5 Things I Love About “American Horror Story: Coven”!!!

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It’s too early to tell if FX’s American Horror Story: Coven surpasses Season 1 (aka “Murder House”) for me, I just haven’t seen enough of it yet. After all, most of Season 1′s batsh*ttery really hit the fan around episodes 4 and 5. By that point the show has provided you with a set of expectations it can then get to work subverting. I’m definitely digging it way more than “Asylum” though, it exceeds that season on flair alone.

Still, there are a lot of gleefully great (and commendably awful) elements to “Coven” and, after watching episode 2, I’m ready to dive into what really works for me about the season… so far.

“American Horror Story: Coven” stars Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga, Kathy Bates, Gabourey Sidibe, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone, Emma Roberts, Denis O’Hare, Alexandra Breckenridge, Christine Ebersole, Danny Huston and Lily Rabe.

Head below to start counting.

1: THE STUDENTS


Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies isn’t exactly brimming with students. In fact, there’s only four of them at this point – Emma Roberts (“Madison Montgomery”), Gabourey Sidibe (“Queenie”), Jamie Brewer (“Nan”) and Taissa Farmiga (“Zoe”). But they all have wonderfully defined personalities that gel with and contrast against each other. I especially like how funny Sidibe is allowed to be and the fact that Jamie Brewer isn’t defined by Downs Syndrome (a cliche Season 1 leaned into, rather than away from). It’s also fun to watch Emma Roberts be so gloriously selfish.

2: THE CHAOS


Most shows would wait until at least the halfway point (if not the second to last episode) of the season before allowing one of their primary characters to upend a party bus full of frat boys, killing 9 of them. Not “AHS,” they get that sh*t out of the way in the first episode. Part of the fun if this series is that it makes entertaining decisions seemingly on the fly, stuff you’d think would paint them into a corner – and then they wiggle out of it in even more entertaining ways.

3: THE HUMOR


Not all of the jokes on “AHS” work. In fact, a good number of them land with a thud. But what’s interesting about that is that I’m laughing anyway – not at the success of the joke but at the fact that they made the effort to tell it. And when the humor actually hits its intended target, it’s often fairly funny.

4: THE PACING


This dovetails a bit with number two, but “Coven” zooms along at an astonishing pace without sacrificing atmosphere. Look at how far we are just at the end of episode 2. Zoe has discovered she’s a witch, joined the Academy, raped a guy to death and brought another back to life. Jessica Lange has disentangled from her stem cell search, returned to the Academy, exhumed a 250 year old slave owner and brainwashed a few cops. The list goes on. You gotta keep up.

5: IT DOESN’T GIVE A SH*T


I mean this in the best way possible. The ONLY agenda “American Horror Story: Coven” has is to be entertaining. While this makes it an extremely sloppy show (who cares about why Madison knows how to pick a lock when she can flip a bus? Sidibe can burn a guy’s arm off by being her own human voodoo doll but still gets clonked over the head by Kathy Bates?), it also makes it fun as hell. There’s no real message here. Sure, there are interesting (occasionally empowering) offerings made along the way, but you know the producers would toss all of that out of the window for a few more “OMG” moments. In a way, this is a bad thing – something I certainly wouldn’t want to see extended to other shows (lest we become a GIF culture in spirit) – but it works fine for me within this context. Toss all the crazy and mean of the world into “Coven” and let it be our vessel.

  • TheFirst13

    Not to nitpick but Madison learned how to pick a lock for a movie that lost its funding. haha regardless of that detail I agree with all of your points. This is my favorite show our right now because it’s so damn fun!

    • EvanDickson

      No I know they said that. I’m just saying they didn’t need to tell us that info – she’s a witch. I’d buy her doing whatever

      • djblack1313

        regarding Maddy and the picking the lock thing, i thought she would (or could) just use her powers to open the door.

        • TheFirst13

          Yeah, I feel like with telekinesis you don’t need tools.. ever lol

  • http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/ Zombie-Killa

    “2: THE CHAOS”

    ^^^^^ This x1,0000.

    Coven is wildly unpredictable with each episode, and you NEVER have idea where the story is going or where it might go next. No joke, I’m on the edge of my seat after each commercial break, because I can’t WAIT to see what happens next.

    And Emma Roberts is just fantastic. I had my doubts about her being apart of the cast, because she’s a great fit for the cast. Lange, as expected, is great also as a villain.

    AHS Coven is easily my favorite show on TV right now, and so far, this season is shaping up to be the best AHS season, IMO. I still love Murder House, but my god Asylum horribly fell apart after the midway point of the season. Asylum had a lot of promise at first, but that season devolved into a mess of crap in the last four or five episodes.

    • djblack1313

      Zombie-Killa, i wasn’t thrilled with Emma’s being cast in this at first too but she’s actually not too bad in this. that being said, she’s decent in this because she’s playing a bratty, self centered young woman (not that unlike her SCREAM 4 character! LOL). in this particular story, she fits. if she was cast as more serious character in a more mature/adult storyline (picture Lange, Paulson, Frances Conroy, Bassett, etc……and then add Emma) she wouldn’t fit and it wouldn’t work.

      • http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/ Zombie-Killa

        Hey, djblack! Nice to see you again. It feels like ages since the last time we interacted with each other on here for anything! lol.

        Yeah, agreed 100% on Emma being a nice fit for a bratty character, but if she had to take on a more serious role in the show, I’m sure it wouldn’t work. I don’t know if you saw We’re The Millers or not, but she was pretty funny in that one playing the same type of character (she also portrayed a similar character in Celeste & Jesse Forever) you’ll see in Coven, so I guess you can say Roberts as a whiny spoiled brat is a recipe for success. lol.

  • djblack1313

    Evan, i agree SO much that Coven already is better/more enjoyable than Asylum. i’m loving it a lot.

    just one thing regarding Queenie (some people also wondered how she was able to be knocked out like that), it makes sense that she actually has to focus on her target to not be affected by the scalding oil/the fork in hand/etc. she was completely taken by surprise when she was hit over the head. just sayin’.

    but i’m love this season and IMO Angela Bassett is owning this season thus far!

  • HostelTakeover

    Jessica can play a bitch to a T. I love her. Kathy Bates OMG!!! More vicious than Annie. I loved the Murder House but Coven has to be my favorite now.

  • pyrepunk

    Although Season 1 is my favorite so far, I loved 2 for it’s reasons and well Coven just might top my list by the end of it’s run. I was very skeptical about how they would do the whole “witches” thing, but hell I knew premiere night that this season was going to be great. Can’t wait for Wednesday nights now! :D

  • GrlGoneGamer

    You couldn’t be more dead on with this post! I LOVED the Evan Peters reanimation scenes and kept thinking to myself “I can’t believe they’re already pulling this shit” AHS is such an awesome show and they truly make their own rules and it works for them.

  • Dr. Detfink

    It’s definitely a very fun soap opera but a little less The Craft would go a long way. Still very interested because of the talent but not on par with the first two seasons so far.

  • ThunderDragoon

    Awesome article, Evan! I feel the same way. I’m loving this season so much. It’s already my favorite. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  • Joe-Banger

    I like this season but it will never top season 2! There were too many plot twists and turns so I doubt the writers will try to trump season 2. I have seen enough TV shows over the years to know that.

  • ChasingTheGhost

    I’m loving everything about this season, such a step up from the boring Asylum season. They sure hit their jackpot with Coven.

  • chunkydischarge

    Absolutely digging this season! My favorite has to be Angela Bassett so far. She has rocked it from the second we were introduced to her character. I can’t wait to see where they take her and hope she’s able to wreak havoc with her Minotaur (another awesome addition). I was skeptical of the casting of Sidibe, but she has shined and has brought a warring balance to Roberts’ character. Oh and I’m totally crushing on Emma Roberts now.

  • SpiffyBiffy

    Getting to the point of giving up on the show. Between the Satanic witchcraft (yawn) and practicing voodoo somehow being worse than owning and torturing slaves, it’s getting fairly irritating. Also the main WoC in the show struts around in leopard print and owns a African hair salon and carries a hideous accent? Not for me, thanks.

    Deciding on whether witches are misaligned symbols of female strength or brides of Satan would be something for them to decide on as well.

  • AndrewSoukup24

    I have enjoyed all the season and every year its by far one of the shows I am most excited for waiting for it to comeback…that being said its always entertaining and is one of the best shows on TV right now for sure.

  • khaosmatrix

    They embraced the ugliness of slavery. Not an easy thing to do on TV

  • Mr.Mirage

    If they could grind this show into a fine white powder, I’d mainline it. Out of control does not even begin to touch the places each season has gone, and is going.