American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (5 Oct. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,698 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 11 critic

Therapist Ben Harmon, his wife, Vivien, and their daughter, Violet, move across the country to Los Angeles to escape their troubled past.



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Title: Pilot (05 Oct 2011)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Day


Vivien and Ben Harmon and their daughter Violet relocate to Los Angeles from Boston and buy a large old house. As required by law, the real estate agent discloses that the previous occupants were the victims of a murder-suicide. The Harmons think nothing of it and concentrate on repairing their marriage that has come under strain following Vivien's miscarriage and Ben's subsequent infidelity with one of his students. Ben is a psychiatrist and will meet his patients in the house. They meet the neighbors, the eccentric Constance and her daughter Adelaide. Vivien also hires a housekeeper, Moira, but Ben and Vivien don't quite see the same person when they look at her. Violet is bullied at school and befriends one of her dad's patients who has serious psychological problems. Strange events begin to occur. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Horror | Thriller


TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

5 October 2011 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Vivian gives Ben a long cut on the left arm after she catches him committing adultery. But every time we see his arm during the rest of the show, there is no scar. See more »


Violet Harmon: And the worst thing is my mom had like this brutal miscarriage a year earlier. We had to have this macabre funeral. Have you ever seen a baby coffin before?
See more »


References The Addams Family (1964) See more »


Blood Gets Thin
Performed by Pete and the Pirates
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User Reviews

And the best and strangest new series on TV is… drum roll… reviewed by an even stranger entity
6 October 2011 | by (France) – See all my reviews

Warning : This is one of my critic experiment so deciphering it should be relatively challenging. Still I hope you'll enjoy reading it.

Dear diary, I know everything. Well nearly but my mind has survived for centuries so my imagination is nearly unlimited and I have developed my senses in ways that can't even be described by words. This is my first attempt at explaining what has been happening for the last past months and the extraordinary events I have witnessed. I apologize in advance if my writing doesn't make sense to you reader, my worst enemy and sibling. I worry that the years have affected my judgement and even question the very health of my sanity.

It all began when two strange visitors came to me. They said they were looking for someone to help them create their next project. I never trusted Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk but I have to admit that it was hard to resist two of the talented people behind Nip/Tuck, one of the most disturbing and fascinating series ever aired. They quickly began to sketch ideas everywhere and the only thing I could do was watching, like I always do. I remember reading cryptic references to Twin Peaks, Tim Burton's Big Fish and even Carnivàle. But the truth is that their culture was so substantial and horrific that most of the time I kept my eyes closed.

The weeks passed and soon the place became an anthill infested by creativity. A living organism ? Probably but as a simple creature of evolution I only referred it as a bestiary. Among its odd inhabitants one of my favorites were the Kreuger Twins. I named them after my best childhood friend Freddy. That boy had a thing for blades and actually had a twin brother named Edward but that's an other story to tell… An other group of people I enjoyed watching were the designers. Fashion ? Interior ? They just kept working like bees and made things so beautiful and from the outfits to the sets an environment had never been so creepy.

One day they all left without even saying goodbye. They acted like I had never existed and I felt completely misunderstood. But a few weeks later a few of them came back but more important, new and specially very important people were among them. The first one I recognized was Jessica Lange because I had already met her thirty five years ago on a tropical island. Back then I remember she was dating some big hairy sniffy guy. Now for some reason they keep calling her Constance but I know that's Jessica. She's still gorgeous and looked fresh in her colorful outfits but what a weird lady she has become ! And she has a young daughter ! How come she doesn't look anything like her father ? Beside Madame Lange there was also an actor named Dylan McDermott. I had never seen him before, well maybe once or twice but only in minor roles. For some reason he kept waking up in the middle of the night and walking naked. I read John Noble is his mentor so I suspect they were actually filming a spin-off of Fringe starring him as a younger Peter Bishop. It's only a theory but I'm rarely wrong.

In fact they were many other performers working with us, yes peeping is a full time job, but I can't just list them all. Actually it's one of my complain because I worry that the next weeks won't be as surprising. Still I was very impressed by some of their performances and one scene featuring a couple having a row, Doctor Ben (McDermott) and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton actually), proved the cast really has what it takes to wow their audience. But who could possibly be watching them beside me ? Probably nobody ! Things happened so fast, too fast in my opinion, that I also forgot to mention my good old friend Frances Conroy. We met ten years ago Six Feet Under the Sea and that woman is like wine, she ages well. More than a natural redhead, a sorceress. There're moments it really seemed she was in her late twenties. A beekeeper has never been so ravishing ! No wait that was on True Blood. This time she was dressed as a housekeeper, at least it's the image my eyes transmitted to my brain. But somehow I mostly saw her as a drop dead sexy French maid so I suspect my libido is torturing my soul again. The events I had to endure were frightening and confusing enough, I really didn't need things to become so realistic and psychological. As long as my red candles burn, I should be safe. But I really hope the sun will soon rise or else I might go all The Shining on them.

To go back to my bestiary in general I was fascinated by the intelligence, weirdness but also vicious nature of its animals. They call themselves humans but that's an awful name for a species if you think about it. Still I have found their paranormal and horrific destiny quite intriguing so far. That's why I have decided to keep watching them just in case they need my assistance. So until my next entry I'll just listen to the dusty records they left me and recall the industrial noise they made in the silent night. The hypnotic opening title of the best new Horror Story in America has just ended so it's time for me to vanish before someone notice my presence.

Wicked night,

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