Marianne and her cameras are in motion tonight, so she asked me to step in and post for her while she attends a benefit for a terribly important project, about which she will no doubt tell you more about very soon. As for me, I'm Marianne's pal Dena. Since I probably spend about as much time obsessing over certain TV shows as Marianne spends obsessing about music, I have decided to use this opportunity to subject introduce Popthomology readers to one of the best things that ever happened in the history of television.

I could never have predicted that TV would serve as the vehicle for my existential rejuvenation, much less that my most recent televised obsession would turn out to be a Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk vehicle. Much to my delight, the single-season plotlines of American Horror Story serve to minimize that production team’s ham-handedness with long-term character development and keep things as fresh as the dirt on a newly turned grave.

There are many things to love unironically about this show, among them fine performances by Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, James Cromwell, Lily Rabe, and many more wonderful actors. The visuals are often stunning and can be enjoyed on their own terms, but film enthusiasts will find many references to the great film directors of our time such as Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma, and Alfred Hitchcock. Like both Mad Men and Breaking Bad before it, AHS combines the creative synergies of its players to make something quite unlike any program that has gone before it. In doing so, the show may sometimes run off the rails to crazytown, but it is never boring, and for that I’m grateful.

If you think AHS may be your particular cup of arsenic, then by all means skip the rest of this plug and get right down to viddying. Season One (Murder House) is on Netflix, but if you’re like me, you’ll eyeball your way right through those suckers in two weeks and be shelling out your hard-earned lucre for Season Two (Asylum), because this stuff is like TV crack. Sometimes you can’t look away because it’s so absurd, e.g., when Ben Harmon’s towel magically stays glued to his body throughout his brawl with Rubber Man. Other times you can’t look away because you are genuinely moved by the fine acting or you are caught up in the suspense of waiting to find out what happens next. Either way, the power of American Horror Story has not only compelled me to keep watching and look forward to Season Three with bated breath, but also to start my own AHS tumblr, It’s Been Insane Here.

As much as I love AHS and recommend it wholeheartedly to those of you who can handle that much crazy, this show is not for those with tender sensibilities. There’s a fair amount of violence and gore, not to mention frankly depicted social injustices and Dylan McDermott’s ass. It’s not light viewing by any stretch of the imagination and most likely some of you will never watch it, which is as it should be. But there is one moment during AHS: Asylum that deserves to be singled out as the deeply transcendent moment it is, and that is Sister Jude’s performance of The Name Game. I’m pretty sure the most disturbing elements in this video are the headbanging and the jolly microcephalic person, both of which should be altogether familiar and comforting to any Ramones fan. There be spoilers here, of course, so don’t watch if you can’t handle them there things. Otherwise, I give you The Name Game as you’ve never seen it before, all-singing, all-dancing, and totally hallucinated by a nun disguised as Dusty Springfield. I am sorry. You are welcome.

The Name Game - American Horror Story