It’s a new season of American Horror Story, which means new characters, new settings and new story lines. If this premiere is any indication, AHS:Â Freak Show should be the best season yet.
The premiere titled “Monsters Among Us” opens up in the town of Jupiter, Florida in 1952. We are introduced to a group of traveling “freaks” living on the outskirts of town. They are misunderstood by the public due to their abnormalities. You can already tell that a major theme this season will be what makes a monster? Are they the ones who are different? Or are they simply the ones who are closed-minded?
I have to admit, I was not a fan of AHS: Coven. I found the tone to be too light and campy to be disturbing. Thankfully, I don’t think this will be a problem this season. There has yet to be a villain on this series that has made me feel uneasy… until now! It looks like Twisty the clown has taken the gold medal in this competition. Everything from the costuming to the physicality is horrifying. I can’t wait to explore this frightening character. Where did he come from? Why is he murdering and kidnapping people? The scene where Twisty torments the kids was one of the most disturbing moments in the show’s history. This is coming from someone who’s never had a problem with clowns other than slight annoyance.
If anyone has seen Tod Browning’s Freaks, then you know this season is going to be heavily influenced by that film. The cast of curiosities we were introduced to reminded me a lot of the characters in Freaks. There is a family aspect to these people, but a deeply sinister side as well. They have no qualms about killing someone if it’s for the sake of protecting one of their own. Jimmy Darling will be an interesting character to follow. He has ‘lobster’ hands, and has no problem pleasing housewives with them. He’s a flirt and comes across as a nice guy. However, Jimmy clearly has a temper and doesn’t like to be challenged. I fear what he might do should someone get in his way.
If Sarah Paulson isn’t nominated for this season I will be shocked. It’s only been one episode, but her portrayal of conjoined twins, Bette and Dot, couldn’t be more spectacular. There are so many subtleties that differentiate them whether it be a twitch of the mouth or a longing in the eyes. Both girls seem to be developing an interest in Jimmy. How long before they start fighting over him? Or will this show actually go there and have conjoined twin-cest? It honestly wouldn’t surprise me at this point. Ryan Murphy and co. aren’t afraid to push boundaries.
The ringleader of this gang of misfits is Elsa Mars. I was genuinely surprised when she took off her fake legs at the end of the episode. Jessica Lange is dazzling once again. Shechews the scenery like no one else can. Elsa is clearly a woman who longed for a far moreÂ glamorousÂ life. Her performance of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” was both enthralling and melancholy. She seems to genuinely care for her people, but they are also her source of income. There is bound to be complications once Bette and Dot start bringing in more crowds and get more of the attention.
Another character to look out for is Dandy Mott, played by Finn Wittrock.Â He’s a boy who’s gotten everything he’s ever wanted and is easily bored. Still, there’sÂ something off with his character and his petulance might be a mere cover for a muchÂ darker personality yet to be revealed. I foresee a lot of these characters having morally complex personas. Bette and Dot seem like good enough girls, but they murdered their mother and tried to cover it up, and Jimmy’s a sweet talker, but has a fury inside him.
One of my favorite aspects of this series is the directing. While this episode was not directed by AHSÂ staple, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, I’m curious what he will do with the ones he does direct this season. Alfonso has a beautiful eye for detail and loves to bring in influences from other material. I’m sure he will make many references and nods to Tod Browning, as well asÂ Federico Fellini’s LaÂ Strada.
Questions to Ponder:
- Who is Twisty? Where did he come from? What is he planning on doing with his “captive” audience?
- Will someone find the detective that Jimmy and his cohorts disposed of in the woods?
- Was Elsa born without legs or did she lose them, therefore turning her into a freak?
- Where the hell is Ethel’s accent supposed to be from?
American Horror Story: Freak Show airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…