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I really want to read why you guys like or love "American Horror Story", either season.
Personally, I love the blending of drama and horror. I can’t say that I relate to or root for the evil on this show – sure, it’s fun to cheer it on at times – but I definitely relate to the sadness and certainly root more for the dark, fractured souls that populate this strange world.
I’m a person that suffers from intense bouts with fear, anxiety, loneliness and depression. This show has a way of manifesting or “symbolizing” my deepest fears in a really visceral, entertaining fashion. It not only makes me feel, for lack of a more sophisticated term, “known” it also scares, entrances, seduces and tickles the fuck out of me.
“AHS” is bold, topical, fearless, and referential. It’s both inventive and reductive – of pop culture, of horror movies, of human nature – in the most beautifully grotesque ways. At its best, this show is surprisingly real and human (Constance losing Addie and her other children, Tate realizing love with Violet, the ever flighty, flakey, oblivious and ditzy Ben and Vivien being shocked and horrified and shaken to their cores until they embrace reality as never before, succumbing to it, having fun with it and eventually loving it - and that’s just season one, the “Murder House”).
Loneliness is at this show’s center and I don’t think we’ve ever seen a day and age where we’ve been lonelier. Sure, we’re “communicating” now more than ever, but it’s through a synthetic veil. There seems to always be a glass wall present between one person and the next person (or maybe just a Smart- or i- or whatever phone). Or, even scarier yet, maybe it’s just me and “the next person”. Oookay, moving on quickly.
In either case, “AHS” has a way of shattering these glass walls if only for just the hour it’s on my television. This season alone - what a brilliant fucking idea setting this thing in an asylum, by the way, with crazies, an unraveling alcoholic as head mistress in charge, the devil and aliens - is iridescent and almost beyond compare, introducing us to one of the most tragic characters, Sister Jude, to grace the “small screen” in a long time, but more on her in a minute.
As with season one, this show expands and moves and pulses beyond Jessica Lange. From the anthology’s first installment, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Zachary Quinto and especially Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe shine just as brilliantly in key moments, the latter showing an electric quality to her work reminiscent of her mother, Jill Clayburgh, and yet displaying something entirely new and different and unique. Paulson is also revelatory, conveying acres of fear and pain and rage. New additions such as James Cromwell, Lizzie Brochere and Chloe Sevigny, though we certainly didn’t get (or haven’t gotten?) enough of the latter, are thrilling and exciting, stimulating the imagination with the possibilities that lie in store for this anthology series in the future as it hopefully continues to use the same actors and players in various and contrasting roles.
Once again, Lange, the heart of this poetic, offensive and ultimately poignant horror show, finds herself amidst the madness this time as a stern and guilt-ridden nun tormented by the devil and plagued by her own self imposed and aggrandized guilt. Hanging around this dank asylum of horrors like a decaying triptych - equal parts dreary Ingmar Bergman fugue, fading Douglas Sirk starlet and crazed John Cassavetes’ heroine - Sister Jude is a character that reflects both the current times and probably every human that’s ever walked the earth, on a metaphysical level, at least.
Lange definitely gives it her all and one of the best performances of the year here. She’s the best in show. She’s not just a performer as much as a force of nature. Her two encounters with the devil, her tragic yet comical drunken monologue, her even more tragic and comical squirrel monologue, that eerie and shattering moment with a ringing telephone and a pair of broken glasses, her discovery of a dying man, her encounter with the Angel of Death and her moment at the bar – God, that moment, so classic already, beyond horror, drama and camp, but elevated to a magisterial display of what Hollywood can be at its best (Murphy could’ve literally ended the show following the tip end of Jude’s red-hot cigarette as she lights up before succumbing to the beginning of her demise and all would’ve been perfect in the world) – all of it just screams and flashes “LEGEND AT THE TOP OF HER GAME HERE” in big, bright neon letters with an arrow pointing straight to her. And to think, I haven’t even mentioned any of Lange’s moments as Judy, the drunken, promiscuous, failed lounge singer who precipitated the world’s introduction to Sister Jude.
In the end, I’ve rambled on - and not coherently - and I fear I haven’t made my point – or any, for that matter. As I type this, a scene of Shelley, already scarred and broken beyond repair, flashes on my television screen, climbing up some school steps, not screaming, not even crying, but wheezing, as we all do from time to time, through the horror that has become her life.
So, what the hell do you like about the show?