Sunday, May 10, 2015


Throughout the semester I have been talking about the television show American Horror Story: Asylum. The many blog postings discussed various topics in regards to the show such as character, narrative, genre, setting, plot, and more. All of these accumulate together to ask an intriguing question: Is American Horror Story: Asylum a successful television show? The difficult part with this question is determining what you define “successful” to be in regards to the television show.

One way to determine if American Horror Story: Asylum is successful by seeing if the show accomplished what it set out to do and did it well. The main point in the entire series of American Horror Story is to have that element of horror throughout the program while placing it different situations. In the case of Asylum, horror was seen by various characters and their actions, mutated people, and sci-fi elements such as aliens. These elements not only brought horror, but excitement to the show. American Horror Story: Asylum also set out to tell a good story that would get viewers hooked. The story for this season of the program was unique and different, making people wanting to watch every week. From these points, it can be said that American Horror Story: Asylum was successful since it accomplished what it set to do.

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A second way to determine if a television show is successful is whether the program provided entertainment or information to the audience. In the case of American Horror Story: Asylum, the show provided countless entertainment week after week. Each week there was something new that would surprise or shock the audience. This started with the pilot episode of the show where the audience gets introduced to the many characters of the program. The writers of American Horror Story: Asylum let the viewers get to know them just enough in this episode to want to know more. We want learn each of the characters secrets or pasts that are unknown. This made the viewers become attached to the program, therefore coming back each week to find out more. 

The audience was entertained by the information they received from each episode in American Horror Story: Asylum. If the viewer came back each week, they would get more information about the characters and the story line. They would be able to gather enough information to draw their own ideas and conclusions about characters and what they think would be happening to them in future episode. As I watched this program, I was constantly entertained with the various plot-twists in the program. The unexpected can sometimes go horribly for a television program, while others such as Asylum, it turns out to make the show even better. I was able to create my own ideas and theories about the characters. I always made sure to watch the next episode because I wanted to see whether my ideas were correct. American Horror Story: Asylum provided entertainment in a unique way that makes it stick out successfully among other television shows. 

A third way to determine whether a television show is successful is if the program is well written, engaging, respects its audience, and allows for audience involvement and identification. It is pretty evident from my previous blog posts for American Horror Story: Asylum that this program is very well written. From watching the program, the viewer can tell how much effort goes into the development and writing of the script for the show. The writers wanted to make sure they were using the correct language of the time period. What makes this show engaging is through this writing and how the actors execute it to the viewers. The actors in Asylum are able to draw you in and keep your attention the entire episode. Many of the episodes left the viewers with a cliffhanger, causing them to come back the following week to see what will happen next. The strong writing in this television series demonstrates why this program is so successful.

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American Horror Story: Asylum is also very aware of its intended audience and works the show around them. They are respectful to the age demographic the show is geared towards (adults). The show knows this age demographic will involve and engage themselves in the program. As I mentioned earlier, Asylum allows for viewers to generate their own ideas and conclusions about what will happen in the story line. This gets the audience not only involved with the show, but they are able to identify with possibly one or more characters. They feel as if they are in the asylum themselves, digging themselves deeper into the story. When a television program is able to do this, it shows how successful the show truly is. 

A final way to determine if a television show is successful is being able to see that show is professionally produced in such as way that the audience accepts what they see and hear. From watching American Horror Story: Asylum, viewers are able to see easily how much time and effort went into the production of the show. The program stayed true to the time period the show was set (1960s) and this could be seen in the scenery and sets. You could also tell how the program paid close attention to details. They made sure the houses of the various characters matched that of the characters personalities. Production made sure the colors and lights of the program matched the mood of each scene. They wanted to ensure that mostly everything in American Horror Story: Asylum appeared realistic to the audience. The creators did not want the show to appear sloppy. This would not keep and engaged and active audience. Having a professional and organized production such as in American Horror Story: Asylum, makes for a successful television program.

These are a few of the ways in which the term “successful” can be defined in regards to a television show. For American Horror Story: Asylum, these various definitions apply to the program. From the first episode in the season, the viewer is able to be absorbed into the American Horror Story realm due to its accomplishments. The program is entertaining and informative, keeping the audience attentive. The well written script and story line keeps the audience engaged and involved with the show. They are able to identify and relate to the various characters within the program, making the viewers come to watch week after week. Lastly, the production of Asylum is professional in that it attracts the eyes of the audience, making the show more appealing. Due to these various reasons it can be said that American Horror Story: Asylum is a successful television program.  

Works Cited

"Welcome to Briarcliff." American Horror Story Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2015.

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