Let's get right to it - Season II is not half as good as season I.
The Look: What made season I so gorgeous was the color-saturation, the diffusion, the high-style and some forced-perspective. It was warm and glowy. Season II, or AHS2 as I'll call it from here on out is pale, grey, washed-out, has a lot of angle-up shots, and is, frankly, cheap looking.
The Story: Season I had a lot going on but it related to the house and came to a white-hot finale with the birth of the demon child. Constance (Jessica Lange) was the anchor throughout. AHS2 has WAY too much going on and you just wish they'd cut out some of it. I don't care about the damn creatures outside. James Cromwell plays the sinister mad doctor with real menace when it comes to the sex scenes but when he's slicing-and-dicing patients it is campy. Lange's Head Nun character is too all-over-the-place and shows vulnerability never seen in Constance. She is a contradiction on many levels - cracking up about the hit-and-run she committed in her past; unaware an evil spirit has taken over her little innocent nun helper; doesn't know about the mad doctor's creatures; is easily manipulated into getting drunk despite being a reformed alcoholic ... and on it goes. The writing is much weaker in this version.
The Modern Story: I don't give a damn about the creepy murderer in the abandoned hospital and skanky hipsters that trespassed and the mayhem that has thus ensued nor do I see how they'll link it to the '64 story.
Characters: Zachary Quinto's psychiatrist character is so far a massive bore. The subplot with the lesbian reporter started out strong and now is lame - again weak writing. If they had made her girlfriend smarter, so she didn't fall for the Head Nun's scheming, she could now be playing Velma from Scooby-Doo and solving the mystery; the sex-addict girl is okay but the dialog is too contemporary in places; the razor-cut-hair girl - so far is a blank and I don't care about her. The earnest but ambitious priest is so far rather a bore too.
The Demon/Exorcism: too literal and too specific - didn't the writers see The Exorcist? Vulgar displays of power are not the Devil's way. And the possessed young nun killing the devout "Mexican" woman - too direct and vulgar a display of power. The Demon subplot is veering strongly into camp, and not in an intentional way.
The Alien: Why this was included in the story is beyond me. Unless the show's creator and the writers can cleverly marry the story of demons, ghosts and aliens in some way (and I don't see how without it being ridiculous), it will be a waste. The alien looks like the cheapest, fake bit of foam you've ever seen. Some smoke would work wonders on this show - hiding the cheapness of the sets, the poor lighting, and the obvious sound-stage look to theshow.
I really don't know what the shows creators are after. Hopefully they won't fuck up so badly that AHS does not get renewed for Season III ... I really want them to return to the Constance storyline for Season III. What Constance needs is a female rival for access and interaction with the demon child as the fulcrum upon which that season's storyline could pivot.