TV Show Review – American Horror Story: Coven
Rating: 3 (out of 5). “American Horror Story: Coven,” the third season in the franchise, follows Zoe Benson as she finds out she is a witch, and is sent to a school for witches in New Orleans. Kathy Bates plays Madame Delphine LaLaurie, an evil character from the past, while Jessica Lange plays resident wacko witch Fiona Goode. The critics like, but do not love, the premiere, particularly the chemistry between Bates and Lange, as well as the series’ trademark comedy.
The Hollywood Reporter says “the show puts its signature spell on the gothic material” and ” longtime fans of the series should be content with it for casting a spell over the new story with its old, distinctive style.”
Variety is happy that the show has a “more coherent plot” but thinks it ‘resembles a CW show.” They think the premiere “does plant some attractive hooks to pull viewers along” but they don’t think there is much substance to the show.
Pittsburg Post-Gazette reports that the writers of “American Horror Story” have “learned from their season two missteps.” They say this first episode of season three is has “a more linear, coherent plot.” This first hour of the latest season ” offers a clear, entertaining set-up for a potentially strong season.”
Entertainment Weekly thinks this is “the best – and most accessible – first episode of AHS’s three seasons.”
Newsday says the casting is the “secret ingredient to this special potion.” They say ” there’s plenty of sizzle, an arresting visual or two, and a well-spent special-effects budget,” but the opener does not necessarily hint a “future greatness to match the cast.”
New York Post thinks the only reason to watch this season of “American Horror Story” is the ” promise of Lange and Bates having scenes together.” The rest of the young actresses ” don’t have a lot of energy — needing all the power the special effects team can muster to seem like witches.”
Huffington Post is excited about the show and “the versatility of the show’s heightened reality and the writing team’s willingness to exploit this.” They say the premiere is ” laced top-to-bottom with American Horror Story‘s brand of humor – a potent mix of dry wit, gallows humor and high farce.”
San Francisco Chronicle likes the silliness of this miniseries saying it has “campy humor.” They think the show “ramps the silliness up an enjoyable notch with a story set in a New Orleans school for young witches.”
The New York Times thinks “American Horror Story: Coven” puts the witches ” through a first hour that ricochets raucously between hilarious camp and blunt brutality.”
The Washington Post is bored with this “American Horror Story”. They say it ” gets started with the unmistakable feeling of timecards being punched, as an ensemble of big-name stars dutifully carry forward the show’s trademark fixation on style over substance.”