American Horror Story: Coven’ revamps the infamous story of Salem’s witches
DAVID ROMAN |ASST. INSCAPE EDITOR
Have you ever wondered what goes on in the house in New Orleans?
Continuing in its third season, “American Horror Story: Coven” follows two generations of clashing witches based out of the infamously mystical Big Easy, bringing together a strong ensemble of both mature and fresh-faced female actors.
The young witches are coming into their powers and learning to survive in a world where, as Jessica Lange’s character says in the first episode, “… there are no shadows.”
Tassia Farmiga returns this season to the anthology as Zoey, the innocent girl who gets thrown into this world of magic after she accidentally discovers her murderous powers.
And just as you’re beginning to feel the classic tropes turning you off from this witchy drama, Ryan Murphy’s lazy acknowledgment of the typical magical clichés through Zoey in the pilot is just smart enough to draw out a chuckle from the casual viewer.
Easily being the show’s most glaring weakness, Murphy had trouble with weaving this universe’s exposition into the storyline smoothly enough, yet no one can deny that it’s a heavy job to lay the ground work for a new world with every season premiere, and when you just want to jump into the action it’s easy to gloss over slower things like character development, or backstory.
Murphy’s rush to send young witches flying through the air does leave us feeling cheated.
Asylum’s slower, more thorough pacing also didn’t cop out by having a cheesy narration from the young female lead.
Continuing actors in the series include Evan Peters, the wide-ranged and talented Lange, Sarah Paulson whose Cordelia Foxx is a far cry from her role last season as now she runs Murphy’s disturbing version of Hogwarts titled Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies and especially with her on-screen relationship with Lange’s character, the raining Supreme Fiona Goode.
Series actors returning from hiatus include miss Farmiga, Denis O’Hare playing a tongue-less butler at Miss Robichaux’s, the lovely Jamie Brewer as a young clairvoyant and Alexandra Breckenridge in a role yet to be announced.
The new faces that have everybody buzzing include Oscar-nominated Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie, a human voodoo-doll; Emma Roberts playing a flat one-sided troubled starlet who comes off as a quipy valley-girl Carrie except her snappy one-liners tend to leave me more annoyed by her trashiness than amused.
But it’s Oscar-nominated Angela Bassett as voodoo queen Marie Laveau and Oscar-winning Kathy Bates playing the slave-torturing sinister Delpine LaLaurie who’s centuries old feud spilled over into the modern world has us on the edge of our seats.
When Jessica Lange’s all-powered Fiona gets dragged into a fight with these two legends the resulting drama makes for compelling television.
The impending three-way knock-down drag out fight coming our way from these three vastly talented women is easily reason enough to keep watching.