American Horror Story Coven – I’m the Next Supreme

Due to our ridiculously busy schedules, Sydney and I were unable to keep up with our weekly recap of American Horror Story.  This may have been for the best as the show descended into a pretty big disappointment.  Ryan Murphy, where did you go wrong?  I tried to condense all my feels into four main points.  We’ll see how that goes.

1. We Need Some Rules

When they first started dropping hints about Season 3 toward the end of Asylum, I sent prayers to the voodoo gods* for a focus on witchcraft, voodoo and New Orleans.  I guess the old saying is true – you don’t f**k with voodoo.  Clearly, wishes always come with a catch or I should have been more specific.

Coven was rife with possibility, but what Ryan Murphy doesn’t understand about horror is RULES ARE IMPORTANT.  In fact, rules are essential.  Coven should have set the rules for its world in the first two to three episodes.

There seemed to be some structure within the witch world, but it was never clearly outlined for us.  Rules that were seemingly established were broken with little to no explanation.  By the time we got to the finale, which revolved around who was the next supreme, I frankly didn’t care.  Plus, despite the fact that they had stated rather bluntly that each witch had one main power with a couple of others possibly manifesting for very talented witches, it seems like every candidate for supremacy could easily perform every task, but one.  Also, if Madison wasn’t such a bitch, would she have been like the Vice Supreme or something?  It just seems like there should be a consolation price of some kind for a witch that could do six of the seven wonders except reading a bunch of pebbles.  Also, after Zoe was resurrected wouldn’t she have been reentered into the race?  I’m pretty sure we saw her do all of the seven wonders at some point.  Is she the next supreme after Cordelia?  Nevermind, don’t care.

2. So Many Missed Opportunities

There were so many times that I got excited, because the show seemed to be going in new and exciting places.

For a while, I thought the larger story arc was going to be about the voodoo community and the coven uniting to defeat the witch hunters, but then they had the least interesting male character (and that is saying something in a season with Kyle and whatever Nan’s boyfriend’s name was) kill off practically all the voodoos and the witch hunters were defeated in about two episodes with, to quote Fiona, about as much effort as it takes her to make a Rob Roy.

LaLaurie started out as one of the most interesting characters.  As her storyline progressed, she became almost sympathetic.  I liked her and I felt bad about it, because of all the awful things she had done. But then all of her progress was thrown out for seemingly no reason.  It would have been much more interesting had Delphine learned the error in her racist ways, but perhaps couldn’t overcome her lust for blood.  How would Queenie have reacted if she had found her new friend (assuming that they got back to being friends and Queenie didn’t just carry her around on a leash) gleefully torturing a white man?

I could probably run through every character this way – Zoe never really became more than a doe-eyed Mary Sue type, Madison who showed early potential to actually evolve as a character was stuck as the quick quipping Mean Girl, Myrtle became more and more a character of herself, etc. – but I think the most tragic missed opportunity is Cordelia.

I have been Team Cordelia since Day 1. She started off so sad and meek with the worst powers.  When she was blinded it seemed like she was starting to come into herself, embracing her powers and moving forward on the road to supremacy.  And then she just…didn’t.  She reverted back to her pathetic self until a very random feeling last minute twist.

I got exactly what I wanted, but I was completely dissatisfied, because it wasn’t EARNED.  Thanks a lot, Ryan Murphy!

3. Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Look, I’m fine with the first Stevie Nicks cameo.  It actually (kind of) made sense with the plot.  It should have been shorter, but whatever.  It’s the second cameo that really drove this home.  You do not need seven minutes of Stevie Nicks “singing” about the Seven Wonders in the episode where you need to WRAP EVERYTHING UP.  You need every precious second of your finale and this was just a waste.

4. Cut your darlings!  (Or integrate them)

Patti Lupone almost falls into category 3, but thinking about it I think she fits better here.  With both Patti and Mare Winningham it was clear that Ryan Murphy wanted to work with them more than had a clear idea of what their character would be and how it would function into the story as a whole.  Winningham made for a fantastic unexpected villain who got about half an episode.  That’s totally fine if the consequences of her actions had any bearing what so ever on the rest of the plot.  Sadly, it didn’t.  So I say cut it.

Lupone (who full disclosure I do not like at all) could have added an interesting outside element for the coven to battle – religious fundamentalism.  There could have been interesting commentary on religious tolerance or religious hypocrisy.  Instead she gave her son an enema, sang off key, killed her husband with some bees, killed her son with a pillow and was promptly choked on some bleach.  Had Nan not died a few minutes later, perhaps her actions would have had some bearing on the plot.  Wouldn’t it have been so much more interesting had Fiona and Marie thought Nan was innocent, but when they tried to offer her as an innocent soul Papa Legba rejected her, because she killed Lupone?  Serious, any connection to the rest of the plot would have helped.

But what’s done is done.  I didn’t hate it.  I just didn’t love it as much as I wanted (expected) to.

Time to say goodbye (or good riddance) to Coven and brace ourselves for Season 4.

* This is false.  I am a good New Orleans girl and I would never mess with voodoo for such silly reasons.

Roadtrippin’ – Questions from Pretty Little Liars 4B Episode 2

Sadly, this episode of Pretty Little Liars was a bit of a snoozefest, but no need to fear the first couple of episodes are always a little slow before the show really gets going (and judging from next week’s preview it will really get going soon).  Regardless, here are a few questions and observations.

I don’t think there was anything Aria wore in this episode that made me want to gouge my eyes out.

I’m not sure if it’s just because the actress is better or what, but it seems the older Ali gets the more she acts like a normal person and not just some bitchy 50 year old trapped in a teenage body.

What was Ezra’s plan if Ashley hadn’t gotten that phone call?  Was he going to make an excuse to put the work in Hannah’s room or just knock her out?  What was he going to do if she found him going through Hannah’s stuff?  He had no way of knowing how long that phone call was going to be.  Unless, it was another member of Team A that he had specifically employed to make the phone call.  That would explain the confusion about the apartment number and needing Ashley to get the super’s number.  Head cannon accepted.

Why doesn’t Aria just tell the girls she’s back with Ezra?  They seem supportive.  What’s the point in hiding? Also, even with the knowledge that Ezra is A this storyline lost it’s steam in Season 1B.

I want to stab Caleb in his pretty little English, Welsh, Czech, Swedish and Cherokee descended face for hurting Hannah.  Especially since he broke up with her for a dead girl and a really shitty show.  Also, Hannah you deserve better than that bald scarecrow looking faux cowboy.

I am pretty sure this is not the first time Emily’s car (that she mysteriously won at a dance) GPS has lead them astray.  Have they not figured out that perhaps A is messing with it?  Can’t someone just Siri it?  Also, why does Emily always drive?

I’m kind of sad that Ezra already has the journal.  Couldn’t we have had a couple more episodes with the liars discovering some deep dark secrets about each other and other people in the town?

One last thought.

Mike and Hannah.  Ewwwww.

Questions from Pretty Little Liars Season 4B Episode 1

Today we celebrate the return of one of my favorite guilty pleasures – Pretty Little Liars.  While the episode was scattered at best and not really up to the usual standards, it was a thousand times better than all five (or was it six) episodes of Ravenswood.  Here are a few questions I had.  Spoilers below for anyone who is not caught up.

  • Considering the Halloween episode was basically just a poor written backdoor pilot for Ravenswood (except for one major reveal), doesn’t the last episode seem like forever ago?
  • Exactly how much time has past?  If we are using Ravenswood (and Caleb’s return) as a barometer then I would say about a week to a week and a half.  What have the girls been doing in that time?  Did they not discuss Allison’s return until now.
  • What is Aria wearing?  I mean just in life it’s pretty bad, but these weird red and black pants seem worse than usual.
  • Did Ezra need to be quite so shady all the time?  I LOVE that Ezra is A (don’t go back on that one, Marlene!) and I love the little things that they add in to highlight this (the Jekyll and Hyde lesson and the highlighted Evil Under the Sun book cover spring to mind), but dude needs to stop acting so shady all the time.  That was the fun of him being A.  He was this perfect guy and then all of a sudden you’re blindsided by this intense evil.  They dialed it back a bit by the end of the episode, but the music certainly wasn’t doing him any favors.  Making Ezra just be Ezra will make those moments where he shows his true face (like in the confrontation with Mona) even more powerful.
  • Speaking of Mona, I know the hashtag ABCFamily was pushing was #MonaKnows, but does she really?  If so, what does she know?  Also, how does she know it?  Why doesn’t she know it until now?  What was her endgame in confronting Ezra?  Lots of questions that will hopefully be answered soon.
  • Didn’t Mrs. DiLaurentis say last season that Jason was restoring his Grandmother’s house in North (or maybe South) Carolina?  Is he done?  Why is he on a road trip now?
  • Why is Spencer’s dad so into shutting down Radley? Spencer did not seem so into the idea.
  • Why is Toby’s hair so puffy?  And when did I start kind of hating Spoby?  Move on Spencer, you can do better.
  • Why does Caleb have to be so shady about Ravenswood?  Why couldn’t he just say, “Hey, Hanna, it seems I have some deep family roots in Ravenswood and you know how I grew up a foster kid so I am really interested in family now that I know mine and really want to check this out.  It might be a little while and you need to be there for your mom since she just got out of jail and all, but we’ll totally skype and it’s a short trip so I can visit sometimes, but I love you and am absolutely not cheating on you with the annoying runaway girl.”?
  • Was there like a weird club of narcissistic blondes?  Seems this new Sara girl is right in the vein of Allison and Cece?  Are there more?  Do they meet and trade notes on how to be the bitchiest?
  • Was it really necessary to make Sara’s story almost exactly like Allison’s?  I think your audience can draw parallels without having Hanna and Emily sitting across from fakeHanna and fakeEmily.

2014 Resolutions, or Things I’m Motivated To Do For About A Month

Jen and I have ended 2013 being extremely busy and grateful for a wild year. Jen is currently cavorting around Walt Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (so much nerd jealousy), so I’ve taken it upon myself to post some resolutions.

1. Visit Jen in New Orleans

This amount of fabulous can only happen once a year.  Maybe twice.

This amount of fabulous can only happen once a year. Maybe twice.

Jen was able to come out to California and wreck havoc all across SoCal. Now it’s my turn to try and keep up with her New Orleanian liver.

2. Be more organized

Probably won't make it too far.

Probably won’t make it too far.

I’ve got a calendar for my personal stuff, work stuff, bills stuff, blog stuff and dinner stuff. Let’s see how well I can maintain them.

3. Read more books

Just some light reading.

Just some light reading.

As of 1/1/2014, I want to read – Gone Girl (by Gillian Flynn), The Flying Greek (by Col. Steve Pisanos), The Song of the Quarkbeast (by Jasper Fford), The Eye of Zoltar (by Jasper Fford), The Kingdom Keepers (by Ridley Pearson), A Casual Vacancy (by JK Rowling)…and that’s just for January!

4. Visit Walt Disney World and freak out over the new Fantasyland

Excited asian children

Jen has been sending me pictures of new Fantasyland, and I’m trying my hardest to teleport myself over there. There is a Rapunzel themed bathroom. I need to go.

5. Get back into swing dancing

awkward-danceDid it for 4 years while living in NYC. I think it’s time to get back into doing swing. It also helps that Disneyland offers swing dancing every Friday and Saturday evening. Just sayin’.

6.  Try to make it through Saving Mr. Banks without crying.

crying

Yes, it’ll probably take me all of 2014 to be able to watch it with a minimal amount of Kleenex.  I’ve seen it twice now, and I cried more the second time than I did the first.