Thoughts On AHS: Freak Show (Spoilers)
I have enjoyed every season of American Horror story so far. Not generally being a fan of the horror genre, I was surprised at how much the show originally grabbed my attention. I still think that season one has been the strongest, but both Asylum and Coven were solid seasons as well. Season 4, titled Freak Show, is possibly the most appropriate theme so far for a horror series. However, after watching the season premiere, I’m left a little underwhelmed.
A fear of clowns is an extremely common fear that I have thankfully never had issues with. Clowns CAN be scary, but are not all scary as a general rule by any means. The clown we are introduced to in this episode has not been given a name, but according to IMDB he is Twisty the Clown, played by John Carroll Lynch. He is definitely a creepy clown, and being setup as the mysterious villain for the season, at least as of now. He does not talk at all, and his giant smile of teeth looks like it might be a mask of some sort. He commits numerous horrible actions in this episode alone.
Sarah Paulson has taken on her most challenging role this season as Bette/Dot Taylor, siamese twins who are the newest recruits of the freak show. With two heads, two hearts, but one shared body, Bette and Dot have lived a secluded life out of necessity. With their mother now gone, Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) takes them in, offering them the starring spot in her Freak Show, as well as a safe haven among others with some sort of deformity, considered freaks.
Lange’s Elsa Mars is the owner of the Freak Show. Along with Bette and Dot, she has a large stable of freaks in her troupe, including lobster boy Jimmy (Evan Peters), Ma Petite (played by the smallest known woman alive, Jyoti Amge), and Pepper (the only recurring character in the series so far, who will end up in season 2’s Briarcliff Asylum, played by Naomi Grossman). Elsa’s right-hand woman is the bearded lady, Ethel (Kathy Bates), who is also Jimmy’s mother. Jimmy resents being raised in the freak show, and wants an attempt at a normal life, but Ethel is so scared of the real world that she won’t allow him to leave.
Jessica Lange once again gets the opportunity to sing on stage as the opening act of the Freak Show. I liked the theatrics of it, but the song left a little to be desired. I think I’m still trying to get used to her accent of the season, which at this point is a little distracting.
I really enjoy the ensemble aspect of American Horror Story. Most of the cast return every season, but this year the cast may have grown to the point of it being too large. Emma Roberts, Michael Chiklis, Dennis O’Hare Gabourey Sidibe and Angela Bassett are all pretty big names, are in this season’s cast, yet completely absent from the first episode. A personal favorite of mine from this troupe, Taissa Farmiga, does not appear to be in this season at all.
One episode in, I’m not as excited about American Freak Show as in previous seasons. So far, the best thing about the season are all the pre-season trailers. They are truly creepy, but like with other seasons, don’t seem to tie into the show itself. The freak show setting will keep me coming back for at least a couple more episodes at least. I hope things come together in that time, and finds a hook that will draw me in to be a fan of the season, but I’m just not so sure at this point.
American Horror Story: Freak Show airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on FX
I’m really excited for this season. I just hope they don’t try to cram to much into the season, again. I’m worried it’ll be like Season 2 (asylum) and try to have way too much going on and leaving a lot unanswered at the end. I can’t wait to learn more about the clown!
The clown is definitely awesome! Isn’t it crazy that the show feels very packed, yet they still left people out from previous seasons? One thing I forgot to mention in my review is I like the artistic camera work they do with Bette and Dot, keeping only one in the frame when that scene belongs to only one of them.