Horror Story, Horror Show

American Horror Story is back and is weirder than ever, a feat that I didn’t believe possible. I’ll admit I was excited when I heard the new season would be centered around witches but I’m not so enthused now that it’s actually begun. Creator/writer Ryan Murphy is continuing to push the envelope of what can be shown on cable television, which as it turns out, is not always a good thing.

For those unfamiliar with the show, each season stands alone, “resolving” the storyline in a mere 13 episodes. First it was a haunted house, second it was an asylum, now it is a coven.

The main storyline of Coven follows four girls who attend a special school of young witches in New Orleans, each with their own unique powers they use for both good and not-so good. Of course, as per American Horror Story standards, trouble is brewing down South and these girls must learn to defend themselves against the violence witches have faced for centuries.

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There are scenes that’ll make you feel queasy, scenes that’ll make you shout “WHAT” at your computer screen, and scenes that are just downright unnecessary.

A big focus this season is race, an issue that has never really been addressed in the show until now. With the coven in New Orleans, voodoo is a topic of interest as well as slavery. However, Murphy doesn’t really seem to know how to handle racial issues, so this isn’t the most politically correct of television programs. It’s beginning to feel uncomfortably like white witches against the black voodoo believers.

The best part of this show will always be the recurring cast. Despite the new storylines, the cast remains relatively consistent with the fabulous Jessica Lange at the forefront as each season’s powerful leading lady. This season in particular, Lange plays the Supreme witch. She plays the character masterfully and will always, to me, be the best actor in the show.

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Taissa Farmiga, Violet from the first season, returns to the cast as Zoe, a witch with a bizarre power and an innocent perspective on the world (until her arrival to New Orleans that is). Other cast members include Sarah Paulson (Lana from Asylum), Lily Rabe (Sister Mary Eunice from Asylum), and Evan Peters (teenage heartthrob Tate and Kit).

This is a show with a great cast of strong female characters; their casting director deserves an award. Check it out if you like gore, weird plot twists, great female characters, and iffy screen writing. Avoid at all costs if you hate gore, are scared of the dark, and are easily offended. The first episode’s extremely graphic scene of sexual violence has particular potential to distress. It’s not a show for everyone, especially this season.

 

PHOTOS// eonline; ohmygahh; hollywoodreporter