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American Horror Story: What will the documentary twist be?


American Horror Story is known for its twists and turns that surprise fans every season. Given how much mystery the sixth season has been surrounded by, there are sure to be plenty of those in the coming weeks. The Roanoke chapter of the hit FX show has brought fans back to the glory days of the show, as fans are fully invested in the unique take the show has gone with.

The most unique part of this season thus far is the mock documentary format the show has gone with. It is a completely new approach, and one that certainly has fans scratching their heads. We have gotten to meet several characters that are being portrayed by two separate actors. Shelby, Matt and Lee both have two versions per say.

There is the real life version of each character, who simply sit in front of a camera in front of a black background and tell the camera man about what they were feeling and thinking during moments in the past. These versions of the characters are being portrayed by Lily Rabe (Shelby), Andre Holland (Matt) and Adina Porter (Lee). Then there is the “re-enactment ” version of each character, which allows us to see the events that unfolded. This is the real meat of the story, as this is where the bigger name actors are, plus it gives us the plenty more of the plot. These versions of the characters are being portrayed by Sarah Paulson (Shelby), Cuba Gooding Jr (Matt) and Angela Bassett (Lee).

With such a unique approach, and the shows history for curve balls, it seems like a safe bet that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the documentary part of the story-line. But the question remains, how will the writers pull the rug out from under its viewers on this one?

One option is the roles are reversed. Could the “real-life” versions be actors who are doing some re-enactment? And if this is the case, could it mean there is a third layer to the story? I am not sure how the re-enactment characters could be the ones who are going about things in live action, but it would not surprise me to see them pull that off in some fashion.

And if the “real-life” characters are not who they say they are, maybe this is just all one great re-enactment in some fashion. I have read a theory that Billie Dean Howard, the character Paulson portrayed in season one (Murder House), could be behind this whole thing. Given the current season’s similarities to Murder House, it is possible what we are watching is all one tv show put on by Howard, as she tries to turn the Murder House story into a hit show. So if you follow that theory, right now we would be watching a show inside a show.

The part that has bothered me the most about the documentary style is it seems to confirm Shelby, Matt and Lee will all live through all the events that go down. But maybe that is where the twist lies? Maybe one or all of them dies, throwing the whole thing off. Ending an episode with Lee dying would leave fans invested, given we are under the assumption she is currently alive.

It will certainly be worth monitoring as the season progresses. Keep a close eye on the “real-life” characters, as I have a feeling they hold the key. Will we get any more characters to take on this duel role? Given all these characters get to do is speak, everything they say should be looked at very closely. Maybe in the coming weeks, they will be given a little more to do. The preview for next week’s episode shows Lee getting pretty frustrated with the cameraman, which will be interesting as she tells them to shut the cameras off. So many subtleties could hold the answers we are looking for, but we probably will not realize it until it is too late.

And to top it all off, the documentary angle is just one of the many questions surrounding this season of American Horror Story. We still have no idea who Evan Peters is playing. We do not know Shelby is a witch. How will Lady Gaga’s character play into this whole thing as part of Kathy Bate’s cult? And of course, who the heck is under that Pig mask? So many questions. Is your head spinning yet? I know mine is.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]