Ryan Murphy has been lauded as the most powerful man in all of television, thanks in part to his work on genre-sampling series like Glee and Pose. Although he’s often praised for his more cheerful works, Murphy’s forays into horror have been laudable as well. The debut of American Horror Story in 2011 may retroactively represent a huge shift not only in the horror genre, but in TV storytelling itself: the anthology format—in which each season tells a self-contained story, using a core group of actors playing different roles each time—is starkly different from the serialized format we’re more used to on the small screen.
Now in its 10th season, AHS is currently switching up its normal formula by telling two stories at once. The first few episodes of American Horror Story: Double Feature started with a narrative titled “Red Tide” and will somehow transition into a second tale, titled “Death Valley.” The extent to which these narratives are intertwined will only be unravelled as the show progresses.
But even for AHS mega-fans, the show’s run has been a real uneven ride. Because each season introduces a whole new cast of characters and entirely different aesthetics, it’s fun to compare and contrast the quality across the board. While we don’t quite know yet where “Double Feature” will land, here’s our definitive list of American Horror Story seasons, ranked.
Warning: Spoilers throughout!