Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"American Horror Story: Coven" -- Scary, For Real!

I'm a bit of a latecomer to FX's thrillingly macabre American Horror Story, now in its third season.  I was an off-and-on viewer of the previous seasons (catching up now, of course) but I'm completely fascinated by the current storyline and the tremendous collection of acting talent they've put together.  How could you miss with returning favorites Jessica Lange (her wonderful portrayal extra-compelling because there is an overlay of the not-at-all fictional issue of a beautiful woman aging and how she deals with it) and Sarah Paulson, along with new to AHS Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Mare Winningham in a brief but effective role, Patti Lupone, and the younger members of the cast.  This collection of talent is a delight to behold.  Let's hear it for the girls on this show; the men are in short supply and at least in this season not quite of sound mind and especially body.

I'm especially enjoying Kathy Bates as the resurrected legendary 19th Century real-life New Orleans baddieMadame LaLaurie, a creepy society dame if there ever was one.  The scenes in AHS:C showing LaLaurie's dank and disgusting basement of horrors didn't descend even a smidgen of the way to the lady's true level of pure evil.  She was sort of the Dr. Mengele of the Vieux Carre, devising hideous experiments and tortures which she gleefully inflicted on her massively unfortunate slaves.  As you might expect, her house -- still standing in its French Quarter historic splendor -- is rumored to be haunted and a few years ago was owned by Nicolas Cage.

Angela Bassett's mysterious and powerful voodoo queen Marie Laveau is also very much a historical reality, not a figure of horror like Madame LaLaurie but rather more a folk heroine.  Her actual grave is still respectfully and often hopefully visited by countless fans every day in New Orleans' St. Louis Cemetery. The endless fascination with voodoo rituals and practitioners keeps Laveau's influence strong and if there's any mano-a-mano coming between her and LaLaurie my money is on Angela Bassett, though a showdown with Lange is more likely.

Be sure to check out the links we've embedded in this post to learn more about the meeting of history, lore and absolutely gruesome television fiction in this season's American Horror Story: The Coven.

American Horror Story: The Coven airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on FX.