American Horror Story: Hotel Review: Mommy

Hello, all! This post brought to you by Justin Trudeau and his extremely awkward party tricks. I’m eternally thankful to John Oliver for alerting the world to this important, very Prime Ministerial, little tidbit. If only Ted Cruz would try this trick at home too, but maybe, you know, forget about the pretending part.

I wish he were our president…

Some television shows rely on gorgeous visuals to carry each episode. Others rely on compelling plots and characters. And then there are shows like American Horror Story: Hotel which say “fuck you and you and you” to every element of what makes a good television show. And that outlook, my friends, has rarely been represented as well as in the 3rd episode of AHS: Hotel. In fact, this show could even be compared to Trudeau’s party trick. It’s awkward and unintentionally hilarious, but not in the way that it wants  to be.
The episode begins with out least favorite supermodel, Finn Wittrock, calling out for our favorite serial killer, category Evan Peters, category season five. Note that I need to make that distinction because Evan Peters has also been a psychopath serial killer on AHS: Murder House, the first season of the show. That is not the only similarity between the two seasons, as we are quickly finding out. *If you’re new to these reviews and wondering why I’m calling the characters by their actor’s name instead of by their character name, it’s because I find their character names to be pretty forgettable.*

Finn wants to connect with Evan about their shared love of murder, which Finn has newly discovered after being transformed into a vampire. Evan is delighted to share with Finn all of his ingenious torturing devices, such as his black chamber and his asphyxiation chamber, and tells Finn that he should put them into good use. I have to give props to Evan because he takes this cumbersome dialogue and gives it levity and cheekiness. Finn, on the other hand, has made his supposedly sarcastic, bad-ass supermodel into a dull neanderthal. Every line is delivered with a slack-jawed idiocy. We get it, Finn, your character isn’t the sharpest vampire in the coven, but you don’t have to be so.on.the.nose.

“You’re a scorpio which explains a lot”

Just as Evan is about to show Finn more of his torture devices, they’re interrupted by fashion designer Cheyenne Jackson, who is planning to tear out Evan’s whole floor. Cheyenne is angry to see Finn after what he did at Cheyenne’s last fashion show/ drunken fist fight and tells him to get out of his hotel, to which Finn replies “I don’t want to be another deposit in your spank bank” and Cheyenne’s hipster son Lachlan says “Oooh, burn!” Lachlan wins the award for worst son in television history. I don’t understand why Finn had to bring sex into the argument, but asking why AHS brings sex into a scene is like asking why Justin Trudeau enjoys falling down the stairs. You’ll never get a rational answer.

Since this is AHS: Murder House, sorry AHS: Hotel, the ghosts of the Hotel are determined not to let the new owner tear down their beloved haunting grounds. How will this play out, you wonder? Lots and lots of murder.

We catch up next with Chloe Sevigny, who is once again treating that darn kid with measles. This is a far more effective PSA than the last episode because damn those measles spots look really frightening. Take note, Californians. We finally learn why oh why Chloe is a pediatrician: because she doesn’t want children. What, you say? But she has two! Yes, that may be true observant viewer, but she never reallllly wanted them. She wanted to take care of other people’s kids. That is until she had Holden.

No, not that one!

She fell in love with her baby, a deeper love than she’d ever experienced, even with her husband Wes Bentley. I would be more involved with this if that wasn’t the feeling every mother has for her child, right down to the obsession with their scents (it’s not special yo, it’s biological so you don’t eat them!) The entire explanation of Chloe’s feelings is told through voice-over and a montage of depression. While this is visually affecting, her emotionless voice doesn’t do much to help the audience feel her pain. She’s not a bad actor, she’s just not very good at verbally emoting. The flashbacks end with her trying to commit suicide in a bathtub and Wes Bentley rushing in to save her. AHS: Murder House also contained a scene where a main character tried to kill themselves in a bathtub and were saved in the same way. Not to say that this is cliche, but it’s odd for it to pop up in two separate seasons.

Chloe and Wes meet with a grief counselor to deal with their unhealed trauma. Scarlett, their 10-11 year old daughter is also there, which made me very uncomfortable because why the fuck would you bring your daughter to a meeting and then yell at her for reminding you about your kidnapped son? Poor, poor, Scarlett. Wes asks her to explain exactly what happened with Holden, so she tells Chloe that Holden had changed, but that he smelled like lavender. This, out of all the evidence (including a blurry photograph), convinces Chloe that Holden could be alive. Surely no other children smell like lavender in this world.

Back in the Hotel, Naomi Campbell, undeniably the most gorgeous being on this great earth, has just settled in for what should be a relaxing sleep. Hahahahahah, are you even watching this show? She is immediately killed by Max Greenfield, the junkie Sarah Paulson sewed up in a mattress. I asked this last post and I’ll ask it again. How the fuck is he still alive?  I’ll keep asking until I get ANSWERS, MURPHY! I’m saddened that Naomi is dead but also not that sad because she can’t act. You’d think that Wes Bentley, the Hotel’s resident cop, would be here to deal with this murder, but you’d be wrong because he’s dealing with his knock-off Seven case. Mr. Murdery Serial Killer guy murdered the writers of a gossip column by nailing their tongues to the desk. “Thou shalt not bear false witness” says Wes. You mean, he’s still committing murders based on the Ten Commandments?

You’re not David Fincher!

Wes returns from a long day of searching for Kevin Spacey a completely original serial killer to be assaulted by Max Greenfield. Wes takes him to the hospital, where he confesses that he killed a woman because he thought that she was Sarah Paulson. Wow, that…actually makes sense. But not for long! Wes searches for Naomi Campbell but only finds Sarah Paulson, who tells him that Naomi checked out because she was too good for this place. Wes ignores the fact Miss Evers, the cleaning lady whose only job is to get rid of blood-stains, is also present, and lets Sarah Paulson seduce him in an elevator. Somehow, AHS:Hotel has managed to suck all the sexy out of sex scenes. What an accomplishment.

You think you’re done with sex scenes, but then we are brought back to Finn Wittrock, who, you guessed it, is trying to seduce Cheyenne Jackson. I guess he forgot his earlier pronouncement about spank banks. That’s too bad, because if he had remembered we would have been spared another horridly mechanical sex scene. No one has any chemistry in this series. Not the married people, not the unmarried people, no one! Cheyenne Jackson had more chemistry with Tina Fey on 30 Rock than he does on this show and that was supposed to be a farce!

Every sex scene has me like

Fortunately, that scene ends, and we’re back with Contractually Shirtless Bomer. He is not doing so well without Gaga’s patronage. After having a long and hilarious fight scene with his mother, in which he tells her to kill herself, he strikes out on his own to feed on some junkies. Contractually Shirtless Bomer comes across a vulnerable lady and intends to kill her, but he done made the wrong choice because she tasers him. This badass is none other than the much-missed Angela Bassett.

We need a spinoff called AHS: Angela Bassett. Or better, cut AHS entirely and make the Angela Bassett Show. We are treated to another voice-over montage, but it’s from a different world than Chloe Sevigny’s previous scenes. Where Chloe is flat, Angela is dynamic, where Chloe stares soullessly into the camera, Angela practically vibrates with humor and beauty. She,too,is a vampire, but she started out as a 70s B-Movie actress whose golden catchphrases (“I kneel for no man!”) earned her Gaga’s affection. They were a dazzling vampire duo until Angela fell in love with a rapper, Mo Prophet, and turned him into a vampire. This caused Gaga to go into a jealous rage and kill Prophet and his entire recording studio and made Angela bent on revenge.

This sub-plot is by far the most interesting that we’ve been introduced to in these 3 episodes. Angela plans to get revenge by killing Gaga’s vampire babies. Not only would that affect Gaga, but it would also affect Scarlett and Chloe Sevigny, and I guess Wes Bentley, but who cares about him? I hope this becomes a well-developed plot instead of being shoved aside for more boring Finn Wittrock sex scenes. But I’m probably wishing in vain.

Speaking of sex , ANOTHER sex scene is taking place back at the Hotel. It’s basically the same scene as with Cheyenne Jackson and Finn Wittrock, but Gaga replaces Finn. Half of this show is meaningless sex and the other half is meaningless dialogue.

Do people actually enjoy TV sex? This is a burning question of mine. I get that it can be sexy if 1) you like the characters and 2) there’s been a build up of sexual tension, but none of the scenes in AHS have any of these. It’s like Ryan Murphy took a bunch of barbie dolls and smashed them together and said “Look, guys, I made a show!” Anyway, the “purpose” of this scene was so that Gaga could explain her plan to seduce Cheyenne, take his money, and then murder him with Finn’s help. Well now that you’ve explained that, there’s really no reason to keep watching.

If you thought that finally we had come to the end of the sex scenes, you were WRONG! Chloe meets Wes in the hotel to tell him that she wants a divorce. He starts crying and it made me uncomfortable. Not because I’m against male vulnerability, but because Wes is really bad at pretending to cry. Remind me why he’s the main character again?

You’d think an impending divorce would put a guy off sex for a while, right? But he and Chloe go at it anyway and here I am, the poor audience member who is forced to watch a billionth unneeded sex scene so the writers could fill an hour of television.

We go back to Sarah Paulson, who is helping Kathy Bates kill herself with crack. She doesn’t die quickly enough, even though Sarah gave her enough crack “to kill a marching band”, so Sarah places a plastic bag on her head and waits for her to asphyxiate. Too much suffocation in this show! And of course, right at that moment, Contractually Shirtless Bomer decides he does love his mama and wants to save her, so he turns her into a vampire. The End. What a fantastic piece of television, folks.

So what plots do I want to see continued in the next episode. Exactly one plot: Angela Bassett’s revenge! I can do without all the rest. The thing that disappoints me the most this season is that there is nothing scary about AHS: Hotel. Murder House had some genuinely creepy elements :

Infantata omfg

And Asylum was chilling all the way through. But since Coven, AHS has transformed from a show focused on fright to a show focused on schlock. I could deal with the bad plots and flat characters if a scene, any scene, was scary, but that’s not the case. Next episode is about Devil’s Night. AHS has a tradition of special halloween episodes, so hopefully this one will prove to be an upswing. If you’re reading this review, you probably love AHS, and you’re sad to see it go the way of Justin Trudeau’s party pranks (last time I swear!). So do yourself a favor and every time you watch AHS: Hotel, watch AHS: Asylum too. You’ll feel so much better.

Spare Parts

  • “Just yesterday I sketched a pair of Bermudas in cannabis print. So much for West Coast Influence.”- Cheyenne Jackson
  • Lady Gaga lost her enormous fortune because of…Bernie Madoff! Can this show get any more ridiculous?
  • Matt Bomer hates Kathy Bates because she raised him in an “insane vegetarian cult.”  You learn something new every day.
  • Wes Bentley’s cop partner thinks that the gossip column murders were another Charlie Hebdo. Okay, fam.
  • “Dad was the best part of my life! I once hid in his pick-up truck for 3 hours before he noticed!”- Matt Bomer
  • “He didn’t even notice that his son was in his truck. Your dad was an asshole!”- Kathy Bates

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