“American Horror Story” lives up to its hype

Mina Hamblet and Betsy Barenback-Gold

Get ready for Wednesday frights and sleepless nights as American Horror Story (AHS): Coven has made its triumphant return to FX. The TV horror show, from Glee creator Ryan Murphy, has generated much buzz over its first two seasons (entitled AHS: Murder House and AHS: Asylum respectively).

The newest season, which premiered Oct. 9, is in the New Orleans and is set around the witchcraft that surrounds the mystical hauntings that happen there. Flipping between a modern day school for witches (Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies) and a 19th century home in New Orleans, the series features a dynamic cast including Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, the return of Taissa Farminga and many more.

From the eerie opening scene to the just as unsettling ending, “Coven” did not disappoint.

Beginning in the 19th century home of Madame LaLaurie- (Bates), a disturbing and horrific secret is discovered in the attic that coincides with one of America’s first horror stories: slavery. Using gruesome effects that leave the audience disgusted, intrigued, and excited, the tone of the premiere is dark and mysterious. The tone set up from the get go is noted through some of the other events that occur in this premiere, such as the hanging of Madame LaLaurie’s family, however there are heavier sprinkles of humor than in seasons past which add a nice contrast. Per usual, Kathy Bates comes through as the chilling and sickening Madame LaLaurie (who was actually a real life murdering and torturing socialite). It seems her wicked ways couldn’t possibly be matched, until, of course, Jessica Lange makes her debut.

For her first heel clack, it’s set in stone that Fiona Goode (Lange), is the baddest witch in town. Her search for everlasting youth and differentiating views on witchcraft with her daughter, Cordelia (Paulson) who runs the academy has already brewed a spot of trouble, and it seems that cauldron will soon overflow.

And drama didn’t even have to wait until episode two for the four witches who live in the academy: telekinetic Madison (Roberts), human voodoo doll Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), clairvoyant Nan (Jaime Brewer) who is returning from Season 1, and finally, Taissa Farminga (another season 1 veteran) as new girl  Zoe, whose talent is discovered at the beginning of the episode.

Although, the torture of the black person from Madame Laurie was the heaviest scene of the episode to watch, the frat party which Madison and Zoe attended is a close second. Even Peters, who charmed Farminga’s Violet Harmen (and viewers worldwide) as Tate Langdon in season 1, is seen sparingly in this party scene alone as the “unusual” nice frat boy Kyle Spencer, however his story is left up in the air at the end while Lily Rabe hardly makes a dent in screen time.

Regardless, the anticipated ‘Coven’ premiere was all it set out to be. Filled with horrors and disgusts beyond belief, it’s spellbinding cast and beginning story arc have already shown what this season can do,  but it seems something much more wicked and appalling is to come.