For a show so insanely weird and hyperkinetic, the most impressive thing about “American Horror Story” is how controlled the chaos is. While the like-minded “True Blood” has drowned in its own excess…
…”Horror Story” creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk know how to make even their most whackadoo ideas stick while serving the overall narrative.
Like dueling cable shows “Breaking Bad” and “Dexter,” “American Horror Story” is the perfect yin to “True Blood”’s sloppy yang, and those comparisons will run rampant this year given the fem-centric “Coven” is set against a New Orleans backdrop and deals largely with societal outcasts.
Last year’s “Asylum” threw the kitchen sink directly in our face with crazed nuns, mental patients, Nazis, aliens, mutants and Anne Frank(!). “Coven” wastes no time delivering the same psychotic mix of violence, sex and revisionist history all set around “Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies” – a sort of Hogwarts/Xavier-like boarding school for young witches. The newest occupant is season protagonist Zoe (Taissa Farmiga returning from Season One) in the “Rogue” role as a young witch who discovers her unfortunate powers to kill by way of sexual intercourse.
Of course, there is a host of demented plot-lines and characters that are set to converge, and the roles are largely comprised of actors from the previous two seasons playing different parts, with newcomers like Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts and Gabourey Sidibe appropriately bringing their eccentricities to the cast. Naturally, Jessica Lange is front and center in this fantastic ensemble, once again bringing her crazed sexuality and power to Fiona Goode, an aging witch who is struggling with her own mortality.
I won’t dare spoil the surprises in the first hour alone, but rest assured that “Coven” gets the ball rolling with some risqué subjects and sets the stage for some major conflicts. And given the show’s history, I have no doubt we’ll see every strange twist and turn culminate into a satisfying and emotional experience.
So far, so good.
The full “Coven” cast includes Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Jessica Lange, Alexandra Breckenridge, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Jamie Brewer, Evan Peters, Gabourey Sidibe, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole, Danny Huston, Alexander Dreymon, Leslie Jordan, James DuMont, and Denis O’Hare.
“American Horror Story: Coven” Episode 3.01 – “Bitchcraft” (airs 10/9/13)
A young girl, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), is shattered to discover she possesses a strange genetic affliction tracing back to the dark days of Salem. Zoe is whisked away to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a mysterious school in New Orleans devoted to safeguarding the few remaining descendants who share this unique bloodline. Harboring a secret agenda, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), the most powerful witch of their generation, returns to town, reigniting old rivalries with the Coven’s deadly enemies, the Voodoo.
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