Last night after watching a college football game and pondering why exactly I find college sports so unethical and grody, and then getting bored, and then getting interested again when the guy broke his arm horribly in slow-mo and all the color commentators went “OOOOH!” but all I could think about was (a) that kid won’t play football again for a long time and maybe he’s like Smash Williams and all his hopes are set on the NFL and blah blah and (b) it’s crazy that that kid has, like, a comm studies midterm tomorrow or something, like he’s supposed to be expected to care about his comm studies midterm. Like, that these are STUDENTS, supposedly. “Sorry I didn’t study, I was breaking my arm on national television while 20,000 people booed at me for being a pussy.”
So, that paragraph began with an incomplete sentence. Last night after all that stuff I just said, Steve put on the new scary tv show on FX that stars none other than Connie Britton, who of course was TAMMI TAYLOR on the great “Friday Night Lights,” also football-related.
I love Connie Britton. I wish she would win a million Oscars.
This show is called “American Horror Story,” and it has that weird art-nouveau font even though it is set in the present day. Is art nouveau a particularly frightening period of font? At any rate, there it is.
This show stars Connie Britton and a grizzled Dylan McDermott and his naked butt as two very strange people who are married, and shortly before the show begins Connie Britton has a horrible miscarriage involving having to give birth to a 7 month old dead child. I knew this would be the case before it was even hinted at by the dialogue, however, because the opening scene sets up the hauntedness of the pivotal house that’s the whole point of the show, and this hauntedness involves some sort of horrible toddler-ghost with sharp teeth. Ghost baby = whoever’s moving into the house has to have baby issues. Now we get to watch a uterine-traumatized Connie Britton get menaced by a horrible zombie toddler who will undoubtedly call her “Mommy” at some point.
Dylan McDermott is either a sex addict or one of the most unrealistic portrayals of a human being I have ever seen. We first meet him when his traumatized wife comes home and hears noises and calls the cops thinking there’s an intruder in her house, then she goes upstairs with a knife in her trembling hand, only to find it’s her husband fucking one of his mental patients in their marital bed. She stabs him in the arm. Later he walks in on the housemaid masturbating in the living room and IMMEDIATELY rips such a huge boner that he has to run upstairs and take off all his clothes and jerk off in front of an open window.
Anyway, after the opening cheating scene, we cut to some amount of time later and they are moving into the haunted house in L.A. Many really tasteless throwaway jokes are made about how the previous owners were gay. The house is really beautiful! Were the previous owners gay? “What do you think?” says the realtor. LOL. Then later Jessica Lange makes a crack about how ugly the wallpaper is. “I thought those people were supposed to have good taste.” wah wah wah, hilarious.
Then it turns out the gay couple murder-suicided themselves right in that very house and that’s why the house is so cheap. The house, just to let you know, looks like the fucking Getty museum or something. What is with people in movies/tv somehow being billionaires all the time? Do psychiatrists make that much money, that they can afford to buy a perfectly preserved 18-bedroom Victorian mansion in Los Angeles? how much did that murder-suicide bring the price down, like, 99%? He doesn’t even seem like a very good psychiatrist. The only two patients we see him with are (1) the girl he fucks in his wife’s bed and (2) a creepy boy who he immediately is unable to keep from sneaking into his house and corrupting his daughter seemingly every moment of the day. Probably a good tip for a psychiatrist who seems to have mostly just psychotically-troubled violent teenage boys as patients is maybe you shouldn’t hold your practice at your home address where your moody daughter is wandering around cutting herself with razor blades?
This show has a really scary opening credits sequence. “If I watch the show does it mean I have to watch this every week?” squealed Steve, covering his eyes. There are old-timey photos of terrifying children, and those turn-of-the-century photos of dead babies people used to take, and terrible jump cuts and scary music.
I really don’t understand how this show can sustain for even another episode, much less multiple seasons. SO MUCH SHIT has already hit the fan, and it was just the first episode!
So they move into the haunted house. Then immediately Ruth from Six Feet Under, who I ADORE, shows up and is like “I’m the housekeeper, I’ve always been the housekeeper,” like yes, we get it, Creators of American Horror Story, you’ve seen the Shining, and then Connie Britton is like “I don’t need a housekeeper” but then Ruth is like “you should wash the floor with vinegar” and Britton goes “I like that, it’s more natural” and then somehow Ruth is hired even though she’s mean and has a creepy glass eye or something.
Then Dylan McDermott comes in and sees her, but through HIS eyes (due to some mischief of the haunted house no doubt. Either that or Dylan McDermott is literally a crazy person) Ruth looks like a foxy sexed-up little missy in a slatternly french maid outfit. He’s like “Hummana hummana WHO’S THIS?” and she’s like “check out my garter belt, can you tell I am a character written by 13 year old boys?” and he’s like “guess what–SO AM I, this gross sexual relationship is going to make A LOT OF SENSE”
Later he’s making out with her and his daughter sees, and of course to her it looks like he’s making out with Ruth from Six Feet Under, who, while amazing, is really probably too old for that to be anything but kind of icky, especially to somebody’s teenaged daughter. Also p.s. THE SHINING (old dead lady in bathtub who appears to J. Nicholson as sexy model-type female!)
Dylan McDermott and his sex addiction! Because then LISTEN TO THIS. He comes in and Connie Britton’s stripping the gay guys’ tacky wallpaper off a mural that’s underneath, and the mural of course is all horrible monster scenes, and she’s like “WTF” and then McDermott—her husband who fucked his patient in their bed while she was recovering from having given birth to a dead baby–comes up behind her and is all “you look so sexy, yeah baby” and tries to honk her boobs, and she’s like “stop, gross!” and then he FREAKS OUT and screams at her about how they haven’t had sex in forever and how long is she going to punish him blah blah, and she’s like “what? I’m not punishing you, I think you are GROSS, and also I don’t want a penis up in there ever again because I’m traumatized!” and then he screams at her because when their baby died she got a dog instead of paying more attention to him. And it’s horrible and they hate each other and they’re both crying!
THEN THEY HAVE SEX
Then in the very next scene, Britton is getting ready for bed, and she looks up and sees somebody standing in the bedroom doorway wearing the full-body gimp suit they found earlier hanging in the attic.
UM. Well, what would you do in this situation? You’d
2. be like “Dylan McDermott HOLY SHIT, what the FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU”
3. realize it’s not Dylan McDermott under there
4. scream more
5. start stabbing and doing high-velocity crotch kicks
3. realize it really is D.M. under there
4. punch him in the face and divorce him immediately
No, if you were someone who had recently given birth to a dead baby and then immediately found her husband fucking a young girl in your bed in your home, and then 5 seconds previous to the whole gimp-suit thing you’d been screaming and sobbing at that same husband about how the idea of him touching you makes your skin crawl, and then he turns up in a gimp suit…..you immediately have sex with him. ALSO during THE ENTIRE TIME you are fucking you don’t speak a single word to each other (thus betraying that it was not him in the gimp suit). ALSO, you never mention this encounter to one another ever, at any point (thus allowing it to come up that it was not him in the gimp suit). Are these people just incredibly kinky? If so I feel the show should have set that up more explicitly.
Also of course she immediately gets pregnant, from fucking the gimp suit guy, whoever he was. Why are rich educated people on TV constantly getting accidentally pregnant? You’re a grown-ass millionaire woman who clearly has a Master’s degree in something, you really are still surprised that a sperm gets in there and makes a baby? The shocking pregnancy is perhaps my least favorite fictional plot device. Yes, I realize people get accidentally pregnant but it is just crazy to me that Connie Britton’s character could possibly not be aware that fucking people might put another baby inside her scarred horrifying uterus. And obviously the baby is haunted (Rosemary’s Baby) and is going to, I don’t know, eat its way out of her body, or give her nightmares, or have to be squirted out and stabbed with a fork or something. I’m sure there will be some kind of horrible hospital room lit for some reason by a swinging bare bulb even though it’s the year 2011 and I’m pretty sure hospitals have the whole electricity thing down by now.
Also GIMP SUIT
(also is it really called a gimp suit? I only call it that because of Pulp Fiction. But when I google imaged “gimp suit american horror story” I got tons of images of the gimp suit. Do we all call it that because of Pulp Fiction, or did they call it that in Pulp Fiction because that’s what it’s called? This is some Socrates shit up in here)
So Connie Britton fucks this guy in a gimp suit who is clearly not her husband. I mean, you can see that he has different colored eyes and is blonde. I mean, am I crazy??? Meanwhile her husband has taken off all his clothes (which he does at least four times in the pilot episode, including one time where you clearly see “side wiener”) and is burning his own hand over the stove in the kitchen. Then creepy-southern-neighbor-with-retarded-daughter Jessica Lange comes in and is like “go back to bed, it’s not your time.”
Clearly creepy-neighbor and Ruth the sexy old lady housemaid are in cahoots about the house in some way. Also the opening scene in 1978 showed Lange’s retarded daughter predict the deaths of two shitty twins who go into the haunted house and smash things and then the dead toddler ghost eats them. (p.s. Twins/The Shining) Then Connie Britton is stripping wallpaper and suddenly the grown-up retarded girl pops up behind her and yells “YOU’RE GONNA DIE IN HERE”
What else? So much happened! The teenaged daughter gets in a fight at school and then tricks the mean popular girl to come to her house to buy cocaine (?) and then when the girl gets there the psychotic mental patient who is courting the daughter attacks her and it’s like the toddler ghost inhabits his body and bites her face off or something
there are also a lot of dismembered baby parts pickled in jars on the shelves down in the basement. And a dead possum with blood oozing out. And a dream sequence where the teenage mental patient is wearing full-face skull makeup and goes to his high school and murders everybody. And then later he’s sitting in the daughter’s room and she goes “Do you wanna listen to Morissey? He’s cool. He hates everything too.” and the boy goes, “You got any Kurt Cobain?”
YOU GOT ANY KURT COBAIN
“Kurt Cobain’s solo material” Steve suggested.
I love Connie Britton so much but I am not sold on this show. It’s so zany, there’s so much going on. I didn’t even tell you about how Denis O’Hare with half his face burned off chases Dylan McDermott while he’s jogging and then is all “YOU HAVE TO MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE, IT’S EVIL, EVIL I TELL’S YA!!!!” and then he says that the house made him kill his wife and two daughters (the shining) and he went to prison for triple homicide but they let him out when he got brain cancer (?? pretty sure that’s not a thing, like, “oh sorry Jeffrey Dahmer, you’ve got a brain tumor, here, you can just go, good luck man”). Then McDermott is like “get away from me you creepy old gross burned guy” and then Denis O’Hare laughs to himself??
I love Denis O’Hare.
But really, slow down a bit, show! It’s like they put slips of paper with horror movie clichés on them in a big bingo machine and then pulled them out randomly. “guy with fucked up face” “inappropriate laughing” “baby parts in jar” “scary dead baby” “twins” “haunted house psychologically manipulating people” “creepy uterus problems” “troubled teens” “dog barking at nothing” “man killing own family” “gay guys with bad taste in wallpaper”
I would probably watch another episode.
Look, I just found this: The 10 Biggest WTF Moments from the premiere of this show! Obviously they mention the gimp suit. And the gratuitous McDermott nudity! Really they mention everything I just mentioned, proving not only that I do not have a very original mind but also that the shit that’s crazy in this show is super super in-your-face obvious. I kind of recommend you all go watch it immediately so we can discuss.
“How long can a weekly series survive once the home occupants notice the house is haunted? Are we really supposed to tune in and sympathize with idiots who remain in this horrible place?”
also this quote from a NYT review:
“If you like the jar with the baby’s leg, wait until you see the jar holding the baby’s head. If one actress with Down syndrome doesn’t provide enough Tod Browning-style otherness for you, don’t worry — there are two. If the line about snorting cocaine off a high school girl’s nipples doesn’t do it for you, maybe the scene of the sobbing naked man masturbating will.”
We decided that instead of just the “intended for mature audiences only” warning at the beginning, they should do the full movie-theater explicit warning system (like “smoking, language, vehicular manslaughter”) and that it should say “Contains naked butts, side wieners, and weird sex”