American Horror Story: The Show Stumbles On

Who knew an episode titled "Blood Bath" could be so dull?

Michele K. Short/FX

Some Unserious Thoughts About the Latest American Horror Story Episode:

  • A better episode title would be "The One Where Everyone Over-Acts While Weeping.” So much weeping.
  • I'm going to miss Kathy Bates' weird Baltimore accent.
  • Man, I wish I were watching The Wire.
  • Oh, that's tar? I thought that was black bean soup.
  • I'm sure a lot of people think that all feminists would love to tie up, tar, and feather evil men.
  • That tar-on-the-head scene reminds me of that golden crown scene in the first season of Game of Thrones.
  • I wish I were watching or reading Game of Thrones.
  • The actor who plays The Astounding Lizard Girl's crazy dad looks a lot like Duck Philips from Mad Men.
  • I wish I were watching Mad Men.
  • Frances Conroy was so lovely as the Angel of Death in Asylum and Moira in Murder House.
  • I wish I were watching Asylum.
  • Elsa Mars’ fox stole looks like the one Lucille Bluth wore in the first episode of Arrested Development.
  • I wish I were watching Arrested Development.
  • Ima Wiggles is not a nice name.

Some Serious Thoughts About the Latest American Horror Story Episode:

  • When this season first started, I had no idea how little I'd care about the (awful, expected) death of Kathy Bates' highly sympathetic character Ethel Darling, who got far more backstory than others on the show.
  • If I don't really care what happens to any of the characters with just a few episodes left in the season (especially now that Ma Petit is gone), it's unlikely I'll start caring about them later.
  • Elsa Mars is a wholly unlikable figure who has never stopped being a gross, one-dimensional caricature, and it's a shame that the show revolves so much around her swollen ego. I don't have any room in my heart for a Sister Jude-like redemption story.  
  • Freak Show squandered any goodwill it might have earned going into the season on too many unearned, sensationalistic, torture-porn-y moments. Similarly gory or exploitative scenes in past seasons worked because the stories, however messy, were more than strong enough to support them.
  • Gone is any semblance of an attempt to deliver incisive commentary on issues of social justice or the horrors of history (psychiatry and the treatment of LGBT community in Asylum or racism in Coven).
  • There is nothing sublime or scary about Atrocious Horror Story: Freak Show (No longer is Ambivalent Horror Story an appropriate alternate title for this show).
  • Damn you, Ryan Murphy.