Now that 2015 is officially upon us, it’s time to look back on all that has passed over the last year not just for nostalgic purposes, but as a way to take stock on how to make the coming year the best one yet. Because no matter how good something may be, there’s almost always room for improvement. And the same can be said for our favorite TV shows. American Horror Story , for instance, is a truly fantastic show, in my opinion. It’s one of my many obsessions that I take great pride indulging in. But while it has many great attributes, it also contains its fair share of flaws. So in keeping with holiday traditions, I’ve decided to compile a few AHS New Year’s resolutions the series should make for the upcoming year if it hopes to achieve that high caliber of greatness we’ve come to expect from this Ryan Murphy franchise. For instance…
Make Death Mean Something
Murphy may not be resurrecting characters from the dead like in Coven, however, Freak Show has somewhat carried on the tradition since the dead keep coming back either in flashbacks or hallucinations. Initially, it's nice to see some of your favorites return, I'll admit, but if you think about it, this has really started to become a great detriment to the show. It's made death kinda feel irrelevant, lowering both the stakes and the excitement that usually comes with a show like this.
I mean, it's gotten to the point that when someone gets killed off I'm not even that upset about it because I assume I'll see them pop up again in an episode or two. I'm sorry, Murphy, but this technique is no longer a help. It's a hindrance.
Stop Underusing Your Talent
It is insane how little Angela Bassett is being used this season. I know it's probably difficult trying to incorporate equal air time for each and every character, especially given Season 4's particularly large ensemble. But if you have a dynamic talent like Bassett and Kathy Bates at your disposal for God's sakes use them. The biggest takeaway I was able to get from Bates' Ethel was that strange accent of hers and Bassett isn't getting nearly enough screen time, in my opinion. It's an AHS injustice that needs to be rectified.
Stick to Organized Chaos
It's OK for AHS to contain all sorts of crazy plot twists. Heck, it's pretty much expected at this point — just so long as there's still a solid purpose or incentive propelling all of this insanity forward. And I think most people will agree that Freak Show has been a little all over the map this year to the point of where I have no idea what's going to happen in these last remaining episodes. Sure, that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, but it is when it feels less intentional and more like a confused storyline that has no real purpose. Get it together, AHS. You're better than this.
Dial Back on the Musical Numbers
As much as I loved seeing Elsa rock out to David Bowie lyrics and seduce a two-faced Edward Mordrake, I think it's time the show took a step back from the musical theatrics for a while. "The Name Game" was insanely awesome since it came so completely out of left field and provided a much needed boost to a very dark season. But now it's all starting to feel a little too Glee-like, which is a comparison no show should want, especially one like American Horror Story.
Up the Horror Ante
The end of Coven was completely lacking in the horror department and ever since Twisty left, Freak Show seems to be headed down a very similar path. This is a show about horror, writers. So don't forget to give the people what they want.
Work on Character Development
One of the great things I loved about Asylum was how we, the viewers, got to witness Sister Jude's gradual transition from the cane-whipping villain to a redeemable human being. She may have made mistakes throughout her life, but she ended up becoming a better person because of it and did everything she could to rectify her wrongs. That's the kind of character I can get behind. Elsa, on the other hand, has left me perpetually confused. She's murdered the very people she's claimed to love, yet her final moments with Pepper proved to be some one of the most heartwarming scenes of the season. I don't know how to feel, you guys! Enough with the back and forth already.
Avoid the Fake Out Sequences
Is it a dream sequence? Is it a flashforward? Either way, it tends to feel like a copout. Show me something real, AHS, and I'll give it my utmost attention.
Nix the Unnecessary Storylines
There are only three episodes left and I still have no idea why I'm supposed to care about Denis O'Hare's massive package . Sorry, dude, but this plot device is falling a little, uh, short. I'd rather focus on bigger and better things, if you know what I mean.
Don't Try to Replace Jessica Lange
If Lange does indeed end up following through on her promise to leave AHS after this season (*weeps into pillow*), then I truly hope Murphy won't try to replace her by giving her parts to another "Lange-like" figure. There is no replacing someone like Jessica Lange and to try and do so would be a disservice to her memory. It's perfectly fine to let another strong female take the lead, but with roles that are made with them specifically in mind and not someone else they're trying to recreate.