“American Horror Story: NYC” continues to let me down

Courtesy+of+FX+Network

Courtesy of FX Network

I have been a huge fan of “American Horror Story” since I started watching it five years ago. Though the last season, “AHS: Double Feature,” left most viewers with negative feelings on where the show would go next, I was still excited for season 11. The network usually does a good amount of marketing for each season, but for “AHS: NYC,” it revealed minimal information before releasing the first two episodes on Oct. 19. “AHS: NYC” will be airing every Wednesday at 9 p.m. on FX, and will also be available for streaming on Hulu at 2 a.m. every Thursday — if you want to put yourself through the pain of watching it, of course.

The second I saw Ryan Murphy, the creator and producer, announce the release date of “AHS: NYC,” I set a reminder on my phone and impatiently waited in hopes for this season to redeem itself from its last hectic storyline. I hoped for a season full of glam and luxury, such as “AHS: HOTEL,” but it appears to be far from it. 

“AHS: NYC” takes place in New York City in 1981, where a serial killer targeting the queer community – specifically gay men – runs rampant. Due to the negligence of the NYPD, this killer tends to get away with crimes with ease. The storyline mainly follows a reporter for the New York Native, Gino Barelli (Joe Mantello), as he tries to push his boyfriend, officer Patrick Read (Russell Tovey), to learn more about this string of murders and take action. However, Patrick is reluctant in fear of being outed to his coworkers, which is amplified through Gino providing a platform for those affected by the murders. 

Upon starting the season, I noticed an unsettling resemblance between “AHS: NYC” and Ryan Murphy’s other popular and controversial series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” The series was heavily criticized for its profitization of misinformation and disregard of the victims’ families, so watching this season be about a gay serial killer murdering other gay men in the ‘80’s while also getting away with it due to police negligence felt uncomfortably familiar. 

Though I have seen viewers praising this new season and being grateful that “AHS: NYC” is different from all others, the plot feels as if Murphy took the easy way out by making both project themes similar and ignoring the usual style and mood that makes the show so iconic in the first place. Change isn’t always a bad thing, but I don’t like this new season drifting away from the old aspects and creating a new idea that looks like an average crime show that anyone else can make. There is always a way to mix things up and keep those timeless characteristics, but this isn’t it.

And despite “AHS: NYC” revolving around the unacknowledged queer community in New York City, I have seen little-to-no representation of anyone who isn’t white. I get that the show is fictional, but Murphy has had a consistent issue with diversifying his characters in the past. And when presenting so many realistic issues in this season, why not add the nuance of race intersecting with queerness to further the ignorance of the NYPD?  It would have added a bit more authenticity –  as much as you can get in a show like this – and been more accurate to the story portrayed on screen. 

I love “American Horror Story” and know that I’ll continue with the season simply because of my undeniable loyalty, but based on what’s currently been shown, “AHS: NYC” is not worth getting all worked up about. This season could have been a great opportunity to merge aspects of both the old and new to make up for the underwhelming “AHS: Double Feature,” yet it seems to continue the trend of missing the mark.