Forgive me for ranting, but let me just start off by saying two things: The same people that think this season of American Horror Story: Coven is incredibly good, are the same people who don’t get that Beyonce’s new album pokes fun at everyone for saying she copies them, by copying them. Also, I fully reserve the right to retract the statements I make in this article if the last two episodes somehow “magically” manage to pull the thousand inanely convoluted plot lines into a satisfying season 3 conclusion.
Ryan Murphy ruins everything. First off, I want to credit him with creating groundbreaking shows with fascinating characters and plot lines. He is truly one of the front-runners of the recent movement of TV shows entering a golden age, where the small screen is more interesting than the big one. Secondly, I want to blame him for then taking those characters and shows that we love and cluster-fucking them with story lines until they are nothing but a mishmash of bloody plot holes (thats an asshole joke, in case you missed it). If you don’t understand what I am talking about, watch one episode of Glee that aired in 2013. I dare you.
The first season of American Horror story was innovative. The second season was edgy and terrifying. The third season doesn’t know what it is, and I will explain why:
It started off strong, as a humorous, dark story about some teenage witches at a witch school, and a boy frankenstein as a love interest. I was blown away by the first few episodes. Then, he added a voodoo gang rivalry (still watchable), a man with a bulls head (awesome), an immortal racist (message!), and a Stevie Nicks woods witch that could bring people back from the dead. He should have stopped there.
Then, he added an international organization of witch hunters, a hyper-Christian next door neighbor who gives her son bleach enemas, a white trash mother who rapes her franken-son, a secondary love story between a gay-faced boy next door and a clairvoyant with Downs Syndrome, death by bee-stings, a witches council that can completely disappear with no questions asked, cancer, a murderous ghost that escapes into the real world and is capable of having sex and playing jazz, a mute necrophiliac butler that really needs a manicure and a flat iron, several main characters that keep dying and coming back to life, a voodoo spirit that can bestow immortality on some people in exchange for the souls of babies, and allow those people to bestow it on other people for being racist, infertility, zombie attacks, coming back from the dead after being burnt at the fucking stake, and of course, a cameo from Stevie Nicks involving two full songs.
I will say he has given Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates a lot of great one-liners, but just because you get excited that you have the star power to get award winning actresses onto your show, doesn’t mean you have to cast all of them at once, especially at the expense of individual story lines, and the actors that were with the show from the jump.
You can’t take a natural rule like death, and then circumvent it by allowing 13 of the main characters the power to bring people back to life.
You can’t introduce a witch hunting organization as the major threat halfway through the season, then bankrupt it and kill it off two episodes later.
You can’t sustain a show by changing the major threat every two episodes, and creating a situation where death has no consequence, because at it’s heart, fear is based upon the threat of impending death.
I truly hope the last two episodes find some way to take this season into overdrive, because from what I have seen, the writers spend all their time making Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett look like the sexiest, most witty old slut ever to walk the streets of New Orleans and the angriest, strong black woman since Kathy Griffin (respectively), and not enough time coming up with sustainable plot lines with satisfying conclusions.
To me, it seems like this show is going the way of Glee, by trying to tell a myriad of amazing stories, but not giving the due justice to each of those stories on an individual level.
I totally dare Ryan Murphy to change my mind, otherwise I’m changing the channel.
Just kidding, I’m probably watching until the end regardless of whether or not this show becomes another Ryan Murphy train wreck.