We've come to expect certain things from Ryan Murphy, just like we've come to expect certain tropes in our scary television shows: parts in jars, dead animals, questionably ethical use of special needs children for creepy effect, Lea Michele. I know Murph-dog and co-creator Brad Falchuk are responsible for Glee and Nip/Tuck, so I figured what I was going to get from An American Horror Story was an uncomfortable three-way between The Practice, Friday Night Lights, and the video for "Enter Sandman," set to an earsplitting cover of "Can We Still Be Friends?" by a shrill gay teen. And some of that we get.
There's a lot, isn't there? A lot going on here, in Amity/Glee/Tuck/Horror/Nipville. And the Harmons are all, "At least it's not the valley!" Overall, the first episode of True Blood Credits: the Television Show was pretty good. I think from the litany of creepshow clichés already covered, we can expect to see a deranged Santa, a jump-roping child-ghost, and maybe one of those scary fat adult babies in future episodes. Also, I give it extra points for using L.A. instead of Maine ("Thanks, American Horror Story!" — the tourism board of Maine) and for using that Rennie McIntosh font. Now I'm going to be creeped out whenever I see it on one of those tote bags with famous author quotations.