Tuesday, 29 October 2013

American Horror Story Coven (Spoilers)

American Horror Story has to be one of the most interesting TV shows to be a fan of, because every season is its own, 12-13 hours for a season to once a week to make a story worth watching. Maintaining a usual gripping season start and finishing it in a way which will please its fans whilst using the same reoccurring actors to portray different people in each season. (SPOILERS)

So American Horror Story season 1 starts off with the murder house, a family move into their new home to try and improve a relationship bring along their daughter Violet who falls for one of her fathers patients and the next door neighbours dead son 'Tate' whom is dead from a SWAT team after killing fifteen high school students and setting fire to his mothers then boyfriend. Violets mother gets pregnant by Tate leaving the house of the dead from previous murders fighting over the unborn child and who gets to keep it.

Season 2 'Asylum' is based in the 1960's inside a mental asylum with incidents happening here there and everywhere; a doctor with an alter-ego trying to find a mother figure or rather the warmth of their skin, a journalist inside the asylum for all the wrong reasons who makes friends with a man being held for murders he didn't commit and a woman committed to Briarcliff for killing her stepmother and father, a nun guilty of running over a child trying to find forgiveness before ending up in the asylum herself, another doctor who experimented on the people inside the asylum for 'the greater good' ending up with people begging to escape or die due to their horrific state after experiments, creating monsters. It was all a bit gruesome and amazing at the same time! But left a few unanswered questions that we'll probably never find out.

Season 3 has been a long wait, and with a killer advertising and marketing team have made fans impatient and needy wanting nothing more than to see the first episode before anyone else laid eyes on it. Every other day, fans subscribed to American Horror Story's fan page on facebook were delighted with new teaser clips. Amazingly using short clips of things to do with the topic of the season rather than clips of what's going to happen throughout the season. Whether it be 3 mouths and a snake sliding through them or a simple 16 second clip of pins sliding out of a body, fans have been going crazy with these small teasers getting us pumped for the Coven season.

(Important - Heavy spoilers up until the last four paragraphs!)

Coven starts with an episode titled 'Bitchcraft' which is an excellent play on words for the seasons starter. Our first glimpse of Coven starts with a bit of history on Delphine LaLaurie set in 1834, I can only presume this seasons story will be based around her history as a serial killer, known for the torture and killing of slaves. LaLaurie, played by popular actress Kathy Bates is seen holding a party for her daughters suitors, however finds one of her them in bed with one of her slaves.

Bates has a fantastic scene where she's using the blood of her slaves on her skin, claiming it makes the skin tighter and keeps her looking young. Delphine beats her daughter and takes the slave to her attic, where she tells her husband how she's always been fond of the Minotaur, a creature from Greek mythology and makes a child slave place a bulls head upon the slave chained up as others surround her.

We then begin in a more modern day with season ones Violet, showing us how witches don't always get the best 'gifts' and abilities, but rather sometimes curses. Actress Taissa Farmiga is shown playing a roll quite like Violet Harmon, a girl moving from one place to another to solve a problem she can't control escorted by the fantastic Frances Conroy who seems to have been given a more fabulous and stylish role in the season, although she doesn't say much at all I'm hoping in future episodes she becomes that fantastic role model to others and gets to show us a more sassy side than her previous roles as the Angel of Death and Moira.

Taissas character (Zoe) walks into 'Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies' where she meets Madison Montgomery who she recognises being an actress, (played by Emma Roberts) Queenie, a smart and tough girl who has no care for the opinions of Madison or any others who try and ridicule her (Gabourey Sidibe), and Nan, a simple minded and quiet girl (portrayed by Jamie Brewer - Season ones Adelaide) all sent to the academy to learn to control their different witch powers.

Cordelia Foxx is the headmistress, (played by Sarah Paulson, Season Ones - Billie Dean Howard and Season Two's - Lana Winters) it seems as if this season she will be another main character. She explains to the four about the schools history and now its a somewhat safe house for young witches to control and learn. She also mentions a story about Misty Day (Lily Rabe) who used her powers of Necromancy in front of others and was burnt alive however is reported on the news as 'missing'. The witch bloodline means that some people chose not to reproduce, making the academys population dwindle over the years to just the four girls.

We're then introduced to Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange). Avoiding too many spoilers, goode is looking for a way to stay young and is funding a scientist on a project to help her do so, using the testing on a monkey. Fiona claims "I'll have what she's having" which doesn't necessarily go to plan before she turns up at the Academy, interrupting her daughter Cordelia and tells her how she will be staying at the Academy to 'teach' the girls.

Zoe is taken to a frat party by Madison, where she meets Kyle (Evan Peters) in a somewhat Romeo and Juliet style scene, seeing each other through an ice sculpture and they start talking but due to her black widow status, tells them it wont work out, Kyle helps Zoe find Madison who has gone missing to find her with drugged by his frat brothers. An angry Kyle chases after them and tells them to delete the videos from off their phone before getting knocked out and the bus leaves. A horrified Zoe looks on and Madison walks beside her using her telekinesis to flip the bus, killing all but two of those inside. 

The next day Fiona takes the girls to the historical and now tour of LaLauries house. We see a flashback of how Delphine died, how Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) gives her a 'love' potion, Delphine wakes later and walks outside to see her family hung from her mansion and Marie and the slaves stood before her, Marie is the slave with the Minotaur heads lover and punishes Delphine with the gift of life, before putting her underground wrapped in chains.

Zoe goes to the hospital to find out which of the frat boys are still alive, hoping its Kyle, only to find out its one of the main frat boys who drugged Madison, to get her revenge she uses her power to kill him. Nan tells Fiona she can sense Delphine in the garden under the stone. Later that night Fiona returns using her powers gets two men to dig up the box with Delphine inside opening it to find her very much alive still.

I have high hopes for this season, when hearing what it was going to be about I wasn't sure it was going to be any good at all, but I already think it might be the best season yet. Its very rare for me to find something to love about every character introduced and so far I love them all. Each character has their own individual personality that you get to enjoy and yet they're all so different with so many different backgrounds. Plus! After reading many of interviews with the writers and directors of American Horror Story, I found out that everyone who's part of the season had really researched about everything in the season, from voodoo to the history of Delphine and witches, it's truly going to be an incredibly thought out season full of simple things that are more true than we believe.

Not to mention the dynamics of the camera work is more incredible than ever, some TV shows really lack good shots, using close ups of people at the wrong times and being afraid to shoot from above or below eye line, American Horror Story really pushes themselves with set filming straight away. It must be an odd thing truly appreciating camera work, but American Horror Story deserves that pointed out. My favourite so far has been the angles used filming the first shots of the Academy, so plain and empty yet clean and white, which makes a change from the dark sets of the murder house and asylum, yet again the brighter sets are going to really switch up this season visually.

The one thing I am worried about for this season is their re-use of characters. I still find it difficult to separate Zoe from Violet as their characters are quite similar and I can see myself doing so with Nan too, hopefully as the season goes on and their characters start to develop and learn they will change making me not forget their previous characters, but remember that this is an entirely different season. Its a very difficult challenge getting a popular couple from the first season to re-connect as strangers for the third season, credit to the writers because they really do challenge themselves and fans expect a lot from them to make it so different compared to before. I can't wait for what the rest of this season has to offer as well as the introduction of many more incredible actors and actresses.

Coven is looking good and to those who are fans of the previous AHS seasons, I would definitely recommend keeping up to date with the Coven season, its going to be challenging and eventful, I'm looking forward to where the season goes and hopefully there's no stone unturned by the Finale.

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