Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
COUCH POTATOES UNITE! WISHES YOU A HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
(…If you celebrate it and publishes this AHS podcast in an effort to be festive! 🙂 )
Who: “American Horror Story” airs on cable TV, specifically on FX, Fall Wednesdays at 10:00 PM.
What: “American Horror Story,” a horror drama created by Ryan Murphy (Glee, Nip/Tuck) that tells a new horror story each season while featuring recurring actors and ensemble players. This season is subtitled “Freak Show” and centers around one of the few remaining American sideshows or “freak shows,” fictionally encamped in Florida in 1952.
The events of “Freak Show” transpire in 1952 in the quiet town of Jupiter, Florida, and follow a struggling freak show led by Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange). Decades have passed since the public has looked upon freak shows as a form of entertainment, but Elsa dreams of finding a home for her “monsters” as well as her own fame. When conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson) are taken to the hospital, Elsa sees her chance to finally drum up some business for her sideshow, hoping the two sisters will save her troupe once and for all. Other members include Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters), a boy born with syndactyly who dreams of leaving the carnival behind and living a normal life. Jimmy’s mother, the bearded lady Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates), is Elsa’s second in command and maintains law and order under the tent. A strongman from Ethel’s troubled past named Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis), and his three-breasted wife, Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett), make waves when they arrive at the sideshow. In a time when the era of television is beginning to reign high above sideshow acts, these individuals must overcome those who persecute them based on their looks; however, as events unfold, it is revealed that multiple dark entities have taken up residence in Jupiter, with all of their eyes set on the freaks. Flashbacks are set in the 1940s, and there is a flash forward to the 1960s.
When: Season Four aired from October 8, 2014, to January 21, 2015, on FX.
Where: Each season focuses on a different locale. This season, the action is set largely in Jupiter, Florida.
Why: Nick and Sarah, two CPU! regulars, proposed that CPU! publish an American Horror Story podcast series, being big fans of the show, and your Chief CP, who has previously covered this program on the CPU! blog and enjoys the show quite a bit, agreed wholeheartedly to the idea. Thus, welcome to our new CPU! series revolving around AHS, with each episode in the series focusing on one season of the show. The series will start at the beginning and will be ongoing as long as AHS stays on the air!
How – as in How Much Do We Love this Show?!
American Horror Story is a groundbreaking horror anthology series that airs on FX. Not only did this program render the horror genre mainstream television fare, it also propelled anthology formats to popularity. The show is widely watched and a tent pole for FX, becoming a Halloween/fall-time cable staple of disturbing imagery and grotesque scares.
Two of CPU!’s frequent panelists, and one of our resident married couples, Nick and Sarah, are big fans of the show and, as noted above, proposed that CPU! start a series discussing AHS throughout its seasons. We have already published our first episode in this series, chatting the first season of AHS, widely known as “Murder House;” the second episode discussing the second season, “Asylum;” and the third episode discussing the third season, “Coven.” Listen here:
American Horror Story Series, Episode 1, Season 1, “Murder House”
American Horror Story Series, Episode 2, Season 2, “Asylum”
American Horror Story Series, Episode 3, Season 3, “Coven”
In today’s episode, the fourth episode of this series, we cover Season Four, “Freak Show.” As the seasons are discussed and published, moderation duties will rotate among the members of our small but robust AHS panel; however, for this episode, we’ve come back around, and your Chief CP is back at the moderating mic to talk this fourth season.
As we progress through this series, we will cover all aired seasons, from “Murder House” to “Hotel,” and continue the series as long as new seasons of the show are created. After all, though common cast members may return from season to season, the season story arcs are always, by design, different, and CPU! is nothing if not thorough when it comes to TV adulation! In this episode, then, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments within the “Freak Show” season and our general impressions of the season’s success.
This podcast was recorded in July 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the “Freak Show” season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, we will pause our American Horror Story series again until later this year. In the next episode, we will replay the audio recording of our LIVE podcast held at Grand Rapids Comic-Con, which occurred on October 22, 2016. At Comic-Con, we debated the “Top 5 DC and Marvel Live Action Heroes and Villains.” Stay tuned!
American Horror Story is recommended to anyone who loves horror, to fans of Jessica Lange, and to fans of any of the AHS repertory of repeat players. As we discuss in the podcast, the panel provides mixed reviews about the “Freak Show” season relative to other seasons; Kylie and Nick like it less (Kylie likes it better than “Asylum,” though), Sarah, perhaps, likes it a little more. American Horror Story is groundbreaking for its successful use of the anthology format, though its horror premises are not necessarily boundary pushing; indeed, most if not all of the seasons pay significant homage to horror films of yesteryear, but the panelists regard this quality as part of the show’s charm. If you haven’t yet caught up on AHS and have a hearty stomach for the gruesome and grisly, the entire series is available at all of the streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Horror genre fans who seek more scares on TV would be remiss to miss this show!
Our next episode in this series will cover season five, “Hotel,” and will be published later this year. Stay tuned!