“The following program is rated TV-MA LSV. It contains strong language, sexual situations, violence, and nudity.”
With a warning like that, is it any wonder that the Wednesday, November 5th
episode of FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show
(10:00 p.m. ET)is the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week
Worst Cable TV Show of the Week
American Horror Story: Freak Show on FX
For the last decade, the FX network has given a showcase to Ryan Murphy, the programmer behind the Fox broadcast network’s Glee
; but it was not the success of the musical teen comedy that got him this spot on cable. It was, rather, Murphy’s twisted and ultra-gory drama Nip/Tuck
which garnered him attention in the eyes of network programmers and so-called “critics.” Such individuals are enamored by any program which “pushes the boundaries” – even if it pushes past the boundaries into utter depravity.
Tired of providing relatively normal programming for a normal teen audience, Murphy eagerly grasped at the opportunity to create another of his sick, sadistic shows, and launched American Horror Story
on FX. After “treating” viewers to a “murder house” filled with serial killers, an “asylum” of sadistic surgeons (which also offered Murphy the opportunity to trash the Catholic Church), and a coven of witches, this year the warped creator is offering a program appropriately subtitled “Freak Show.” While supposedly, the fact that the program is about circus sideshow performers gives the show its title, in fact pretty much anything written by Ryan Murphy would qualify for the sobriquet.
Among the “freakish” horrors present on the program are:
-- A woman who runs a “morbidity museum,” which exhibits “exquisite human anomalies” – and if the bodies in the museum are gained through “accidents,” oh well.
-- A corrupt con man who plots to lure the sideshow performers aside, where he can kill them and sell their corpses to the museum. In one fantasy sequence, he gives poisoned cupcakes to one head on a pair of conjoined twins, then watches as one head dies and the other remains alive pleading for her life. Eventually, he suffocates her.
-- The wealthy Gloria Mott finds her maid murdered, her head lying in a pool of blood. Gloria’s son Dandy exclaims,: “She was saying awful things to me.”
Gloria: “And like everything else in your wretched life, I have to clean it up!”
Afterward, Gloria has her gardener dig a grave. She and Dandy bury the body, then plant flowers over the corpse.
Dandy: “The body will decompose down there and give life to these flowers. In spring, we will look down at the blanket of color and say, ‘She did not die in vain.’
Gloria: “Mental perversions are an affliction of the extremely affluent.” (If this is true, it makes one wonder how much money Ryan Murphy makes.)
-- Sideshow performer and hermaphrodite Desi goes to a doctor and learns she has had a miscarriage, but that, contrary to what she had always believed, she is genetically and functionally 100% female. As a result, she leaves her boyfriend Del, who himself is in love with a gay male prostitute. This section of the show involves graphic descriptions of female genitalia, as well as dialogue from the prostitute like, “It’s okay, except when there’s blood in my shorts when a guy gets a little rough, or a load in my hair,” and “You’re out the door before I can wipe my dick off.”
-- Despite the fact that Desi’s decision to dump Del would free him to move in with his prostitute boyfriend, Del instead goes to the doctor (who has offered to surgically correct Desi’s abnormalities) and threatens him, breaking the surgeon’s hands and announcing:
Del: “Let’s see you operate with those! Now, you might be thinking about talking to the police. But if you talk to them, or to Desi, or to anyone else, I’ll pay a visit to those beautiful little grandkids of yours. Their tiny little fingers will snap like twigs.”
-- Meanwhile, Dandy hires the male prostitute and has both of them strip off their clothes. As kindergarten-style music plays on the soundtrack, Dandy dons a clown mask and repeatedly stabs the prostitute, blood spraying everywhere. The prostitute manages to crawl several feet, coughing and choking on his own blood while screaming for help. Dandy stabs him again in the back and dismembers the still-living prostitute – then goes home to his mother, still in his underwear and covered in blood.
As mentioned, entertainment executives and alleged “critics” go wild for such content, thinking it somehow “breaks new ground.” (Were the same “critics” transported back to ancient Rome, they would no doubt cheer as Christians were thrown to the lions – and network executives would be doing the throwing.) There is also an infinitesimally tiny portion of the cable viewing audience eager for such sadism. Given we live in a free society, networks are free to make such programming, “critics” to praise it, and audience members to watch it. But there is no reason why the vast majority of cable and satellite subscribers should be forced to support such programming when they never watch, don’t want, and probably abhor it.
At one point in the episode Elsa, a singer and head of the “freak show,” is offered a chance to be on TV, but refuses with the words,: “I would rather be boiled in oil than be on television… I consider it to be the death of Art and Civilization.”
As Ryan Murphy’s programs prove, Elsa has a point.
For depraved language and sexual content, and ultra-graphic, gory violence FX’s American Horror Story
is the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week
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