Wednesday, October 9, 2013

American Horror Story: Coven

With last years disappointing "Asylum" behind me, I waited with bated breath for the new AHS miniseries "Coven".  Last season just broke my heart, I wanted so, so much to like it, but with too many characters, way too many story lines and way way too many horror genres squished together, I just could not get into it. While the acting and cinematography were excellent as usual, "Asylum" totally missed the mark.  I think Asylum was just too broad a topic.  Season 1, all about a haunted house, a nice fixed place with genres focusing on ghosts and murder.  It's simplicity made it terrifying.  "Coven" is going back to it's roots, a simple genre of witchcraft ruling the season, and with the creepiest ad campaign to date my level of optimism was through the roof.  I am glad to say, I was not disappointed.  I mean, of course it was only the first episode, but it was a clean and concentrated plot, with enough jumps and gore to keep me entertained.  Spoilers ahead!

Bringing back many AHS alum (EVAN PETERS I LOVE YOU), we know we could expect solid performances.  As always, Jessica Lange knocks it out of the park and with rumors that she will only do one more season (if that) churning ENJOY IT!  Savor her tasting nuggets of grade A acting while you still can!  With the addition of legends like Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett (playing the infamous Marie Laveau no less!), has AHS gotten too big to fail?  It's hard to say since last year that had some superb actors and we got a poo pile.  Sorry to keep dumping on last season, I just really, really did not enjoy it.  At all.

This season is pretty much X-Men but for witches.  Like Rogue, Zoe (played by Taissa Farmiga (aka Violet)) accidentally kills her boyfriend when her witch-ey ways reveal themselves and she is swept off to Charles Xavier's School for... wait no that's wrong, she is swept off to the School For Exceptional Young Ladies by her fantastically kooky Aunt Myrtle played deliciously by Francis Conroy.  This being an introductory episode I wasn't expecting much, but I was happy with the cast introductions, and even happier to see Jamie Brewer as the clairvoyant Nan who can't keep her mouth shut.  Brewer and Lange have great chemistry since season one, I am beyond happy to see her on the show again.  Lange is playing Fiona Good, the Head Witch and mother of the Exceptional Young Ladies headmistress Cordelia (Paulson).  Lange playing Paulson's mother fits well and I had not realized how much they look alike.  Both of these women are strong and powerful actors, so to have them pitted against one another will be epic, I'm sure.

The witch school is lacking in attendance with only 4 girls.  Nan and Zoe who I mentioned above, Madison (Roberts) the bitchy film actress with a bark as big as her telekinetic bite and Queenie (Sidibe) the human voodoo doll.  Like any set of girls forced to live together, these ladies do not get along, especially snotty Madison and sharp tongued Queenie.  I have never been much of a fan of Robert's acting, but she really impressed me tonight, maybe snotty actress is the perfect role for her.  She also had the best line "My frikkin' vagina is sweating."

We were also introduced to Madame Delphine LaLaurie played by Bates, who did the most HORRIFYING things to her slaves, but got poisoned in the end by Marie Laveau, and can I just say, Angela Bassett must be some sort of witch in real life because she looks hotter than ever.  Seriously.

I found the episode highly entertaining, but I had 3 problems and I am sure two of them will be resolved.

  1. Did they really only give Lily Rabe one line and then kill her.  If Lily is dead I will be furious!  She was the only part of last season that I actually enjoyed.  SAVE LILY RABE!
  2. Just when I was vibing a Tate/Violet revival, THEY KILL HIM?!  Okay obviously from the upcoming trailer they bring him back to life like some sort of hottie Frankenstein, but still.
  3. Why is American Horror Story SO OBSESSED WITH RAPE?!  Seriously!  Every season has involved rape.  I mean, it's a tough subject to deal with and AHS keeps using it over and over again.  This episode had a double rape, one of them a guy in a coma who was literally fucked to death.  I dunno, it just seems a bit over the top.
I am excited to see where this season goes.  I already had one surprise when the supposedly poisoned dead LaLaurie was dug up by the chain smoking, tough talking, striving for life Fiona and she has been alive all these years.  AHS has always been good for it's twists and turns, but can they ever top the "Violet is actually dead" shocker.  It will be tough.