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Every American Horror Story Season, Ranked From Worst to Best

Freak Show The funny thing about Freak Show is that it had the best first episode of any AHS season: It featured Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) murdering a pair of picnicking ’50s sock-hoppers, then capped off with Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) doing a anachronistic performance of the David Bowie classic “ Life on Mars .” But man, was it all downhill from there.

Freak Show gave us a different villain every week, whether it was Twisty; Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley), a two-faced man who returns every Halloween to harvest souls; the closeted strongman Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis); Stanley (Denis O’Hare), the guy who wanted to kill the freaks and put them in a museum; the insane magician Chester Creb (Neil Patrick Harris); or Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock), a sociopathic rich kid who always got his way.

It deserves a high praise just for the wigs and costumes alone, not to mention Angela Bassett’s terrific performance as Marie Laveau, a voodoo witch with an ax to grind.

The problem with Coven was that every character could be brought back from the dead, so there was little to no drama in any battle, but with all the bitchy quips, catfights, and Kathy Bates’s wisecracking severed head, no one minded all that much.

Murder House When the top-tier cast members of the first season — Kate Mara, Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott — started dropping like flies, the audience had no idea what to expect.

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Every American Horror Story Season, Ranked From Worst to Best


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