TV Snapshot: American Horror Story: Roanoke, Chapter 6 - Reviewed

The show, "My Roanoke Nightmare" is within the actual series American Horror Story: Roanoke. It’s as surreal as it is brilliant and makes it difficult to review. Within the program, they compare My Roanoke Nightmare to Empire and The Walking Dead as if "My Roanoke Nightmare" shares the same airwaves. Sidney, the "creator" of "My Roanoke Nightmare," visits the actors and re-enactors, recruiting them for the sequel. Each person speaks about what playing their part meant to them and what they have been up to in convincingly candid performances. The show ended, but like all reality television, the fictional fans want more. We watch as the producers try to scrounge up a sequel – fittingly called, “Return to Roanoke: Three Days of Hell,” involving not only the re-enactors, but the real life Matt and Shelby Miller who experienced the terrors of the mansion on Sappony Road.

As production on the sequel begins, strange occurrences start happening. Sidney ignores the signs and continues production as planned. The most intriguing part about this "sequel" is that as everyone returns to the house from the "original series," we are witnessing the now "real" events unfolding with the actors and crew. Cameras are set up all over the house, running 24/7 in hopes to capture any real experiences even though no one but the real Lee, Matt, and Shelby know the truth. Just like a real TV show, clever disclaimers and filler information guide the audience along. One in particular states that “the show planned by producers never aired.” What we are watching is “the assembled footage" of the horrifying events that will unfold involving the "real" actors. Right away, the scares are laid on thick. You completely forget you’re watching a show within a show as tensions between cast, crew, and the "real life" married couple, Matt and Shelby, erupt into chaos. After participating in "My Roanoke Nightmare",  Matt and Shelby thought that it would be healing to relive the experience, but they soon realize that they've probably bitten off more than they can chew.

With only six episodes left, I think AHS fans can expect the rest of this season to continue the show within a show format. Personally, I'm confident in this bizarre structure, but understand why creators might not do it again. I still think season 6 will be among the favorites. Chapter 6 is where the real season begins. We get to watch all of our favorite actors together just as we hoped.