Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Double, double toil and trouble

Ryan Murphy knows better than almost anyone how to put together a spectacular season 1. Glee, Nip/Tuck, Popular and AMS all had first seasons that had audiences coming back for more. Season 2 of American Horror Story was to me, even better than 1. But... I am struggling with the Coven that is the focus of season 3.

It is still watchable, the powerhouse acting still holds my attention, but Coven is a bit of a mess. Last week's Stevie Nicks themed episode highlighted the seasons lack of direction. It was clear from the awkward editing, especially of Jessica Lange's scenes, the idea to bring in Nicks was an after thought and quickly put together and edited into the story. It is funny though, as uneventful as the episode was, the scenes featuring Nicks music were the highlight.

Coven doesn't have the balance the previous two seasons had. Although undoubtedly the best part of AHS, this season is far too focused on Lange. She is in pretty much every scene and it is becoming rather tedious. In season 1 her character was balanced out well by Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Taissa Farmiga and Evan Peters. In season 2, Peters and Sarah Paulsen shared the storyline load. In Coven, Paulsen, and especially Peters are stuck in smaller, uninteresting roles with little to do. Although watching Lange spar with Kathy Bates, Francis Conroy and Angela Bassett has been a blast, they don't make up for the lack of a cohesive story or direction. In addition, Emma Roberts and Farmiga are irritating and not up to the level of their co-stars.

The worst part of Coven however is it's shocking lack of ability to create any real horror. The opening credits aside, almost every major character that as died (Patti Lupone has been offed twice) has come back to life. How can we be terrorized by murders and stake burnings when characters either rise from the dead the next episode or in some cases, can't be killed at all. I hope the show's last set of episodes are better than the last few. I haven't given up, just hope that the producers see Lange is at her best when not in almost every scene, and she alone, without a well thought out story and concept, and Peters and Paulsen, are not enough to keep AHS on everyone's must watch list.


Bobby F. said...

I guess you can tell from my Facebook that I loved last week's episode. I gave upon Asylum about halfway thru. This one has kept me hooked every week (though I do wish naked Evan Peters was around more often). I thought the scenes with Stevie Nicks last week were beautiful.
Thank goodness I will be a Nielsen househould the first week of February. It will get me points! I am shocked Nielsen still uses paper tv diaries. My family used to be picked every three or four years when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently well into season 2 and enjoying it. Sad to hear season 3 is awful. Thanks for the heads up. I'll spend that time watching something else. I recently just got back into watching Once Upon A Time.


TyeBriggs said...


It is still worth watching, for the performances alone. It is just... not as well plotted and rather clunky in it's editing compared to previous seasons. There is just something missing.

Fazal deen said...

No Season is not awful-
you have not seen it and it is someone's view


Chris/ anonymous watch it and make your own mind up


Bobby F. said...

Tye, if you are wanting HORROR, you get it in buckets tonight's episode!

TyeBriggs said...

It was certainly violent and extremely bloody. Not especially horrifying though... nor really that engrossing from a story perspective.

Last season was about putting well written characters in horrifying situations. This season is just about the situations.

thomas yost said...

I have to say that this is really the only season that has held my interest at all. I am also happy that the producers felt like I do for Stevie Nicks. If you are known for singing we aren't paying you large sums of money and not have you sing. With that said it is a little scatter shot in story telling.

thomas yost said...

I have to say that this is really the only season I have followed through out. The other two bored me after about 4 episodes. It was also nice that the producers paid Stevie Nicks and had her sing. I am very tired of seeing singer hired for shows and then they don't open their mouths and prove what they are known for. I also agree that it took far too long to get Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett together, the scenes between them are pardon the pun magical.