Word #38221: eh, close enough.

“This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who.”

The important thing is that I’ve got some new drugs that seem to be working (like, legit medications prescribed by my doctor, not tainted utopium), so I should be able to get, well, not back on track. But on a track. Good enough.

So, this NaNo didn’t work out as well as I hoped, but there’s always next year.

Search terms: you ask, I answer

This is one of my favorite games to play on my other blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it here. I feel it’s only polite to try to help those who visit me seeking something specific. Luckily, WordPress can tell me what they were looking for.

real dornish peppers: It would have been better for you to hear this from a loved one, but I’m afraid there’s not a real Dorne. I imagine you could substitute any of several varieties of chili?

things that are not scary: Macaroons. Napkins. Toothpaste. The Blair Witch Project.

sansa loves lemon cakes: Yep.

jen rasmussen hawaii nude: Not that I recall.

richard armitage butt: Seriously, four of you in the last thirty days? I am not the proper resource for this. Meaning no offense to Mr. Armitage, there aren’t very many people whose butts I care to know stuff about.

american horror story briefly topics: Ghosts, aliens, medical experiments gone awry, odd explanations for the Black Dahlia, creepy clowns, creepy nuns, creepy war criminals, completely uncreepy and nonsensical witches, serial killers, and ladies who want babies. Not in that order.

info on murder of jen rasmussen: I imagine I’d be the last to know.

we found a witch may we burn her: How do you know she’s a witch?

jen scary thing: Not generally. Maybe if that Hawaii thing was true.

where do you send for letter to cary fukunaga: I can’t help with this, but if you write to him, tell him I loved his Jane Eyre!

four and tris with supernatural powers: I agree this would be cool.

excessive planning: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS.

i would always rather be happy than dignified: Jane and I both approve.

mr rochester x reader lemon: This is almost certainly code for something, but as I’m not a Cold War spy, I don’t know what. Perhaps my commenters can offer suggestions, if it wouldn’t blow their cover.

Devil babies, frankenboys, and things that make you throw food

Spoiler content – minor for American Horror Story: Coven

I just caught up with episode two of American Horror Story and was pleased to find it so much better than the first. Mainly because of the performances, but the lack of magical killer girlbits was also welcome. Plus I was delighted right in the first three minutes, when they dressed Lily Rabe like Stevie Nicks while playing Stevie Nicks in the background. (Would’ve been better if she didn’t have a speech about Nicks later, but you know, you’re not coming to AHS for subtlety.) The life-death focus of each storyline made this episode feel more cohesive. But some of those storylines were stronger than others.

Frankentate, I don’t even know what to do with that.

Cordelia’s infertility thing just made me ask a lot of questions, especially about that husband who came out of nowhere. Because I thought she lived at the school? She must if she’s waking the girls up in the morning right? Surely they don’t just keep sleeping until she gets up, showers, has breakfast, then commutes? So does the husband live there with her, but he’s mostly invisible unless needed for a sex ritual? How does that work, an adult unaffiliated with the school, still getting to live there among the children? This is just like how I used to obsess about whether Hogwarts teachers could get married and have families or not. I mean, you can’t apparate onto the grounds, so the commute… Anyway. Assuming she got pregnant from that ritual, will this be a devil baby? Please if it is, can we pretty please have a guest visit from Sister Mary Satan, raised from the dead to be his nanny?

And then there’s the big thread, the one that delivers not only Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates, but also the overall premise. Which seems to be that the Salem witches were real, except not the ones who were actually convicted, except for Tituba, who is the one who taught them witchcraft in the first place, only to be betrayed by them and turned in, so the witch-types and the voodoo-types have hated each other ever since. Okay, whatever. Convoluted and bizarre and demonstrating a complete disregard for all sorts of facts, but high marks for creativity, with extra points for delivering the exposition in that truly marvelous salon scene. When Fiona paused mid-catfight to wave Marie off with a quick “no more spray,” I almost choked on my tea. So much win. And Kathy Bates, as hoped, is making Madame LaLaurie more engaging to watch than she has any right to be. The chemistry between Lange and both Bassett and Bates is as good as their individual performances. Honestly, I could watch these three all day.

In fact, I’d love to see more of them in exchange for less doe-eyed, open-mouthed Taissa Farmiga. Really Zoe, is it that much to ask for you to think faster than a cauliflower on occasion, and also breathe through your nose? You know that nasal breathing has major health benefits, right? I quite liked Farmiga in the first season so I have to assume this is bad direction and not her fault, or else that it’s intentional because they really want me to throw cookies at my TV out of frustration at my inability to punch her in the face.

Either way, I’ll keep watching this week. I’ll just maybe eat the cookies beforehand.

 

We found a witch, may we burn her?

Did you watch the premiere of American Horror Story? What did you think? Me, I didn’t love it. But I’m reserving judgment. For one thing, my expectations may have been too high. For another, sometimes that show takes me a little while to process.

But thus far it’s sorely lacking in the fresh and interesting department. There were an awful lot of tropes flying around that screen, almost too many to count. This show has always played with tropes but these weren’t being played with in any new or compelling ways. As far as I can see, they weren’t really being played with at all. They were just there. Which is fine if the showrunners are being intentionally campy, but are they? I’m not sure they are. I’m not sure some of those images they mixed in there can play campy.

And why are you hiring all this great talent if this is all you’re going to do with it? Because I don’t think it takes a cast full of award winners to play these roles. Jessica Lange is delightful as always, but oh look, it’s another messy aging bitch hiding her fragility beneath a veneer of cigarette smoke and destruction. Considering the past two seasons, this isn’t exactly new territory they’re taking her to, is it? I’m disappointed with the way they’re using (or not) Lily Rabe. And Kathy Bates is always excellent, but she seems to have been given a role, um, without a lot of dimension to it. All she’s missing is a mustache to twirl.

And the gore. Too much with the gore and the blood and the torture. I’m not objecting due to sensitivity, but on a storytelling level. AHS has never been your go-to for subtlety and nuance, but still. An insane butcher-doctor or a mullet-sporting serial killer torturing and mutilating people is one thing, but witchcraft should be more sophisticated than that, no? I mean, it’s got the word craft right in the name. Where’s the craft here?

On the plus side: The lighting and camera work were sufficiently creepy in the style we’ve come to expect. And I would like to congratulate the folks who do the title sequence on what is possibly their most disturbing and grossest one yet.