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  #46  
Old 01-13-2015, 01:22 PM
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:14 AM
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American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Review: “Show Stoppers”
Britt Hayes | a day ago

FX
For four seasons now, without fail, the penultimate episode of ‘American Horror Story’ has always delivered. Tonight’s episode of ‘Freak Show’ is no different, except in that it stumbles perhaps more than the others, the dark humor and melodrama wrestling with the horror in ways that can be a little jarring—and not in a great way. But “Show Stoppers” does feature at least a couple of show-stopping numbers, and it’s the kind of stuff that our old pal Dr. Hans Gruber’s dreams are made of.

Yes, Dr. Hans Gruber (or his younger self, anyway) returns to ‘AHS,’ giving us yet another connection to the previous seasons—although it does seem as though ‘Freak Show’ is more directly tied to ‘Asylum’ than anything else. And like ‘Asylum’ and that twisted Dr. Gruber, “Show Stoppers” really leans into the more grisly moments…starting with Stanley, who sits down to what he believes to be a celebratory dinner, after which everyone will watch ‘Freaks’ and bid Elsa farewell to Hollywood. But their plot synopsis of ‘Freaks’ is rather telling (and maybe a little too on-the-nose), and after Elsa throws some knives at him, the rest of the performers take after Stanley with knives and sharp objects of their own.

That early scene cuts away before anything truly gruesome happens to Stanley, but the stage has already been set for an intense episode, in which Danny Huston once again graces us with his presence as Massimo arrives to give Jimmy some new hands. It’s through Massimo’s recounting of how he was separated from Elsa, the love of his life, that the disturbing Nazi Dr. Gruber reenters the picture. Huston and Jessica Lange’s scene together is powerful stuff, however brief, and their performances really complement each other much like they did in ‘Coven.’

But the real show-stopping stuff is delivered via Chester, whose happiness with the twins is making Marjorie very upset—so upset, that Chester agrees to take care of the Tattler sisters to please her. It seems strange that Dot doesn’t pick up on Chester’s mental problems when she was so quick to pin Dandy for the depraved weirdo that he is. But love is willfully blind, or something. And after Dandy tips them off and sows some doubts, Dot and Bette exit stage left, and it’s Esmerelda/Lucy who ends up as part of Chester’s latest trick, sawed in half in the most sickening display. The scene is dripping with the kind of dread and intensity that’s become a little too rare on ‘AHS,’ but definitely proves that Ryan Murphy & Co. are still capable of producing actual horror.

It’s episodes like this that make the majority of the season feel more frustrating, but also renew hope for the future. Nothing has quite measured up to the promise of the premiere, but “Show Stoppers” comes close. Chester’s perverse and violent story arc is so demented and horrific, and its effectiveness is largely due to Neil Patrick Harris’ excellent grasp of the material. But the way he really nails the tone also serves to highlight the ways in which so much of this season has struggled to find that perfect balance that he achieved in just two episodes.

Immediately after Chester’s unnerving display, Desiree scoffs dismissively, declaring that they’ll steal Lucy’s jewelry and “bury the bitch.” All that’s missing is an over-exaggerated snap of the fingers. The problem is that Desiree’s comments aren’t funny—not because what she’s saying is offensive, but because after the deafening silence and shock of Lucy’s death, the show is trying to punctuate the moment with some dark humor and it just feels like such an obvious way to do that. It doesn’t work.

Regardless of the few stumbling blocks in this episode—like the unnecessary flashback to Jimmy’s teen years, which is only unnecessary because it’s so awkwardly tacked on—”Show Stoppers” goes out riding a high, with Dot and Bette rescuing Elsa from murder at the hands of her own, and Dandy’s (predictable) arrival as their new owner. I guess it sort of makes sense for Elsa to pass the baton to Dandy, since he’s also capable of the sort of emotional remove needed to do what’s necessary for the survival of the show, even if that means killing someone. And maybe we’re meant to understand that now that Dandy has what he really wanted, he’ll stop butchering people and bathing in their blood—all that Patrick Bateman murder stuff was actually, appropriately a Bret Easton Ellis-esque metaphor for privilege and petulance…or something. I guess.

But the episode does end on a high note, with Elsa off to follow her dreams with $10k in her pocket, and the revelation that Stanley has been sickeningly—and literally—cut down to size as the show’s new Meep. And then there’s Jimmy, who, when given the chance to start a new life with new, normal-ish hands, refuses; instead, he has Massimo craft him a pair of wooden flippers. Jimmy can get rid of his deformity, but he’ll never get rid of where he comes from, what he’s experienced because of his birthright, and the way it’s shaped him as a man; those flippers represent not just Jimmy and his mother and his father, but his entire makeshift family and all the hurt and shame they’ve endured. To refuse them would be to refuse life itself.

Or, you know, something.

Additional Thoughts:

OK, so if everyone found out that Chester murdered Lucy right after it happened, how did Dot and Bette remain oblivious to the screaming and the commotion? I mean, someone is going to tell them, right? Next week, on ‘AHS’: Dandy and Dot and Bette make amends, I bet.
One of the other issues with this episode, which I neglected to mention above, is the opening, which gleefully skips over the whole thing where everyone finds out about Stanley and plots to kill him. It’s very abrupt, almost as if we’re missing an episode. But that’s been the nature of penultimate episodes on ‘AHS’—it’s like Ryan Murphy & Co. spend so much time meandering and playing with their myriad plot threads, setting three down just to pick five up, and always indecisive about which to follow, that they’ve distracted themselves from the endgame. I don’t believe for a second that they’ve got an entire season plotted out and planned before they begin. No way.
$10 says we see more ‘Asylum’ stuff next week.
Dandy likes lemonade with a paper straw, please and thank you.



Read More: ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Review: “Show Stoppers” | http://screencrush.com/american-horr...ckback=tsmclip
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:19 AM
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Poll: Who's Going to Die in the Finale of 'American Horror Story: Freak Show?'
Nobody's safe in Jupiter, FL.

By Joey Skladany on January 15, 2015

The freaks are dropping like the buzzing flies of the Everglades on American Horror Story: Freak Show.

While it may appear that all of the remaining characters are likely to succumb to murder at the hands of their own, some arguably have a better chance of survival than others. But what will determine their fate? Willpower? Physical strength? A lack of enemies? The show, as it has proven, can go in a million different directions.

We obviously know Elsa has escaped the madness of Florida for the sights and sounds of Hollywood. Pepper's episode reveals that the fame-obsessed fräulein goes on to create a name for herself in television. But what about the once "precious monsters" she has left behind to fend for themselves? What does Ryan Murphy have up his sleeve? Will the freaks combine forces and start anew, or will they all end up killing each other under Dandy's management?

Vote in our poll below and be sure to sound off in the comments!


http://www.zimbio.com/Beyond+the+Tub...n+Horror+Story
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:43 AM
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On the 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' set with Sarah Paulson and Bette and Dot Tattler

The team that turns Sarah Paulson into "American Horror Story: Freak Show's" Bette and Dot Tattler — two-headed conjoined twins — were assembled in front of a bank of video monitors in the billiards room of a Metairie mansion. New Orleans-area shooting for the FX anthology drama's season, which concludes with episodes at 9 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 14) and Jan. 21, was nearing its December production wrap. Paulson was in the nearby dining room with other cast members (IDs for which would spoil the series finale, so, "You're welcome"), painstakingly shooting a key scene.

For all of the early takes of the scene, as the cameras worked their way around the table to capture performances by the other characters, Paulson acted with her voice, or rather voices.

Then the time came to make Bette and Dot. The process included individual two-camera takes of Paulson acting the scene as each sister. Then an animatronic facsimile of a Tattler-girl head was attached first to one of Paulson's shoulders, then the other. The "puppet" head, as it's known to the production, was obscured in the shot by a table candle while Paulson acted beside it. Finally, a portable green-screen background was brought in to shoot Paulson's lines again, with two additional cameras in the room. Some of the footage would later be processed by special-effects artists in three different cities.

Capturing the scene took hours, with all of the actors working it for one another off-camera, again and again.

Creating Bette and Dot required a remarkable ensemble performance, with Justin Ball (visual-effects supervisor), Michael Goi (director of photography), a team of makeup artists led by Eryn Krueger Mekash, and Bradley Buecker (the episode's director) playing supporting roles.

At the center of it was Paulson, whose most intense, technically precise acting work — two characters interacting with the other players and each other in absentia, again and again — came at the end of the shot sequence. (Following a break, shooting would continue late into the night for the crew and some of the actors on interior sets on a soundstage across town.)

After the final "cut" for her scene, Paulson, a four-season member of the "AHS" ensemble who a day earlier was announced as Marcia Clark opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in the upcoming "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson," talked about the process of creating Bette and Dot, and the time, then fast approaching, when she'd have to say goodbye to them.

"I haven't really had time to reflect on it, but I can't wait for Christmas when I'm done and I'm able to reflect on it, and I hope it's not too late to say goodbye to all the things I loved about playing them," Paulson said. "I think of them as one, even though they're completely different creatures. They are twins. There is shared experience for them, even though they have different likes and dislikes in clothing and food and people. But they are born of the same people.

"It's a funny thing," she continued. "I almost think of them as shadow selves. I'll miss them both terribly because they are two sides of the same coin, and one completes the other. And that's sort of the beautiful thing about it."

Creating Bette and Dot appears seamless once it's on-screen. The reality of the process is so technically complicated, though — all the different camera angles, the animatronic head, the green screen — Paulson's distinct performances as each sister are more than doubly impressive.

"I think you happen to be catching me at a time when we're at the end of the road," she said. "There's almost something in my body, like a muscle memory, that takes care of a lot of the technical aspects of it. I can tell if my head is not in the right place. I know what to ask Justin, who's in charge of all of our VFX, so I don't have to wait to be told. I can get in front of it a little bit.

"Some times more than others, it's very helpful when the scene itself informs the emotional story going on internally."

The dramatic scene the cast had just shot "didn't require much in terms pretending," she said.

"Sometimes I play these girls — because there is so much going on in a technical respect — I am forced to go right into the essence of who they are, because I don't have time to figure out little moments," she said. "It's almost because we don't have time, my brain can get out of the way and I can lead with my heart. I think it helps the emotional part of it."

Seeing Bette and Dot assembled on-screen for the first time "was very weird and kind of jarring," Paulson said. "It was probably less strange for me to watch than for other people, because I knew every single moment that we were doing — like when I had the puppet on.

"I thought it was really seamlessly executed. At the beginning of this, nobody really knew how we were going to pull it off, so I think it's a small miracle."

It hasn't been announced where "American Horror Story," already renewed for season five, will shoot next. So "Freak Show's" wrap could've conclude a two-plus-years period of work in New Orleans for Paulson, dating back to her role in Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" through "American Horror Story: Coven" and "Freak Show."

"It's a hard thing when you go on location, but sometimes you only go for a month at a time or six weeks at a time," she said. "I've been here for six months now two years and a row, and it almost feels like a second home.

"Something about the energy of the city, it either works for you or it doesn't, and for me it really does. I love the people. I just love shooting here. It's going to be bizarre to say goodbye.

"If you bump into somebody on the street in New York you don't know, you're likely to get, 'Sorry, pardon me,' or a different look or a kind of a nasty look or just a look in general. Here, not only do they say they're sorry, but they let you know where they were born and where their kids are going to school. It's a wonderful thing that the small contact that you make with a person, big things can come from it. You learn a lot about the person standing behind you in the grocery store.

"People feel open-hearted here, and generally interested in other people. Sometimes in Los Angeles or New York or other big, bustling cities — particularly where there's a level of narcissism that surpasses other places — I do think you live in a bubble. In Los Angeles particularly, you go from your house to a car and your car to wherever you're going, and you're kind of insulated. This is not like that. You're on the street here and there's a kind of genuine interest in other people that I think you don't find other places, and it's inspiring."


http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/201...r_story_f.html
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:58 AM
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‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ finale spoilers: ‘Curtain Call’ features Jessica Lange, Finn Wittrock, a bow
January 15, 2015

This season of “American Horror Story” has definitely brought a big top’s amount of craziness. We’ve seen deaths, romance, the greatly disturbing, and more things than we can really hope to mention within the span of this article. Yet, all shows do need to drop the curtain at some point, and we are going to see this particular series do just that come Wednesday night with “Curtain Call.” The story for Elsa Mars, Dandy Mott, and more will seemingly be at an end.

Want to get some basic details right away in terms of what to expect? Then our suggestion first and foremost is simple: Take a look at the short synopsis. It may not be that revealing, but it is definitely better than nothing:

“The Freaks rebel against new management. Dandy prepares for his debut performance. Elsa arrives in Tinseltown.”

What is interesting going into this is that we do know a few little things already about what the future holds, at least in that “Orphans” showed us that Elsa does eventually manage to make it as a star on the West Coast. (It’s too bad that Pepper doesn’t have a better ending to go along with it.)

Also, in this episode be sure to be on the lookout for a large variety of clues. We know that the show is in the process already of planning what they want to do next season, and they will probably manage to surprise quite a few of you.

What do you want to see on the “American Horror Story: Freak Show” finale? Share some of your thoughts, hopes, and more with a comment! Also, click here for some further news (including a review for tonight’s “Show Stoppers”), and head over here to get some further TV updates on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: FX.)


http://cartermatt.com/148199/america...-wittrock-bow/
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:45 AM
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Joe Manganiello, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande to Star in Scream Queens
BY LYNETTE RICE

Joe Manganiello will star in a new American Horror Story-like drama for Fox about a college campus that is rocked by a series of murders.

The new series, called Scream Queens, is from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto – the executive producers of American Horror Story and Glee – and comes with an all-star cast. Lea Michele will jump from the series finale of Glee into the new show. Joining her will be Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Keke Palmer (Akeela and the Bee), and Ariana Grande, who will guest-star in a recurring role.

Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Emma Roberts (American Horror Story: Freak Show) were previously announced in starring roles in the limited series.

Production on the series will begin in the spring and will premiere in the fall on Fox.


http://www.people.com/article/joe-ma...-ariana-grande
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:33 PM
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‘American Horror Story’ Season 4 Spoilers: ‘Freak Show’ Finale Photos Released; Check Out 2 Images From Episode 13
By Amanda Remling @AmandaTVScoop on January 19 2015 1:18 PM



Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) is smiling in this image from the "American Horror Story: Freak Show" finale ... but that doesn't mean she'll get her happy ending in Hollywood.

The end is near for “American Horror Story” fans. Although the FX miniseries will be returning for a fifth season in October, the Season 4 installment, “Freak Show,” wraps up Wednesday.

The network released two images from the finale, giving viewers their first look at what’s to come in episode 13, “Curtain Call.” Although the photos only feature Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange), fans can speculate about the deadly drama that lies ahead.

When we left off, Elsa was forced to flee her beloved freak show a little early. The former ringleader and owner had sold the show to a man named Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) in order to move forward with her plans to become a star in Hollywood. But shortly after selling the show, Elsa learned that her “agent,” Stanley (Denis O’Hare), was actually a con artist. Before Elsa had a chance to consider her options, Dot and Bette (Sarah Paulson) warned her that she had to leave immediately or risk getting killed – or worse – by the rest of the troupe. Elsa initially didn’t believe the twins, but fled the grounds after realizing that “her monsters” knew she had killed Ethel (Kathy Bates). In a surprise move, Elsa sold the freak show anew to Dandy (Finn Wittrock), the rich lunatic responsible for killing countless of innocent people, and drove off to Hollywood with the cash.



Elsa (Jessica Lange) appears to be shocked by something in this promo photo from the "American Horror Story: Freak Show" finale. FX
The synopsis for the “Freak Show” finale simply teases that the freaks will “rebel against new management.” But it doesn’t sound like Dandy will care about his unhappy performers because he’ll be preparing for his “debut performance.” And while things spiral out of control in Jupiter, Florida, Elsa will arrive in Tinseltown.

Will Elsa find success in Hollywood? Although episode 10 appeared to give away the “American Horror Story” ending by placing Elsa on the cover of Time magazine, the promo video for the finale doesn’t make it seem like she’ll get everything she hoped for.

“What kind of a place is this?” Elsa demands in the trailer for “Curtain Call.”

“Hollywood,” a woman responds.

Elsa appears happy in one promo photo, and a little surprised in the second one. Will Elsa’s dreams get crushed? Will she realize she made a big mistake? “American Horror Story” fans will find out when episode 13, the “Freak Show” finale, airs on FX on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 10 p.m. EST.


http://www.ibtimes.com/american-horr...-out-2-1787704

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Old 01-21-2015, 10:08 AM
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Playing 'American Horror Story: Freak Show's' Dandy Mott has been 'a special time' for Finn Wittrock
By Dave Walker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on January 19, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Of all the faces in the cast of outcast characters in "American Horror Story: Freak Show," the New Orleans-shot anthology drama headed for its season finale at 9 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 21) on FX, Dandy Mott may be the prettiest. Also the scariest, not counting Twisty the clown, to whom Dandy became a kind of protégé.

Twisty was just one of many weird chapters for Dandy. It would've been a breakout role for Finn Wittrock, the Juilliard-trained actor who portrays him, if 2014 hadn't been a breaking-out-all-over year for him. A veteran of Broadway and "All My Children," Wittrock also had roles during 2014 in the HBO movie "The Normal Heart" (directed by Ryan Murphy, co-creator of "Horror Story") and the feature "Unbroken."

Here's an edited Q&A with Wittrock, interviewed in December while he was shooting the "Freak Show" season finale on location in Metairie.

Q: You're nearing the end of the season. Have you had a chance to reflect on your "American Horror Story" experience?

A: It's like you're kind of in the thick of it until it's over. It's definitely been a life-changer for me, I think, just in terms of how popular it's been. Also because it's been a character that I've gotten to really stretch for. I don't know who else (but Murphy) would've given me the chance to stretch like this. So, yeah, I'm very thankful for it. It's a crazy, chaotic whirlwind while you're in it. It's been a very special time.

What was it like to join this ensemble of actors?

It's sort of intimidating at first. Before you get here you're like -- first of all, they're all such legends in their own right, and they've also been together for three years. But I was very welcomed. They brought me here with open arms. There was no hazing ritual.

From the beginning, I've honestly felt like the writing has been very inspired, and especially for Dandy. Every week I've been given a new spectrum of colors to reveal about myself and to explore. And so, I've never felt – which I think is a danger of doing TV in general -- stuck in a pattern. I've never felt stagnant. I've always felt like I've been challenged and I've been pushing the boundaries of the preconception that I've made of the character up to that point.

Do you draw on references beyond the scripts for character?

Usually I do, but this has been very much out of my own imagination, and Ryan's. At first I looked at children. That was my biggest source of inspiration, just watching children. My mom worked with babies, babies with autism and stuff, and so we talked about the infant mentality, and what if that mentality just never really matured emotionally, but intellectually it did. Kind of like a baby that just never really grew up. 'Anything that isn't pleasing to me is not doing its job in existence.'

It's always me, me, me -- which is actually an infant mentality. As innocent as they are, they're also all ego. That's kind of what I keep referring to when I need to get re-inspired with Dandy

What kind of reactions do you get from civilians now? You're out-and-about here. All you guys are.

Every now and then, someone will be like, "I hate you!" And it's like, "Oh. I don't even know you. You might, but you don't really know that." But generally it's been very positive and very cool. Like, people were me for Halloween. That was kind of trippy.

It's funny how different reactions are in the different places you go. New Orleans people are very effusive, very open. 'Can I take a picture? I love you're work. It's so great.' In L.A., it's a little more like they'll kind of sneak a picture of you. And in New York, you'll see them look at you and know you, but they're way too cool to ever come up. Which is OK. It's like you get to be more anonymous in New York. I still get it, but in general it's been very cool, very positive.

Had you spent much time in New Orleans before coming here to work?

When I was at Juilliard we came here for one week for an outreach thing. It was two or three years after Katrina. We did some planting trees at schools, some very basic community-outreach stuff. We also brought arts to the after-school program. We also had a lot of fun. But it was like a week, a whirlwind trip, so I never really spent real time here before.

You participated in recovery work. That's a big thing to people who live here. Thanks for doing that.

It felt like a very small contribution, but we did what we could for a moment in time. We had dancers and musicians and actors and they all worked with the kids and made this great performance at the end of the week with the kids. It felt impactful in a small way.

That long after the storm, you could really see the damage to the city from the flood.

That was really surprising. We went to the 9th Ward and one house was just perfectly built, and right next to it was demolition, destruction.

Have you enjoyed the time that you spent here this time?

Yeah, I've had a great time. Too good of a time. It can be dangerous how much fun you can have here. I've been really welcomed. It's such a unique place. I don't know any other city that is prideful about itself, in a great way.

Have you thought about another season of the show? Has there been any conversation with Ryan?

There has honestly been no conversation about it. I've just been trying to make it through this. If I do something else, the great thing about the show is I can do something completely and utterly different, which is what I want to do if I did it again. There's a bunch of rumors about what it's going to be, and then that rumor's dispelled. Whatever that idea was, that's not the idea any more. We won't really know until whenever.

You'd be open to the idea of returning.

I'd be open to the idea, for sure.


http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/201...ror_story.html
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Old 01-21-2015, 03:55 PM
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Horror Story Eyes a 'Huge Reinvention' — Will Jessica Lange Be a Part of It?
By Matt Webb Mitovich / January 18 2015, 11:51 AM PST


FX’s fifth American Horror Story will be “very different,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf told TVLine Sunday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

Pressed to reveal the theme to follow Freak Show (which finales on Wednesday), Landgraf deferred, “I know what it is, but I can’t [say]. I have to let [series boss] Ryan [Murphy] do his thing on that. But it’s very different.”
Landgraf went on to say of the franchise, “One of the things I love so much about that is that it can be radically, radically reinvented in terms of tone, setting, period, characters, cast.” And along those lines, “I think there’s going to be an unusually large reinvention in between Book 4 and Book 5 relative to, say, between Book 3 [Coven] and 4 [Freak Show].
The only Season 5 clue Landgraf perhaps let slip was when asked about the show returning to the present day (as it thus far has done with odd-numbered seasons). “That’s my hope, yeah,” he answered.

As for Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jessica Lange being a part of the next cycle — a while ago, she hinted in an interview that Freak Show would be her swan song — Landgraf has no information, explaining, “Ryan is really, really independent in how he makes these shows and what he does. So I know the setting, I know something about the characters and something about the tone and the time period, but I don’t actually know the cast yet.”
(With reporting by Vlada Gelman)



http://tvline.com/2015/01/18/america...jessica-lange/
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:29 AM
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‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Interview: Kathy Bates On Ethel’s Heartbreaking Journey
January 21, 2015 American Horror Story, Interviews


The incomparable Kathy Bates brought humanity and grace to American Horror Story: Freak Show this season in the role of the bearded lady Ethel. While Ethel met an untimely demise at the hands of her best friend earlier in the season, like many who die in the American Horror Story world, Bates’ Ethel might just reappear in time for the season finale this Wednesday, January 21st at 10PM ET/PT on FX.

Even if Ethel’s heartbreaking swan song has already been sung, the character left a lasting mark on Bates. TV Equals joined in a conference call with Bates shortly after Ethel made her bloody exit and the actress discussed why she keeps coming back to American Horror Story, what made Ethel so special and more.

How Ryan Murphy Rejuvenated Bates’ Career

After NBC cancelled Bates’ ratings winner Harry’s Law due to it drawing an audience that was considered too old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and found herself at a low point in her life. It was not until American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy offered her the role of Delphine LaLaurie in AHS: Coven that Bates found joy in her career once more.

I credit Ryan for not only rejuvenating my career, but rejuvenating my spirit,” Bates said. Delphine was a layered, vicious character Bates could sink her teeth into while also allowing her to surround herself with other amazing actresses like Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett. Meanwhile Bates’ Freak Show character, Ethel’s spirit has been even more complex. For these reasons, Bates would not hesitate to return for a third installment of FX’s anthology series.

I think Ryan really appreciates older actresses,” Bates said. “He’s rejuvenated our careers, and he’s put us in front of the public at our best. We have a younger fan base now, and that’s all the reasons why I would come back. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and I can’t wait to hear what the next part he might propose would be.

On Ethel and Her Untimely Demise

In Ethel, Bates found a character she could relate to her. Bates noted she emphasized with Ethel’s “authenticity and her strength, her struggle.” Bates' one wish for the character is that she might have went out in the world dressed as a man just once to experience the world in a way that would not have left her feeling as if she were an outsider. Sadly, Ethel lived and died in the Freak Show.

As for Ethel’s death at the hands of her close friend, Elsa (Lange), Bates noted it was a “bittersweet” end. Upon reading it in the script Bates’ revealed: “I thought, okay, there it is in black and white. I thought, well, it’s been a good run and we’ll see what happens next; you never know with American Horror Story.

Bates’ On That Epic Final Scene

Ethel and Elsa’s final scene together (at least for now) was as gothic and grandiose as anything American Horror Story has ever done before. Bates reflected on shooting the scene with Lange and how it was evocative of Greek theater.

When we got the script, and we actually had a couple of meetings with the director on it to talk about the scene itself and how we were going to approach it because on the page it looks like Greek theater; it’s one monologue after another monologue after another monologue. With these kinds of arguments, in real life, it would be people talking over each other and all of that kind of stuff. It wasn’t constructed like that, so we couldn’t approach it from that direction. We did a lot of talking about what was going on in the character’s minds and where they were coming from and would this be enough to — I know one concern from Jessica was, would this be enough for her to turn around and kill Ethel.

For Bates, the end result was akin to watching "two Greek gods fighting.” If that is the end of Bates’ Freak Show journey, fans must admit the actress went out in an unforgettable way, and there is always next season and a new character on the horizon as long as Murphy continues finding inspiration in the indomitable Ms. Bates.

American Horror Story: Freak Show’s finale airs Wednesday, January 21st at 10pm ET/PT on FX.


http://www.tvequals.com/2015/01/21/a...y-bates-ethel/
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:26 AM
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Jessica Lange Has Officially Peaced Out Of ‘American Horror Story’
BY STACEY RITZEN • 01.22.15


So, about that “reinvention” Ryan Murphy is planning for season five of American Horror Story. Being that every season has in some way revolved around Jessica Lange’s scenery-chewing characters, one would assume that any American Horror Story NOT involving Ms. Lange would have to be drastically different. And it looks like that’s going to be the case, because Jessica Lange did, in fact, take her final bow last night.

Ryan Murphy ✔ @MrRPMurphy
Thank you Jessica...for everything. Always.

5:42 AM - 22 Jan 2015


Of course, it’s not a complete surprise that this would be Jessica Lange’s final season, as she said so much in an EW interview back in November of 2013. However Ryan Murphy later later claimed that there was a possibility of her waffling, and he was doing everything he could to convince her to stay. YOU SHOULD HAVE TRIED HARDER.

I’ll have the recap of the finale up a bit later, but this certainly lends a new poignancy to the final scene of American Horror Story: Freak Show.



http://uproxx.com/tv/2015/01/jessica...-horror-story/
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:44 PM
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‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Finale Review: “Curtain Call”
Britt Hayes | 2 days ago

FX
And with that, the curtain falls on another season of ‘American Horror Story,’ as ‘Freak Show’ does its best to come full circle and remember that it had established some plot threads that it should probably tie up. “Curtain Call” is filled with inevitable moments punctuated by maudlin theatrics, which should seem appropriate given the context of the fourth season—but with how much ‘Freak Show’ has meandered aimlessly from plot to plot, delivering half-baked ideas and even lesser-baked themes, very little of tonight’s season finale feels worth the journey.

Jessica Lange has previously mentioned that perhaps she won’t return to ‘American Horror Story’ after season 4. And recently, at the TCAs, FX execs revealed that the fifth season may very well feature “an unusually large reinvention” of the series. It seems even the folks at FX are aware of the show’s creative issues. And it’s not that Ryan Murphy doesn’t have some vibrant and interesting ideas, using common pieces of horror as a jumping off point for some wild stuff—but the problem has always been with the inconsistencies, the lack of thematic cohesion, and what feels like a serious case of ADD behind the scenes. Each episode establishes more new plot threads while dropping others, and never clings firmly to any one narrative element for more than two episodes, max. With Murphy going into production on the first season of his new anthology, ‘American Crime Story,’ it makes sense that the already scattered and barely-focused ‘American Horror Story’ will continue to suffer.

But maybe removing Jessica Lange (as fabulous and ferocious as she is) and reinventing the series is what’s needed to escape this redundant cycle. Much of this season fails to resonate on a thematic, emotional, or visceral level, although Kathy Bates gave us some touching moments and there were occasionally sickening twists. Now that we’ve reached the end, it’s hard to remember characters like Pepper even existed, or those delightful Edward Mordrake episodes.

“Curtain Call” does its best to make us remember why we liked the promise of this season in the first place, but even with an additional David Bowie performance from Elsa, it’s hardly inspiring. We’ve seen her do this act one too many times. We know the song and dance. We know where this is going.

Of course Dandy snaps and murders almost everyone at the Cabinet of Curiosities. And of course, after leaving with Dandy and marrying him, Dot and Bette poison him at dinner—as if they could possibly stay with a monster. Desiree lives and marries Malcolm Jamal Warner’s character, and has the relatively normal life and children she always wanted. Dot and Bette marry Jimmy and they begin their own family, although this pairing (or threesome) feels like the result of these characters having no other options. And then ding dong, Dandy’s dead in a manner which should be terrifying and theatrical, but instead feels banal.

What began as a story that was building to a showdown between the superhero Jimmy and the super villain Dandy, ended appropriately for ‘AHS’ in that the finale only has a passing interest in revisiting this idea before wholly dismissing it and going with a zany murder-revenge plot.

And as for Elsa, she gets her show. She gets a husband (Neil Patrick Harris’ husband, to be exact). And she gets the fame she always wanted. It’s too bad that the finale is preoccupied with ideas that are way too basic for the elaborate stage on which they’re presented: fame has a price; you always lose what you give away; and the sins of your past will come back to haunt you, like a series of 8mm sex tapes you made in Berlin—this is a sadly clumsy reflection of similar circumstances in the real world, where the public feels entitled to own its performers, simultaneously objectifying them and holding them up to the most impossible standards. This is the way Elsa treated her darling Curiosities, and what goes around comes around, I suppose.

The final 20 minutes are terribly overwrought and, like much of the proceeding hour, fail to make an impression. Elsa loses everything in almost comically melodramatic fashion—the freaks are dead, Massimo is dying and can’t take her away from her hellish life of fame, and notorious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper has found Elsa’s old 8mm tapes from Berlin. Elsa has nothing, but when you’ve been to the top and back down to the bottom, where else is there to go?

And so we get a visit from Edward Mordrake (and Twisty! Those were the days), reminding us of a time when this show was actually effective and still intriguing, only to abruptly remind us of how it’s no longer either of those things.

I’m not sure if we’re meant to read the ending as tragic or strangely uplifting—it seems as though Elsa’s been rewarded for her selfishness and now resides in her own version of heaven with all of her old carnival pals and Ethel telling her that famous people don’t receive punishment. Or maybe being surrounded by all those hearts she broke and lives she stole and doomed to death is her punishment. And maybe she’s just too narcissistic to understand it, or too grateful to see them again that she doesn’t care.

And that’s what I mean: there’s no clear thematic message or idea. There’s no cohesion. Nothing about this season has made much sense, but in the most banal way possible.

The first two seasons of ‘AHS’ remain the best, as is the case with most of Ryan Murphy’s enterprises. Perhaps with next season’s promised “reinvention,” we’ll get at least of a hint of a show that delivers on the promise of its season premiere.

Additional Thoughts:

Of all the people at the circus, I thought Eve would be the one to really give it to Dandy, and she comes real close.
Speaking of Dandy, he remains the MVP of this season (Bates, Bassett, and Lange aside).
Do you think Dandy put Stanley out of his misery?
I will see you all next season because I clearly am too dumb to stay away from this series.


Read More: 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Review: "Curtain Call" | http://screencrush.com/american-horr...ckback=tsmclip
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:20 AM
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‘American Horror Story’ Season 4 Spoilers: 13 Questions We Have After The ‘Freak Show’ Finale
By Amanda Remling @AmandaTVScoop on January 22 2015 9:33 AM

We've got a lot of questions after the "American Horror Story: Freak Show" finale ...
“American Horror Story: Freak Show” came to a bloody end on Wednesday. The fourth installment of the FX miniseries concluded with a frightening massacre and a special ending for the star of it all – Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange). The writers did their best to wrap up story lines and tie everything up with a nice bow, however we still have some questions after the “Freak Show” finale:

1. Did Chester get arrested? Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) turned himself into the police in the episode prior to the finale. He confessed to killing someone and asked for the chair … but handed the police his doll. Did he get locked up in the crazy house?

2. What happened to mutant Stanley? Dandy (Finn Wittrock) went on a shooting spree and murdered almost everyone at the freak show. However, “American Horror Story” fans didn’t see mutant Stanley with a bullet in his head.

3. What did Dandy do with his mom’s body? The finale brought viewers back to the Mott household, and it was in much better shape than when we last left it. Dandy had previously sewn a second head onto his mom’s body and hung her up to play with. Gloria’s (Frances Conroy) body was noticeably missing when Dandy wed Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) in his play room.

4. What did they do with Dandy’s body? Dandy drowned in the Houdini tank thanks to Desiree (Angela Bassett), Jimmy (Evan Peters) and the twins. But what happened to his body? It’s unclear if they just left him in the water to rot, or if they threw him in a shallow grave.

5. Whatever happened to that police officer who Dandy was paying? One of the Jupiter police officers was getting paid off by Dandy. Did he go looking for the psychotic rich boy? Or just shrug when he went missing.

6. Did Desiree get her surgery? The “American Horror Story: Freak Show” finale ended with Desiree and her husband, the traveling salesman she met while on stage, watching their two children run down the street. She got her happy ending – but does she still have her “dingaling” and three breasts?

7. How does the Bette, Dot And Jimmy relationship work? Jimmy was seemingly in a relationship with Dot … but what about Bette (Sarah Paulson)? The conjoined twin looked like she was just along for the ride while her sister got to have a loving relationship with Jimmy. The catch is that the twins were pregnant. Whose baby is it? Do the share mothering it? We have so many questions …

8. What do Bette, Dot and Jimmy do for a living now? Bette, Dot and Jimmy no longer have the freak show to rely on for money. Did Bette and Dot get Dandy’s money after they married him? Or did all of them get new jobs to support themselves?

9. Is Jimmy still wanted for the Tupperware party murder? “American Horror Story” fans can’t forget that Jimmy was wanted for murder. He was broken out of jail and forced to hide in a barn. Did the police stop looking for him? Did he change his name? Is he cleared of the murder charges?

10. Who buried the freaks in a mass grave? At the end of the finale Elsa learned that her beloved monsters had been buried in a mass grave. Who put them there? Either Desiree, Jimmy and the twins dumped their friends in the ground or the Jupiter police department did.

11. What happened to Dell Toledo in the afterlife? Elsa was reunited with all her loved ones after her visit from Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) – Ethel (Kathy Bates), Ma Petite (Jyoti Amge), Paul (Mat Fraser) and more. One person noticeably missing was Del Toledo (Michael Chiklis). Del did kill Ma Petite, which could be why he wasn’t with everybody. However, it’s important to remember that Elsa was responsible for Ethel’s death.

12. What happened to Maggie in the afterlife? Like Del, Maggie (Emma Roberts) was missing from the afterlife freak show.

13. Who are the freaks performing for? Do the freaks perform for the same crowd every night in the afterlife? And is the crowd dead like them? So many questions …



http://www.ibtimes.com/american-horr...finale-1791378
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:44 AM
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Here Are The Clues Behind 'American Horror Story' Season 5
By Erin Whitney

We're just barely into the fourth season of "American Horror Story," but fans are eagerly trying to figure out what will happen next season.

(Spoiler alert if you don't want to know even the mildest speculation about Season 5.)

Ryan Murphy has said in multiple interviews that clues regarding the fifth season are scattered throughout the first few episodes of "Freak Show." In his most recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy confirmed a major clue that has since set off a whole slew of theories. In Episode 4, "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)," a cop hands Emma Roberts' Maggie a coffee cup with a top hat printed on it. "That is a big season five clue!" Murphy told EW of the top hat. "It’s an arcane clue, but it’s very purposeful, and it illuminates something that you’ll be like, 'Oh! You dirty [bastard]!'"


Avid fans on Reddit have since discovered two other appearances of the same top hat this season. The first two are in Episode 2 when a close-up shows the hat on two coffee cups held by the assistant at the local toy store.


The second time the hat pops up is in the diner scene when Evan Peters' Jimmy takes the "freaks" out to eat. The top hat can be seen on the front of the restaurant menus -- it seems that all of the coffee cups are coming from what looks to be The Top Hat Diner. Let's also not forget that Edward Mordrake wears a top hat.


Redditor ace_VXIII posted a fan theory on the series' subreddit last week that seems to be the most convincing one yet. This one proposes that the top hat may signify Operation Top Hat, a "local field exercise" that occurred in Alabama in 1953, one year after the events of "Freak Show." The operation involved the United States Army Chemical Corps testing biological and chemical weapons, mustard gas, and nerve gas for decontamination. However, the experiment was never submitted to the Secretary of the Army for approval and those involved in the tests were supposedly not informed of the circumstances. This sounds like creepy, secretive "AHS" material if you ask us.


The theory suggests that if the top hats do relate to the 1953 operation, Season 5 could deal with human experimentation in addition to government conspiracies and extraterrestrials, which has also been a popular fan theory. The nuclear testing suggestion has also been supported on Reddit when users noticed the mushroom clouds behind Jimmy earlier this season and connected them to Area 51 and Mercury, Nevada, where there was nuclear testing beginning in the '50s. These theories then spurred a "Hills Have Eyes" theory about such experiments leading to mutants. Could all of these be connected in some way, and most specifically, could they relate to Pepper? Let's not forget that Pepper was abducted by aliens in Season 2, and Murphy has said that all the seasons are connected.

Many of the fan theories related to Area 51 and aliens have used (supposed) clues from "Freak Show" to predict that Season 5 will take place in space -- there's Elsa Mars' surname, the fact that she sang Bowie's "Life On Mars," and other various space-related imagery. But Murphy has outright denied those claims, saying the next season is "land-bound and takes place in the United States." Before Murphy revealed the top hat clue, he previously said all the fan theories he'd read online were wrong. We wonder what he thinks of the Operation Top Hat one.




http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/1...n_6096760.html

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Old 01-26-2015, 08:45 AM
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‘American Horror Story’ Season 5 Theories: Potential New Clue From The ‘Freak Show’ Finale
By Megan Schaefer on January 22 2015



The Season 4 finale of "American Horror Story: Freak Show" may have teased a new Season 5 clue. (Pictured: Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars.)

“Freak Show” may be over but the excitement regarding Season 5 of “American Horror Story” has only just begun! During the final episode of Season 4, series creator Ryan Murphy made sure to tease fans with some subtle clues about what they could potentially expect in the fifth installment.

During the finale Murphy may have tipped his hat – or should we say Top Hat? – to the next season of “AHS” when Massimo (Danny Huston) made his appearance. It was 1960 and Elsa (Jessica Lange) had finally become the big Hollywood star she always wanted to be. However, despite having the career of her dreams, a hunky husband and a pair of adorable cocker spaniels, she still wasn’t satisfied.

Elsa’s insatiable hunger for love worsened when Massimo visited his beloved in her Hollywood pad. He explained that since they last saw each other at the freak show camp (Elsa called upon Massimo to make new hands for Jimmy [Evan Peters]), he had been working in construction, putting his artistic abilities to the test as he created fake building in Nevada so that the government could blow them up with atomic bombs. (Cue the eyebrow raise.)

Our suspicions on Massimo’s past having something to do with Season 5 grew when he revealed that he couldn’t run away with Elsa because he had a lung and bone disease that would kill him within the month. So, does this mean Massimo suffered radiation poisoning from the bombs? If so, that would go hand-in-hand with some Season 5 theories that have been circulating. The theories suggest that the next installment may have something to do with operation Top Hat, “a local field exercise” conducted by the United States Army chemical corps in 1953 that used human subjects in the radiological testing.

If one was to research Nevada Test Site, they would uncover that the bombs tested in Nevada and Utah during the 1950’s were speculated to have caused an increase in cancers (including leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid, breast, melanoma, bone, brain and more) among residents who were in close enough in range to have experienced the fallout downwind from the testing sights. According to Ratical.org, residents of the nearby towns reported that they noticed an “oddly metallic sort of taste in the air,” which was thought to be an effect from the atomic bomb testing.

During the 2015 Television Critics Association winter press tour, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf teased to TVLine that fans should anticipate Season 5 of “AHS” to be “very different.”

“One of the things I love so much about that is that it can be radically, radically reinvented in terms of tone, setting, period, characters, cast,” Landgraf revealed. “I think there’s going to be an unusually large reinvention in between Book 4 and Book 5 relative to, say, between Book 3 [‘Coven’] and 4 [‘Freak Show’].”

The Networks CEO then dished an interesting Season 5 spoiler, teasing that “AHS” may return to telling their chilling story in the present. “That’s my hope, yeah,” he said of Season 5’s timeline occurring in 2015. This led us to theorize that instead of Season 5 reenacting the terrible events that went down in 1950, perhaps viewers would get to see how the atomic bomb testing had effected and shaped the lives of those who endured the bombing.



http://www.ibtimes.com/american-horr...finale-1791462

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