It’s Like the Creators of AHS are Reading My Mind

22 Dec

Speculate and you shall receive.  Apparently all of my sustainability concerns were addressed by AHS creator Ryan Murphy during this morning’s post-finale conference call.

Thanks to the NY Times for the transcript:

“The next year of the show – every season of the show – will be a different haunting,” Mr. Murphy said in a conference call with reporters. “So what you saw in the finale was the end of the Harmon house, and the second season of the show will be a brand new home or building to haunt.” He added: “Just like this year, every season of the show will have a beginning, a middle and an end.”

Does this mean no more killer kiddie Michael?  No more Rubber Man?  It appears so.

But don’t fret yet about never seeing your favorite actors again.  Murphy went on to say while the characters we have grown to love/hate will not be reprised, some actors may be taking up brand new roles. Fingers crossed for Jessica Lange!

At least now the selling of Murder House makes sense.

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AHS Finale Failed to Calm Sustainability Fears

22 Dec

Earlier in the week I wrote a piece on whether or not my dearly beloved American Horror Story is sustainable.  The show is moving forward at such a rapid pace that I can’t help be reminded of Lost in its early days.

The first season of Lost was incredible….plane crash, smoke monster, polar bears, crazy Rousseau, blood transfusions that would never be possible in real life…each week I hungered for the next episode.  The break between seasons one and two was nearly unbearable.  When it finally came back, boy was I excited!

But that excitement was soon replaced by disappointment.  I won’t bore you with the details, but the second season was excruciatingly painful to the point where I almost gave up watching.  But I knew it had to get better.  It just had to!  And I’m glad I stuck around for another 4 SEASONS even though the ending was so-so and they never told us Libby’s backstory.

Maybe I am just being dramatic, but I feel like after last night’s finale AHS is heading in that same direction.  Yes, many burning questions were answered, but things are getting inconsistent.  What is up with the Harmons acting so hunky dory in the afterlife?  Um Viv…did you forget how much you hate Ben? Would human Violet have ever been caught dead (sorry…unintentional pun) decorating a Christmas tree and listening to cheesy holiday classics?  The answer is no.  These departures from the characters’ personalities are disappointing and frankly, annoying. Teaming up to prevent new families from experiencing the house’s horrors should not foster enough camaraderie for Vivien to forgive all of Ben’s past transgressions.

I was pleased to see that both babies did in fact make it out of Vivien alive, because I was not for one second going to believe that the baby was stillborn and that was that.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from AHS and Lost, it’s that things are never what they seem.   But do those few weak breaths of air that lead to Ben’s baby becoming a ghost rather than just a corpse mean that he will be a baby forever?  That’s going to get old real quick. I can see it now… Why are you still crying?  You’re 100 years old!! Can’t you eat anything other than formula? Here Ben, you take him….

And then there is little serial killer kiddie Michael.  Constance’s unsurprised reaction to the nanny’s bloody demise implies that this is not a solitary incident.  That or she was just patiently waiting for the first kill. “Now what am I going to do with you?”  Script genius!  Please hand Jessica Lange the Golden Globe now and spare all of the other nominees the trouble of preparing a speech in hopes of making it to the podium.  It ain’t gonna happen Sofia Vergara!

Where they go from here is a mystery, but I really hope it’s somewhere good. Michael killing nannies and the Harmons putting on elaborate skits to scare away buyers won’t keep people entertained for very long. I like how they’ve positioned the place as a ghost house divided (Harmons vs. Hayden/Tate….smackdown!), but if they can’t exterminate each other than that’s also a plot dead end. And if Murder House is for sale in real life, should we be expecting a venue change?  In that case, we’ll need a whole new set of tormented characters.

Guess I’ll be mulling over the possibilities until the show returns in the fall.

Why Engagement Ring Insurance is a Scam

21 Dec

According to Glamour/TheKnot, hubbys-to-be spent an average of $5,392 on engagement rings in 2010.  When you’re dropping that much dough on a single, shiny item, it’s only natural to assume that it should be insured.  During my wedding planning process, I read several articles urging brides to get an engagement ring insurance quote as soon as possible. Heck, The Knot goes so far as to include insuring your ring as a “to do” on their wedding planning checklists.

Per The Knot, you can expect to pay a replacement cost premium between $1 and $2 per every $100 of the ring’s value.  If the ring costs $5,392, you’re looking at a payment somewhere between $53.92 and $107.84/year.  That may seem like a pretty good deal – paying roughly $100/year to replace your $5K engagement ring.  But if you lose your ring (or it suffers some traumatic injury courtesy of the garbage disposal), is a replacement ring going to be satisfactory?

There are certain things that can be easily replaced if damaged (a car).  And there are others for which insurance is a no brainer (your life, your home).  But an engagement ring?

Your engagement ring can never really be replaced.  Sure, you can get another ring, but the sentimental value associated with that significant moment in your life is limited to the original.  This is not as simple trading one Honda CR-V for another (even if it’s a newer model). Once the ring is gone, there is no substitute.

And if you lose your engagement ring, why would you even want a replacement? I guess you could be greedy and use this as an excuse to upgrade if you weren’t totally satisfied with your first one…but it’s not the ring your fiancé/husband got down on one knee to give to you, and it’s never going to be. 

As with most policies, engagement ring insurance is fear mongering at its finest.  And, if you asked my husband to weigh in, he’d say that purchasing an engagement ring policy creates a moral hazard (i.e. that women with insurance aren’t as careful with their rings as those without). My advice is to save your money and just take care of the ring you’ve got.

Is American Horror Story Sustainable?

20 Dec

After one week of speculation and another spent coming to terms with the truth, I finally accepted the “Violet-overdosed-and-is-dead” plot twist on American Horror Story. I could see how this decision to “kill off” Violet would leave viewers shocked and therefore entice them to keep watching. Heck, it was all I talked about for a week, so clearly it was good move by the writers.

With (gory and fly infested) confirmation of Violet’s demise out of the way, I focused my full attention on the arrival of the half human/half supernatural twins. What would they look like? Gerber babies? Or something more like Nora’s frankenbaby (which I always picture as the mad Dr. Finkelstein from the Nightmare Before Christmas)? Although they failed to show either baby in the episode, I will venture a guess that the one Constance carted away to “clean” looked normal. The absence of the crying from the first baby is likely a ploy to make us think it’s dead. But you know what I have to say to that?? Fool me once…

After the birthing scene that was only slightly less dramatic than Breaking Dawn’s, Vivien bleeds out and eventually dies. My immediate response: “Um…where do we go from here?” I guess keeping Vivien alive was only essential until she had the babies, but really? What is she going to do now? Haunt Ben? Will she and Hayden become besties and torture him together? Will Ben even be able to see ghost Vivien (it took Larry years before he could see his smoldering wife and children)?

I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I am getting nervous about the show’s viability. The twins’ birth is what has propelled this show forward all season. Now that they’re here…what does that mean for the show? Will Vivien lay claim to them (she is their biological mother after all)? Will she, Hayden and Nora have a supernatural smackdown for mothering rights? Will Constance be the sole human to throw herself in the ring? With Vivien and Violet dead, will Ben stay in the house? Or leave? Or kill himself?

Judging by the number of questions I just asked, maybe the show is sustainable after all.

Smoldering Children…Let’s Eat Some Humble Pie

7 Dec

Tonight’s episode starts off  in 1994 at an awkward dinner with Constance, Tate, Addy and Larry.  Tate is disapproving of his mother’s latest relationship, reminding her of the untimely demise of Larry’s family and throwing around allegations that he was responsible for the death of her son Beau.  Constance maintains that Beau(regard) died in his sleep, but as with anything to do with this show, we know it can’t possibly be that simple.

The next day Tate pays a visit to Larry at his (accounting?) office and douses him in gasoline and throws a match at him.  Pyroface explained!  Presumably this event occurred right before he set off to shoot up his school.

Back in 2011, a couple of plot advances occurred.

First, Ben informed a much more coherent Vivien that she was carrying babies with different daddies inside her womb.  Ouch.

During Constance’s police interrogation for Travis “The Boy Dahlia’s” murder, we got the best glimpse of Beau  yet – greatly disfigured and chained to the floor of the attic.  And if you ever wondered why Moira haunted Murder House sans Constance’s husband… it’s because he became kibbles and bits for her pups in the basement.

We also caught a glimpse of Larry’s wife Lorraine and their two daughters.  All three still smoldering from their fateful injuries.  This is apparently the first time that Larry has been able to see his family in the basement, now that he’s on “the cusp.”  This interaction inspired him to confess for Travis’ murder as repentance for all of his previous transgressions.

In the second half of the episode, we saw some epic hand-to-hand combat between Tate as Rubberman and Ben.  Ben succeeds in unmasking the latex terrorist, but eventually passes out with whatever chemical Tate shoved in his face.  Tate then tries to convince Violet to commit suicide to prevent Ben from sending her away.  Violet pretends to go along with the plan, heading downstairs to set the Romeo & Juliet mood with candles and a warm bath…but fakes Tate out by instead using the head start to scream bloody murder for her father to save her.  With Tate in hot pursuit (and Ben unresponsive), she runs outside to the fence and yells to some passersby.  Their German Shepherd barks, but the people don’t flinch.  Suddenly, she’s back in the house.  Confused, she makes another run for the outside, but ends up in the kitchen.  Panicked (and rightfully so), she pleads with Tate, saying that she doesn’t want to die.

This is the point in the episode where I take a giant, humbling breath, as I know what Tate’s going to say before he even opens his mouth: “It’s too late for that.”

Damn damn damn.  Damn!  I was so convinced this theory held no water that I blogged about it two weeks ago!!!

At least I was right about one thing…Tate did try to save her when she overdosed.  He just didn’t succeed.  Damn.

Violet’s Dead? I’m Not Convinced

26 Nov

This week’s episode of American Horror Story has the fan community buzzing.  I was comforted to see so many others disappointed with the reveal of Tate as the Rubber Man, and I like the idea floating around that there may be more than one occupant of the latex suit.  Oh the possibilities…

Now to the main reason for this post – Wednesday’s Watch with Kristin report poses the theory that Violet is dead.  The article provides some supporting evidence, but I think it’s all a bit of a stretch.  The fact that she hasn’t been to school in two weeks is not indicative of her passing; Violet doesn’t make it a secret how much she hates school.  Yes, Tate did mention that he thought it was “romantic” that the dearly departed Chad and Patrick were destined to haunt Murder House for the rest of eternity, but that doesn’t mean that he killed Violet (or didn’t really save her from the overdose a few episodes back). Tate has made it very clear that he doesn’t derive joy from murdering folks, and I’m sure it would be very difficult for him to put an end to Violet’s life.

Unless of course she tries to leave.  He’s done a pretty good job of convincing her to stay and to vocally oppose her parents’ desire to sell Murder House, with her efforts climaxing this week as she sold her poor mother down the river to the looney bin.  As long as she agrees to stay in the house, Tate has no reason to kill her.  And, if I’m allowed to make another Twilight comparison, he might appreciate the fact that she is alive and try to keep her that way as long as possible.

My vote…Violet is alive and well, for now.

Rubber Man Revealed…Confusion Ensues

24 Nov

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the writers/producers of American Horror Story for revealing Rubber Man’s identity in the first five minutes of this week’s episode. However, in the same breath I would like to chastize them for their choice of Rubber Man- Tate.  And I’m not just saying that because I was wrong.

Tate!? Really!? I know that he modeled the suit a few episodes back, but I thought that was a cheap and obvious way to distract the viewer from thinking he truly was the latex terrorist. Maybe I’ve watched too many epsiodes of Lost or Twin Peaks, but I have been trained to think that things are not always what they seem. And Tate being Rubber Man was so obvious I immediately dismissed it as a possibility.

I know that the Harmons have a “Stacy’s Mom” situation going on with sexy Viv, but Tate seems smitten kitten with Violet.  Why go after Viv too?  Tate’s interactions with ghoulish queen bee Hayden and the coming attractions allude to the shared goal of impregnating a human inhabitant of Murder House, but I am not on board with this plot twist.

I am also confused as to how it was possible for Tate (dead) to impregnate Viv (alive and kicking).  Are we taking a page out of Breaking Dawn?  We saw Hayden stab Constance’s boy toy to death but then be perfectly fine, supporting the claim that the ghosts cannot physically hurt members of the living class.  If that is the case, how is the pregnancy possible?  I understand I have to suspend ordinary logic and sanity to follow the plot line of this show (similar to Violet accepting her new, creepy reality), but this is just not adding up.

Producing a baby is a high priority for Murder House’s spirit inhabitants (hence the brutal and Gaddafi-esque offing of the gay couple once they abandoned the idea of bringing a baby into the home), but I just don’t see how whatever is growing inside Vivien is going to solve all their problems.

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