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11 Ways AHS: Hotel exceeded even the highest expectations

Moments from the AHS: Hotel premiere that made us cringe, cheer and want so much more

American Horror Story: Hotel is taking TV brilliance to a whole new level.

More: AHS: Hotel blurs the lines between Lady Gaga and Stefani Germanotta

And I can't seem to stop gushing about the premiere, which was so good, I needed a few moments after it ended just to bask in the genius.

1. Every moment a mystery

Why are there creepy corpse-looking people in the mattresses? Why is the Countess stealing blond-haired children? Who was that demon going to town on poor Max Greenfield's frosted-tipped character? When will Evan Peters and Angela Bassett be joining the Hotel fun?

The questions go on and on and, rather than being frustrating like other shows, we can't wait to unravel the mystery.

2. The music

The scene that introduced Lady Gaga barely had any dialogue at all. Instead, "Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge is all that plays until the end of the scene. And it's the perfect backdrop to that insane sex scene.

3. Hemophiliac Lady Gaga

A woman of mystery who captures the screen with a simple stare, Lady Gaga as the Countess is absolutely breathtaking. I'm not going to lie; I wasn't sure what to expect from her performance. She blew every preconceived notion out of the water.

4. The chemistry

Matt Bomer has proved he's got the acting chops and looks to be a leading man. But as Lady Gaga's leading man this season, he takes his intrigue to a whole other level. Tortured and brooding look good on him. More importantly, so does the chemistry he and Gaga bring to the show.

5. Heroin-chic Sarah Paulson

Just like everyone else in the American Horror Story cast, Sarah Paulson is at the top of her game. But to pull off a '90s heroin addict with grace and some much-needed spunk is beyond impressive.

More: Jessica Lange isn't finished with American Horror Story after all

6. The murder mystery story line

Wes Bentley joins the story as John Lowe, a detective who is following the insane path of a serial killer, which leads him to the Hotel Cortez. But are these killings related to the hemophilia story line or is there a whole new killer on the loose whom we haven't even met yet?

7. Kathy Bates just is

It's hard to say Kathy Bates exceeded the highest expectations because, at this point in her long and fabulous career, everyone should know just how stunning she is in every single performance. But we couldn't not include her in this article because, well, she's Kathy Bates, obviously.

8. The way it's shot

Every frame of the premiere was like a dream. The scene that especially caught my eye was a simple one: Denis O'Hare in drag as his character Liz Taylor. But it was his flowing silk wrap, billowing behind him as he walked, that was utterly hypnotizing. The premiere was full of these beautifully framed, mind-bending moments.

9. So many good throwbacks

Dracula, The Shining and more all got nods in the premiere. Cocreators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck aren't hiding the fact that they're drawing inspiration from the classics, but the references are so seamlessly threaded throughout that none of it feels forced.

More: How American Horror Story empowers women and the LGBT community

10. Sexy and horrifying all in one

The show has so many terrifying moments and it just as quickly skips to somehow being desirable. One minute, it's hard to watch, and the next you can't look away.

11. The children

There is more sex and blood than we've probably ever seen on the show before. But that isn't the way they're upping the ante. Rather, AHS: Hotel brings in children, which might be the most horrifying element of this season.

What will make Season 5 the best yet is not the visual moments, but the mental ones that haunt you long after the episode ends.

What was your favorite part of the American Horror Story: Hotel premiere?

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