You ask yourself “Could this get MORE over the top?” And then it does.

Mrs Heathen and I have been enjoying American Horror Story since last year. While it’s absolutely trashy television, it’s undeniably fun. What’s particularly inventive is that each season is its own unconnected story, and though actors return, it’s in completely different roles.

The first season, last year, dealt with a marvelously haunted “murder house” in present-day Los Angeles freshly inhabited by a troubled married couple (Connie Britton (Tami Taylor from FNL), and Dylan McDermott); Jessica Lange won an Emmy for her portrayal of the homeowners’ fallen belle of a neighbor. Lange, for her part, behaved as if there were no such thing as overacting, and it served the production well.

Season two is on now. We’re a bit behind (we have two unwatched episodes on the Tivo), but it’s no less enthralling. In fact, it may be MORESO simply because the creators — after having gotten away with a crazy haunted house staffed, in part, by the deceased and pregnant mistress of Dylan McDermott, the original homeowner’s wife (still sporting a head wound), a deformed and malevolent basement-dwelling monster, and some sort of sex ghost in a gimp suit — have decided to throw subtlety to the wind and really get weird.

So, this time the setting is a bleak, mid-sixties Catholic madhouse. Here (obviously) we encounter a sadistic nun with a yen for caning (Lange, again), an escaped Nazi mad scientist, a doomed nymphomaniac, the inevitable trapped intrepid reporter (bonus: a lesbian!), the actual no-shit Devil, aliens, and — I shit you not — Al Swearengen in a Santa suit chasing people with a straight razor.

This episode’s blurb, by the way, is what drove me here to suggest you crazy perverts watch the show; Tivo and DirecTV describe it as:

A murderous Santa wreaks havoc on Briarcliff; Sister Jude faces off with the devil; Arden has a shocking encounter in the death chute.

Of course. And, given that we have four episodes to go, our expectation is that it’s only going to get MORE bananas.

Sleep tight, Heathen.

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