Why ‘Freak Show’ Was Better Than We Thought

With the recent release of American Horror Story’s teaser trailer for it’s fifth season, I got to thinking about “Freak Show”.  Widely and resoundedly panned as the worst season yet, critics and fans found this season lackluster, with elements of ridiculousness in the storylines and missed opportunities for viral memes (“ETHEL!!!!”).

I, however, have a slightly different take.  On the scale of fearfully terrifying characters, Twisty The Clown rates about a 1,000+.  I’m going to say that most viewers felt some sort of emotional reaction when he walked through the field to find the two young lovers.  The dead shark eyes. The sinister, grinning half mask.  The filthy costume. Shudder…

Visually, the show was a cotton candy confection. The vibrancy of colors, crinolines, and creep made for a cacophony of crazy that dazzled my senses.  Brilliant liberties were taken with the music, incorporating Nirvana and David Bowie into the age of Do-Wop.  It worked. It just did.

As for the cast, in the words of a dear friend of mine(blogger at Are You Finished Yet…please check her out), “everything Jessica Lange has done in her career has led up to this.”  Truth. She is perfect. Cold-blooded and hardcore. Just how I like my femi-villians. Kathy Bates?  Incomparable.  If you do nothing but base your opinion on her Baltimore dialect.  Angela Basset, Michael Chiklis, and of course, NPH.  What can you say about a PTSD ridden soldier who can’t be without his ‘Marjorie’?  Of course, they are illuminated by the workhouse cast that consist of Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, and Naomi Grossman who have each created indelible characters.

Which leads me to my point: why this season was actually better than we (collectively) thought. The introduction of characters who live on the fringe of society because of physical limitations and the casting of actors who live with these same limitations was important.  Watching at home, one may say to themselves, “I would never treat people with that much hate, ignorance, disrespect, etc. These are good people! Just look at their backstories! They just want to be loved and accepted.”

Oh, Murphy and Falchuk, you sly devils (pun intended). Look at you always inserting social issues into blood and gore. For me, this is actually the cornerstone of AHS. From women’s issues to taboo love to discrimination, these themes are tightly interwoven with the “shock and shlock” that draws ratings. Much like pureed squash blended into cheese quesadillas, morality and awareness has been slipped into our scripted tv shows before. But I think this is a fresh application that I don’t mind ingesting.

I can’t wait to see what checks in to AHS: Hotel. So many good things happen in October…

Until the next storm rolls in…

4 thoughts on “Why ‘Freak Show’ Was Better Than We Thought

  1. I love this as much as AHS Freak Show. And you know how much I loved that. You are in your element, girl. “Much like pureed squash blended into cheese quesadillas, morality and awareness has been slipped into our scripted tv shows before.” Totally delicious.


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