Namely, about FX’s American Horror Story, produced by the same people behind Glee and also the plastic surgery drama Nip-Tuck, which I have never watched. I will admit that my initial desire to watch stemmed from a desire to see what Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk could come up with when they weren’t patronizing twelve-year-olds combined with a morbid fondness for, well, horror stories.
I would normally wait until the season is over to go on about it in a nonspecific fashion, but I feel like so much could change that it would be a completely different piece, and I want to get my thoughts out now (before tomorrow’s episode, which makes this post very of its moment, but that’s fine). So, in the trusty bullet pointed list, here goes (spoilers for the first three episodes do ensue).
- Again, why can married couples on television not be faithful to each other? Ben (Dylan McDermott) and Vivien (Connie Britton) move all the way across the country in attempts to deal with his infidelity, and then mistress Hayden (Kate Mara, who my father has somewhat ruined for me by proclaiming that she should really just go ahead and play some type of werecat [he said "cat person," but that's what he meant] on True Blood or something; I can’t look at her without thinking about whiskers and claws) pops up out of nowhere.
- Only to be popped back down again by crazy Larry (Denis O’Hare, delightfully messed up as per usual). I can’t say I saw it coming, but I wasn’t exactly surprised, either.
- See, this is the thing about this show so far. I have no idea what’s going on most of the time, but by that same token nothing is going to shock me. I’m just assuming that anything is possible. And yet, even with my not knowing what’s going on, I’m… strangely entranced.
- This could just be because it’s shot pretty. Or because there’s flashbacks.
- Or because they’re mixing a pretty good soundtrack. I’m assuming that “Special Death” by my babygirl Mirah (and my favorite song of hers, no less) is daughter Violet’s (Taissa Farmiga) unofficial theme song or something, as they’ve played it no less than three times already, not to mention on some of the ads. Rock on, that.
- Speaking of Violet, she confuses me too. On one hand, she’s got a right to be a little angsty, what with her Tokenly Dysfunctional Parents, but on the other hand, what? I wish I had a better sense of who she is and not just who she’s being to be rebellious. I appreciate in a way that they’ve chosen to take her down the “wearing messes of clothes that look like they got grabbed at random from an upscale vintage shop’s bargain bin” route and not the “wearing too much black and having piercings” route, though I wish I knew why.
- And I wish I knew why Vivien screwed the guy in the gimp suit (Riley Schimdt). I understand her thinking that Ben was just playing a joke at first, but, you know. Once the sex act began, I feel like she’d have noticed that wasn’t her husband. It’s not like they’ve never had sex or anything. I even have a hard time buying bed tricks in Shakespeare, for goodness’ sake, but nowadays? Really? And is the baby Ben’s or gimp suit’s? These are things I need to know.
- So… everyone who dies in the house can’t leave it ever? Or just the people buried in the backyard? Or what? And why did Moira’s (Alexandra Breckenridge, who I just looked up and am not sure whether to be impressed by the resume of, or giggle, or both [True Blood and Buffy both, but also She's the Man] / Frances Conroy) ghost age but only sometimes? I really need them to get expository regarding their ghost canon more. I mean, for all I know, freakin’ everyone but the Harmons are ghosts. Like I said, I wouldn’t be surprised.
- But, actors! I think True Blood is developing a mini-mafia, and they’re appearing here somewhat, O’Hare and Breckenridge (she played Katerina, the girl whose glasses made me like her until she was actually a spy/f-buddy for Bill) and Adina Porter (Tara’s mom) popping up as one of Dr. Ben’s patients. Also there’s some minor Whedonverse cred, again Breckenridge (she was in “Lessons” in season seven, playing the girl who adventured in the basement of the school with Dawn) and Azura Skye (who was that girl Cassie who predicted her own death, also season seven) and Bianca Lawson (who was Kendra, and how is she still playing high schoolers?) and Andy Umberger (who was D’Hoffryn on Buffy and the creepy doctor in one of the four episodes of Angel I’ve coherently seen and also an Alliance guy on Firefly) and I’m sure many others to come. And there’s other people, like Evan Peters who plays Violet’s creepy friend dude, he was in Kick-Ass, and one of Azura Skye’s cult buddies was played by Mageina Tovah who’s the neighbor in Spider-man 2 and 3 and more importantly one of the geeky kids in Bickford Schmeckler’s Cool Ideas, and of course Christine Estabrook who was the original Adult Woman in Spring Awakening (and in some other stuff too).
- Are you sensing my ambivalence yet? I am ambivalent. I have no idea what to make of this show yet. I’m intrigued by it, and the cinematography rocks, and all that, but I have no idea what the point is. It’s a mystery! But I like knowing just enough to not be sitting there going “whaaaat.” But, as I feel compelled to discover the answer do that question, I will continue to watch, of course.
–your fangirl heroine.