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American Horror Story: Freak Show “Monsters Among Us” Review (4×01)

9 Oct

jessica-lange-american-horror-story-freak-show-premiere-2

American Horror Story has dealt with all of the themes currently being dealt with in Freak Show. However, for all the explorations of the repressed in society and for all the emphasis on the “freaks” of the past three seasons, this is the season that looks to tackle the issue head on, placing all of its characters within the confines of an actual “freak show” and expounding on the “us vs. them” mentality that’s ever so pervasive in these types of situations.

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American Horor Story: Coven “The Seven Wonders” Review (3×13)

30 Jan

fe0470a7ea2f4cbcccde090e094ca4abOh my, what a colossal shit-show of a finale.

I hate bashing this show. I really do, and I’ll reiterate my love for Asylum. However, when I’ve just wasted nearly 13 hours of my life hoping that the show would capture some of its earlier magic, you can imagine I’d be disappointed with the outcome. What we get with “The Seven Wonders” is a sloppy, rushed, and unsatisfying conclusion to a mediocre season.

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American Horror Story: Coven “Go To Hell” Review (3×12)

22 Jan

14136636-mmmainMan, that picture up there looks a lot more exciting than how it really played out, eh?

That’s really emblematic of this entire season, which, thankfully, is over next week. As for this episode, although the plot finally starts to motor forward a bit, the problem is: I just don’t care. I don’t care who the next Supreme is. I don’t care if anyone is killed off. I don’t care about any of these characters.

It’s sad, really, especially coming after Asylum, which was a truly great season of television. There, the stakes felt high. There, when something happened, it affected the outcome of the season. There, when we finished the finale, we felt like we’d seen a whole story. Going into the final episode of Coven, what exactly has changed? Fiona’s heading on out and we’re about to pick a new Supreme. Hooray.

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American Horror Story: Coven “Protect the Coven” Review (3×11)

15 Jan

ahs_0094

What the hell?

What is this show even trying to accomplish? This, folks, is truly a perfect example of “throwing shit at the wall and watching as nothing sticks”. First off, how about some slave torturing? Why not? Hey, never mind that prior to this, LaLaurie’s character was actually about moving away from shit like that, and never mind that we don’t need to see another second of slaves strung up and sliced open; let’s throw it in there because lol. To think the LaLaurie-Queenie relationship was one of the aspects of the show I was once looking forward to.

But hey, if it was just that, I might be a bit more willing to go along with the episode. Hold on, though; this is AHS: Coven, and AHS: Coven obviously has to involve a scene in which Cordelia gouges out her eyeballs. If I wanted to see someone stab their eyeballs, I’d watch myself watching this episode. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. Queenie’s back for some reason; I don’t exactly remember anything except for her pulling a bullet out of her body and then some shit and then she’s showing up at a funeral. Spalding’s also here again because no one stays dead–that just wouldn’t make any sense because shows are supposed to have no stakes at all, obviously–and because dolls. He needs to get out more.

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American Horror Story: Coven “Head” Live Blog/Review (3×09)

11 Dec

nullTEXTAll times central.

9:04-Okay, so we have fire and stuff to open the episode. Sadly, these openings do nothing for me anymore.

9:10-One thing this show always has going for it is the incredible acting (by the more experienced actors). Bassett and Lange are always a joy to watch, especially when they’re exchanging insults while Kathy Bates’ head interrupts.

9:12-“Could people not move things? Some of us are blind.”

9:16-So Hank’s part of this secret cult of witch-haters who hate witches. I’m supposed to care why? This character’s been a nebulous presence all season, seemingly serving no purpose but to have sex in a pile of snakes and polish his huge gun.

9:20-See, now this is emblematic of the problems of this season; not only do dead people come back to life, but the blind woman can even get her eyes back. The status quo this season just hasn’t changed one bit; I’m not advocating unnecessary plot twists, but I want that sense of “anything goes” this show was known for.

9:22-Oh yeah, Justified.

9:28-Oh great, limb washing. Next, I fully expect Spalding to show up naked slow dancing with a monster made out of dog crap.

9:32-I almost burst out laughing at that scene in the hospital; right there is a bunch of actors trying way too hard.

9:34-“What are you going to do, chew it up and shit it out of your neck?”

9:37-So, we’ve got Queenie forcing LaLaurie to watch Roots. On the one hand, Kathy Bates does some great face acting there and it’s hilarious to watch. On the other hand, I once again sigh at the blatant race references that Murphy loves so, so much. Is Queenie seriously just going to be a prop for all of Murphy’s race “justifications” from now on? Yeah, probably.

9:40-“Marie Laveau sends her regards.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Murphy decided to recreate the Red Wedding, but this time with more blood and some boobs.

9:40-The Following is returning. I’m ready for that hate-watch; join me on the 19th.

9:42-Oh, how I wish I could just go “With more intent” for everything I do.

9:45-“Dog.” *Snaps neck* Alrighty, then.

9:48-So we go from Nan at odds with Luke’s mom to Nan all sunshine and rainbows with Luke’s mom to Nan at odds with Luke’s mom. Great.

9:49-Hell yeah, The Americans.

9:52-Hell yeah, True Detective. Honestly, these promos have me 100 times more pumped for those shows than what’s coming next on AHS.

9:57-Oh God, so we have Hank mowing down a house of black people while we’re shown images from the Civil Rights movement. Oh, out of all the awful things this show has created, this has to be the worst; jeez, Murphy and co., can’t you at least have a good old-fashioned shootout or something without turning it into a conversation about race? Good God. Oh, and we also have Joan murdering her son, because why not?

10:00-Expect Queenie and Hank back within 6 minutes into the next episode. See you in January.

GRADE: C- (I miss Asylum)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Yeah, this show is just spinning its wheels right now. I’m all for the idea of giving underdeveloped characters some more attention, but when you devote solely one episode to start and finish a character arc, nothing good can come out of it. Instead, we have what we got at the end: an awful, tasteless, and downright offensive–yes, even for this show–segment that serves no purpose whatsoever, save for maybe “HEY LOOK, SOMETHING’S HAPPENING!”

There’s potential still, due to the brilliance of many of the actors, but the writing is just so sloppy right now; for example, I still find Kyle endearing and I find the Laveau-Fiona team up intriguing, but I just can’t help but feel like we’re going downhill.

Credit to FX and American Horror Story for all pictures. I own nothing.

American Horror Story: Coven “The Sacred Taking” Review (3×08)

4 Dec

americanhorrorstorycoven08When you die, you usually, you know, stay dead. I get that this is American Horror Story, but the lack of a sense of danger is really detrimental to the show right now; it’s an hour every week of “anything goes”, but it’s hard to sit back and enjoy the ride when we’re skeptical of that mantra. Every “death” now feels like a ploy to mess with the audience, not something that will shake up the storyline; just bring ’em back!

That’s a shame, considering the first half of this episode is pretty strong, focusing on an intriguing Cordelia vs. Fiona plot that feels like it’s leading up to something…until it’s not. I mean, a Kathy Bates head in a box isn’t all that shocking anymore, Murphy; I just hope the next episode involves everyone dangling cheeseburgers just out of reach of her chomping mouth.

Anyway, the episode feels like it’s stitched together like Zoe and Madison did to Kyle. The abstractness of the plot hearkens back to Season 1 days, but even those episodes had a bit more coherence than recent ones have. Coven is intentionally trying to make this a crazy, dark comedy, whereas Asylum let the comedy arise organically from the focused plot. Coven is falling into the “Great Cast Trap”, not allowing each character to shine due to its persistent audience pandering and misguided notions of race and feminism.

Frankly, I’m bored, which is something I never thought I’d say about this show. A great embodiment of why can be seen through the character of Queenie. There’s potential there in the team-up with LaLaurie, but they erased a lot of that with LaLaurie’s imprisonment. I understand her being conflicted, but it just feels like the first scene–atrociously acted by all three actresses–and the burger one are thrown in there as obligatory “Oh, these are the two sides she’s on!” reminders. Queenie’s all over the place right now and the writers have no idea what to do with her. It’s the same with Kyle; I love Evan Peters’ performance, but why do we need to see this many episodes of him learning how to function?

Also, for the biggie: why do we need to spend time with characters we don’t care about? The only character I really sympathize with is Misty; yes, the point may not be “You should sympathize with everyone”, but I want to at least be invested in their stories. When Jessica Lange gives her big monologue, it’s brilliantly delivered, but at the same time, it’s emotionally detached from the audience. She then goes into an unnecessary dream sequence involving Spalding; there has to be a better way of conveying the fact that Fiona’s a person that may actually desire a community about her.

Everything just isn’t gelling like it was last year, and while the show’s entertaining as hell, it doesn’t quite draw me in.

GRADE: C+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Kyle’s reaction to the headphones is perfect.

-Frances Conroy is awesome here, with “I was told it started with a tingle in the cooch.” and “Oh little bird, I’ve ordered in bulk from North Korea for years!”

-“Why can’t it be me?” “Because you have no style and your pits smell like fishsticks.”

-“Those poor Salem witches – traveling all the way down here in covered wagons, without a proper charcuterie platter, or a bidet! Absolute savagery.”

-“Oh boo-hoo. Some girls were mean to you and now you’re mad. I had my throat slit and you don’t see me bitching about it.”

-An enema. I should’ve known. If you’re going to be on a Ryan Murphy show, it’s a good idea not to have a mother.

-The Justified, Americans, and Archer promos are fabulous. Oh God, that Americans promo. It’s amazing. Can it be January/February already?

Credit to FX and American Horror Story for all pictures. I own nothing.

American Horror Story: Coven “The Dead” Live Blog/Review (3×07)

20 Nov

ahs_0238All times central.

9:01-Wow, I forgot Kyle could talk.

9:06-Still, as one-note as his character has been, Peters does fantastic work with the Frankenstein-esque Kyle. It looks like the character is starting to have his own flashbacks, and I hope we obtain more information about him.

9:10-This is a very on point monologue. “I was like, let’s go for Jamba Juice.” Roberts is great at delivering it, and it’s miles better than Murphy’s attempts at touching on racism, that’s for sure, but I’m not entirely sold on the profoundness of the speech. The monologue doesn’t hit as much as Murphy wants it to.

9:12-LaLaurie and Queenie going to a drive through is the best thing ever. This relationship is hilarious in a twisted way, as is pretty much every relationship on this show.

9:13-“Let me guess, cause I’m fat?” “No, it’s cause you’re black. Black as coal.”

9:13-“I’m starting to understand why you’re so damn enormous.”

9:16-Although the last episode didn’t impress me, I do like Huston’s portrayal of the Axeman here; last week, he was more of a horror prop. This week, they’re playing more off his relationship with Fiona.

9:25-Flashcards for Your Angry, Taciturn Frankenstein.

9:27-Angela Bassett is amazing. “Over there, they probably feed you Shake N Bake and watermelon for dessert.” Also, it seems like they’re now trying to play Queenie between Laveau and LaLaurie, which is a fantastic strategy.

9:35-Man ass!

9:42-Yeah, not a very good strategy to tell the love of your life that you’ve watched her her whole life and viewed her as the daughter you never had.

9:44-I like how she just finds the tongue. Also, I never need to see that again.

9:47-I hope this isn’t the last we see of Spalding. Denis O’Hare does fantastic work making him as creepy as possible, and it’d be a shame if this was his end.

9:55-Well, now we get a Kathy Bates showcase. That flashback is chilling and seriously messed up, but Bates is having a blast playing this character. Of course, it still feels like Murphy’s using the relationship with Queenie to almost justify his right to revel in those slave scenes.

10:01-Okay, is this going where I think it’s going? I would be fine with this if afterwards, we get a scene in which Zoe tries to explain to Kyle what just happened using crude drawings on flashcards.

10:05-Yeah, that went there. Anyway, Dylan McDermott should come back. We need another man ass here.

GRADE: B

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m not sure what this show is doing right now; on the one hand, that’s exactly the feeling this kind of show evokes, but then again, Asylum showed us the show could craft a cohesive storyline with well-formed characters. Right now, we’re jumping all over the place with character motivations that make little sense; for example, I dislike how quickly Queenie turns LaLaurie over to Laveau. Queenie’s not much of a character this season, but rather more of a prop used by Murphy to justify his more shocking scenes. What I mean: he’s bringing up race as much as possible, and he thinks that if all the black people band together to take down the immortal racist slaveowner, everything else will somehow be fine. In fact, I find that I sympathize with LaLaurie, which is strange considering who she is.

Also, as much as I like Roberts and Lange, their respective characters are seemingly in a holding pattern that I’m not very interested in. Madison isn’t exactly different now, as much as Murphy wants us to believe there’s been a change.

Credit to FX and American Horror Story for all pictures. I own nothing.

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