American Horror Story: Season 4: Freak Show

12/30/2015 19:59

Television Show: American Horror Story: Season 4: Freak Show

Year: 2014

Creators: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk

Starring: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Michael Chiklis



This season takes place back in the 1950s as a struggling Freak show that is ran by Jessica Lange sets up shop in a field in Florida. The show leads off with the murder of a woman and the prime suspect turns out to be her conjoined twin daughters, played by Sarah Paulson. She is the killer, but Lange somehow convinces the police that it someone else, mostly by planting evidence and there is a serial killer about. Lange then convinces them to join her freak show.

Also working at this freak show we have Evan Peters, who is the lobster boy. He immediately takes a liking to the twins. His mother is the bearded lady played by Kathy Bates. There is also Noami Grossman and her boyfriend, played by Christopher Nieman. They are both mentally handicapped and are comic relief. There is Paul the illustrated seal, played by Matt Fraser; Amazon Eve played by Erika Ervin, the world’s smallest woman Ma Petite played by Jyoti Amge, Legless Suzi played by Rose Siggins and Ben Woolf who is known as Meep, the only thing he can say.

Lange capitalizes on a naïve woman at the hospital that Paulson is being kept. The woman is Grace Gummer. She also capitalizes on the fact there is a murderer on the loose who is dressed as a clown, played by John Carroll Lynch. Lange is addicted to opium and she uses it on Gummer, who ends up making a pornographic film without knowing it, this is used to control her.

The freak show is then joined by a strong man, played by Michael Chiklis, and his three-breasted hermaphrodite wife, played by Angela Bassett. It turns out though that Chiklis has history with Bates, as Peters is their son.

There is a rich family that is run by Frances Conroy. Her son loves the freak show and wants to be an actor; he is played by Finn Wittrock. Wittrock also has an issue that comes from the incest history in his family and that causes him to want to kill.

We also have a man, played by Denis O’Hare, who wants to get rich without doing much work. His partner is Emma Roberts. O’Hare tries to sell a fake freak to a museum, but they know it isn’t real. O’Hare then decides to have Roberts join this freak show in order to kill off some of the freaks to sell to the museum. He does this under a guise of wanting to take Paulson and Lange to Hollywood to be famous and Roberts pretends to be a fortune teller.

There are also others that seek refuge with the freak show or make an appearance. There is a fat woman. Wes Bentley plays a demonic figure that haunts any carnie who performs on Halloween. He takes the person who performs as well as another to join him. There is also Neil Patrick Harris who is a ventriloquist and magician, but he also harbors a darker secret.

What secret is Lange hiding? Will Lynch be caught before it is too late? Can Wittrock be stopped and kept in check? What will happen to this freak show?

I have to say that this season was pretty good. I thought the concept behind it was solid and it definitely fits into the anthology type of series that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have been trying to do. I thought all the characters were unique, on the outside and in. It is great to see freaks who hate each other band together when they have to, but still want to kill each other in the end. This series also ties back in with Asylum, which I found to be creative. The acting is good, the writing was solid, there are definitely cringe worthy moments and some of things that happened had me shocked. Definitely was a well put together season.

My biggest issue with this season though is continuity. They are performing songs on stage that won’t be written for another 30-40 years. I really have a problem with this, because it breaks the realism for me. Now I know I should overlook it as I am watching a fictional show, but the best thing to me is to take unrealistic things, make them as real as possible so it makes me think that what if it was.

Now with that said, I would recommend viewing this season. If you have been watching them all, you may was well continue on. This continues to give the horror, great acting, solid story and unique stories that build tension all the way to the finale. Now I still don’t think this season is better than the first, but to me, nothing will compare with it and I would need to be blown away for a season to eclipse that. I would say that this one is ahead of Asylum and Coven though. This can also be watched as a stand alone as it is a whole new story.


My Rating: 8 out of 10