“American Horror Story: Asylum”: A Torturing, Lingerie-Clad Nun, and Other Seasonal Joys

Courtesy of FX

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American Horror Story: Asylum opens with a scene in which the lead singer of Maroon 5 and Channing Tatum’s wife break into a derelict insane asylum, and start having ridiculous honeymoon sex. During a spout of fellatio, the frontman of Maroon 5 is suddenly attacked by ogre, sending an arterial mist all over his bride’s face.

Channing Tatum’s wife screams accordingly.

The show then flashes back to the year 1964, when the asylum Briarcliff was fully operation, and run by Catholic nuns, hardened priests, and one mad scientist. The great Jessica Lange plays a fanatical, trash-talking nun in red lingerie who views mental illness as “the fashionable explanation for sin,” and likes to torture nosey lesbian journalists. Mixed in with the gore and darkness is an intriguing (if sometimes glib) examination of faith, mid-’60s social politics, and the limits of progressivism. Also, there might be anal-probing space creatures involved somehow. (For the record, this all comes to you courtesy of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the guys behind the hit show Glee.)

These are things that appeal to me. If they appeal to you, as well, then you’ve found yourself a new cable-TV treat just in time for Halloween. This season of American Horror Story premieres Wednesday, October 17 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

Here’s a TV spot to whet the appetite:

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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