American Horror Story

Stevie Nicks Admits to Shawl-holism, Discusses her Appearance on ‘AHS’

In a season teeming with horrors such as incest and matricide, soap enemas, man-slaying vaginas, slave torture, beheaded Kathy… Read More

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2013 in TV: The Year Art Gave Us an Appetite for Trash

On the face of it, 2013 was just as strong a year as any in recent memory for the kind of prestige programming that has critics declaring a contemporary golden age of television. It was the year when one of TV’s most ambitious dramas, Breaking Bad, performed its swan song for over ten million viewers, a number that would make any network executive jealous. It was the year when Netflix not only resurrected the too-smart-for-primetime sitcom Arrested Development but also launched two equally intelligent (and arguably stronger) shows, Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards. It was even the year when books on the subject — namely, Brett Martin’s Difficult Men and Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution Was Televised — started appearing to solidify this creeping consensus for posterity. … Read More

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‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 9 Recap: “Head”

This week, we get a nice little break from all of that pesky estrogen that’s been driving the denizens of New Orleans so crazy and get some father-and-son bonding on what is a rite of passage among most Southern young men: the first hunting trip. Of course, the young man in question is Hank Foxx, the husband to Cordelia and not-so-secret witch hunter. You see, being a witch hunter is as much of a legacy as it is to be a witch, and young Hank’s creepy father is bringing him along to kill his first witch — who appears to be the character from Into the Woods before she went ugly and started rapping about field greens. In a very Disney animated classic moment, Hank cannot shoot the woman, who then sets his father on fire. Isn’t that always the way? Hank learns a valuable lesson: never show a witch mercy, even if that witch is the woman to whom you are married and had crazy-ass dark magick sex with once so that you could get her pregnant. … Read More

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Gorgeous Illustrated Portraits of ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Characters

Perhaps the most entertaining parts of American Horror Story: Coven are the characters. Even more fun to watch, I’d argue, are the women who play them. Jessica Lange and crew are clearly having a ton of fun camping it up on the anthology series, playing their roles with equal amounts of glee and pathos, and bringing the soap opera genre to new heights. But really, these women are fierce, and it’s that sensibility that can be found in the work of Patricio Oliver, who has illustrated the major witches on the show in these beautiful and sultry character portraits. Check out Oliver’s collection after the jump.  … Read More

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The Strange, True Story of Kathy Bates’ ‘American Horror Story’ Character, Delphine LaLaurie

So much in American Horror Story depends on the suspension of disbelief that it seems like lunacy to investigate the “true stories” on which it’s based. As in the more familiar forms of folklore, the story itself is less the point than the manner of the telling. This came perilously home to me as I looked into the past of Delphine LaLaurie, the character Kathy Bates is playing on AHS‘s current iteration, Coven. You may not have thought she was a real person, but that throwaway historical tour of the LaLaurie home in the pilot was, in fact, the clue that she did once exist. But as with all folk tales there’s more in the matter than what a tour guide can be expected to reasonably convey. … Read More

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12 Stunning Pieces of ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Fan Art

American Horror Story is one of those shows ready-made for online fandom, with many GIF-worthy moments, visually striking characters, and apparently, given what I found as I started looking through the fan art generated so far, a great deal of concern about the state of Evan Peters’ penis, post-FrankenKyle reassembly process. Here are the most beautiful and, in some cases, the most witty pieces out there. … Read More

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‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 4 Recap: “Fearful Pranks Ensue”

This episode opens on a young black man being stalked through the streets by white men in a car. We learn he’s the son of one of the hairdressers in Angela Bassett’s salon. He’s just been sent to an integrated school. It’s clear Angela Bassett doesn’t approve, and she’s proven right when the boy shows up hanged in a tree. Vodou is promptly pulled out, and with the help of a snake and some pearls and some blood flambé, brings up some zombies to take revenge on the hanging crew. It’s all a leetle heavy-handed, but hell, this is American Horror Story, and it ain’t subtle. … Read More

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20 Famous Witches We’d Like to See on ‘American Horror Story: Coven’

Someone recently described American Horror Story: Coven as “fantasy football for gay men,” and I can’t think of a more appropriate log line. Ryan Murphy has outdone himself when it comes to getting as many fierce ladies into one room as possible. As far as I’m concerned, cramming Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Patti LuPone, and Christine Ebersole into a single hour of television last week has absolved all of Ryan Murphy’s crimes against humanity. But I still think he could go even farther. Here’s my dream team of witches I wish would show up in the season’s remaining ten episodes.  … Read More

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‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 3 Recap: “The Replacements”

Jessica Lange is unable to sleep, so she has a flashback, which happens to me all the time. Her mother, who looks like Miranda Richardson, I think it might actually be Miranda Richardson, and she is wearing some kind of June Carter Cashish outfit in a sickly shade of lavender. Young Fiona, meanwhile, gets to wear a black floral and also bears a significant resemblance to young Charlize Theron, complete with excessive deployment of the hot iron. “They say when the new Supreme starts to flower, the old Supreme starts to fade,” hisses Poor Man’s Charlize to her mother. It turns out that in a coven, a younger future-Supreme actually literally siphons power from the current-Supreme. The mother’s had a vision that the daughter here will be a terrible supreme, but that doesn’t matter because she isn’t able to stop her daughter from seizing the throne by throat-cutting. Someone on the staff’s been watching Game of Thrones. … Read More

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‘American Horror Story’ Finally Perfects Its Twisted Brand of Feminism in ‘Coven’

Subtlety isn’t just out of American Horror Story‘s wheelhouse; it’s anathema to the show, the literal antithesis of the shameless camp that treats Jessica Lange snorting coke to “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” like just another day in the neighborhood. Part of the fun of watching AHS‘s 13-episode cycles unfold has been the way it wields tropes of gore and body horror like a sledgehammer — then takes that sledgehammer to social issues like disability, race, and, most prominently, gender. Historically, that questionably good-faith effort at blending shock value with social criticism has had mixed results at best. But unlike the series’ first two iterations, Murder House and Asylum, Coven has finally figured out a way to incorporate feminism convincingly into the DNA of American Horror Story.  … Read More

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