We’re running a tournament to find the show that’s doing fast-paced storytelling the best. But we also want your opinion, so make sure to vote below! And keep up with all rounds of the tournament with the Fast-Paced Tourney tag.


Ryan Murphy has proven himself a man of many tastes. He took a stab at the plastic surgery industry with Nip/Tuck. Years earlier, he tackled the traumas of teen life and the high school caste system in The WB’s Popular. However, these days, he’s more renowned for Fox favorite Glee and FX staple American Horror Story. In this edition of the tournament, we will debate the merits of both. However, in true final showdown fashion… only one will emerge victorious.

Immediately, it’s almost impossible to imagine these two shows going up against each other, right? I mean, sure, Ryan Murphy is the creator of both, but other than that, what do the two have in common? Honestly, it’s the fact that the two have seemingly nothing in common which make both of these such strong contenders, but let’s start with an assessment of handicap. Okay, yes, Glee has a bit of a strike against it because, well, what season did we just finish? Season four? Yeah, the constant harmonizing and auto-tuning is more than enough to grate the nerves. Still, American Horror Story is at a distinct disadvantage, given that its an anthology series so it has to constantly craft new characters and new universes each season.

Actually, now that I think about it, that might be an advantage for American Horror Story. One of the things that Glee has constantly struggled with is the matter of consistency. Forget the fact that Rachel berry, proud Jewess, constantly berated the whole Christmas thing, only to be found singing Wham! In a Christmas tree lot the next season. Hell, even forget the fact that show choirs have, like, actual rules and stuff because we all know that Murphy writes the rules to fit his storylines. It’s called suspension of disbelief. American Horror Story calls for suspension of disbelief hundreds of times in any given episode. I’m willing to forgive a whole helluva lot.

The problem stems from the fast-paced nature of each of these shows. Glee has, usually, at least 22 episodes to introduce and resolve just about every one of its storylines. American Horror Story, on the other hand, has 13 episodes to introduce a handful of conflicts and figure out a solution for all of them. Glee might honestly benefit from abbreviated seasons, because as it were, this show introduces some of the most outrageous plotlines, only to have them figured out in a matter of 3 hours. Like, remember when Quinn was in a car accident and couldn’t walk for, like, half a season? But after being down in the dumps. she had that can-do attitude or something, so bam, problem resolved.

American Horror Story can afford to have horrible and permanent things happen to its cast. I mean, after all, the nature of horror is essentially to watch from the safety of your own home as terrible fates befall the tiny people on your television. Furthermore, it being an anthology series and all that, who really cares what happens to them? Lana could’ve been bedridden for the last half of Asylum and it wouldn’t do much. Why? There’s no need for follow-through. Actress Sarah Paulson can always return next season as an entirely new character with full use of her legs.

Honestly, Ryan Murphy has always struggled with followthrough, picking up and dropping off random plotlines at his convenience. That’s why American Horror Story just might be the perfect show for him. There’s no need for followthrough in an anthology series. As long as he has a resolution for the season finale, he can cripple or kill anyone he wants. Fans have almost too much devotion to his characters on Glee which, honestly, hinders the show. Remember when we were promised that Murphy would follow a realistic high school portrayal by saying goodbye to his characters when they graduate? Then how did we end up with Rachel and Kurt in New York every other week? With American Horror Story, the loyalty is more to the actor or actress than the character. It’s how we got Jessica Lange as Constance and Sister Jude. My vote would go to American Horror Story if these two shows were to square off, but what do you think?

Winner: American Horror Story

This poll closes Thursday, Aug 15, at noon ET. You can vote as many times as you’d like.