After the second episode reboot of Constantine, I’m feeling generally positive about the series, but waiting for it really to get stuck in. I can see why they made the change, but they are still at the stage of laying out the pieces on the board. There haven’t really been any moves made yet, of the grand chess game that has so far been hinted at.
It hasn’t skimped on the entertaining, though, which in this world of high New Series Mortality is probably a pretty good idea.
So the factor missing is something unifying, something to bind it all together and raise the stakes. Just saying.
American Horror Story is always an exponentially increasing whirlwind of crazy. Given that it started out pretty damn out there, by this point it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s like a mental patient screaming in your face. No, wait, that was Asylum…
So whilst you wipe the spittle from your face, it’s worth remembering that despite mid-season stumbles, this has still been the best series so far. The plot twists have been over-the-top, the characters madder than a box of frogs, and the lines of taboo pretty much nonexistent.
And yet, the last episode bathed the camera in blood. What can top that?
After the slight trough in episode quality around the Halloween point, the past few episodes of American Horror Story: Coven have managed to convince me afresh that it is back on track to being one of the finest TV shows that I’ve seen.
That, of course, hangs by a tenuous thread, never more than another dull or duff installment away from failure.
We’ve now reached a vital point in the story of Coven. Past the midway point, barrelling steadily towards a doubtless blood soaked climax. Secrets are slowly being revealed, and answers eked out to questions asked since the beginning.
There have still been elements that I’m less than convinced on, but on the whole I’m happy. So how did episode nine fit into all of this?
Apparently, the up-and-down rollercoaster of American Horror Story‘s abusive relationship with its fans is nothing new. From what I gather that was the view of people watching week by week with Murder House and Asylum too.
Given that I watched both series after the fact, if not in one sitting then in substantial chunks, I didn’t get that experience. I saw the stories as a whole, and even with all of their flaws there was never the lingering sense of “Huh…” after the credits rolled because I would just roll straight onto the next one.
Box-set style viewing. It’s the future, apparently.
Which is my long-winded way of saying that this Russian roulette thing where you never know if you’re getting a brilliant or mediocre episode is a bit of a bitch, isn’t it?
I make no secret that I was a little disappointed with the last couple of Coven episodes.
The series had such a strong start that I was raving about the show, excited for what looked set to be the best AHS yet. Sadly, the frenetic pace ebbed a little, and it seemed to lose that shine. “Burn, Witch. Burn” in particular felt like a hollow, half-episode which didn’t really contribute anything to the story.
And for an episode with that title, that should have been unforgivable.
The previous Halloween episodes of American Horror Story have always been a treat. It’s when the series really comes out to play.
In The Murder House, the “Halloween” two-parter showed us the real consequences of the house, as well as giving excellent story and character development, particularly with the death of Addie and the ghost-aided disintegration of Zachary Quinto and discount Alexander Skarsgård, one of the best gay relationships I’ve seen on TV.
In Asylum, it wasn’t actually Halloween themed. “Nor’easter” was still an excellent episode though, cementing the characters, including Briarcliff itself, and ending on one of the most viscerally chilling moments of the series with Shelley and Dr Arden.
I’m holding fast to my “no spoilers above the line” policy, so as not to spoil the episode for anyone who hasn’t a) seen it, and b) deliberately clicked on this page, but wow.
American Horror Story has always been unafraid to push boundaries, it’s one reason it’s one of the most innovative and exciting shows on TV (possibly taking the top spot, now Breaking Bad is done). Each series it pushes a little further, goes a little further into the taboo, shines the light a little brighter down the darkened corridor.
And Coven had already done that. Sexy, weird, surprising. The first two episodes had already satisfied my need for continual progression. I really wasn’t expecting another great heave in the third episode.
American Horror Story: Coven really is the show that (early) True Blood wished it was.