Dreading the switch from creepy Halloween television to cheesy Christmas episodes? Don’t be. The solution? Every Wednesday on Fox at 10 p.m, “American Horror Story: Coven” airs to fulfill every sick and twisted desire in a series.
I only have watched three episodes so far and I am completely hooked. The show is a continuation of the entire “American Horror Story” series, written by Ryan Murphy, the creator of “Glee.”
It is truly captivating to see how Murphy created this series of dark and disturbing episodes that contrast so much with his other work in musical comedies. He has a way of creating situations that make things so true to real life today, like the mother and daughter relationships. Yet he is using these examples in the context of witches, or the maid and her zombie daughters, which creates an interesting spin on normal conflicts.
All of the real life struggles and issues that we deal with on the day-to-day are translated into this mystical world, where even with magic these issues are present and real. “Coven” is about revealing the secrets of witchcraft and witches throughout the U.S. in present time.
New teenage witches are being sent to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to become strong and protect themselves due to recent and strange attacks on their kind around the country.
Fiona Good is the supreme, aka the “baddest” witch in town. Played by Jessica Lange, she is the mentor to all the girls. Lange’s character is in a constant battle with destiny because she knows her time is limited as the all-powerful supreme.
One of the girls she is mentoring will eventually take her place unless Good finds out about who it is and “takes care” of her promptly. She has already done so with one of the young witches but guessed wrong, slitting the throat of an aspiring young lady based off of misread signs. To keep her reputation, many lies are told, and she demonstrates not only her magical powers but her ability to manipulate the people and things around her.
The show also has a theme of racism and how it historically split the witches into two clans, and there are still grudges to be held. The strong female cast is ruthless in its rivalries. Sending the enemy’s lover’s head in a box is not off-limits, along with throwing a blinding curse to burn the eyes of a hated witch out of revenge, and even burning a lifelong schoolmate alive at the stake to quiet the doubters. One lead role impossible to miss is the Voodoo queen, played by Angela Bassett. She is a shocking character who can use spells, animals and emotions to do almost anything.
The only thing that can stop her is her enemy, the witches under the hated supreme, Good. The hatred between the characters of Bassett and Lange create an attraction that keeps viewers craving more and more every week.
The New York Times posted a review praising the show.
“We’ve come to expect an eclectic mix from the American Horror Story anthology, and the formula works particularly well in this installment, thanks to uninhibited work by the big-name cast.”