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This week, the unadulterated strangeness that is American Horror Story: Freak Show will be taking down its tents and moving on into the back of our collective consciousness. But just because Season 5 is another ten months away, there’s no reason to avoid talking about it, and FX president John Landgraf has provided an update that everyone already had an unspoken understanding of: everything is going to be different next year. You don’t say?

Landgraf was on hand at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, and he shared the predictable-but-intriguing “news” with TVLine when asked what the next season’s theme would be. Admitting he knew very little, and that co-creator Ryan Murphy is the one who should rightfully reveal such things, Landgraf does make this next season sound like it’s going to be wildly different.
One of the things I love so much about that is that it can be radically, radically reinvented in terms of tone, setting, period, characters, cast. I think there’s going to be an unusually large reinvention in between Book 4 and Book 5 relative to, say, between Book 3 and Book 4.”

While the Coven and Freak Show seasons have been different in visually obvious ways, American Horror Story has yet to produce a season that actually tells a well-rounded and fully thought-out story, rather than just dumping a plethora of interesting details together and hoping they form a cohesive whole. Shamefully, part of my love for this show is buried in this madcap method of showrunning, but this season put forth my least favorite episode ever. And for everyone who just wishes for coherent narratives, Season 5 needs to be vastly different in that one particular way.

Also, this whole idea of reinvention would be a lot more exciting if Ryan Murphy hadn’t already come out and said that all of these seasons are connected, using Freak Show as a way to bring back characters from past seasons, along with other Easter eggs. So any reinvention the series manages to work out will undoubtedly shoehorn in Elsa Mars’ long-lost granddaughter, or pre-burning Larry Harvey will pop by on his way to buying the Murder House from Season 1.

Early fan predictions for Season 5 have included everything from aliens – tipped off by some Freak Show details and Murphy’s inclination to film in Santa Fe later this year – to something involving Operation Top Hat, based on the top hats seen in Season 4, which Murphy himself confirmed was one of the clues he’d inserted. Aliens certainly wouldn’t be new territory, since Asylum hit upon that subject matter with arguably terrible results, although something set in space itself would be interesting, and I’m not sure secret government field exercises is the proper jumping off point for this series.

So in the end, we’re left with only a small clue as to Season 5’s time period. Since the odd-numbered seasons have been in the present day, Landgraf was asked if this one would follow that pattern.
That’s my hope, yeah.”

Okay, so in the end, we’re really left without a clue, which is also kind of how I like to think American Horror Story Season 5 will be crafted. Where do you guys want to see Season 5 go?

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