Oct 31, 2013


Last week two of the comedy shows stole scenes from Friends (I can't guarantee Friends scriptwriters did not borrow the material from somewhere else, but from what I remember, they mainly stole from themselves). I watched Friends over a billion times, so that could not have gone unnoticed.

Modern Family introduced a male nanny, and not only they repeated all the key features of Sandy from Friends, they also referred to him as "manny" - Chandler used the word, 'cause in Tulsa, where he worked at the time, people had a tendency to merge words. Unlike Sandy, Modern Family's "manny" stayed, even though he predictably made the man of the house feel uncomfortable.

The second scene was in The Big Bang Theory, where Penny, after failing to be romantic, shows Leonard a box where she keeps all the stuff reminding of what he did for her. This was a copy from the episode where Rachel, after being confronted over returning gifts, brought a box with all sorts of crap from dates with Ross, because she's keeping things that matter.

The original was better both times, of course.

Oct 25, 2013


I think this was the worst episode in the history of AHS. I understand it's hard to maintain the reputation of a "shocking cable show" when all the major news networks show an X-ray of fetus with the bullet in its scull in broad daylight, but unlike real life, fiction cannot afford the luxury of showing things that "just happen", everything that takes place in the good show has to be justified somehow. This is something that I felt was definitely lacking in The Replacements.

Well, let's start, shall we?

The episode begins with the flashback to 1971, which reveals how Fiona got to be the Supreme witch and what was the thing that Spalding saw. Basically, she slit the throat of the previous Supreme, Anna Leigh, after she said she would never let Fiona take the witch throne. The most important piece of information in this act is that as the new Supreme "blossoms", the old one fades away and dies.

In our days Fiona visits some bar, and the scene from the last season is sort of repeated: men stopped wanting her (off: Jessica's voiceover sounded so much better than Taissa's), so she's decided to do the face lift. Her daughter, after failing to conceive a child with the help of snake sex, wants to try IVF (I assume); both women hear the bad news from their doctors: no one would dare to operate on them, their immune system is too weak.

Madame LaLaurie watches Obama giving speech on TV and does what Republicans did on the election night - weeps. Fiona makes her the house maid (or go back to the box!) and later - Queenie's personal slave.

Zoe visits Kyle's "white trash" mother and after seeing how much she mourns her late son (she nearly hanged herself), thinks of a great idea: why not return the Frankenstein monster home? She goes to the swamps, where Misty's managed to get rid of almost all the scars on his body, except for the ones that divide the body from his neck (it is probably meant to stress how different Kyle is from all the frat boys and their parts). Crazy Nicks fan doesn't want to let the boy go and becomes very aggressive, but he seems to want to leave her, and so Zoe successfully delivers him to his mommy.

A very different (and very religious) mother Joan and her attractive young son Luke move in next door to the witch school. Madison and Nan visit their home with cake, where the former has a conflict with Joan and uses her powers to throw knifes and burn curtains. The religious freak comes to Fiona with the Bible to tell what happened and demand that the witches stay away from her home. The Supreme suspects that Madison is her successor and takes the girl out to play pool and test her power.

Cordelia pays a visit to Marie Laveau asking to put a fertility spell on her (with goat's blood and a jar of sperm included), but Marie refuses to help her enemy's daughter.

Turns out Kyles was being repeatedly molested by his mother and when she tries to have sex with him (for the second time after his return), he kills her with his trophy screaming "NO". Zoe comes to the house and sees what he's done.

Delphine is cooking for Queenie, when she notices her Minotaur house boy outside. Queenie goes out and asks the monster to love her (physically), which he seemingly does, but probably not in the way she imagined.

Fiona is convinced that Madison is the new Supreme and asks the girl to kill her. Madison doesn't want to, so they engage in a fight and eventually experience wins: Fiona cuts the young witch's throat and Spalding sees it again. "This coven doesn't need a new Supreme", - Fiona summarizes - "it needs a new rug".

I can practically see what the creative process of AHS writers was, when they were thinking of what kind of horrible stuff they can put into the show. "Let's make Kyle kill his mother!" "But he's good" "OK, what if she's done bad things to him" "Like what?" "Incest?!"

In the first episode Peters' character didn't look traumatized enough to justify this kind of skeleton in the closet, IMO. Same with Queenie, she did not seem that desperate to explain why she would want to have her first sexual experience with a monster. Oh, well.

Oct 18, 2013


I still struggle to accept the new reality of AHS, mainly because it's a bit too cheesy and neither scary or funny enough to justify that. But I looove Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates together, LaLaurie character is very funny. I find it hard to root for Zoe, luckily, she stopped narrating, so there's not too much of her. Lily Rabe's role doesn't seem to suit her that well, I liked her as the devil more.

Anyway, back to the story:

A couple of alligator hunters are checking their traps, then they hear a Stevie Nicks song and find Misty Day wandering around the gator corpses. She's looking all Mother Earth and acting like a PETA activist. Long story short, she revives the dead animals, who brutally murder the men. Somehow, she doesn't feel much pity for humans, hmm.

In the academy, Zoe mourns Kyle while Fiona asks LaLaurie how she manages to stay alive for all these years. Cordelia interrupts by calling everyone for the morning witch gathering, which looks more like some AA meeting. Queenie tells the story of how she ended up in the school: she used her voodoo doll magic to deep-fry an annoying fast food chain customer's hand. The meeting is cut short by homicide detectives, who came to question Madison and Zoe about the bus crash. At first the girls manage to stay calm, but after Zoe is asked about the accident survivor, who died after she paid him a visit in the hospital just like her late boyfriend, she breaks and tells them everything. The witch stuff too. Luckily, Fiona comes in to save the day: she forces the officers to drink a glass of water with her spit, which seemed to have erased their memory. She then warns the girls that she's the one they need to be scared of.

Cordelia and her husband are trying for a baby the dark magic way (with snakes and blood and spells and fire) after the modern medicine has failed them.

Fiona finds out what happened to LaLaurie 180 years ago and pays a visit to Marie Laveau's hair salon to learn the immortality secret. They trade some quips; regular and voodoo witches don't seem to get along. After Fiona leaves (thanks for nothing and the hair extensions suck too!), Marie goes to the secret room with her Minotaur lover still alive.

Madison takes Zoe to the morgue to resurrect Kyle. The bus crash was so proper, they had to construct his body from various parts of his mates. At first, it seems the spell didn't work, but then Zoe sends Madison outside to say goodbye to the boy and kisses the sleeping beauty. The guard guy interrupts, but Kyle suddenly wakes up and protects Zoe from him. She takes him out of the morgue and can't decide where to drive him, but then Misty shows her presence in the car and suggests to go to the swamps. They come to Misty's hut where she puts some sort of dirt on the monster-boy (who can't speak or act like a human) which is supposed to help him heal. Zoe recognizes Misty as the burnt girl from Cordelia's story, Misty is very happy to see somebody like her. She suggests to leave Kyle with her and hopes Zoe would visit.

Oct 11, 2013


Ryan Murphy has been cursed. Whatever TV show he's working on, after a couple of great seasons he just goes beyond weird, bizarre and "what the fuck?". Luckily, American Horror Story has always been abnormal, to say the least, so the fact that Murphy's curse has started to affect it almost doesn't bother me.

All of the (significant) regulars shined in the first episode: Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy and Lily Rabe; many of the first season cast members are also back: Taissa Farmiga, Denis O'Hare and Jamie Brewer.

The episode begins with the flashback to the 19th century where Madame Delphine LaLaurie (portrayed by Kathy Bates) is torturing her black servants and turns one of them into Minotaur. This all gotta mean that the Great American Horror of this season is slavery.

In our days, Zoe Benson (Farmiga) inadvertently kills her boyfriend: she's a witch and her gift is the ability to cause men's blood seek its way out through the eyes, nose and ears when they have sex with her. This got to be the worst gift ever! Anyway, she's been sent  to New Orleans special boarding school for witches. She meets a few fellow students: bloodthirsty teen movie star Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), the living voodoo doll Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and the girl who knows everything about everyone else and doesn't hesitate to make the information public Nan (Brewer). The school is run by Cordelia Foxx (Paulson) who's teaching girls to keep their heads low and use their gifts carefully. She tells them the story of a girl called Misty (Rabe) who wasn't careful enough when bringing dead things back to life and was burnt.

Meanwhile, Cordelia's mother, the Supreme witch Fiona (Lange) is on the quest for everlasting youth. She turns to science with all the stem cell nonsense, which naturally brings nothing but disappointment. Eventually, she comes to the witch school determined to teach the girls, despite her daughter's objections. (BTW, Fiona was the one to bring the name of Hogwarts up; self irony detected).

Madison and Zoe attend some party where the latter meets a nice frat boy Kyle (Peters), while the former is being gang raped by his pals. Kyle intervenes the activity and ends up being knocked out on the bus floor as the boys try to escape. Madison then uses her magic and flips the bus over. Tragic.

The next morning Fiona takes the girls to the LaLaurie house. The tour guide reveals Madame's miserable ending: one day the black witch who happened to be in love with the guy who turned to half bull half human avenged his suffering. But she did not kill the sadist socialite. Nan heard LaLaurie's cry for help from six feet under and showed Fiona where she's buried alive. Fiona with the help of two guys digs the damned woman out.

Zoe visits the hospital where the only two survivors of the bus crash were said to be. She prays for Kyle to be alive, but we all know that the worst ones always live: the rape initiator was still breathing instead. She can't let him go on, so she sits on top of him and uses her magic powers to drain him from his blood.

In my opinion, a few things were off: for example, Fiona seems to be able to magically convince people to do something for her (e.g. give the tour for free), yet she had to blackmail the scientist to give her the the treatment. I also think Zoe's gift is extremely uncool and I don't get why she would use it in the hospital, 'cause there are so many other ways to kill an unconscious guy. If they were going for the "poetic justice" of sorts, as the guy was kind of raped too, it didn't feel that way, not really. Finally, I didn't enjoy the occasional first person narration (I hate it in movies), all the more so, because Farmiga is not particularly good at monologues.

Clearly, Misty and Kyle are not really dead and there are so many spoilers by Murphy and the cast this season that we don't even have to doubt it.

Also, Coven reminds Murder House very much, not only because the actors from the first season are back, not only because of Farmiga and Peters duet, but because the characters personality-wise are very similar to those from the first season. Fiona is very Constance, Zoe is very Violet, Spalding at least as ugly as Larry and even Cordelia resembles Billie Dean.

All the minor issues aside, American Horror Story seems to be the only watchable series this season, so there's no surprise the premiere broke the show's ratings record: the viewers count was up by 44% comparing to the Asylum debut. I liked the glam, the witch stuff, the cast and characters and I'm very excited to see what happens next.

Oct 3, 2013


I watched the first episode last night just to see where the series goes without Mike Kelley. I never expected I could say this, but it got so much worse! The dialogues never were the best part of Revenge, but they weren't that bad, now it's like reading a cheesy pocket book written by some miserable housewife (you know, the one where half naked man holds a woman on the cover). The characters have lost the remains of their volume, their actions are in no way based on their nature (Nolan Ross won't do the hacking? wtf?) or the past. Everything in the best traditions of Mexican soap operas.

ABC has done the impossible. They managed to fuck up a bad show.