The latest season of American Horror Story sees a recurrence of most of the series regular actors (Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Angela Bassett, Chloe Sevigny) as well as some that are welcome additions from Ryan Murphy’s other work (Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson) and the completely new and fun addition of Lady Gaga as The Countess.
This season is not quite as graphic as some, though it involves a lot of throat slitting, so be prepared for that. However, there are some really fun characters and story lines that are enjoyable without any kind of weird ick factor. Or with a whole lot of weird ick factors, depending on your perspective.
There is the story of Donovan (Matt Bomer) who has been spurned by the Countess, who turned him into a vampire, and his relationship with his mother, Iris (Kathy Bates), with whom he has a very damaged, unhealthy and co-dependent relationship.
Then there is John Lowe (Wes Bentley), a police detective who has had a lot of problems since his son was kidnapped. Little does he know that the Countess kidnapped him. As a result of the loss, John and his wife, Alex (Chloe Sevigny) have a very fractured relationship, from which their daughter suffers the most.
There is the immortal serial killer James March, played by Evan Peters who brings such character to the part that it seems like he’s in a black and white film even when it’s in color (sometimes it actually is shot in black and white), and Liz Taylor (Denis O’Hare) a transgender bartender that feels like he was saved by the Countess.
And, of course, there is the Countess herself. Most of the other characters revolve around her, and Lady Gaga brings a lot of attitude to the role. It’s not a role that requires her to have a lot of acting talent, which isn’t to say she doesn’t, it’s just not evident from the Countess, and it doesn’t need to be. Her makeup and costumes do most of the acting, and Lady Gaga just stares down people and says her lines with great authority, and it just works. It’s easy to see why all the other characters are so intimidated by her.
As the season progresses, many of the story lines begin to become intertwined with each other, and some of them have surprising twists. There are many scenes where you will fear for the safety of Scarlett Lowe, the daughter of John and Alex. The backstory of each character is revealed, and they are interesting and draw you further into the show, making you care about the characters more with each episode, even as you fear what they will do to each other.