❉ We conclude with ‘American Horror Story: Opportunity Squandered’. Sorry, but the meat’s tainted.
THE SKINNY or I TOLD YOU SO:
That was awful. But why?
I’m not going to recap the events of this episode here because if you’re reading this you’ve A: Already seen it, or B: You want to know how it ends and if there was a twist in the tale, so to speak.
I’ll save you the trouble. No twist. Lee ends up back at the house and in order to protect Flora (maybe?) she agrees to die at the house and become a ghost mother to Flora and ghost-colonial girl Priscilla.
Sentimental bullshit. If you don’t believe James Corden could defeat the Cybermen with the Power of Love, look away now. (You too, Huey Lewis and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.)
WHAT WENT WRONG or OF CRICKETS and PIG MEN:
If the producers want to label this season as “darker”, “rogue” and “brutal” you better back it up. Instead we get 5 episodes of running around in the woods and you already know who lives or dies because of the in-show format, and then we have remake the same thing in for episodes, except this time we know they all die. Which leaves us with episode 10. We’re stuck with a character which hasn’t exactly been endeared to us. In other circumstances this would be fine. But if you’re going to make your lead character unlikeable, you damn well better flesh them out and make them compelling to watch. So, if “rogue” mean 10 episodes of violent bloody death with no characterization or hope, count me out. I, simply, do not find that fun and entertaining.
Despite the few people who actually thought this season was good, this season will go down as one of the worst. I commend the production crew for trying something different, but the phrase “If it ain’t broke…” does to come to mind.
I like the weird, and the blood and the shocking horror violence, but only if it comes from a place that has a sense of humour. A bit of heart to it. (That sounds weird, but trust me, it’s what most of you want too.) It works as a counter-balance to the nasty.
None of the characters endeared themselves to me. I liked Cricket, but he didn’t last long. The camp and the humour are so important to this series and this season was starving for it. We had small doses here and there. Like the aforementioned Cricket, or for a very late example, when Dylan takes an Über to the Roanoke House in full Pig Man mode.
But a fundamental flaw of S6 is that Lee is NOT the main character.
She really isn’t. The show, as written, has Matt and Shelby as the leads. I’m not saying they were significantly fleshed out either. But they are the characters who put this series of events in motion. It’s their story. That is until the writer’s realised that was either a dead end, or they were simply bored, but they tried to steer it away from that in the last few episodes. And it failed. Hence why you shouldn’t write a show on the fly. You have 10 episodes and a writer’s room. You have plenty of time to make something with a good arc. It also doesn’t help that the main creative force for the show is juggling 3 other shows. Something was going to give. Now his flagship show is limping. As the Polks would say, “The meat’s tainted.”
And before you argue it wasn’t made on the fly, look back at episode 6. Look at how Audrey is fleshed out as a character. She’s there to highlight Shelby and what affect portraying her has been. Now look at Monet. All we know about Monet is that she now has an addiction problem because she played Lee. Oh, and she a badass black woman. Which the amazing Angela Bassett can play in her sleep. But other than that we know nothing about Monet and for a character who stays in the game until Episode 9 that’s pretty unforgivable. But the writers, who spent the time giving Audrey something to do, keep her around to the very end.
Why? Because they wrote themselves in that corner and with all that time spent on a character you might as well. Imagine, if you will….Monet fighting through her addiction to survive and it’s her vs Lee at the end. Portrayer vs Subject. You could go deep. It’s not meant to be though. Monet is simply fodder for the death count. So we’re left with Audrey as our final girl. Who get’s a rum deal. The bullshit of killing off Audrey, just goes back to my thought of there being no hope. Keeping her alive with Lee would’ve been interesting, especially as they were whisked off into the real world. There were countless ways to go with that. But what did we expect from ‘American Horror Story: Opportunity Squandered’?
There are many themes being tried out here but none of them have arcs that really last to the end or beyond their introduction. The most prevalent one has to be about the media. A very critical look at media perception; the self-centeredness and superficiality of it all. Which makes it all accidentally topical. But it never has the bite it should if this was intentional. We just end up with “Oh, actors are stupid.”
This also brings up a point that really gets my gander. They actually went ahead and showed the ‘Return to Roanoke’ footage? Are you shitting me? Not only that, but people don’t believe it was real? Then pray tell, where are all these actors then? Same with the ‘Spirit Chasers’ episode…Who aired this shit? I know the AHS world isn’t exactly like ours but it’s close enough. You telling me they showed a TV show with REAL gruesome murders and proof of supernatural occurrences and it was A-OK? Hell, today if you show a penis on the telly, someone’s got to go wake up the Pope and he’s got to kiss babies and baptize wildlife.
The other theme is children, which I only bring up because Ryan Murphy did. They must’ve just written the last episode and he had a lightbulb moment. It rears it’s ugly head up a few times this season, but quite frankly it’s boring, and been done to death in other AHS seasons. (No pun intended. I think.)
But I digress…
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT LANA or A POLK IN THE CHEST:
Lana Winters was just a distraction and not in the good way. Once Lee brought up Bloody Face, I was like…”YES, please! Let’s talk about that.” Instead, Lana is there because AHS needed a journalist and apparently Sarah Paulson was contracted for all 10 episodes. It serves as a reminder of a better season. Of one that started off a mess and turned into an AHS classic. It’s like the writers are saying “Psst! We can write good stuff. Remember Season 2? Please watch next year. Please.” Also, it’s to the point where I have to ask…why do people not recognise that people look similar? (I may nitpicking, but it has to be an issue ought to be addressed.)I do look forward to AHS: Season 11 where the whole cast is just Sarah Paulson and the phrase “You look familiar…” is never uttered.
TO THE FUTURE or “OH, BOY…”:
Season 7 is already being labeled as a crossover season between S1 and S3. Season 3 is my favourite, but I’m keeping my expectations low. At this point, the show should stop being billed as an anthology. In fact, I’m getting afraid that is losing it’s originality very quickly. As a friend commented, they need to stop listening to the fans. Once we start becoming a televised ouroboros, there’s no going back.
It’s such a shame that this season turned out the way it did. I can see it turning out better many, many different ways if you actually knew what you were doing. And I hate writing negative reviews, just for the record.
Thank you for following along with us dear readers. Stay tuned in.
❉ ‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ aired in the US on Wednesdays at 10pm on FX, and in the UK on Fridays at 10pm on Fox UK.