Hello. My name is Jen. I am a fan of American Horror Story, and I have a confession to make. I. Hated. Coven. There... I said it. Phew...
For as long as I can remember, I have had an obsession (although I use the word lightly) with the Salem Witch trials. Having visited Salem twice, one of those visits being on Halloween, I have been through the memorial park, and walked the hill where the gallows supposedly stood. I visited the jail where these women were kept in terrible, horrific conditions. You can feel the energy radiating from that place, it really is magic.
So, needless to say when I saw that American Horror Story planned their third season around a modern day Coven, descended from the Salem witches, my excitement was more than palpable. My mind immediately started to imagine the possibilities of the cast messing around with witch craft. Seeing these amazing, strong women - Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett - in a setting where strong women ruled the roost... goosebumps.
On a cold October night, I, like the other legion of witches who swore to wear black on Wednesdays, sat down and tuned in to what I expected to be the most amazing season of television horror yet. However, by the third episode in, I realized that my expectations where not being met. Of course I wouldn't let that dissuade me from watching every week, I just assumed that my idea of what 'Coven' could be wasn't inline with that of its creators.
Keeping Faith in American Horror Story
Admittedly as the season went on, I found myself losing interest in what was happening on Coven. The news of Stevie Nicks appearing made me excited again, as I am a big fan of the white witch. After the brief hiatus and in the episodes leading into the finale, I found a bit of faith being renewed. The finale itself was good and I think the show found its charm again by the end. Though, I am sad to say, the season as a whole left a sour taste.
So, over the past few weeks, I have been going back to watch Murder House and Asylum again. AHS season one was good because it was a new, shiny toy. You had no idea what the hell was going on. Even though the story got mucky and a bit, well, weird, it still had a scary element to it. Now, after rewatching the first few episodes of Asylum, I realized that's what had been missing from Coven. The scare factor.
American Horror Story's tale of an institution for the mentally insane during the mid 1950's was the things nightmares were made of. The exorcism episode was terrifying to watch with the lights off. Then there was the crazy Nazi doctor performing experiments on the patients and the serial killer who mutilated and raped his victims. A nun hiding a vile secret, while an innocent man suffers immense loss and no one believes him. I loved every second of it, regardless of the fact that I watched it through my fingers over my eyes.
Will Freak Show Liven Up AHS?
Ryan Murphy has said that Coven would be 'lighter' than Asylum. That was very true... A while back he said that he enjoyed the lighter tones so much, he would do the same thing with Freak Show. Much to my delight, more recently he said that Freak Show was taking on a darker feel that he thought. If that is the case, season 4 of American Horror Story can be another frighteningly good chapter in the horror series.
With the current cast, and the roles being what we know them to be so far, do you have high hopes for Freak Show to be freaky? Can a troupe of odd-balls really be something ripped from your worst dreams? Well, if there are clowns, then, I would have to say yes. Jessica Lange has said this is going to be her last season, I can hardly imagine Ryan Murphy not giving her one of the most amazingly written roles yet. Although, I am disappointed that Lily Rabe will not be joining the cast. I know she would be a great addition to the collection of freaks for season 4.
All I can say is, please... PLEASE, Ryan Murphy... scare the s**t out of me this fall. I'm ready, willing and able to be traumatized.