American Horror Story is a new horror drama serie produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (both: Nip Tuck, Glee). The series premiered on October 5, 2011, and is broadcast on the american cable television channel FX. They even announced a second season.
Plot: A family of three move from Boston to Los Angeles as a means of reconciling their past anguish. They move to a restored mansion, unaware that the home is haunted. American Horror Story has received generally positive reviews from critics. Chuck Barney of the San Jose Mercury News said “Most TV shows, after all, quickly fade from memory. This one will haunt your dreams.”
I’ve seen the eight first episodes and wonder why no one has written an article on the massive placement of brands. For the moment I think this serie is really well made. It is scary, confusing and kind of insane, even if it is mainly inspired by other horror movies. Its pilot is a horror mixtape comprised of many familiar elements from other movies and TV shows. It borrows heavily from many horror subgenres (slasher, supernatural, monster, psychological). However it avoids excessive gore and manages to shock due to the dramatic atmosphere.
I’m only disappointed with one thing: the prominent product placement. I guess this serie was kind of costly but does it require that amount of placements? Most of them are central and prominent. Unless you are blind or lucky enough not to look at the screen everytime they introduce a brand, you really cannot miss them.
The question is: do they know that obvious placements are not really accepted by the audience? It seems that sometimes they forget placements are better accepted when they are integrated in the plot and fit with it. When one of the patient steals a mobile phone in the house, the strong focus on the Blackberry phone seems irrelevant. Even if it is related to the story (I won’t say more…) the focus is too long and too central. It looks more like an advertisement for the brand than an integration to the heart of the story.