Ryan Murphy continues to atone for the sins of Glee, as its been confirmed by series writer Douglas Petrie that the fourth season of his horror anthology series will be set at a carnival.
While guesting on a recent Nerdist podcast, Petrie confirmed that American Horror Story will leave behind the murder houses, Nazi-run mental institutions and Louisiana witch covens in favor of a 1950s carnival setting:
“…it doesn’t have a title, but that’s the idea.”
Petrie’s comments not only confirm rumors that have been swirling around the genre series following its impressive second and third seasons, but they also work to flesh out previous hints that its creator have dropped. In a a brief exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy himself established the period in which the fourth season would be set:
“If you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there’s some more clues in that year. It’s a period piece. We try and do the opposite of what we’ve done before. Jessica Lange has always wanted to play a Marlene Dietrich figure, and now she gets to.”
For those unaware, Dietrich was a German actress, whose career began in 1920s silent film, and ran through the 1970s, during which she was a traveling cabaret artist. The role will be something of a swan song for Lange, as along with getting to play a part she’s always dreamed of, Season 4 will mark her final year with American Horror Story, as the actress has already announced her intent to leave the show.
For fans of Murphy’s horror parade, this has to be exciting news. Unlike other genre series (not naming any names but there might be zombies in them), American Horror Story has only gotten better with each season. Its unique format, in which the show tells a contained narrative in thirteen episodes, not only allows for the writers to play with the different tropes and aspects of the horror genre as much as they like, its also led other networks to green-light their own superlative, self-contained serials (HBO’s True Detective being amongst them). Here’s hoping the streak continues for Murphy & Co., and that they can make carnies and clowns just as scary on the small screen as they are in reality.