Forget the pithy intro I usually start these columns with, because I wanna get right into this week’s edition by talking about the freaktasticness that was this week’s COVEN. Ready? Let’s go…
The only thing more fun than watching last night’s episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN? Live-tweeting the show on @dispatchesftc and watching the social media site blow up with each increasingly shocking twist. Fiona’s murder of Madison might have been a jaw-dropping moment… had viewers not already been exposed to incest and bestiality over the course of the hour. Many folks expressed outrage at the offing of Emma Roberts’ character, apparently forgetting that this is a show on which the dead come back to life more often than on GENERAL HOSPITAL. Heck, both Evan Peters and Kathy Bates are playing characters who didn’t quite take to death the way most folks do, right? Meanwhile, can can we just pause for a moment to acknowledge the awesomeness that is Jessica Lange, who can turn the simplest of gestures into an Emmy-worthy moment. And kudos to the writers for making this freakfest of a show as funny as it is horrifying, with characters dropping killer lines left and right. My personal favorites? “Miss Aryan Sisterhood came between Queenie and her food,” and “This coven doesn’t need a new supreme… it needs a new rug.” And my favorite Tweet of the many that crossed my screen came from @_Not_Listening, who asked, “Uhm… are we not gonna talk about the fact that she just tried to f*** a minotaur?”
I had absolutely no interest in TROPHY WIFE, despite it having a wildly appealing cast filled to the brim with people whose work I’ve long enjoyed. But after being reminded by NEWSROOM how much I’ve always liked Marcia Gay Harden, I decided to check out WIFE… and wound up falling in love with the loopy little sitcom with the most misleading name since COUGAR TOWN. Like that show, this is a great little ensemble with killer chemistry. (If there’s a weak spot, it’s that Michaela Watkins’ Jackie, aka the second wife of Bradley Whitford’s Pete, and her adorable on-screen son, Albert Tsai’s Bert, often feel segregated from the rest of the action.) I’m also a pretty big fan of shows that forgo a laugh track and assume we’re smart enough to know when something is funny.
Nobody loved HAPPY ENDINGS more than me, so what I’m about to say is a tad painful: THE MINDY PROJECT needs to dump Adam Pally’s Dr. Peter Prentice ASAP. Where the actor was adorably schlubby on ENDINGS, the character he’s been saddled with on MINDY is annoying with practically no redeeming qualities… and the show already has enough characters who are borderline aggravating. The canvas simply isn’t big enough for Pally’s Max, Mindy Kaling’s self-absorbed Mindy and Ike Barinholtz’ Morgan. This show is never better than when it focuses on the idiosyncrasies of it’s core cast, but it can easily slip into the same territory I found troubling on THE OFFICE, where a little bit of Michael and/or Dwight went a long, long way.
Having rediscovered my love of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (as written about in last week’s Dispatch), I thought I’d give its companion piece, THE ORIGINALS a try. But something about it just doesn’t work for me. Perhaps it’s that the whole thing has a “been there/done that” feel that spin-offs can often suffer from. My lack of interest might also stem from my being something of a purist where horror is concerned: I can tolerate one show on which all our bloodsuckers walk around in daylight thanks to magic rings, but two? That’s pushing it.