- American Horror Story: Delicate is the first season without Ryan Murphy as showrunner, but it still has potential to deliver on its promise.
- Reviews of the premiere episode have been mixed, with some praising the innovative storyline and others finding flaws.
- Kim Kardashian’s performance as Siobhan is surprisingly decent, and the premiere episode establishes a creepy and intriguing atmosphere.
Less than a year after the premiere of its previous season, American Horror Story is back with its twelfth season, Delicate, the first installment of the show without Ryan Murphy as showrunner. The first season of the anthology show, titled Murder House, premiered in 2011 and was a smashing hit. Most of the subsequent installments managed to replicate that excellent reception, and although some went unnoticed, the franchise has built a solid fan base and has even expanded into other genres with American Crime Story, and soon with American Sports Story and American Love Story.
The absence of the creator of Glee as a showrunner is not the only thing different in this new season of the horror series, since it is the first one based on a book. This is Danielle Valentine’s novel titled Delicate Condition. The story centers on a successful actress who dreams of starting a family, and as strange rumors grow around her next film, she begins to fear that a dark force seeks to get in the way of her quest for motherhood.
After the release of the first episode, reviews have now surfaced online, recognizing the potential of the story but also highlighting its flaws. For Angie Han from The Hollywood Reporter, the beginning of American Horror Story Delicate is decent but sadly not brilliant:
“In combination, they signal a potential for American Horror Story to head in a cleaner and clearer direction, away from its longstanding reputation for sloppy plotting — but not too far from its gift for building buzz, since the third standout element is the headline-worthy stunt casting of Kim Kardashian as Anna’s BFF and publicist Siobhan. But whether it has the ability to deliver on all that promise remains an open question by the end of a just-okay debut.”
American Horror Story: Delicate Generates Mixed Reactions Following Its Debut
Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro, however, thinks Delicate feels as innovative as Murder House:
“Just when you think the series is showing crow’s feet and has gone to loopy ends, i.e., clever-wielding pilgrims (AHS Season 6, My Roanoke Nightmare), Murphy and Falchuk glam it up with a curveball headlining star (Kim Kardashian in a rare non-reality TV role, changing up from Lady Gaga in seasons past) and a millennial take on Rosemary’s Baby. Yep, no guessing which horror film this season is based on (however, that is a fun game to play with friends). This season looks as posh, as cool, and as sexy as a Prada dress on Madison Ave and you wanna hang out with these New Yorkers despite how creepy and inappropriate they are.”
The premiere of Delicate at least managed to pique the curiosity of CNN’s Brian Lowry:
“Delicate might not fully alter that dynamic, but the eerie qualities of the premiere at least establish it as the kind of introduction that spurs curiosity, as Cohen might put it, to watch what happens next.”
And for Joel Keller from Decider, Kim Kardashian is actually “pretty decent” in her performance as Siobhan Corbyn, a publicist and Anna’s best friend:
“Let’s get what everyone wants to know out of the way first: Kim Kardashian is actually pretty decent as Siobhan. We discounted her acting skills, though it’s likely she has to do some degree of acting on her various reality shows, and we also forgot that she was pretty good when she hosted SNL. Siobhan is a good role for her, because she’s mostly there to be an aggressive publicist who is looking out for Anna as both her client and best friend.”
American Horror Story: Delicate stars Emma Roberts, Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne, Matt Czuchry, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Denis O’Hare, Julie White, and Maaz Ali as Kamal.