Parents' Guide to

American Horror Story

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dark, twisted adult drama is designed to shock and disturb.

TV FX Drama 2011
American Horror Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 116 parent reviews

age 15+

Honest and Practical Review

Kids today are not shielded from anything. High school itself would be rated TV MA . A 14-year-old kid would not see anything they didn't already know unless they've been kept under a rock. It's a great show with incredible, award-winning actors with great lessons to be learned. Loosen up. It's worth it. Now granted, sex scenes, partial nudity, gore, and violence is pretty frequent. But as a parent you have to understand, it's a great sense of entertainment. Your kid is not going to go to school and stab someone in the throat, okay? They're not going to grow up a sex-addicted maniac. If they don't think they can watch it, then they won't. Leave it up to them.
age 18+


Most of these “parent” reviews seem like they’re written by children, which is concerning to me that there are any kids out there watching this show. There’s great acting, interesting plots, and it’s overall a well produced show that I’ve enjoy watching. But I am an adult, and even for adults, the content in this show isn’t for everyone. There are graphic rape scenes combined with sexual violence, extremely graphic gore, a DIY abortion scene, and worst of all, many of these scenes include children. I find myself being repulsed by some of the content in this show, and some episodes leave me feeling extremely heavy. The gore goes beyond your typical horror movie; not only are there guts, smashed in heads, people being burned alive, and also cannibalism, one scene depicts two teens being sacrificed in a horrific style that I don’t care to dive into. The rape scenes are not just implied, they’re very graphic, and while there isn’t full nudity in this show, they’re about as disturbing as it can get. The scenes I’ve discussed in this review were extremely hard to watch, and while the story lines are interesting and many episodes have won awards, it boggles me that the content displayed is even allowed in Tv. There were many lines I thought this show wouldn’t cross, and it managed to leap over every single one of them. Just when you think the scene will cut because what’s about to happen is just too disturbing, the scene continues on. If you’re a parent or even a child and you are reading this review, proceed with caution when deciding whether to watch it. It’ll churn your stomach and leave you feeling disgusted knowing that some of the things depicted, are things that do, unfortunately, happen in real life.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (116 ):
Kids say (380 ):

This eerie anthology comes from the minds of Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Dante Di Loreto -- the same men who created the peppy series Glee. But American Horror Story is nothing like the feel-good TV musical. Parents and caregivers should be fully aware that this darkly disturbing (and long-running) series with psychosexual undertones was clearly intended for adults, and not their children.

TV Details

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