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‘American Horror Story: Hotel – Episode 1’ – TV Review

Possible spoilers and probable squeals of delight below.

Having written and drawn two Lady Gaga comics, you didn’t expect me not to do a review of American Horror Story, did you? I’m practically contractually obligated to release a public exultation of Mother Monster’s American Horror Story debut. And, what a debut it was! So, what did I think?

I loved it! From the music, to the fantastically lush sets, to the amazing ensemble of creepy characters and the engagingly effed-up storylines, what’s not to love? Ryan Murphy knows how to bring the noise when it comes to the stylish horror/tragedy.

Taking place at the Hotel Cortez in Los Angeles, based on the Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles known for its shady, if not haunted, history, the new season of American Horror Story takes off with a bang. (Well, several of them, actually! I can’t believe how much sex there was! Don’t get me wrong I think it’s physically impossible to get tired of seeing Matt Bomer’s naked @$$, but don’t people have better things to do in a hotel? Oh, wait . . . Never mind!)

The cast is always such a treat. Although when in character, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of Ryan Murphy’s interchangeable boy toys. (Maybe that could be a new drinking game?)

It was nice to see a clean-shaven Kathy Bates. I missed her face, if not her Bizarro World, “Baltimore-inspired” accent of the bearded lady in last season’s Freak Show. She is the perfect person to run the front desk as she has proven more than once she is a woman who gets the job done. Her co-receptionist “Liz Taylor,” a drag queen, is easily one of my favorite characters played by series alum Denis O’Hare.

I am equally glad that Murphy resurrected Wes Bentley after his post-American Beauty career buzz left him blowing in the wind like a discarded plastic shopping bag. From American Beauty to American Horror Story, a lovely set of bookends for a darn good actor.

Aside from beautiful buns, Bomer is quite compelling in his role as the son of Bates and the Lover of Gaga. I’m curious to see where his character winds up. Who am I kidding? It’s American Horror Story.

Sarah Paulson once again slips easily into a decidedly different role. She is such a great actress and solid part of the show, it’s hard to imagine it without her.

We have yet to see Angela Basset, or “Dandy” Finn Wittrock, but I suppose that gives us something to look forward to.

As addiction seems to be a huge theme so far, I have to admit a lot of it creeped me out. Not just because watching people shoot up is skeevy. I couldn’t help but think of Corey Montieth overdosing on heroin after shooting up in a hotel. Perhaps, there are some demons being exorcised here?

And, of course, what of Gaga? Does the anticipation of Lady Gaga taking over the matriarch reigns firmly established by Jessica Lange live up to the hype? Of course, it does! Lady Gaga is awesome as the mysterious vampire “The Countess.” OMG, I just realized how blatantly obvious . . . Count Dracula . . . the Countess . . . Duh! Which leads me to the question: Did she sort of have an accent sometimes? And, not at all at others? It’s a little reminiscent of Jessica Lange’s “all over the German” Elsa Marrs. But, I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt as, truth be told, she didn’t have that many lines this episode. Perhaps it was her tribute to Madonna’s selective British accent. Hey, it happens. Sometimes, when I’m tired, I lapse into Swahili. All in all, Hotel is in good hands with Mother Monster. Although, bring on that teased Jessica Lange cameo. A proper diva throw down is in tall order.

I shudder to think what the black lights would reveal on the soul stained sheets of the Hotel Cortez. Working in housekeeping is surely a bitch. But, I’ll be back next week to see what’s up. Just not Room 64! Yikes!!!

Check out American Horror Story on Wednesdays on FX.

Michael Fitzgerald Troy, Fanbase Press Contributor



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