Previous two seasons, Murder House and Asylum were met with positive reactions and the latter with incredible acclaim - it is nominated in 17 categories at this year's Emmy Awards. As entertaining as the show is, it has it's problems, but with some fantastic stories rooted in New Orleans' history and terrific additions to the cast, Coven has a shot at being the best season yet.
As usual everyone is very secretive about the story but we know some things for sure - we know that Jessica Lange's character is named Fiona and she is a powerful witch. She returns to New Orleans from L.A where she was living a very comfortable life, after a young witch is found killed. Fiona has a daughter, Cordelia (the lovely Sarah Paulson) who runs Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. That's right. It's a school for witches.
|Left: Jessica Lange, Emma Roberts, Jaime Brewer, Taissa Farmiga and Gabourey Sidibe / Right: Taissa Farmiga|
As with the other seasons we have a lot of people returning. Sadly, we won't see James Cromwell, Ian McShane or Zachary Quinto but I'm overjoyed the beautiful Alexandra Breckenridge (the sexy maid from season 1) and wonderful Taissa Farmiga are returning. No details were reveled about Breckenridge's character but Farmiga is playing Zoe, one of the girls in school who is a shy and sweet girl. The problem is that if she has sex with someone, that person dies. Whether it's a curse or Teeth kind of a deal is still not known.
|On the set - Evan Peters and Emma Roberts, Emma Roberts, Taissa Farmiga and Jaime Bewer, Frances Conroy|
Newcomer to the series, Patti Lupone, plays someone who is against the witches, one of the forces that threaten the coven. Danny Huston will star as Fiona's boyfriend. Lily Rabe and Frances Conroy are returning this season but their roles are undisclosed. Dennis O'Hare is going to play the creepy custodian of the school.
|Sarah Paulson, Jaime Bewer, Dennis O'Hare|
My point is that Murphy adores Evan Peters just as much as Lange and Roberts is his (apparently abusive) girlfriend in real life. So here she is. On the show. Let's just hope her character dies soon. She is a terrible, terrible actress. The fact her name is on the poster and Frances Conroy's is not borders on slander.
|Angela Bassett / Jaime Bewer, Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, Taissa Farmiga|
First one is Marie Leveau, a powerful Voodoo practitioner who lived in New Orleans in nineteenth century. Leveau is beloved by the people to this day and she is considered a saint. Her tomb continues to attract visitors who draw three "x"s (XXX) on its side, in the hopes that Laveau's spirit will grant them a wish - that was addressed in show's marketing already in this teaser. Leveau will be played by Angela Bassett.
|First still of Kathy Bates as Madame LaLaurie|
She was wealthy and charming and lived in beautiful house with her husband and two daughters (hopefully Lily Rabe will play one of them). What no one in her social circles knew, was that she had a special room where she was doing unspeakable things to her slaves. Think female Calvin Candie, except 100 times worse and under every one's noses in big town.
One day a fire started and forced the police and the people who came to help to break down the doors to the slave quarters. There they found several of LaLaurie's slaves, chained and wounded, who apparently have been being tortured for months.
Stories such as that of "human crab" are also very famous - it is claimed LaLaurie had the slave's joints broken and reset so that he would look grotesque and look like a crab when he moved. Another victim had the skin peeled off in circular way and looked like caterpillar. Some claim LaLaurie might have tortured and killed over 100 people.
Those are all speculations since no one knows for sure what really happened. It's a fact that Madame LaLaurie did torture and kill her slaves, but given Ryan Murphy's penchant for all things shocking (remember poor Chloe Sevigny last season?) I'm sure he will use some of the examples found in books written over a century after all of this happened.
Another interesting thing here is the Elizabeth Bathory connection. It is amazing to me how some things as small as who got slapped and for what are so well documented when it comes to things that happened so long ago. I read a book about Bathory once - her servant was brushing her hair and accidentally caused her pain. Bathory slapped the girl so hard the girl's blood landed on her face, hence beginning her obsession with blood. While researching LaLaurie I read that she also slapped her slave when she brushed her hair. What on earth am I talking about? According to EW's article LaLaurie uses slaves' blood as wrinkle cream. Murphy apparently spotted the connection too.
This show has brilliant marketing - in addition to creepy and beautiful posters short teasers are released and they have clues to the actual storyline. The mask that Kathy Bates is holding in the gif above suggest that they will get LaLaurie involved with witchcraft in the show. Satanism, to be exact.
|on the set|
The costumes already look astonishing and so are some of the choices made by Murphy already - especially having haunting cover version of "House of the Rising Sun" played in most of the teasers. I also love the fact they actually shot some stuff in real LaLaurie mansion. Here's a fun fact - it was briefly owned by Nicolas Cage.
One more thing - each season has a creepy, scary monster. Infantata in season 1, Bloody Face in season 2, what about season 3? According to EW the monster is going to be an iconic creature. There seem to be two possibilities - Honey Island Swamp monster or Rougarou.
Either way I'm sure it will be as unique and fun as the rest of the series.
American Horror Story returns with premiere entitled Bitchcraft on Wednesday October 9th on F/X.
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