We knew from all the mystery that American Horror Story Season 6 would be unlike anything we've ever seen and during Wednesday night's premiere episode, that proved to be more accurate than we ever realized. Because even though we now know the theme of American Horror Story Season 6 will center around Roanoke, we have yet to establish a clear trajectory of things, especially given the unique format this season has taken on. For example, why are the characters in My Roanoke Nightmare played by different actors? The simple way to answer that is by concluding that this season is going to be treated like a true crime-style documentary of sorts.
The episode opened with a series of interviews that shifted between the "real" versions of Shelby and Matt (played by Lily Rabe and Andre Holland). Except these people weren't the only ones portraying these characters. Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. represent the flashback and/or reenacted versions of this troubled couple as the tale of their Roanoke nightmare unfolds at their new farmhouse of (not-so-much) fun. Because, like any good horror movie has taught us, living in an big, old house out in the middle of nowhere never ends well for anyone... and these two are no exception.
Suffice to say, Season 6 is playing with the construct of having a show within a show, giving us not only two different storylines, but also two different time periods to work with — something that FX CEO John Landgraf hinted to reporters back in January when he revealed Season 6 would be "set in two time periods" and take place "in the present, with echoes of the past," according to TV Guide. Sounds pretty accurate based on what we've seen so far. And since there are still so many AHS vets that have yet to make an appearance (Evan Peters, where are you?), I'm eager to see how they'll fit into this new nightmare and which time period they'll pop up in.