Tuesday, October 15, 2013

American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 1

American Horror Story (AHS) is back! After exploring the world of scary haunted houses and scary insane asylums, AHS delves into the terrifying world of…witches (?). Okay sure, Harry Potter may own the world of magic, but Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are going to try their darndest to make witches scary! And if they fail? Well, there’s always (insert italicized name of actual scary movie featuring witches here).
  • New Orleans, 1860’s: Kathy Bates giving her three daughters the same name a hundred years before George Foreman does. = +10pts
  • Annie Wilkes beauty secret revealed! (Here’s a hint: It involves face scrubbing with a liquid that contains a lot of iron.) = +5pts
  • We didn’t think it was possible for Kathy Bates to be scarier than she was in Misery.  = +10pts
  • Kathy Bates and her house slave “partying” with a severed minotaur-like head. = -10pts (“Party” in AHS lingo generally means “murder/rape.”)
  • Credits! (Items include: the black KKK, Manson-shoes, voodoo, cats(!), heels, leather, spikes, more voodoo) = -5pts (Note: The nanobots are calculating this as a negative score due to the utter imbalance of terrifying depictions of white people in comparison to black people. It’s like the opening of True Blood, only with more racism.)
  • In case you missed the first X-Men movie, AHS shows you how Rogue—we’re sorry, “Zoe”—discovers her powers. = -2pts
  • Francis Conroy doing her best Sybill Trelawney impersonation. = +4pts
  • Staffing your secret service squad with male ethnic albinos. = +3pts
  • Nothing says “typical girl-school hazing” like threatening to stab the new girl while wearing black robes and masks with penis noses. = -7pts
  • Dennis O’Hare doing his best Filch impersonation. = +4pts
  • Call us crazy, but while four people makes for a shitty “school,” it makes for an even shittier “club.” = -4pts
  • Dialog exchange between Supreme Witch (Jessica Lange)  and her daughter (Lilly Rabe, the unfortunately named “Misty Day”—seriously, we need to see her “special” powers right away) has us confused as to whether we are watching a remake of the first Harry Potter movie (only she’s a girl!), or X-Men: First Class. = -2pts
  • Frat “party” van! = -10pts
  • Flipping said "party" van and killing a bunch of fleeing "partiers." = +10pts
  • Nicholas Cage lived/lives in New Orleans? Terrifying! = +5pts (For giving us a heads up.)
  • Digging up a living Kathy Bates 100+ years in the future and her confused and moderately indignant reaction. A bit like how we imagined Veruca Salt would react when released from whatever prison Willy Wonka had set her off to. = +7pts
  • In closing, there’s nothing more dangerous than a witch with a vagina. = +10pts
  • Total exposition deduction. = -8pts (-2pts for every scene.)
Total Score: +20pts

Not a bad start for a show. The complete absence of men, except in the context of “partying” or being “partied” with is a nice change of pace. But it’s a long season, so don't get too excited. Instead, put on your warpaint and strap on your severed Minotaur head, because things are about to get weird.

Score Technician: Sean McConnell


  1. No points for flipping a party-bus full of rapists? I feel like this deserves points.

    1. The final score has been amended to include the following (well deserved) score: Flipping said "party" van and killing a bunch of fleeing "partiers." = +10pts.

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