If you are bored of everything that is being offered on our TV, laptop or phone screens right now – because there’s nothing new being made, due to Covid-19 – there is one thing you should tune into: American Horror Story.
Sure, it may be older than most – but as the in-resident unabashed fan, I’d like to present my argument.
I’ll just be playing vaguely spooky tunes while writing this.
Halloween Is Just Around The Corner
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A year into a once in a lifetime pandemic, and it feels almost as if time has, well, stopped.
We are asking ourselves ‘what happened to 2020?’ Others are saying “Whew, that went by quickly!”, “Where did ALL that time go?!”
Halloween is just around the corner – the time when, if you believe it, the curtain between this world and that of the spirits is at its thinnest point.
We celebrate, put pumpkin lanterns outside our homes.
But this year is going to be a bit of a different celebration – with trick or treating likely to be on hold.
If you can stomach it, then American Horror Story has some excellent, horror-themed episodes.
Some can be very gory, and are not for the faint-hearted – but this is the ‘viewing’ you need for a replacement celebration.
Need a feminist hero? Just watch the first season
Some of you reading this may disagree on principle, but hear me out: it seems to me that we are in need of at least one good feminist hero.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is probably turning in her grave right now.
We face the re-election of ‘The Donald’ to be the leader of the free world.
The UK is still dealing with the fallout of the pandemic.
Look to New Zealand.
A policy of elimination has lead to, well, life pretty much almost returning to normal.
We have AOC in the US – but she is not able to make a ‘run’ for the presidency, instead of leading in her own way.
The UK has had fiasco after fiasco this year.
I think we need a feminist hero for these current times.
If you watch Apocalypse – bear in mind the format is slightly different from a chronologically ordered series – then this is exactly what you will get.
Sarah Paulson as a head witch, shouting “motherfucker” while facing down a (hypnotic) foe is but iconic.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world without the concept of patriarchy?
Well, here is a glimpse into that world.
This is also shown, in brief moments, in the series Cult – where main character Ally takes down Kai, an Alt-Right Cult leader.
A dangerous woman at her best, even if she does use annoying buzzwords at times.
Unusual formats bring the story to life. Just add several twists along the way
American Horror Story does not rely on a bog-standard ‘a to b to c’ plotline technique most of the time.
The way that the series is shot, in terms of how it twists and turns along the way, is also unusual – even genre-defying at times.
The horror that is Roanoke is presented in what could be described as a reverse documentary-style format.
Actors play actors while others are supposed to be the ‘real’ subject of the documentary; their experiences are re-enacted.
The latter half of this season sees real person meet actor in a gory blood bath.
Apocalypse is gene-busting in the best way possible; it’s science fiction, fantasy, horror. And Hotel…well!
Need time out from ‘pandemic blues’? Here is addictive viewing in a nutshell
Our reality is, well, not very ‘bright’ or ‘promising’ right now.
We are almost a year into a pandemic of epic proportions – and we have yet to see real progress in returning to a normal life.
The UK is living under constantly changing rules and ever-being-implemented restrictions.
The US seems, at the time of writing, to be in complete and utter denial that a pandemic is even happening!
While we are not able to go out and socialise freely, hug our relatives, or even go to work (largely) as usual, we have been turning into our screens. Our screens, our media, is providing an escape from what could probably be termed the ‘pandemic blues’.
The more addictive, the more tantalising the series, the more binge-worthy it becomes.
Cult is an excellent example of addictive viewing – a tale of revenge and overcoming gaslighting to become your best self.
While it may be a little on the nose – as it centres around the election of Donald Trump (hopefully for only one term) – it’s impossible to only watch one episode at a time.
Kathy Bates is at her creepy best
We all know who Kathy Bates is, right? An actor forever made (in)famous for her role in the classical film Misery, Kathy Bates is one recurring cast member.
Others include Sarah Paulson and Emma Roberts.
(Nancy Drew gone bad! One sure way to completely ruin your childhood memories, in one way.)
But Kathy Bates is at her creepy best – like being an automaton (of sorts), a manager of a hotel, and more.
This is just a new ‘classic’ for the twenty-first century.
And it features Lady Gaga!
When you think of Lady Gaga, what words, what images come to mind? You may think eccentric, shapeshifter, an artist with finesse. And she is a recurring cast member, too.
Whether she plays a beautiful yet terrifying Celtic witch who bewitches men for sex while controlling a bloodthirsty settlement of ghosts who kill people, or someone in charge of a hotel who is likely also a vampire who ensnares murder victims with the promise of sex, this is very ‘Gaga’.
The roles are varied if similar, and she has an almost hypnotic ‘look’ when on screen.
She’s dangerous, unpredictable – and all in all captivating.
She just needs more of a leading role.
Oh, and more series’ are on the way!
What do you make of this news?
Have you watched American Horror Story?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.