10 Oct 2013

'American Horror Story: Coven' Episode 3.01 "Bitchcraft" Review

Finally, American Horror Story returns to deliver another Season of twisted tales and chilling thrills; but this time, it returns with Camp cranked up to 9, with tongue placed firmly in cheek, with Bitchcraft surely in work. Coven, the third season to the hit anthology horror show hit US screens late of last night, I simply could not wait until the 29th to catch it here in the UK, so I leaped right into the first episode, appropriately named 'Bitchcraft', and boy, it's a bitch to be a witch.
Jessica Lange returns once again to reprise the classic "Bitchy but we love it" role this year as Fiona Goode, the head bitch who has her way and keeps it that way. It's refreshing to see come Season 1 characters come back and get into the groove of things, and considering Asylum's failure to find its identity caused it to suffer in comparison to the the first season, so to see Farmiga, O'Hare and Jamie Brewer return restores our faith on Coven not disappointing. Emma Roberts and Gabourey Sidibe prove to be brave additions to the cast, and despite the negativity around Roberts involvement with the show, I think she does a pretty decent job at the trashy fame-seeker Madison who plays like Carrie White's bitchy polar-opposite twin sister, and although the is a lack of originality based around her character i'm still excited to see her develop despite how unlikable she comes across. As for the rest of the secret witches, well i'll be looking forward to what they have to deliver, and judging my the dinner table scene I think it will be something really exciting.

The tone is different, but the style is very much the same, Coven's ability to juggle the looming hysteria, campy fun and haunting premise is baffling, and it handles each aspect with enough delicate care that they're pulled together nicely, creating a strange but satisfying combination with the best of after-tastes. The fun is accompanied with extra camp, and the hysteria is presented in a florescent classy style that deflates the dark tone that normally cliches the witch-esque screen affairs; It's different, but in the best way possible.

The witty humor livens up the dark and spiteful premise, but it doesn't become diluted to an extent were it's ineffective  and if anything it emphasizes the horror even more, highlighting just how insane and intense it can become. Although the campy 80's witch tunes can become a little distracting, it still works to a surprising effect more than it has any right to, and that I like, Ryan Murphy has balls and he isn't afraid to to get down and dirty as long as it can differentiate itself from mainstream television.

VERDICT: American Horror Story Coven starts off in the right terms, delivering a fantastic episode that will hopefully grow into something amazing. Twisted, smart, campy, fun and witty; Coven has developed its characters and style the right amount to make us want more, let's just hope episode 2 sticks with what works and doesn't ramble off as seen in Asylum.


  1. I too hope they won't split their focus like they did with Asylum - there was just too much going on there. So far I'm optimistic the premiere was great!

    1. yeah I mean for me that's what deflated the effect of Asylum, so excited to see what Coven has to bring us!

  2. Really great start! I think this has the potential to be the best season yet.
    Big fan of Kathy Bates.

    1. yeah agreed! Can't wait to see how it's going to pan out, She's amazing in Misery *cough and Waterboy *cough



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