‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ theory: How are we seeing ‘Three Days in Hell’?

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During the opening minutes of Wednesday night’s new episode of “American Horror Story: Roanoke,” we had an opportunity to learn a thing or two more regarding what exactly we saw during the first five episodes. It was a production put on by Sidney (Cheyenne Jackson) replicating the experience that Shelby, Matt, and Lee supposedly went through at the house. It was an enormous ratings success story, which is why Sidney opted to come up with the “Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell” sequel, one that has more of a “Big Brother” format featuring the actors and the real-life counterparts trying to survive under the blood moon for as long as they possibly could.

Here’s where things start to get a little bit interesting from a meta perspective: How in the world are we watching this if almost everyone is dead? The show made a point of noting that the series never aired, and that much of what we’re seeing is archival footage aired after the fact. If we were watching “My Roanoke Nightmare” like we were a viewer at home, what are we doing here? We’ve got a few theories about it:

1. This is some sort of exhibit – If this show never aired, there must be someone who obtained the footage and is playing it somewhere.

2. The show is lying about the survival rate – Remember in “Fargo,” they hype up the “true story” element of it every single week even when it’s not. If “Three Days in Hell” claims that almost everyone dies and it gives you the illusion of that, doesn’t that add to the hype? Just because we see a note doesn’t actually make it true.

3. It’s another show within a show – Maybe we’re getting the show’s version of a nesting doll. Maybe what we’re watching is almost like “UnREAL,” where we are watching something about people making a show that is entirely fictional, and in the final episode it will be revealed who’s making it.

As always, we welcome some of your own thoughts on the subject below!

Want to get some other news when it comes to “American Horror Story,” including our recent episode review? Then be sure to head over here! (Photo: FX.)

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