…And One More Thing…

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I’ve written five reviews and synopsiseseseseses  of American Horror Story;  one  for every show that’s aired so far.  I start writing immediately after the broadcast of each new episode.   That  means I’m a typing fool every Wednesday night.   I literally start the very second the first show ends and for the next hour or so, my keyboard emits radient heat.   Fingers flying, memories of the show swirling in my head….one liners zinging  through the creative synapse that surge from my gray matter down to my digits.

I’ve been asked why I do this.  Why I devote so much time to a silly TV show on a blog that’s free and open to the public…one that doesn’t make a dime for me.   Well, I do it because I love to write.   I also do it because it helps me wort through the mishegas I just watched.   AHS can be extremely convoluted if you let it.   You can’t watch it–as I have, at times–wanting or needing there to be logic. 

You’ll go nuts, cuz there ain’t none.   And that can be extremely frustrating.

I can kick myself for wanting doses of rationality and sensibility with my weekly supernatural therapy.  How silly.    After all, American Horror Story is about the paranormal.     I ask you, considering the general subject matter, how much logic could ever be applied here???????   True, but we( the thinking viewers) deserve more.  It’s obvious that we’re as in the dark as the Harmon’s.

For example, 0n this week’s episode, we heard Chad say to Viv as he was angrily destroying the Halloween decorations in the front yard, “You just don’t get it, do you?”

Then,  when Ben is beating Burned Guy to a pulp, he informs  Ben that there are obviously several things he  doesn’t “understand” about the dead.  I don’t remember what they were..soemthing about Hayden and being angry,  but we’re hearing more and more characters,  both alive and dead, allude to an unwritten set of rules about ghosts and hauntings that very few understand. 

If  surviving this series requires writing logic and proportion out of the equation,  then I would at least like  rational explanations offered.    An instructional manual that covers how ghosts and hauntings work in the zany world of AHS creators, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk  would be most helpful.

Well, as it happens, I’ve heard through the AHS grapevine that Constance will soon offer us all a lengthy and in-depth explanation on the ways and means of the supernatural.   We need it.  At this stage, everything I learned on Dark Shadows, Bewitched,  The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Scooby Doo, The Night Stalker and Casper gets thrown out the window.   Nothing applies.   On this series, ghosts age; they’re solid masses and completely visible to just about anyone with a pair of eyes.   The ghosts of Murder House  are also smart asses and pissy queens.  They’re angry, vengeful, seemingly protective  depending on how you fit in to thier agendas.  They’re whiney, crafty and if you ask Rubber Man, horny while homophobic.    

It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to  tell the living from the dead;  the haunted from the ones at the haunting helm.

I don’t think the word benign can be applied anywhere in this show.   Nothing  and no one seems innocent or harmless.    That said, the Harmon’s are a bad news buffet to begin with, but since moving into their new home…the pride of an LA murder scene tour…they’ve been besieged by a cast of characters that makes Twin Peaks look like Walton’s Mountain.   We’re talking the emotionally disturbed, the developmentally disabled and the physically disfigured that come in the form of massive scars and creatures that we’re learning, have been manmade, but who still defy explanation.   Viv has a past.    Ben has a past.  Even angry Violet seems to have one, though at such a young age, hers could be nothing more than jejune efforts to sift through the residual negativity her screwed up parents keep casting off.

I  find this show more intriguing, than scary or creepy.    As I’ve written  in previous reviews, I think the horrors have more to do with everyday life, than that which presents itself in death.   Human frailties vs. inhuman hauntings.     The psychological twists and turns are what I like the most.

Well, that and the incredible bod of the guy who plays Rubber Man.

I’ve mentally toyed with the idea that AHS could be all about death; that everyone on the show is a ghost, a la 2001’s The Others.  The house is like a tastefully appointed Purgatory that looks like a lovel,y but brooding 1908 mansion with mahogany panelling, hand-carved wainscoting and Tiffany stained glass.    The dead  come to Murder House stay…to serve penance for the sins they committed in life.    None are happy with their sentences; they can do nothing but serve their time.    

All of this reminds me of  a particular episode of Night Gallery, a weekly series on NBC which was the late  Rod Serling’s first and only post Twilight Zone effort from waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the early 70’s.   Anyone remember Night Gallery?   Its palette had many colors:  a touch of fantasy; a  hint of the macabre and a bold hue darkened by the sinister.     Well, one particular episode entitled, “Hells Bells” stars John Astin as a groovy hipster cool cat who hadn’t lived the best life.   He has  a car accident, dies…and literally slides straight down to hell.   But once there, he realizes it’s hardly the Faustian concept he hoped it would be.    Fire and brimstone are nowhere to be found, but abject boredom is.  In other words, everything he hated in life, he must endure for eternity.

Interesting,  n’est-ce pas?

Maybe that’s what AHS is all about.   Perhaps it’s a not so thinly veiled attempt at explaining the Judeo/Christian concept of Life and Death, Reward and Punishment or at the very least, the proverbial Golden Rule.  If you do unto others, you’ll have it done to you over and over and over again after you die.    

Well,  to be honest, I don’t have a clue what’s going through the mind of the writers of American Horror Story, but they’re accomplishing their goal.  It’s 3:34 AM and I’m writing about their damn show.   And when Constance finally reads from the official “They’s Dead, Ya’ll” handbook, I’ll be even happier..  

In closing,  I want to share something with you.  In a fit of boredom and insomnia, I went photo foraging on the Web and happened upon some stills from upcoming episodes.   If the pics are any indication,  some serious weirdness is set to appear on the haunted horizon very soon.   Good.    More weirdness, please and infuse more campy humor while you’re at it. 

 Here’s what we can look forward to:

Apparently, the Blair Witch will soon pay a visit to the Harmon’s

 

Headless dolls make bitchin’ wind chimes…

And Violet gets “a handjob”

 This looks like the same hand that reached out from under her bed and tried to grab her ankle…just like Addy did before asking Violet to tart her up for Halloween.   Remember?     Hhhhhh’mmmmm…..we know that Constance has other children.   Could that bedroom scene be a harbinger of things to come?    That we’ll soon get to meet another one of Constance’s ill-gotten progeny??

If not, then one must ask:   to whom does this grotesque hoof belong to?   Who or what is at the end of this arm?   Is it just another yet to be named ghost of Murder House …or is it a miffed Constance in dire need of a manicure and more stringent applications of Vaseline Intensive Therapy hand cream???

6 comments

  1. Laurie, I think the show is doing exactly what every TV show should strive to do: leave the viewer wanting more. But, what’s more, and what very few TV shows achieve, it leaves me wishing I could watch all episodes in one sitting.

    I also don’t find the show scary or creepy. The word I’d use to describe it is twisted.

    Keep up the AHS writing; I look forward to it after each episode.

  2. Its really interesting that abortion is a big issue in the story line. All those aborted babies kept in jars for later use. Thats kind of creepy. And that Constance would consider her womb cursed if she did have an abortion (I am sure we will soon find out). And how the Doctors wife would tell Ben to save his baby when she was responsible for the abortions performed in the house to begin with…its very interesting…I know one of the fathers of the aborted babies kidnapped hers and cut him up and she feels damned because of it. I just think its really interesting that a show on FX would present the abortion issue to the American public in such a horrific fashion.

  3. LK, I don’t watch the show. I do read your pieces afterward. It is obvious to me you have passion for the topic, and that’s when some of your best writing hits the page; when your keyboard is cooking without the filter or struggle for what to bang out in text. Just keep on doing what you do.

  4. Larushka,
    What if that gnarly hand belongs to Constance???? And she needs babies in her life to keep looking like Jessica Lange? I read in an interview with Ryan Murphy that the hand under the bed that tried to grab Violet belonged to Hayden.

  5. When the original owner, the doctor, was trying to resurrect his kidnapped dismembered son, there was a scene where he is sewing a furry paw onto a limb. Tate, narrating, tells Violet that the abomination he created remains in the basement. I think it’s that creature that tore apart the ginger twins, and unless there’s TWO furry clawed humanoids running around (not impossible in that house lol), it’s probably that which is trying to give Violet a hand.

  6. The hand is that creature thing that Charles created from the mutilated baby parts. In Tate’s story before Halloween it shows Nora walking in to see the arm sewn to the pig leg thing. I think it’s the creature and it has the same room as Tate who has the same room as Violet.

    It also attacked the coke head girl in episode one.

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