Tag Archives: American Horror Story

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.

American Horror Story: Coven “The Replacements” Review (3×03)

24 Oct

627-16Can minotaurs even have sex? That’s what I want to know.

This episode of AHS turns the insane up another notch, delivering minotaur masturbation, Frankenstein incest, and a voodoo throne with an iPad. Nothing’s particularly surprising too see, but it’s certainly disturbing and tasteless; I wonder how long this can sustain itself, but as of right now, it’s humming along quite nicely.

First up, let’s take a look at Madame LaLaurie and Queenie. This relationship is absolutely fascinating to watch, and I hope the fact that Queenie comes to the Madame’s defense isn’t an indication of a lessening in conflict. I guess we had to get that minotaur scene in there somewhere, but the dynamic between the former slave owner acclimating to the 21st century and the indignant black witch is priceless. I will say, though, that I’m not all that fond of the way race is touched on in this show. Fiona’s throwaway line about not being racist is pretty much Murphy trying to use his main character’s ideas as justification for his own. It’s like, “Hey, Jessica Lange isn’t racist! On to more slave torture scenes!” Anyway, speaking of that minotaur scene….yeah, let’s maybe not.

Another scene we probably shouldn’t speak of is the incest one between Kyle and his mother. Peters is doing a great job with his Frankenstein-esque role, but this storyline is disturbing while at the same time being completely normal in the realm of AHS. It isn’t as graphic as it could have been, but it’s once again Coven‘s own brand of crazy.

Cordelia’s storyline isn’t the snake sex crazy we had last week, but I’m happy she’s starting to interact with more characters; pretty much anyone placed in the same room as Bassett will be overshadowed, but Paulson does a nice job of conveying her desperation throughout; Cordelia’s been sidelined from the main action these first few weeks, and it’s starting to become clearer how exactly she’ll fit into the rest of the story.

That main story is obviously revolving around Fiona, Madison, and Zoe. It’s really entertaining watching Lange chew up the scenery, and she makes the other characters all the better for it. I have to say I was looking forward to seeing the Fiona-Madison dynamic expanded upon, but it looks like it won’t happen due to the bloodbath in the final 10 minutes. On the one hand, it’s a shocking moment and gets the “Who’s the Supreme?” question out of the way, but on the other hand, I’m not certain we won’t see Emma Roberts again. Hey, I’d take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about Ryan Murphy if he brought back Dylan McDermott and found a way to make him the Supreme.

GRADE B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-That conversation about age between Madison and Fiona really is accurate, isn’t it? Now that is a well-drawn parallel between the ideals of today and the AHS world.

-“This coven doesn’t need a new Supreme. It needs a new rug.” All the awards to Jessica Lange.

-LaLaurie’s reaction to Obama is absolutely priceless.

-Angela Bassett playing Solitaire on her iPad on her voodoo throne is both terrifying and hilarious.

-Lily Rabe is fantastic. She’s done amazing things with a character that could’ve easily been terrible.

-Denis O’Hare is still standing there.

-“On the day of, bring us two ounces of your husband’s baby gravy in a Mason jar.”

-“He’s so backed up, all I’d have to do is say ‘panties’ and he’d jizz in his jeans.” I’ll miss you, Madison, if you’re actually gone. Knowing the show, Cordelia will give birth to you or something.

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

Glee to end next season after competing in Regionals for the millionth time

17 Oct

627

Ryan Murphy announced today that the next season of Glee would be its last. The singing show that involves lots of people singing and making out is currently in its fifth season of people singing, and the singing will finally come to an end next year. 

Murphy stated that “The final year of the show, which will be next year, was designed around Rachel and Cory/Finn’s story…I always knew that, I always knew how it would end. I knew what the last shot was, he was in it. I knew what the last line was—she said it to him. So when a tragedy like that happens, you sort of have to pause and figure out what you want to do, so we’re figuring that out now.”

Of course, he could’ve just as likely been talking about American Horror Story, as Ryan Murphy never makes any sense and has a twisted, idiotic mind.

Most likely, the final season will consist of yet another Regionals, and the Sectionals will become Sectionaled Regionals and the Regioned Regionals will become sections of the Sectionaled Sectionally Regionally Regionals. Also, more singing. The final scene will also presumably just be Rachel talking to a cardboard cutout of Cory Monteith and bawling her eyes out, and the last line of dialogue will be “You’re in heaven now, and I’m still stuck on this show.” 

Credit to FOX and Glee for all pictures. I own nothing.

American Horror Story: Coven “Bitchcraft” Review (3×01)

10 Oct

627-3Just a couple quick bullets coming up…

-It’s always great to have this show back; it’s truly an insanely entertaining hour each week. This year, it feels as if the tone is back to Season 1 lighthearted fare. Yes, there are several dark scenes (more on that later), but it seems like the camp has been turned up a notch. While last year, the prison contributed to an all-encompassing feeling, we’re now back to throwing whatever craziness on screen we can and hoping it’ll fit.

-I really loved Taissa Farmiga back in season 1, and I’m glad she’s back. She has great chemistry with Evan Peters, and she portrays her characters’ vulnerability and reactions to her increasing powers very well. Also, she kills people by having sex with them. That’s interesting. Death by snu snu, right?

-The rest of the younger cast is fantastic as well; Emma Roberts has fun with her role, but she’s also able to convey her feelings over the rape (again, more on that later) in a nuanced way. Or, at least as nuanced as AHS can get.

-Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange are compelling to watch; they’re accomplished actresses, and I look forward to seeing them two in the same scene as Paulson and Bassett. It’s sure to be exciting. Speaking of Bassett, she’s fantastic as Marie Laveau.

-The season seems to be exploring the themes of oppression and injustice in the feminine world, and there are also racial undertones thrown in there. I’m not sure how exactly I feel about Ryan Murphy commenting on society, but it’s an angle that makes sense from a horror perspective. We’ll see.

-The opening sequence and the rape sequence are sure to be the more controversial scenes in the episode. There’s always a question to be asked here: should we dismiss these scenes as just another component of the insanity of the show, or is a line crossed? I think it’is a little bit of both. The show seems to revel in its horrific treatment of its characters (there’s not as much focus on Madison’s revenge as there is the actual rape) , but at a certain point, it becomes overly gratuitous. Personally, it doesn’t bother me, but I can see why it would do so for others.

-Lily Rabe, Francis Conroy, and Denis O’Hare are all back. I need to see more of what they’re up to.

-I didn’t even recognize O’Hare. This should be awesome.

-“Don’t make me drop a house on you.”

-“When are you gonna die and stop ruining my life?”

-“I don’t feel nuthin’. I’m a human voodoo doll, bitch!”

-“My cousin Amanda, she’s just bulimic.”

GRADE: B

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

Hello, I’m a polar bear.

23 Aug

Welcome to this blog. There are millions of other blogs out there, but you chose to look at mine. No, you did not just randomly come across it; you chose it. I will accept nothing less.

As for what we do here, I think the title’s pretty explanatory. I’m a polar bear, and yes, I do watch TV. I am obsessed with various forms of pop culture, in particular television and film, so I started this to get my thoughts down in writing. I am a member of the fabulous online community of The AV Club (which all of you should check out), and I wanted to do something similar to that.

What will we review? Lots of stuff. Our TV reviews will include American Horror Story, Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Bridge, The Americans, Wilfred, Louie, Justified, Parks and Recreation, Community, Sons of Anarchy, Hannibal, Orange is the New Black, Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Treme, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Archer, New Girl, Parenthood, Orphan Black, Person of Interest, The Walking Dead, Childrens Hospital, NTSF:SD:SUV::, Girls, Nikita, Strike Back, Veep, Banshee, The Vampire Diaries, How I Met Your Mother, Arrow, Revenge, Scandal, The Newsroom, Raising Hope, and others I can’t think of right now. Only some of these will have regular coverage, but I’ll try to get in some posts about all of them. I will also be reviewing new pilots, and may decide to pick up some more shows.

Our TV Classic reviews may include shows like The Shield, The Wire, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Friday Night Lights, House, 24, Lost, Chuck, Terriers, Arrested Development, The West Wing, Fringe, Boston Legal, and others.

*I apologize, but many of these shows’ reviews will start in the middle of their seasons, as I am just starting to write. However, I will try to give some thoughts on the episodes before.

Our film reviews will include whatever movies I decide to watch at home or in the theater, and can be new releases or old.

I might also post some random stuff; fan fiction, thoughts on entertainment news, etc.

Enjoy.

%d bloggers like this: