I think the biggest hurdle this show has to overcome relates to the Harmon's and the fact that they're still living in that goddamn house! I may be stupid for seeking some realism in a show about gay ghosts and Frankenstein babies, but it's so ridiculously silly that this family is still sticking around despite being assaulted and weirded out by literally everyone that stumbles into their lives every week. Characters exhibiting irrational and clueless behavior is a trope of the horror genre, but it sure is making the family at the center of this show so easy to point and laugh at.
Once again, it's the mythology that's raising the bar. At first I was only annoyed by the on-the-nose hyper-sexuality of Pat and Chad ('power-bottoms', 'twinks' -- nobody talks like that, show); but Zachary Quinto eventually managed to stumble into something quietly moving. Like Vivien, he's trapped in a marriage that's slowly decomposing, married to a man who can't go a day without boning somebody else. Quinto also struck that perfect tone where he seems aware of how campy and nuts this show is, something that Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott should probably look into.
I'm pretty bummed about Addie's death. Her story this week could have easily spiraled into crass and offensive territory, but I ended up liking her desire to just be considered beautiful for one night of the year. Sure, Constance made her wear a big latex rubber mask to achieve that, but it was a story that finally reflected how close the two of them are. Constance sends a lot of animosity and bitterness her way, but she really does love her. There was something so sad about Constance dragging Adelaide's body closer to the house (presumably to keep her spirit alive as a ghost?).
The most affecting moment, just like last week, came from Frances Conroy's Moira. While Jessica Lange is all about the campiness, Conroy is delivering the show's only truly moving performance, and it's Moira that is quickly becoming the heart of the show. The scene with her mother was beautifully performed, and I loved how the story utilized the whole 'dead will walk the earth' angle. It's another example of the schizophrenia in the Ryan Murphy wheelhouse, but so far I'm not finding the radical swings in tone too jarring. Based on Glee and Popular, that'll probably hit sometime in season two. But for now, American Horror Story is entirely winning me over. A-
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