"American Horror Story" returned Wednesday night with its third iteration--"Coven"--on FX, and viewers quickly learned that hump day will take on a whole new meaning with this posse of witches.
The season leads viewers into New Orleans, where something wicked this way comes. Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) runs a private boarding school for witches--currently inhabited by four different girls with very different powers: a movie star (played by Emma Roberts) who uses her telekinesis on people who annoy her (or hurt her, as we learned with the busload of date-raping frat boys); a clairvoyant (Jamie Brewer); a human voodoo doll (Gabourey Sidibe); and then there's Zoe, whose lady parts give men aneurysms when put to use--hospital visiting hours be damned.
"I think her powers is what makes this not a CW show," said co-creator Brad Falchuck. "There’s nothing wrong with CW shows, but there are different kinds of witch shows. Our witch show does that. In order for us to do what we do, on something like FX, I think we need to have something a little bit different. I think what we did with her is definitely different."
Of course, Zoe isn't the only one whose, uh, straddling causes hurt. "AHS" queen Jessica Lange, who returns this season as Fiona, the supreme witch of her generation (encompassing every witchly power except the ability not to age). When a doctor's youth-defying experimental serum doesn't work wonders on her, Fiona mounts him and, upon seducing him with kisses, drains life out of him and turns him into a corpse.
While last season was more grim--crazed nuns, mental patients, Nazis, aliens, zombies and Anne Frank (?!)--this season takes a lighter tone with the horror.
"It’s a little more fun," Falchuck. "It has a little more humor in it. It’s closer to one than to two. This was a lot more fun. It just happened on its own--the feel. When the characters start being and forming and the story starts developing, there’s an alchemy to it."
One seeped in female power. Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy and Jamie Brewer round our the cast of major characters. But the pairing that looks like it will provide most of the bewitching fun is the pairing of Lange and Bates, who plays Madame LaLaurie, a high society Creole socialite/serial killer in 1830s New Orleans who uses blood from her victims as a face mask. The two finally share the screen in the final seconds of the episode, bringing the past and present together.
"Good things come to those who wait," Falchuck said. "It eventually happens in the first episode. And then it happens a lot. In subsequent episodes, we’ll see them a lot. And it will be wicked."
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