Last night I caught the latest American Horror Story episode, and without getting into the particulars, I spent a little too much time laughing like a loon. No, it wasn’t because the show went off the rails again (it has); what cracked me up were two of the most goofy accents I’ve heard in a single hour (at least since Monday night’s Fargo). Listen, we love these actors to pieces — some of them are my favorites — but this roster of fine folks is sporting some of the most ridiculous put-on dialects you can catch on television, right now.
***Spoiler Warning: The videos obviously can be spoiler-filled, but The Walking Dead header has a spoiler, so if you’re not caught up, don’t scroll down.
Katey Sagal as Annora of the Alders, The Bastard Executioner
Catch a snippet at the :02 mark; it’s basically Sagal doing her best Eastern European thing, which no matter how much we adore Katey, just isn’t good.
Evan Peters as Edward March, American Horror Story: Hotel
He’s clearly having fun with this role, but Peters’ take on gleeful, olde-tymie gentleman probably shouldn’t leave us laughing as much as it does. Catch a snippet at the :09 mark.
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, The Walking Dead
If you’ve ever seen Cohan speak in her natural voice, you’ve probably noticed her English accent wavering, which is odd but understandable. Born in America, but raised in the UK from when she was 13, Cohan also has a British mother and an American father. You can hear the confusion in her “No!” at the :08 mark, and over the course of TWD, Maggie’s southern drawl has been all over the place.
Ruth Wilson as Alison Lockhart, The Affair
Granted, Dominic West has had a lot more practice playing Americans, but there’s something a bit wonky with Wilson’s attempt at a lifelong Montauk resident. Check it at the :15 mark.
Jean Smart as Floyd Gerhardt and Ted Danson as Hank Larsson, Fargo
To be fair, most of the second season accents are all over the place, with some folks drifting in and out every other sentence, and others trying too damned hard. Smart and Ted are the two who drop their North Dakota/Minnesota thing nearly every other word. You can hear them each starting at the :06 and :19 marks, respectively. (Can’t we just listen to Offerman orating for an hour?)
Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blumquist, Fargo
Where Danson and Smart waver, Dunst goes way too far. Her take on Peggy is exaggerated to the point where it sounds silly. The best example is during this week’s “Rhinoceros” kitchen scene, when Peggy’s speaking with Hank, which is about ten levels deeper than what you hear in this clip. “These are modern times. A woman just doesn’t have to be a wife and a mother no more. She can be— There’s nothing she can’t be.”
Finn Wittrock as Rudolph Valentino, American Horror Story: Hotel
You can only hear a smidge of Wittrock’s absolutely horrendous Italian accent at the :07 mark, but I can assure you — as can anyone else who is still watching — it was ridiculously bad.
Might I suggest hiring Lennie James’ or Rupert Friend’s coaches, because those two are killing it in their American roles. And not for nothing, but I almost fell over when I heard Fargo’s Angus Sampson (who plays Bear Gerhardt) Australian accent.