Wednesday, March 18, 2015

American Horror Story: Freak Show

Fellow TV sluts, I know what you're going to say. "Maggie Cats," you wonder. "Why didn't you guys recap or even discuss the most recent season of AHS?" 

My failure is of a personal nature, I didn't actually get a chance to watch the Freak Show season until just recently. "But wait a minute. Didn't Clovis handle all the AHS-related stuff?" Well, yes, he did. But the reason why he didn't write any recaps for this past season is very simple. And it comes down to one very simple fact.

Clovis is terrified of clowns. 

I KNOW! Who would have thought? The blog's obligatory shot of testosterone, the only male writer on staff, afraid of clowns. Not that it's an uncommon fear. Lots of people don't like clowns. And who can blame them. 

Coulrophobia: Fear of Clowns.

But this means that AHS: Freak Show passed by our blog mostly without comment. And that's a damn shame because this was the strongest season of the show. 

While seasons past clearly relied on the "let's throw every plot device we can think of at the wall and see what sticks" method of writing, Freak Show felt like an actual story that was cohesive with a clear idea of where it was headed. While (for me) it lacked the simple scariness of the first season and the what-the-fuckery of season two, there's no denying Freak Show held together better than it's predecessors and still had its fair share of terrifying and cracktastic moments.

One of the strengths of the show has always been its cast, and with Freak Show, it seems Ryan Murphy finally hit upon the perfect combination. The ladies have always been the real stars of AHS and in Freak Show, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Basset, and even Emma Roberts, chew the scenery and act the shit out everything they are given. But they also never let you lose sight of the humanity behind the curtain. One of the subplots I loved was how the women won and lost power both on stage and off. 

And if you can have Kathy Bates running around with a beard and Angela Basset with three breasts while making a point about feminism then YOU GO, GIRLS. 

And of course, because it's AHS, this season was chock full of blood, gore, horror, and the blackest of humor. The motivations of each character were as typically changeable as the wind and there were no real good guys. But that's part of the point really--and while the "the real freaks are the people outside the tent" theme is a little obvious, when the show is this most fun (and terrifying) to watch, who really cares. Murphy delivered on the promise of an American horror story. As Clovis would say, "it does exactly what it says on the tin."

Oh, and of course, there were truly scary clowns. 

I genuinely cannot decide which is scarier: Twisty the Clown or Pennywise from IT. Anybody want to weight in?

Finally, what do we do know about AHS Season 5? According to the AV Club, it will focus on a hotel and will feature Lady Gaga. 


Nighty night, kids. Don't let the bed bugs bite.

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