American Horror Story: Coven –TV Series (Season 3)
Running Time: 60 minutes
Created by: Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Starring: Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Jamie Brewer, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Denis O’Hare, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates
This season of AHS focuses on the events of a coven of Salem descendants centered in New Orleans. The series begins with Zoe Benson (Farmiga) who is sent to the Miss Robichaux’s Academy after discovering that she is a witch. The Academy also acts a boarding school for witches is run by Headmistress, Cordelia Foxx (Paulson) who has lived in the shadow of her mother, the Supreme of the Coven, Fiona Goode (Lange). Upon arrival, Zoe meets the other tenants of the school – telekinetic movie star Madison Montgomery (Roberts), human voodoo doll, Queenie (Sidibe), and clairvoyant, Nan (Brewer). As Zoe settles down at her new home, she learns more about her ancestors and abilities. The Coven on the other hand is under attack from rival Salem witches, Marie Laveau (Bassett) and a group of witch hunters, and Cordelia has to ensure that everyone in the Academy remains as a group as they strategizes and as the clock ticks, they also need to figure out who would be the next Supreme of the Coven.
Another strong and fascinating season as the previous two, AHS: Coven had been an interesting ride and take on the topic of witchcraft and voodoo. It had been a while since there is such a realistic portrayal of witchcraft on television and on movies. The cast did a great job as an ensemble to bring the story to life with AHS alums – Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Lily Rabe, Denis O’Hare, Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga – and latest additions – Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe and Kathy Bates. There were strong performances throughout especially from Angela Bassett as Marie Laveau, Kathy Bates as the immortal, Delphine LaLaurie, and Jessica Lange as the power hungry Supreme. It was fantastic to watch such a female powerhouse on a show. The cinematography and editing was still as gritty and visually artistic as the previous season, but I would still have to say that AHS: Asylum still remained as the most visually enticing season of the lot. Moreover, the makeup and costume department did another wonderful job to add character to the whole cast.
Meanwhile, the storyline was still as strong and intriguing as ever, always succeeding in keeping the audiences on the edge of their seats, guessing what would happen next. However, it may be because of the large cast it was difficult to balance each character’s storyline which at times made the story appeared a little messy and too brief at moments. There is also more gore and blood than previous seasons which adds up to the horror factor of the story. I honestly cannot wait to see what the creators and writers have installed for the next season, and hope that they would bring back most of the alums and hopefully Zachary Quinto and Dylan McDermott, as well as this season’s cast, Angela Bassett.
Overall, a great season filled with surprises but was a bit sloppy at times. I would still have to say that AHS: Murder House had the best balance of story, horror and visuals, followed by this season then AHS: Asylum. There are some notable episodes this season such as Boy Parts, The Axeman Cometh, Head, Protect the Coven, Go to Hell and The Seven Wonders.
Rating: 7 out of 10