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'American Horror Story: Roanoke' Keeps Breaking Our Trash-Based Rating System

By Courtney Enlow | Trade News | October 20, 2016 | Comments ()

By Courtney Enlow | Trade News | October 20, 2016 |


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Season six of American Horror Story revealed its big season twist last night and that twist is tantamount to literally throwing all six seasons of the show in a blender with a bottle of Target rosé, a fistful of Mucinex PM and the weird feeling you get when one car window is down and the whole car makes a vworp vworp sound and feels like it’s shaking. That’s basically what’s happening.

AND GOD DAMMIT I. AM. FINE WITH IT.

This show is eternally whispering softly in one ear, stroking your hair and letting you know it loves you and in the other ear blowing a giant AAAOOOOGAHHH horn and punching you in the tit while screaming “I LOVE COCAAAAAAAAAINE” and jump roping. And this season might be the best example of this. The show may have finally rediscovered a balance between its specific brand of camp madness and shitglory, something we haven’t seen since Asylum. The subsequent seasons tried and failed to various degrees—Coven tried too hard to be normal, Freak Show tried too hard to be bonkers and Hotel just lost everyone by the midpoint because steady doses of manufactured weird become dull rather quickly.

And that’s why the still utterly ludicrous framing device of Roanoke—that the first half of the season was a full season of the television “smash” My Roanoke Nightmare, a massively produced, well-acted and realistic dramatic reenactment series which is not a thing and remains completely fucking stupid and nonsensical as a concept, kicking my suspension of disbelief right in the tender bits—might actually be the season’s saving grace. No matter how good or well acted the show is at moments, no matter how absolutely shitpantsbananas ridiculous last night’s episode was conceptually, it’s still so deliciously stupid that everything balances out kind of beautifully.

And trust me, last night’s episode was goddamn ridiculous. Not in terms of writing or directing (Angela Bassett directed the episode and crushed it with her Bassett powers), or acting which is always stellar, but in terms of what was happening in the show’s reality. The first half of the season, as I said, was season one of My Roanoke Nightmare. Now begins season two, an attempted reality show wherein Cheyenne Jackson as a neon toothed asshole of a producer films studio meetings, stages weird “yell at a mentally ill woman and throw a restraining order at her under the guise of a nice polite interview session” and finally gets to the actual meat of what I think the show is supposed to be, a “three days in hell” reunion of the reenactment cast members and the actual people who lived in the house and almost died of ghosts and pig people.

I just threw a lot at you, so let me back up. It’s a Big Brother in a haunted house featuring a convergence of the actors who played the people who almost died in the haunted house and the actual people who almost died in the haunted house AND EVERYONE IS ON BOARD AND EVERYONE IS FINE WITH IT AND SARAH PAULSON IS BRITISH AND EVERYTHING IS GREAT.

Also Kathy Bates may have been possessed by the ghost of ghost she played and there are fetal pigs and a production assistant accidentally Go Pro-ed herself dying with a manpig and Angela Bassett is drunk and a man chainsawed himself in the face and so much, you guys, so much.

Oh, and also this is all just found footage and everyone involved mysteriously died in the house except one person and we’re just watching “real” people die on television and it’s fine EVERYTHING IS FINE!

I lovehate this wonderfulstupid show so, so, so muchmuch.

Once again, the show has broken my patented mess scale.

5 out of 5 crysterbating Dylan McDermotts

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And 5/5 Franken-Peters.

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