I really dug the first season of American Horror Story. It got a lot of shit for being a follow up to Glee, misunderstanding the genre that it wore in its name and throwing all of the tropes at the wall. I liked it for this reason. A fan of all types of horror I saw it as this pop-bricolage – ramped up and cheesy but played straight.
Jessica Lange. Big, campy, bitter and twisted, a vessel for Betty Davis’ Baby Jane, or maybe more Joan Crawford. Captivating.
I kept with AHS for its second season despite losing some of the flavour. The third, Coven, I had to lose after the first episode. I felt like this show wasn’t for me anymore. I tried the fourth circus-set season as a fan of Todd Brown’s Freaks, but it had nothing for me. Still I paid the courtesy of watching the first episode.
I did the same for Hotel and there were things I really liked about it. It was the pacing that I found infuriating. Chopped up and constantly cutting so that it doesn’t have enough time to build tension or develop a rhythm. To its credit it would use style, but it would take precedent over all else and leave it empty. One notable scene that I think is emblematic of this was Lady Gaga’s character introduction.
A montage of Gaga and her boyfriend going to an outdoor cinema to watch Nosferatu, picking up a couple, taking them back to their place to sleep with them together, cutting their throats and drinking their blood whilst grinding their naked bodies. This is all cut to She Wants Revenge’s Tear You Apart. I hadn’t heard this track before and so after the episode I searched it to listen to again and there was a significant difference to the version I had heard.
I want to hold you close
Soft breasts, beating heart
As I whisper in your ear
I want to fucking tear you apart
They censored the word ‘fucking’ in the show! Despite the characters having sex in this shot. Somehow the word is more offensive than the act. The word isn’t even used in that sense, its used to exaggerate the violent sentiment, which is also on screen. You watch two people fucking, actually tearing people apart, and the word fucking is so offensive that it is silenced. I am baffled.