For weeks, FX has been hinting at the second season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck's insanely popular (and just plain insane) "American Horror Story" with a series of bizarre and elliptical teasers. Well, the series returns next week (!) and they have finally started releasing teasers that actually give us a taste of what this new season, subtitled "Asylum" and set largely in a mental institution in the early sixties, is all about. Anyone worried that the series ran out of outrageousness in season one will be soothed by the amount of crazy in this teaser.
Most importantly, the teaser sets up the fact that there will, indeed, be a wraparound story set in present day and featuring Adam Levine as a character described in early rundowns as "The Lover," one half of a nymphomaniac couple (with Jenna Dewan) who decide to stop by the abandoned Briarcliff Asylum to, we imagine, disastrous consequences. This introduction is followed by flashes of the main action, most importantly the relationship between reporter Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson), who enters Briarcliff incognito to try and get the dirt on the institution, and Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), the nun who runs Briarcliff with an iron fist. New cast members are also briefly glimpsed: Zachary Quinto as forward-thinking Dr. Thredson, James Cromwell as old-school (possibly Nazi-affiliated) Dr. Arden, Joseph Fiennes as Monsignor Timothy Howard, and, ever-so-briefly, Chloe Sevigny as a character named Shelly the Nymphomaniac (yes, seriously).
The trailer gives off a good vibe, focusing more on the interpersonal dynamics of the characters than the spookier stuff, although that is hinted at too – in particular we get sequences that tip their hat to the alien abduction subplot (a man is institutionalized at Briarcliffs but claims that his wife wasn't murdered, but taken to outer space) and a thread of the story that involves a serial killer named Bloody Face. Hey, this is a Murphy/Falchuck show, afterall.
"American Horror Story: Asylum"'s premiere episode, "Welcome to Briarcliff," will air next Wednesday, and boasts a screenplay written by perennially overlooked member of the Joss Whedon School of Awesome, Tim Minear (he previously worked on all of Whedon's series, as well as contributing to several brilliant but short lived shows including "Wonderfalls," "The Inside," "Drive," and "Terriers") Quite frankly, we're more looking forward to "American Horror Story" than "The Walking Dead" when it comes to our Halloween television options. "American Horror Story" is more consistently bananas and stuff actually, you know, happens. Which is always cool. [Collider]