American Horror Story producers finally explain what was up with the aliens

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Oct 3, 2013, 9:40 AM EDT

After telling a spine-tingling ghost story in season one, the FX anthology series American Horror Story took a major twist in year two. So what the heck was up with the aliens?

The producers behind the hit series — which tells a separate, self-contained story each season — opened up in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly about why they made one of the most controversial decisions of the series’ short life by including a major alien abduction storyline.

Essentially? It had some deeper meanings, but they also felt it was a nice fit for the era in which they set the series. Admittedly, it does jibe, but fans remain divided about the decision to have alien abductions mixed up with demonic possession as a major part of the plot.

Here’s an excerpt from producers Ryan Murphy and Tim Minear’s interview:

Ryan Murphy: “For me, [aliens] were always an obvious metaphor for God. It fit very easily into the world of a Catholic sanitarium asylum... It was also about science versus faith so it made sense to me. The show is a show that pays tribute to a lot of horror masters. We take that seriously, so I always loved the alien idea of it, I loved what it was, I loved what it was about.”

Tim Minear: “The Betty and Barney Hill story of the fifties, sixties, was one of the first abduction stories. It was an interracial couple, we weren’t taking from that specifically, but it was in the water, in our experience, the stories that we all knew. When Ryan first pitched out that first story, he pitched it in that order, and he was like, ‘And then we meet him at his farm, and then he’s abducted by aliens.’ And my jaw was on the floor, but it felt exactly right to me for the period. If you think about it, those aliens are the closest things to angels, on our show about sort of religion versus science, there was nothing incongruous to me about any of that stuff.”

It’s nice to finally hear the reasoning behind the twist, though the series has built its reputation on WTF-ery, so it wasn’t much of a shock to have it go off the deep end a time or two.

What did you think of the alien storyline?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)