‘American Horror Story’ burst onto the screen in October as ‘Glee’ creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s latest television endeavor. The recent Golden Globe nominated FX original series has garnered a kind of cult following and Flint TV Column readers like LeighAnne Napier tout it as the ‘most original series on television’. Bringing the show to its acclaimed heights is the stellar cast which includes TV veteran actors Dylan McDermott (‘The Practice’) and Emmy nominated Connie Britton (‘Friday Night Lights’) as the very troubled Ben and Vivien Harmon, and Oscar winner and current Golden Globe/SAG nominee Jessica Lange, who plays their creepy neighbor, Constance Langdon. But the most magnetic pair in the amazing ensemble and the Flint TV Examiner pick for 2011 Breakout TV performances are newcomers Taissa Farmiga as the Harmons’ daughter, Violet, and Evan Peters as her sociopathic but sympathetic boyfriend Tate.
Violet Harmon is a smart but disturbed teen who dislikes school, smokes behind her parents back, struggles to fit in socially and has a tendency toward self-injury via cutting. Taissa Farmiga brings Violet brilliantly to life with painstaking detail in the flash of her eyes, to her lewd sarcasm that borders on hatred for her parents. She meets Tate and is instantly drawn to him, as another potentially misunderstood, disturbed and defiant young person. There’s a definite spark between them, until she learns Tate is dead, and she’s fallen for a ghost.
However, when she discovers Tate murdered over a dozen innocent students in a high school shooting spree and was ultimately killed by a SWAT team, she is overwhelmed. Violet already sits at the edge of darkness and finally succumbs by killing herself via pill overdose.
AHS is Farmiga’s second acting job, her first being a part in her older sister and Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga’s film ‘Higher Ground’.
Taissa Farmiga proves herself an acting force to be reckoned with, drawing viewers tightly into all of Violet’s varied and intense emotions. When Violet learns the truth about her own death and Tate raping her mother, she tells him she can’t be with him — that he is the darkness. In a highly emotional and intense confrontation, she commands Tate to go away. Fans of the couple mourned the split and hoped for a reunion. However, the Harmons’ story ends with Season 1 and many Flint area AHS fans are disappointed. They are hoping Farmiga will return as a new character for Season 2 this fall.
Farmiga’s better-known co-star, Evan Peters, plays the very dark and nearly demonic, Tate Langdon, who is Constance Langdon’s son. Peters started acting here in Flint at the Flint Youth Theatre and moved to California to pursue acting after his Freshman year at Grand Blanc High School.
Peters’ long line of acting credits preceding AHS include regular roles on ABC series ‘Invasion’ and ‘The Days’ as well as guest appearances on ‘The Office’, ‘The Mentalist’, ‘House’, ‘The Ghost Whisperer’ and more. He also landed a role in the big screen comedy ‘Kick Ass’, which was co-produced by Brad Pitt and starred Nicolas Cage.
In taking on Tate, Peters brings a psychotic, sociopathic and arguably demonic person to life. This same person that murders countless numbers of people, also exhibits deep feelings of love and longing for Violet and suffering at the hands of an abusive mother. This renders Tate vulnerable and in many ways sympathetic. Peters brings those conflicting emotions – venomous rage to horrible sorrow and streams of tears brilliantly to life. He also carries off many violent and gory murders and fight scenes with seeming ease – which he enjoyed, and let’s not forget he had to lube up to don the infamous black Rubber Man suit.
Peters’ overall magnetic and highly believable performance, as well as his electric chemistry with Taissa Farmiga has caused a frenzy among fans who are fascinated with Tate and are smitten with Evan Peters. Many fans thought he deserved a Golden Globe nod this year, along with his co-star Jessica Lange. Others love Tate and Violet as a couple, and are sad their story is indeed sealed and over in ‘American Horror Story’s’ first unforgettable season.
In an Examiner exclusive interview, Peters said of Farmiga:
‘Of course Taissa is fantastic. She’s such a sweetheart. It’s not hard to look like you’re in love with her, you know? She’s fantastic.’
Peters and Farmiga have left a lasting AHS impression on thousands of fans. Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter fan pages have been created in honor of Tate and Violet the couple, and Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga as individuals.
In a year that brought a few outstanding new dramas to television, ‘American Horror Story’ easily tops this column’s list of the year’s most original and excellent all-around series. The amazing writing, coupled with an incredible cast has drawn all kinds of media and fan attention.
Many fans are vying for Peters’ and Farmiga’s return to the series for Season 2 in Fall 2012. As previously reported, Creator Murphy already made it clear to the press that any returning cast members would come back as completely new characters for next season. Season 2 cast announcements are expected to be made in February 2012.
Whether or not the next AHS installment includes fan favorites Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga remains to be seen. Either way, they both made critically acclaimed impressions as Tate and Violet – so 2012 should find them both with many more acting opportunities and a long and bright career ahead.
‘American Horror Story’ will return to FX Network in Fall 2012. Click here for a Flint area channel guide.