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Saturday, October 10, 2015

I Present To You Lady Monster... But Where's That Plot, Though? #AmericanHorrorStory #AHSHotel #DVRRewind

I Present To You Lady Monster... But Where's That Plot, Though? #AmericanHorrorStory #AHSHotel #DVRRewind

All pictures courtesy of FX unless otherwise stated

"Ooo La! Oo la Ga-ga! Ooo La! Oo la Ga-ga!" Wait, those aren't the words to Lady Gaga's "Judas" song? Well, how am I supposed to know that, I'm not her biggest fan--Paparazzi--but I am a fan. I'm just trying to give her that thing that she wants... you know, applause. Is that enough Lady Gaga song references or do you want more? I know everyone else has done it already but I can't help it, I was born this way. Leave me alone!

Anyway, American Horror Story came back for its fifth season, American Horror Story: Hotel (#AHSHotel). And with the absence of Jessica Lange--you dear sweet woman whom we'll miss forever--someone had to take over as lead monster. Enter Lady Gaga. But before we get to her fantastic starring role, we have to backtrack through a little non-plotting, plot.

What's the basis of Hotel? Similar to seasons past of the popular horror anthology series the producers have been very sparse on details. Though there has been talk of vampirism in some form, an earthly entrance into hell and even purgatory, none of that has been outright confirmed. All we know as of this moment is that the Hotel Cortez is haunted by a host of baddies sure to maim and disgust. We also have word (and have seen in previews of this season) that a few of the past favorite characters from prior seasons will make an appearance in the hotel that guests check in but never check--what? Oh, so you're saying I shouldn't make that joke because it's too easy. Fine, I won't write it, but I'm definitely thinkin' it.

A little character background, we have Kathy Bates playing the front desk check-in lady, Wes Bentley playing a creepy looking detective (though that just might be his normal face), Matt Bomer playing Lady Gaga's lover/Bates' son, Denis O'Hare playing a cross-dressing chain-smoker, Lady Gaga playing the boss of everything and Sarah Paulson playing... uh, Debbie from the Thornberrys?
Picture courtesy of Nickelodeon and The Wild Thornberrys
Is that...? No, she's supposed to be a blonde version of Selma from the Simpsons, right?
Picture courtesy of FOX and The Simpsons
Well, whoever she is supposed to be that hair is teased to death, literally as it is revealed she is dead or at least should be after the fall she took at the hands of Bates' character. That's at the end of the episode.

I know, I'm jumping ahead again, but to be fair, this season started off with a very strange feeling. Unlike in seasons past, it felt like it had very little plot. Leeway is always given to the season premiere of any show as it sets up the rest of the season, but because this is an anthology series and we know each season will be different, you have to set us up with what's about to go on for the next twelve episodes. And I really have no idea what to anticipate.

Granted, this can be argued for any season and there are a ton of story strands, but it spent an hour and a half kind of meandering around from character to character showing us creepy stuff with no explanation. It starts with two foreign girls entering the hotel who, despite their better judgment, stay at the hotel even though they don't want to. There's an ode to the creepy children from The Shining in a scene where one of the girls goes to get ice, and one sees a huge stain of blood on some bed sheets that are being washed outside of a patron's room. There's also an apron-wearing man a la Hostel--a testament to this season's gore factor. Then the girls cut open their stinky mattress to find a person trapped inside of it all gaunt and Gollum-like. Naturally, like any other normal human being who just witnessed a person pop from inside their mattress would do, they stay in the hotel from fear that they could be arrested. What the hell? Personally, I would have left... unless they comped me all the pillow mint chocolates I could handle, then we could at least talk about me staying. And then one of the girls gets eatin' by the devil children... or does she? I don't know as she appears in another scene later on just fine, but locked up by Kathy Bates who has this thing about druggies (her son is one and OD'd in the hotel long while back in the 90s). Sarah Paulson was his dealer/fellow smack head.

In a secondary story, Wes Bentley's detective studies the murder and torture of a cheating couple where the man is glued into the woman mid-coitus and left to bleed with no eyes or tongue while the woman is stabbed through the head. This, coupled with the rape of one of the hotel guests using a metal drill phallus and the disemboweling of two other guys seems to suggest this season will be drawing heavily from David Finch's Seven (a must see if you haven't already). Those deadly sins and commandments will get you every time. Even the beginning credits have the list of the ten commandments between such horrifying visions of people bursting from things they shouldn't be inside of. He's got a daughter and a wife but is going through some serious family strife which ultimately leads him to stay at the hotel in room 64 where the murderer says he'll strike next--seems pretty reasonable to me.

Courtesy Entertainment Weekly
And lastly, we have Lady Gaga playing the boss of everyone. She seems not to age as she was in the hotel during the 90s and the OD of Bates' son, Bomer. Now, the two of them have couples' sex with other creeptastic swingers before slitting their throats and drinking some of their blood, though most of it is wasted. She encounters Will Drake who has just purchased the hotel and presumably will re-vamp (ha! Re-vamp. Vampire? Lady Gaga is some sorta non-vampire, vampire. You get it?) much of it to his stylings and kick out the residents that populate some of its rooms. I'm supposing this will be a main plot though I'm not sure as Drake seems easily seduced, though we do know that no woman has ever had him starstruck as we learned this summer (Meek Mill is still taking losses. Sad).

There's some stuff in there about never leaving and having to feed something, but that was about it. Oh, and they ended the show with the most appropriate song in history "Hotel California" by the Eagles. I don't really know who these Eagles are but they're totally going to blow up after this. I mean, they're gonna be super famous, like maybe even legendary.

Was the first episode scary? It had a few good moments in there, definitely better than Scream Queens over on Fox. Has it lived up to Freak Show? Not yet, but there's plenty of time. We'll see.

What do you think little monsters and AHS long-standing fans out there? Did you love Lady Gaga about as much as I did? Do you think she is a good actress? Do you already miss Jessica Lange? And what the heck is up with not seeing Evan Peters (the other longest tenured cast member) on the first episode? What are your theories about what the heck is going on? My money's on the gateway to hell/purgatory where wayward souls come to vacation before either moving on or going back to haunt their old places, or a grown-up version of Hotel Transylvania. Let's see, multitude of Lady Gaga references, Seven reference, rapper Drake reference, Simpsons reference, Nickelodeon reference, so-so joke pretending that I don't know who the Eagles are--yeah, I pretty much nailed this recap. Let me know what your theories in the comments below.

As always, check out my books on Amazon (if you’re looking for Halloween scares check #AFuriousWind,  #DARKER#BrandNewHome or #ThePowerOfTen). For those interested in something a little more dramatic, check out #TheWriter. The final episode of season one of The Writer is OUT NOW. Ahh! That’s right, all 15 episodes are out now available exclusively on Amazon. And ladies, my comedy Yep, I'm Totally Stalking My Ex-Boyfriend is out today. Get it and laugh only on Amazon. Join us on Goodreads to talk about books and TV, and subscribe to and follow my blog with that Google+ button to the right side.

Until next time, “I want your lovin' and I want your revenge. You and me could have a bad romance.”

P.S. How did they not use that song in that gruesome foursome sex scene? I thought Gaga would permeate the entire episode. Oh well. There's always next week.  

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