Mid Season Review: American Horror Story: Freakshow – The clown has perhaps jumped the shark

In the past I had reviewed American Horror Story per episode. The fact is that not enough happens in the show per episode for it to warrant that anymore. This holds true especially for Freakshow. We are now 7 episodes in so I think it’s safe to say it’s not going to pick up quickly.

American Horror Story Clown Poster

The posters are all hired models and do not reflect the actual show.

American Horror Story: Freakshow is the most disappointing season they have ever done. It takes place in the 50s, but is littered with 70s, 80s, and 90s pop music covers done by the actors. While probably great for their financials when they release the album this is completely jarring to the viewer and makes it hard to take the setting seriously.

Everything about this season seems very paint by numbers to me. It could be because I am familiar with horror tropes, but I saw every plot point coming a mile away. I had hoped that they’d have done something unexpected, but time and time again I was given exactly what I was expecting. And what I was expecting were clichés.

Every bit of this season seems like it’s been made up by a bunch of drunk friends at a party. Twisty the killer clown is a kind but slightly slow man who got bullied so became a killer. Yawn. Dandy is the rich kid who quickly becomes a killer. Yawn. Frances Conroy barely has anything interesting to do on screen as Dandy’s Mom. Yawn. Sarah Paulson’s portrayal of Bette and Dot, the conjoined twins seems like something that sounded great on paper but it prevents her from actually doing any sort of range other than the same one-note shit every week.

Oh and then there’s Jessica Lange’s character that is so one dimensional that even this fabulous actress can’t save it. She’s a circus owner who used to be a prostitute in Germany and had her legs cut off in a snuff film by “bad guys.”

Just “bad guys”. There’s no real cohesion or story to keep you interested. It’s more like a series of firework farts going off in which you keep watching but aren’t sure you enjoyed it. Even Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett – who I love – can’t save it.

There’s just too many characters doing random shit for any one character to get any amount of development.

Let’s not forget how tired I am of this show focusing on the younger cast members over the older and more interesting to watch actors. Evan Peters has a ridiculous amount of screen time. He’s great but – enough. We get it. Girls like him. How about they stop looking at marketing demographics and just make a good story rather than making a desperate plea to win the teen hearthrob viewership?

The addition of his real life girlfriend, Emma Roberts last season has carried over into this season. She still comes across as the only actor on the show who is out of place. It’s a series full of accomplished actors and then we have the 1 valley girl who never appears to be from the time frame she’s trying to portray. Watching the fortune teller scene with her and Jessica Lange was hard because it was like watching Ms. Lange do improv with a random girl from your local high school.

Since season 2 American Horror Story has seemed like a group of friends writing as they go and placing scenes in the series solely because it’s amusing to them for their actor friends to perform that. The difference with American Horror Story season 1-3 versus 4 is that the previous seasons were actually enjoyable. Even when the plot had holes in it to a ridiculous point I was interested in what they were going to do next because it was almost like a screen test of the unexpected. The characters were interesting so I really enjoyed watching these actors portray them even though I knew I wasn’t going to get any sort of payoff.

This season? I’m struggling to watch it. The press coverage of this season says it all – all of the attention is about actor x or y singing a hit song that we recognize or “OMG CLOWNS”. Even the press has picked up that this show is just a bunch of good actors doing random shit for the hell of it.

There is an anti-bullying theme that some like about this scene. I get the sentiment but it’s really tough to give a shit about characters who are as one dimensional as printer paper. Why should we accept Evan Peters’ character (note that I can’t even remember his character’s name) when he and many of these characters are murderers who engage in debauchery on the regular? The “Let’s have the actors do random shit” thing completely conflicts with any sympathy I’d have for any of them.

Seriously, I know the actor’s names but it’s tough recalling any of the character’s names from memory. That says a lot about the character development.

This show isn’t bad if you enjoy seeing the random scenes. These actors are fabulous. I would never take away from that. However, I personally am looking for something along the lines of the first season of AHS or something like Masters of Horror. While also uneven, “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” directed by Don Coscarelli and “Family” directed by John Landis are 2 of my favs from that series.

I will continue to watch AHS only because I run this blog and because there’s a lot that I like about the concept and execution of the series in general. I hope that for their next season they focus on story because – as one commenter put it – “this seems more like a boring reality show than a story”.

If you are interested in getting into this show I recommend season 1. While flawed, it was a very enjoyable series in my personal opinion.


 Nightmare Before Christmas Wreath for the Door – Jack Skellington Black and White Stripes

I didn’t care for the film, but a lot of people do. This gorgeous wreath is $79.95 from TisTheSeasonDesign on etsy:

Nightmare Before Christmas Wreath for the Door Jack Skellington Black and White Stripes


 The hardest week of my life

Apologies. After having 2 friends suddenly pass away, the weekend after that my husband’s mother also passed away. I did not have time to update as we had to make an emergency trip to western Tennessee which is a 16+ hour drive if you don’t take any breaks. Internet was scarce, and we only had iPhones which can’t update this blog easily.

It was the hardest week of our lives. We are destroyed. Those asking me for an address for condolences – our address is here.

I have many blog posts to come about haunts – including a couple reviews that I could not get done before Nov 1.

I just need another day. We are back home now.

I leave you with this message that I had posted on my Facebook:

“How quickly last weekend (great) turned into a week of hell (not great). I am reminding you now that very quickly things can turn for the worse, so always say what you mean and mean what you say. Always pay attention to those you care about and give those you don’t know a chance to get in. You might not have another chance to meet them.

Similarly things can also quickly change for the better fast. So if you are in a bad situation do not give up. The only thing that happens when you give up is that you prove yourself right. And let’s face it-we aren’t always right and sometimes we are stupid asses who prejudge situations and limit ourselves.

I’ve seen enough life and death to understand that the saddest thing is seeing someone’s life end when they could have been more. They just didn’t believe.

You are what you believe. If you imagine you are an airplane long enough I am convinced you can probably become one in some way.

So fuckin’ be an airplane.

Understand that there are different perspectives from your own that are equally valid because we aren’t the same person with the same upbringing and surroundings. Don’t try to change others. Lead by example.

Life is water so pay attention to others, help when you can, just go with the flow, and don’t be an assjackal is my point.”


 Good Metal: Triosphere: A female-fronted meal band with teeth

Holy shit, guys. Check out Triosphere:

Their new album is out now.


 The Hunger Games gets an immersive theater stage show in the UK

Lionsgate is teaming up with entertainment companies in the U.S. and the Netherlands to create a live version of the Hunger Games book and film series.


Lionsgate, Dutch media company Imagine Nation and U.S.-based Triangular Entertainment said Friday that the stage spectacular featuring “innovative and immersive staging techniques” will open in 2016 at a new venue beside London’s Wembley Stadium.


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