Video Hell

Say what you will about Fremont (ahem, Mike 1 and Mike 2), but I really like my neighborhood. I like that I live a short walk away from grocery stores, parks, bars and restaurants, and the exact right bus stops. I like that some of my neighbors keep chickens. I like that it feels like an actual neighborhood instead of a conglomeration of apartments and condo buildings, and because of that, we still have parking and yards. I really like that my neighborhood is able to support a video store, the kind that has an “English Accents” section and a staff that successfully walks the scary nerdy/fun nerdy line.

While walking home from the bus stop on Sunday, I noticed that the video store had World War Z in stock. Mike 2 told me it was terrible and for the reasons he provided I believe him, but I still kiiiiind of wanted to see it so I rented it, along with almost all of American Horror Story: Asylum.

I started watching American Horror Story: Murder House in the middle of its season. We had regular cable in St. Louis then, so I caught up using OnDemand and kept with it even when I’d already figured out what was going on (spoiler: everyone is dead). I kept watching because it was good. It was genuinely spooky at times, perfectly tense at others, and I couldn’t believe it was created by the same bastards who brought Glee into the world. I really enjoyed it, and I was frustrated when the second season (Asylum) still hadn’t been added to Netflix.

So I rented it, and I’ve spent the past two nights watching it, and boy, is it a pile of shit.

First of all, how many people wrote this season? A million? Has to be a million. And all of them have threatened to file sexual harassment lawsuits if their ideas didn’t get into the show, because there’s no other explanation for the multitude of plots, hardly any of which intersect in any significant way.

Another spoiler: There’s a mental hospital. There’s a psycho killer. There are aliens. There’s demonic possession. There are Catholics, mutants, a former Nazi doctor, sex criminals, possibly reincarnation (?), and of course Dylan McDermott being super pervy again, which I wouldn’t really mind except he has a rat tail. For no goddamn reason.

For chrissakes, writers, pick a plot and stick with it. Bend that plot here and there to throw us off the scent, but don’t create this big mess that has yet to serve any one purpose and there’s only two episodes left and based on my experience so far, I doubt you’ll be able to tie any of these stories together in time. The first season was good because there was a discipline to the story. This one feels like a free-for-all, and probably you’re all drunk, too.

Second, was Asylum shot in 3D? No? Then how else do you explain the wonkily amateur-looking camera angles and the Instagrammy filter shots, and why else is perception such an issue? Is this art? Is it supposed to convey the mental illness portrayed onscreen? Is that offensive? Why would you employ a device that serves no actual purpose other than to let somebody’s nephew play around with the zoom feature?

Third, and sorry to keep picking on the (piss poor excuses for) writers, but the dialogue in Asylum sounds like it was written by 13-Year-Old Me, the one who hid in her room and had hardly any real conversations with any real people and still thought the most compelling subject matter was kissing and cancer. Like, really? Why did you choose those words? Did you confuse gravitas with gravity, and just kind of shrugged and let everything clunk to the ground? WHY DO YOU HAVE JOBS.

Fourth, okay, Jessica Lange is the shit. She just is. I’m sorry Beyonce, but Jessica Lange is the queen still and you will have to bow down to her. If she didn’t win anything for that scene where she’s telling the story about the dead squirrel, then everyone in the world in an idiot and I feel sorry for them.

Aside from that last point, Asylum is so disappointing in every way except now I can pretty much see how the same people who made Glee are responsible.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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1 Response to Video Hell

  1. Becky Lott says:

    I completely agree. I loved the first season and really didn’t like the second. Way off base-and no they don’t really tie up all the loose ends. The third season just started and it’s about witches. Coven. I’m not too sure if I’ll stick with it, but it has Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates as witches and they are all pretty badass. We’ll see.

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