American Horror Story: Freak Show premiered last night on FX, so let’s contemplate the good with the bad on Ryan Murphy’s masterpiece of a show…miniseries…what do we call this thing?

LOVE:

  1. Kathy ‘mutherfuqing’ Bates.  Last season, in Coven, Bates was beyond brilliant.  I’ll never forget the agonized look on her character’s face when she was forced into watching the entire duration of Roots.  Priceless.  She was a sadistic racist last season, so naturally she will play the Bearded Lady this season as Ethel Darling.    What I love about Murphy’s direction with his actors is that he is always willing to change up the dynamic.  Evan Peters was a love-sick rapist in the first season, but a mute zombie in the last.  Kathy bates liked to run blood on her face, and this time around she has hair growing from her chin.  It’s great!
  2. The show was 90 minutes long, and felt like it came right out of a Stephen King novel.  It has always been my favorite clown.  He scared the shit out of me when I was 12 and he still makes me second guess every storm drain I pass by–but Twisty the Clown.  I MEAN COME ON. I can’t even talk about him for fear of seeing him in the corner of my eye, or reflected in my computer screen.  I’m going to stop now, before my boss comes in and sees me cowering in the corner.
  3. Finally a story line with some heart!  Ok I may be exaggerating, but I think this is the first anthology to really hit an emotional chord with me.  In every season, AHS has unraveled the preconceived notions about what determines a villain.  I’ve always believed that the mark of a truly great writer is determined by their ability to create a villain that even the audience roots for to succeed.  It brings out the villain in all of us, and that’s what really humanizes the characters on AHS and makes them relatable. What’s different about this season is that the “villains” (and I use that term very loosely) are portrayed by actors who have actually dealt with the probing eyes of a society that, a majority of the time, rejects and/or fears them.
  4. Jessica Lange’s rendition of “Life on Mars”.  One word.  Perfection.

HATE:

  1. Jessica Lange’s “tell-me-I’m-beautiful” sob story.  Again with the aging, never-was starlet act?  Come on.  Been there, done that.  I just bragged about Murphy’s ability to create new and exciting characters for his actors, and then there’s this.  Lange always plays the “bitch” who wants to regain her youth, her sex appeal, her fame…sounds like it may ring a little too close to home.  Ahem, anyway, did you see her totally diss Lea Michelle?
  2. Emma Roberts.  I’m a hater.  I didn’t really enjoy her acting chops last season, and I really haven’t enjoyed anything Roberts related since Unfabulous.  If she continues just to be a romantic conquest for the Even Peters character, I’m just bored.
  3. That DAMN CLOWN.  Okay, he was on the Love list, but he is also on the hate list for giving half of the audience nightmares last night.
  4. The fact that there are only 13 episodes… Okay that’s a moot point because there’s always only 13 episodes, but I’m a greedy kind of gal, so I’ll always push for more.
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