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05 “Room Service” (American Horror Story Hotel) [SPOILERS]

american horror story hotel

Given that Halloween fell between two episodes of Hotel, it makes sense that two episodes would have a Halloween theme.

The first of them was actually pretty good, blocking out some of the noise of the extraneous storylines. They will presumably need to be revisited this time around, but that’s okay because it finally feels like the series has some clue where it’s going.

Part of American Horror Story‘s unique charm — not limited to Hotel — is that they start filming before they’ve actually finished writing it. So when it seems a bit lost, it sort of is. But then again, that’s what makes it one of the most interesting shows on TV.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

03 “Mommy” (American Horror Story: Hotel) [SPOILERS]

american horror story hotel

If the first episode of American Horror Story Hotel felt flat, which it did, then the second at least felt a bit more like the series we know and love.

There were always going to be a few teething pains this time around, really. Though the anthology nature of the show allows a world of inter-season flexibility, Jessica Lange had established herself as the mainstay from the very first outing. Finding a rhythm that works without her was always going to be a tough challenge.

Thusfar I don’t see Lady Gaga as her replacement. That’s not to say that she’s doing a bad job, far from it, but she doesn’t yet have the confidence to carry the series on her own. In that respect we’re going to need a greater sharing of the weight amongst the stellar and experienced cast.

Which isn’t a problem, it’s just that the writers need to start giving them the chance to do so.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

02 “Chutes and Ladders” (American Horror Story: Hotel) [SPOILERS]

american horror story hotel

American Horror Story is all about the big bang. Not necessarily loud, but it should hit you in the gut like a sledgehammer. It’s not altogether encouraging, then, that the opening episode of Hotel felt a little…weak.

The pieces were all there, particularly the aesthetics, which I have to say showed an attention to detail. But there was little in the way of overarching plot linking it together. Really, it felt like a lot of glamorous and good-looking people  simply moving around in front of some amazing sets.

And that is just not what American Horror Story is about. True enough, it has those facets. It uses them for dramatic effect and to dress the window, but the importance is that window reflecting onto the darknesses of the human soul.

The second episode remembering that fact would be very welcome.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

01 “Checking In” (American Horror Story: Hotel) [SPOILERS]

american horror story hotel

So it’s back. It seems a bit weird to think of Hotel as American Horror Story‘s fifth season, perhaps due to the anthology style approach it takes, meaning that although the series’ are interconnected (Apparently… -Ed) they don’t follow on from each other and the reappearing actors and actresses play completely different roles.

But Hotel is going to be different. Season four, Freak Show, was Jessica Lange’s last. Since the start she had been the mainstay of the series, with a succession of commanding and show-stealing performances. Now, without her, it looks like Lady Gaga of all people is taking her place.

Now, Lange’s are big shoes to fill. And I’m genuinely not sure that Gaga has the acting skill to match it. Or even the vocal talents.

That said, American Horror Story has always been a series built on innovation. Given how it reinvents itself every year, I have to believe that it can overcome the loss of its big star. Hopefully with some off-the-wall writing and some creepy Shining references.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)