetic take on an old classic. Two best friends want to go to a party after four years of a solely academic high school career. What it does differently from movies like Superbad (which I also love, by the way) should and will change the genre forever.

The two leads (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) not only land every joke and win you over immediately, but they also communicate the weird and wonderful world of female friendship through their performances in a way I've rarely seen. They don't compete, they sup…

What am I doing here?

So, I'm now on the Internet, creating a brand for myself. Here's the deal: I'm a writer, dreamer, observer, filmmaker, Clare Maguire super fan, student, music lover, TV fanatic, a not-so movie buff and ultimately, a wannabe. At the moment, I'm not particularly anything, but I can be. By reading this blog, you have discovered me, and I just want to say thanks. I don't aim to be a genius, but I do aim to make at least one person smile. Please keep reading, because I certainly need an audience. After all, I am an attention seeker! Now here's some more about me...

I'm inspired by these people (not necessarily in this order):
John Hughes
George Lucas
Fannie Flagg
Diablo Cody
Ellen Page
Tina Fey
Amy Poehler
Kristin Wiig
Clare Maguire
Kate Nash
Lily Allen

I watch these TV shows:
Gilmore Girls
I Love Lucy
Degrassi: The Next Generation
The Golden Girls
Law and Order: Los Angeles
Harry's Law
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
The Office


It recently occurred to me that I haven't posted in a while. Well, REJOICE!!! I just saw Titanic 3D and now I have a lot of emotions. Just kidding. The movie was amazing, though. In fact, it got me thinking.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I want to be a screenwriter. If you haven't, I want to be a screenwriter. There, we learn something new everyday. When I tell people this, they often laugh. I understand why they do. It's a seemingly impossible goal. After a person is done with his or her laughing fit, I'm often asked why I want to do this.
Watching a movie like Titanic only strengthens my desire to do this. I've been a moviegoer all my life, but I'm different than what people think I should be. Instead of watching several movies once or twice and analyzing them, I tend to watch a handful of movies over and over again, studying them, figuring out what I like and don't like. I look at the few I connect with to see why I conn…