I will be honest with you, this is not a fresh review as I have finished this season months ago. So as the good little Silvers that you are, you shall ask “Why talking about it then?”

I wanted to give you a good first post with some content after the introduction, and a sense of what you should expect of this blog. I’m actually working really hard on Batman v Superman (Yes, another drop in the ocean of reviews of this controversial one) and as there is really a lot to say about it, I want to take the time to write it properly and talk about everything (Because I’m passionate about this universe but also because I feel there is an unfair amount of bashing). Of course, it takes time, and I couldn’t leave you Silvers waiting so long for a first post, could I?

I’ve been thinking and as Movies, Music and Games are on hold, I was left with TV Shows. I’ve watched loads and am currently watching (67 shows on my TVShowtime with 2.294 episodes watched so 2 months and 17 days so far). I’ve decided to talk about AHS Season 5 because it’s still kind of recent, simple to talk about, and worth it. Let me give you the good news that this will  be a spoiler free review.

To give you a bit of an introduction, American Horror Story (AHS) is a TV Show created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, released on FX in October 2011. It is an anthology but it is different from True Detective (just to mention a recent and popular one) where the main actors come back for each season as different characters and different spotlights. To give you an idea, the most recurrent and important actors are Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe that are present on every season. Of course, Jessica Lange is a major one, but left for Season 5 and got “replaced” by Lady Gaga as the main character of the show. We can also add Kathy Bates and Angela Basset who had major roles during the last 3 seasons.

AHS is well known, but audience dropped season after season. The first one was good. Not perfect, and the mood started to vanish at some point, but it was good. Then, it started to fall down, in my opinion. Actors are talented, for sure, Jessica Lange is fabulous, but there was a problem of script and exploited material. There were some missing points on each season even though it was still generally enjoyable.

I’m not going to talk about the other seasons, and you will understand better why. If you have never watched any seasons, or if you have dropped the TV Show at some point, you can still watch the 5th one on its own, as you know it’s composed of always different and unrelated stories (even though Ryan Murphy says that there is a pattern and a link between all of them).

So let’s get dirty, shall we? This season, in my opinion, is the most complex (and darkest, but we will explore that point later). It takes place in L.A at the enigmatic Hotel Cortez, and it drowns in the detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley – awesome in S4 by the way) for his investigation on the “Ten Commander (serial) Killer”. There’s also another serial killer in the story, the intriguing and terrifying “Demon of the Addiction” who roams in the hotel with a strap-on-kind-of-drill-dildo. That gives a good mood, right?

The Cortez is the living place of weird, bizarre and scaring phenomenons along with some pretty disturbing ones. The owner and dictator of this alike manor and empire (because that’s the feeling given by the place) is the blood-lust and astonishing “Countess” (Lady Gaga).

This season has divided the fans because of Gaga herself but also and mainly because she replaced Jessica Lange. But we’ll get back to that later as well. So let’s talk first about the general mood and feeling given by “Hotel”.

It is dark. You can’t disagree with that. But not only that. I can’t help but be reminded of The Shining in a certain way. There are things dwelling in this Hotel that mess with the characters’s minds but with the spectators’s ones as well. Some scenes are truly epic and terrifying, giving this old nostalgic feeling from the good old horror movies back when they used to make your muscles tense and your pulse race. It’s gloomy, it depicts an old place, and the fact that it’s happening nowadays with people you’d cross everyday in L.A adds a dose of realism. At the same time, it makes you feel uncomfortable, intrigued and at times, even disgusted. A right mix of blood, fear and tension.

We know each season had a theme, and now it feels as if each one of these themes (and even some more) were incorporated as one in Season 5 for a bigger and scarier experience. The story line is really well written, and the main ideas have been meticulously chosen and developed. Not only that, but just like the previous seasons, you are slowly driven towards the moment of the final revelation, when you discover what’s behind it all. In this one in particular, they can’t stop messing with your perception, waiting for the very final moment where they blow up your mind. Superb.

So many characters. Well written, well given to the actors, and well acted (I can’t really talk about them without spoiling it, so you better find out for yourself). Now, all of this sounds like a Freak Show. So who’s better to be their Queen, their “Countess” than Lady Gaga herself? So yes, it does sounds like a darker hotel version of the S4 where Jessica Lange is replaced. But everything is much better in my opinion. The pace, the plot, the script, the characters.

Now, all the #TeamLange fans are gonna crucify me. But Lady Gaga is perfect for this season and that wouldn’t have worked with Lange. As I said, this is the best season of the show and I’m going to tell you why Lady Gaga deserves the spotlight on this. Damn, she got herself a fuckin’ Golden Globe !

I never liked her. Never liked her music, her style. To me, she was the foundation of the Niki-Minaj-young-tramp-generation. Even though I knew she was a true musician, playing instruments and knowing about her music (I remember having watched a video of her playing her songs on the piano and it doesn’t sound half as bad actually). But still, never liked her. I never also had a clue she could act. But you know what ? She had her place in that freak show, and now I can’t see anyone better to play the “Countess”. The season is fully bloody and sexual. Her usual style is the right fit for the show. She has this mysterious, intriguing and captivating presence. She does take the spotlight, and she acts so goddamn well! I don’t want to go through too many details about her though, otherwise I will start to spoil and I really want you to watch this season with an innocent ignorance. But among all the others actors that are incredible, Sarah Paulson awesome as always, just like Evan Peters who plays a terrifying pyscho dude, Lady Gaga is truly their “Countess”. She embraces the character. That is maybe due to the fact she is all natural in her act due to her regular style, but it works, and I thank her for raising the standards for this show.

American Horror Story does have many flaws throughout all seasons, even though it’s worth watching as it’s original and it’s not that bad of a show. It’s enjoyable and entertaining. But this season 5 is really the best one, and even if you don’t feel like watching the previous seasons, you just can watch this one as everything feels as it has been made and built carefully and precisely. We already know how good are the other actors, and on top of that, Lady Gaga is worth watching this season, at least for the curiosity.

The series has been renewed for a Season 6. With Lady Gaga again. Some rumors mention the Slender Man theme but nothing is confirmed. Honestly, I think they are doing a mistake. The show had stagnated for a while, and they should had ended it on this beautifully disturbing season. I’m afraid that they follow the same path of “Dexter” and exhaust the series more and more. The cycle had been perfectly finished, and now it feels they want to stretch it. Who knows, maybe they’ll come up with a better closing for the show, we can only hope that, and also that they don’t make the same mistakes as many other TV Shows that drown themselves in the will to always do more. Maybe I’ll get back to it in another post for the 6th season. If it’s worth talking about it.


Final Verdict:

To me, this is Gold.



Comments

26
  1. I have never watch American Horror Story but had been thinking about starting it at some point. I am watching so many series at once already. I do like the fact that you mention you can watch Season 5 and understand it without watching all the previous ones. So I can start with this one and if I like it, go back and watch form the beginning.

    • I wouldn’t advise you to watch the season 5 first and then the others. I understand and can relate the fact you have to many seasons too watch. But I think you should first watch the first season. If you really like the vibe, you can either watch all the others, and if you liked it but not feel getting too much into it, you can then just watch Season 5. For me it’s the best season and is worth watching than the rest. But I think that if you watch the 5 first, you might have high expectations for the other seasons
      Fenrile recently posted…Review – When does Constantine return (please, do)My Profile

  2. As you know, I have heard a lot about this TV Show, but I have never actually been bothered to watch it haha. You wrote such an amazing review that for moments you even made me want to watch it 🙂
    Nya recently posted…Hemingway’s Dilemma by Scott Kauffman – Guest PostMy Profile

    • You only inspire me my Muse and make me flow everything. Even though I’m not familiar to write so much in english and you provide such an incredible help that I’ll forever thank you for. But everything that is in my mind comes thanks to you. I’d watch everything with you <3
      Fenrile recently posted…Behind The Scenes June 2016My Profile

  3. I’ve been curious about this series for a while now. I’ve just seen a few episodes from a season that I don’t exactly remember. Thank you for the review, it surely is of great help! 😀
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  4. I’m thinking about watching American Horror Story for a while now. But I’m always too busy watching another series. I’ve just seen the first episode of season 1. But I feel like at least watching season 1 and 5 :). The comparis with the Shining sounds good. I really love the Shining! And I sthink it’s a big plus that Cathy Bates plays in American Horror Story! She also plays in misery. Which is for me, the best movie ever. She’s a great actress. I would have been a bit sceptical about Lady Gaga, but your review makes me curious! I definetely watch this season.

    • Haha I really liked Misery too ! Cathy Bates is incredible. As she plays a psycho in it, in American Horror Story she has many different roles and it’s amazing to see her having different characters. Of course she still has some psychos, but others a way different. That’s the strenght of American Horror Story, having so many different actors that come back every seasons to play totally different characters. I think if you don’t have much time, Season 1 and 5 are the ones to watch. Even though the others seasons have their qualities too.
      Fenrile recently posted…Behind The Scenes June 2016My Profile

  5. I am a big fan of Jessica Lange and loved her in the previous AHS season. To be honest the last season before Gaga was the only season I watched in entirety because I’m not a big horror fan. I have heard though that she played her role extremely well in season 5 so cheers to her in season 6!

    • Yes she is incredible in Season 5. If you’re not a fan of Horror you can forget Season 2 and Season 5. The first one is can be watch, the first episodes are horror, but when you understand the plot, it’s not scary anymore. The season 3 can be watch too, it’s about witches and doesn’t feel so horror at all
      Fenrile recently posted…Behind The Scenes June 2016My Profile

  6. I never liked Gaga, until I saw AHS. I fell in love with her. She had such class and was yet such a badass. Ugh, I can’t even. I actually love all AHS seasons.
    I never got why people were saying they went overboard in this season. Idk, I love it.
    The only thing I miss is seeing Jessica Lange

    • People don’t like changes. Jessica Lange is an amazing actress and she was incredible in American Horror Story. As we never saw Lady Gaga acting before and she’s also controversial, I think that’s why people were not fond of it. But in this season anyway, Jessica Lange as good as she as, wouldn’t fit in the role that Lady Gaga had.
      Fenrile recently posted…Behind The Scenes June 2016My Profile

  7. I am such a chicken for these horror stories. I would not mind skipping these series since I am too afraid to watch it. However it’s cool to read about it, so I know where other people talk about at least. It’s good that other readers that still want to watch the series don’t feel like you have given to much info already! That’s how a good review should be. http://www.sofarsosabine.com

    • Thank you ! I mentioned on the comment above why I prefer sometimes to spoil, and sometimes not to. I honestly can feel like a chicken for some horror stories. That’s how it should be, but unfortunately I don’t feel like it anymore. Too much CGI or just the again same Ghost Paranormal Stuff. Horror was much better back then when it was more simple and felt more “natural”. I felt this fear from my childhood with the beginning of the series, with the S1 and its opening. But it fades away while you discover and understand the plot after a few episodes. It was quiet the same with S2. But S3 & 4 was not horror at all in my opinion. They had good parts but missed the horror. That’s why for me Season 5 is the best, as there is a really good balanced between the plot, the horror, the strange and the discomfort sometimes. Honestly, you’re really a “chicken”, probably a few parts might accelerate your heartbeat, but I do believe you could go through this season. It is not something full of “scare jump”.
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  8. I have never seen this show but I was glad for a review. I couldn’t ever decide if it would be one that I was interested in or not. I think you gave a great overview without giving away all of the info!
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    • Thank you ! I did my best for that. While I feel the need to spoil massively and talk about everything to review specific things (Like the Full Review of Batman v Superman in June), I also sometimes prefer to don’t say anything that could ruin the surprise. It only depends about the things I have to say. What is great with AHS is the ability to watch a season completely independant to the others, and if someone doesn’t have the courage to go through all the seasons, he can only watch this one, as for me it is the best one of the show. Only the curiosity of seing Gaga as an actress and nail her character should be enough reason!
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  9. I’ve never heard about this series! I am currently not watching any series (except House of cards)… I should take Netflix! 🙂

    • House of Cards is an excellent series ! I dropped middle of Season 3 but I’ll have to get to back to it. But if you need some inspiration in your choice of series in the future, keep an eye on the blog as many other reviews are coming !
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  10. I am watching few series on Netflix these days. ‘House of cards’ is one of them. Though I have reached only season 3 but have completely lost interest in it!
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    • I can relate, I was watching House of Cards and dropped at the 3d season too. The first & second were magnificent I think, but I’ll catch up eventually, I want to finish that series !
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  11. This sounds like a very bizarre show! A lot of my friends have told me about it and said that it’s amazing but takes a while to get into! Might have to give it a go, but never seen it up until now.

    • It is very bizarre, but the fact that it’s original and unique make it awesome. You can watch the first season to maybe have an idea about the taste, but the thing is that every seasons are different stories with different characters. You don’t need to watch every season or to watch them in order. Even if the season 5 divided the fans, in my opinion it is the best and you can just watch only this one without the others. Let us know what you think if you give it a go !
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  12. I am so out of touch with the world of series, so thanks for this read – need to get started again!

    • There is so many good TV Shows out there, for every taste, that it’s very difficult to follow them all. I struggle following all I have at the moment, and I had to pause some that I need to get back, others that I havn’t started but need to watch, and when a series finally ends, another one comes back haha.
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  13. I really liked season five too, though I have to say season two was the best for me personally. The character development and time jumps were incredible. Still, season five was such a great rebound after the intolerable season four and Lady Gaga killed it!

    • I agree, season 2 was really good as well, with some really good points. The others were just “Meh” and kinda disappointed by the fourth. But in the end, season 5 was the ultimate ending of the show. I hope they don’t screw the rest like they started to do after S2. Glad to meet a Gaga fan from S5 🙂

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