Author's Saving Throw: When Ryan Murphy revealed that season 7 would involve the 2016 election, he received a massive negative reaction from fans, many of whom wanted to watch TV to get away from the politics that had absorbed nearly every other piece of media the past couple of years. This lead to Ryan going on multiple interviews explaining that the plot won't be about the election entirely, and saying that the original interview was him joking. Both him and actors of the show explaining that the season isn't what people think. It was later revealed that the season premiere would take place on election night, and that Donald Trump himself would not have a huge impact on the story's overall narrative.
Broken Base: The general consensus is that the show suffered from Seasonal Rot. But where it the show went wrong, and if it recovered, is up for debate. While Asylum is regarded as the pinnacle of the series, Coven is either the start of the quality drop, or stands up with the first two seasons as the show's best seasons.
Likewise, while almost everyone agrees the show got back on track at some point, almost no one can actually agree when that was. Though it's usually considered to be Hotel or Roanoke for most viewers. For many, Hotel was when things recovered, changing out Jessica Lange and introducing Lady Gaga as well as overhauling the show and the characters the cast played, making things fresh, memorable, and fun again. To others, the loss of Lange was, essentially, the final nail in the coffin of a declining show, combined with the tone alternating between creepy and campy as well as the chaotic feel to the season, meaning the seasonal rot continued. For others, Roanoke was the true return to form, managing to be scary, clever, and innovative as well as having a tighter-focus and clear direction for the plot (something Coven, Freak Show, and Hotel all struggled with), but just as many found it to be tedious, stupid, and unnecessarily weighed down by an unlikable cast. The finale only served to splinter the base more. 'Cult'' has received near-universal acclaim so far, meaning that the show has definitely found its footing once again. Though there's potential for that to change.
Even Better Sequel: The show is considered to have Grown The Beard in Asylum. The fact that Murder House focuses on a fairly conservative upper middle class family while subsequent seasons focus more on people who are marginalized for whatever reason and have strong feminist, LGBT and anti-racist themes may have something to do with the show's increase in quality and its popularity with women, African Americans, and LGBT people.
Seasonal Rot: Everyone agrees it stepped in at some point, but no one agrees exactly when this occurred. Coven, Hotel, and Roanoke are all thrown out as being among examples of when this set in (with which season qualifies and which ones work proving divisive). The only thing almost everyone can agree on was that Freak Show was a dull disaster.
Took the Bad Film Seriously: No matter how many ridiculous, frustrating storylines or bad writing the show throw at its actors, many fans agree that they always give their all. The special effects, costumes, sets, cinematography, and music also tend to be rather highly thought of, even if the writing is sometimes lacking.