Review: American Horror Story: Coven

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Review, Scary Stuff
Tags: , , , ,

This is my first review of the year, and it’s coming a day after the final episode aired. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t have FX in your cable package and you have to search the Internet for it. Someday that’ll change.

I wasn’t really sure what to think about this season at first. It’s the third season, coming after two very terrifying and amazing seasons. Plus many of you remember how I reacted to the killer vagina thing in the first episode. Oy vey. And as the season progressed, it had its high points and its low points. But for the most part, I like to think that it ended on a good note. If you’d asked me a week ago what I thought about the season, I’d have said differently, but I’ll admit that the writers really amazed me.

This season of the anthology series follows an endangered coven of witches as they prepare for the rise of the new Supreme, the figurehead and occasional actual leader of the coven. When one falls, another rises (sounds like Buffy, doesn’t it?). However the coven is under threat from many sides, including from an organization of witch hunters; a rival faction of voodoo practitioners led by voodoo queen Marie Laveau; a racist immortal with a thing for blood; a serial killer who’s good with a saxophone; and each witch’s own personal problems, powers, and petty desires.

Some of the high points of this season was that it really did keep us guessing at who would be the next Supreme, right up until I was sure I knew who it was (and then I realized I didn’t). Not only that, but it had some very impressive scenes and special effects, and the writers proved that they could keep us interested and guessing for a very long while. Also, Emma Roberts as party girl/actress/all-around-bitch Madison Montgomery was my favorite character. I loved her and hated her. She was the best actor on the show, with Lance Reddick as Papa Legba coming in a close second (invite him back for the second season) and Lily Rabe and Kathy Bates as Misty Day and Delphine LaLurie respectively tied for third.

Favorite character, hands down.

However, there were some things I felt the story could do without. The subplot with the fundamentalist family next door felt extraneous and unnecessary. You could’ve cut that out and nobody would’ve felt like something was missing. Also, Zoe and Kyle’s love affair didn’t feel real. I had no idea why either of them liked one another, why Kyle wasn’t pissed off at being a modern Frankenstein, or why Zoe felt anything for him besides the fact that she was partially responsible for his current predicament. Actually, I didn’t really know Zoe beyond her inexplicable love for Kyle, and my knowledge of Kyle wasn’t much better. Also, there could’ve been more on the witch hunters. They weren’t utilized enough. And I would’ve liked to see more of the oppression theme that was at the center of this season.

Second-favorite character (can you see why?)

But still, it was a great season despite its low points, and I think the first in the series that ended on a bright note (surprisingly). It’s also the first season to have the potential for an Expanded Universe similar to what Star Wars and Doctor Who have (Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, call me or check me out on LinkedIn. Let’s talk). I’d be excited for some of that.

All told, AHS: Coven gets a 3.6 out of 5. Can’t wait to see what Season 4 will be about. So far all we know is that it’ll take place in 1950, Jessica Lange will have a diminished role and a German accent, and several of the big names from this season will be coming back for new roles and new stories. Oh, and it’s rumored that it’ll be filmed in either New Orleans or Santa Fe. Any guesses about what it could be?

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