Why I’m Disappointed With American Horror Story: Hotel
WARNING: Contains spoilers!
If I had to describe this season with one word, it would be ‘overindulgent’. Too flashy, too much gore, too-long episodes, too much. These things can be good in moderation but if you have too much, you’re going to get sick of it. Welcome to American Horror Story: Hotel, everyone!
I have been a fan of American Horror Story since the first installment, Murder House, when I would hurry home after school to watch the latest recorded episode. That was five years ago and the show has evolved, or rather devolved, a lot since then. I was looking forward to this season, especially when I heard it would be set at a hotel. What a great setting, I thought, I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with it. I was less excited about Lady Gaga being cast, not because I’m not a fan of her music, but because musicians aren’t usually the best actors unless you’re Beyoncé, Lenny Kravitz, or Harry Connick Jr. But hey, Matt Bomer is going to be in it, so yum… that’ll make up for any bad acting, right? Right? Wrong. Dead wrong. No amount of eye candy could ever detract from awkward acting disguised in Adam Lambert-esque fashion. This is truly the stuff of nightmares.
This season began with an especially violent scene obviously written in for pure shock value which this season seems to rely on. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say my bum hurt from secondhand pain. We are then introduced to Los Angeles homicide Detective, John Lowe (Wes Bentley), who is investigating a chain of shocking murders that seem to be inspired by the Ten Commandents. In my opinion, these scenes were the best part of the show- the crime novel Noir and Seven inspired storyline that should’ve been given more air time. Detective Lowe is dealing with family drama after his son, Holden (Lennon Henry), disappears one day at the beach. The boy’s disappearance is also causing a strain on his marriage. His wife, Alex, is portrayed by Chloe Sevigny who was also featured in American Horror Story: Asylum. He eventually gets a tip that leads him to Hotel Cortez, where the main story is taking place. He checks in and we wonder if he’ll ever check out.
Lady Gaga portrays The Countess, a vampire and the owner of the hotel. We also find that she keeps a room full of pale, lethargic vampire children but more on that mess later. The hotel manager is Iris (Kathy Bates), who stays behind to watch after her ex-junkie son, Donovan (Matt Bomer). He’s a vampire too and the lover of the Countess. But not for long as she grows bored of Donovan who would rather just stay home, chill, and watch Netflix. We feel your pain, Donovan, we feel your pain. She finds herself a younger beau, Tristan Duffy (Finn Wittrock), who is a model and, yet again, a junkie. The Countess really knows how to pick ’em.
Wait, wait. It gets better. We find out that the Countess’s first husband was the founder of Hotel Cortez, Mr. March (Evan Peters), who was a sadistic serial killer and still haunts the hotel to this day. Talk about problems with the ex! Other appearances are Denis O’ Hare as Liz Taylor, a transgender employee at the hotel (possibly the best character on the show), Mare Winningham as the maid who just loves removing blood stains from the bed sheets, and Sarah Paulson as Hypodermic Sally (An adult ripoff of the Monster High characters?). Also making appearances are Lily Rabe as the infamous serial killer Aileen Wournos, and Angela Bassett as Ramona Royale, ex-actress and The Countess’s former lover.
I feel like the series is going through a weird, hipster phase. I mean, blonde, blood-sucking children in boarding school uniforms (Why are they in uniform? They sure aren’t attending school or going out into the sunlight!) trapped in a white, futuristic room where they’re content playing vintage video games for all of enternity? And what’s with the glass coffins they sleep in? This isn’t Snow White!
Also, I’m just not a vampire kind of gal and frankly, they are way overdone in pop culture. We’ve got 100 vampire TV shows already. We really don’t need another! Certainly not glam rock vampires… yikes! That’s the scariest thing about this show and I don’t mean that as a compliment. If they wanted to go along the same line, why not hotel cannibals? At least that’s less done than vampires.
It might be noteworthy to add that this is the first season without Jessica Lange. I think that instead of replacing Lange with Gaga (and this is her first season, by the way), they should have put an AHS veteran at the forefront in Lange’s place such as Sarah Paulson. She’s both talented and loved enough to lead the story and if we can’t have Jessica Lange, we don’t want a newcomer.
But then again, I did think that AHS: Freakshow, with the exception of the initial episode, was a good season with an exciting plot and phenomenal performances all around and that’s an unpopular opinion. So I can’t, and don’t intend to, speak for all fans of the series.
However, ratings have decreased this season, so I must not be the only one who feels this way. Maybe the writers need to rewatch the first seasons to remind themselves what makes AHS so great and remember that some things are better in moderation.
What do you think about AHS: Hotel? Let us know in the comments!