Monday, October 20, 2014
Applause: Evan Peters
As an anthology series, American Horror Story has created distinct and different stores for each of it's four season. Using a company of actors, each of the main cast members has played a different character each season. The cast are all incredible with Jessica Lange getting the lions share of the credit, and the awards. As wonderful as Lange is, she does appear to play basically the same woman each season, with minor changes reflected in her accent and voice and her characters heritage.
Lange knocks every scene out of the park, but given there is a similarity in her characters, some her scenes sometimes seem a bit repetitive, and even a little boring. Sarah Paulsen and Evan Peters, who have also been with the show since the first season, inhabit totally different characters each season. Peters in particular has changed his voice, his look, his body shape to take on four very distinct characters. While watching Freakshow this season, I am always aware it is Lange, and sometimes Paulsen, on screen. Evans on the other hand, so deeply transforms into his role that it is incredible to remember the actor playing Jimmy this season was the same actor who played Tate in the first season.
Tate Langdon spooked and terrorized the inhabitants of Murder House, killing, raping and generally spreading pain to any and everyone. This of course is after being shot by police after gunning down several students and a teacher at his highschool. Despite all of his evil deeds, in Evan's hands, Tate remained sympathetic and one of the most watchable parts of the shows first season.
Although filmed just one year apart, Evans went from the angst ridden blonde teenager in Murder House transforming to Kit Walker a character close to 10 years older, and a lifetime away from who he played the season before. Kit was a hero, wrongly committed and fighting to get his life back. Kit has been my favorite of Evan's characters thus far, maybe partly because Asylum remains my favorite season of AHS so far.
Both Peters and Sarah Paulsen were wasted during the Coven season, moved to supporting the interplay between the leading ladies Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. As great as some of those scenes were, there was something missing this season, and to me part of this was Evans. Sure, they got him naked on a couple of occasions, but college student Kyle Spencer (yet another dead character for Evans) was woefully under used. There was a tragic element to Kyle that could have been played out much further. I am also not a huge fan of Emma Roberts, and disliked both her character, and her acting in this seasons installment.
Two episodes in, it is good to see Evans back to being a leading part of the cast. Jimmy Darling (lobster boy) is again, worlds away from Kyle Spencer and Evans physical transformation into his character is far more believable than some of his cgi inspired co-stars.