American Horror Story

American Horror Story 7×01 – Election Night

"Above all, humans love fear."

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American Horror Story has been on a downward spiral for many years now. As far as I’m concerned, the show lost a lot of its luster after three stellar seasons (how epic were Asylum and Coven?). Last year’s Roanoke was such a boring and jumbled mess that I didn’t even finish the whole season (which is a first for me). It’s too soon to judge if Cult can salvage the show’s reputation, but judging by this premiere, there’s a whole lot of potential.

The best thing this year has going for it is its timeliness. By focusing on the 2016 Elections, the show gets to tap into a truly relevant topic that’s rooted in real life paranoia and tension. In fact, what I appreciate most about the season thus far (and yes I know it’s still too early), is the show’s apparent focus on a singular subplot. All too often, American Horror Story has found it fit to juggle a zillion subplots and unnecessary distractions, but this year seems primarily focused on Ally’s ordeal which is wonderfully refreshing. Our introduction to the character is actually so effective, that I found myself getting similar anxiety from all those “holes”, not to mention the sheer sense of hopelessness in that stellar supermarket sequence. Let’s hope the show can maintain this acute sense of dread and foreboding going forward.

Naturally, the show’s cast continue to be exceptional across the board. As Ryan Murphy’s muse, Sarah Paulson delivers yet another terrific performance as anxiety-ridden Ally Richards, while Even Peters gives an unsettling turn as a psychotic Trump supporter. I’ve never been the latter’s biggest fan, but he’s perfectly cast this season and the joy is in watching him on a collision course with Paulson’s character.

Frightful Bits

– Did the opening election scene remind anybody else of The Good Fight‘s premiere episode? It’s interesting how both shows used the election as a jumping off point.

–  Very disturbing touch with Kai dry-humping the screen after Trump’s win.

– My favorite visual in the entire episode: Kai trying to look like Trump by painting his face with Cheetos. Talk about creepy!

– For once the opening credits are a bit too on-the-nose for my liking. The theme song never gets old though.

– Remember Twisty from Freak Show? He’s still as horrifying as ever and I do hope he plays an integral part this year.

– Anyone else find it weird how the show name-dropped Crossfit and TRX? Product placement perhaps?

– Love the moment with Ally assuming the cashier is on her side only for him to put on the Trump hat. Ouch.

– It’s another small moment, but Ivy is mad at Ally for not voting for Hillary. That is, until they are interrupted by Kai throwing coffee at them. #Homophobe.

– The scene with Kai calling the Mexicans “La cucaracha” and peeing into the condom before throwing it at them really unsettled me. And since he has a video of them beating him up, things are about to get a whole lot worse.

– Why are the clowns on this show so sexually twisted? They do it doggystyle in a supermarket produce section, and then masturbate in front of Ally. Yuck.

– Winter’s favorite pastime: watching murder videos on the Dark Web as she munches on cookies. Not creepy at all.

– So is Ally’s son seeing things like his mom or is that clown gang a real thing?

– Oh look it’s Arrow‘s Colton Haynes. Not totally sure I buy him as a cop, especially with that hair.

Spooky Slurs 

Kai: How do I know we love fear more than our children? Because we are willing to ruin their lives in service of some irrational fear of losing them.

Kai: What’s, uh, the most physical pain you’ve ever experienced that you didn’t do to yourself?
Winter: When I let Scottie Mickels do anal.
Kai: What’s the most intense moment of pleasure you’ve ever had?
Winter: When I let Scottie Mickels do anal.

Conclusion
Cult
has enough potential to warrant a few episodes. I’m cautiously optimistic that the rest of the season can maintain this quality.

Nad Rating
B+

3 comments

  1. I’m not sure I have it in me to watch another season of AHS. It’s my belief that there is a limit to how long an anthology series such as this can go on for before fatigue sets in. As you’ve noticed, that’s already been the case with AHS for the past few seasons though I favor S6 out of the bunch.

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