American Horror Story: Coven - Review

Friday, December 19, 2014

American Horror Story: Coven 
Created by: Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy
Starring: Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Taissa Farmiga
Season 1 & 2 are on Netflix
Season 4 is airing on FX. 

*This post contains spoilers.*

I started watching American Horror Story (AHS) because everyone WOULDN'T shut up about it. When it came to Netflix, John and I watched Season 1 and were intrigued.

It was different. I wasn't used to seeing this type of genre on TV. The writing was good, the acting was good, the story left me wondering what was going to happen next. I think we finished the season in under a week.

Then we watched AHS Asylum. This one was harder for me to watch. I'm not a fan of gore porn. I hate gross things simply for the sake of being gross. But again, we watched it and finished it. There were some unanswered questions - aliens?! Really? But it wasn't horrible.

When I got the email last week from Netflix telling me that Coven was finally available I made John watch it with me. We finished it yesterday and I wasn't impressed.

It seemed that so many things in this season didn't really have a true purpose to the development of the story. 

For instance: Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates). I get it - she was a horrific person, terribly racist, and insane. But...what does that have anything to do with the coven? To introduce Marie Laveau? Marie is voodoo. The coven are witches. I can see a natural rivalry between the two without Delphine. Was the purpose to explain why Marie was immortal? We got an explanation for that and it had nothing to do with Delphine. What bugs me is that Delphine lived solely to remind us what she did in her past life. All the horrible, terrible things she did to her slaves. And yet if you take out all of her story - you'd still have a story about the fate of the coven intact. 

I also thought the Axeman was dumb. Even though, I admit, his theme song was pretty awesome. There really was no reason for him to be a murderer. He was a throwaway lover for Fiona. Any man could have done that job. But noooo, they needed someone who creeped her for years and killed innocent women...for no reason. Take away the Axeman and replace him with Joe NotAMurderer and you still have a character to play the lover. Actually, it would probably be better if he was a normal person who legitimately loved her and then went on a killing rampage. But whatever.

I hate that Kyle's mother was never found out. A minor thing I suppose considering her murder is considered her comeuppance. Still, I hate that Kyle never told Zoey why he killed her. It was with this first act that Zoey became afraid, and aware of, Kyle. If she had known why he killed her might it have made her regard him differently? 

Madison got on my nerves every time she spoke but I understood that that was her character. 

The JesusFreak neighbor and her son also seemed unneeded. She was only there to show how creepy she could be with her unblinkingly bulbous eyeballs. Any female neighbor could have been shot and alerted the coven to the witch hunters. 

This season they also used a lot of turning, off-kilter shots. I don't mind them every once in a while but when they put so many of them together it gets a bit old. Those types of shots are usually to alert the audience that something is off. Something isn't right and you're supposed to feel off-kilter too. But everyone in this series is crazy, gross, insane, racist, or whatever else so why shoot everything sideways? In this instance because there was no "normal" person, crazy becomes normal and therefore the shots could have stayed leveled. 

And last but not least, I hated Stevie Nicks. The entire musical sequence looked like a two-for-one music video special. I don't hate her and I don't hate her music but I hated her in this series. She looked so awkward every time she was on screen. It felt as if she didn't belong. They spent so much screen time on her that I wondered if she had paid to be on the show.

Brad and Ryan are also the creators of Nip/Tuck and Glee. I watched all of Nip/Tuck though the last few seasons were lacking. And I loved the first couple seasons of Glee and then stopped watching. It looks like I'll be doing the same with AHS. I wanted to watch Freak Show but I think I'll just skip it and wait for whatever their next creation is. 

I give this season 2 out of 5 popcorn. 

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