American Horror Stories: Tapeworm
November 25, 2023 5:45 PM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

When an aspiring model is told she needs to lose weight, she goes to extreme measures

Vivian Lee Finch (Laura Kariuki) manages to impress modeling agent Sheila Klein. (Lisa Rinna) with her "it" factor but not her weight. She seeks the help of Dr Lau (Rob Yang). to help her lose weight quickly and keep it off. His unconventional treatment works, but it has more far reaching side effects than Vivian imagines.

Directed by Alexis Martin Woodall
posted by miss-lapin (3 comments total)
By far one of the weakest episodes of the series. I have no idea why they gave everything away in the title as opposed to naming it Hunger. This plays out exactly as expected. There are some beautiful costumes and sets, but not enough to offset the boredom of a completely predictable story.

Just a side note: Vivian says her heart murmur is from neuromuscular scoliosis, which I actually have. Neuromuscular scoliosis is associated with disorders of the nerve or muscular systems such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and spinal cord injury. Mine is courtesy of neurological damage from cancer on my spine. Yet Vivian doesn't seem to have ANY symptoms of neuromuscular scoliosis and for it to impact how the heart functions her spine would need to be profoundly and noticeably deformed.

Plenty of people have heart murmurs that aren't attached to a disability like neuromuscular scoliosis. I have no idea why the writers chose such a completely ridiculous cause when there are so many non-ridiculous causes she could easily suffer from.

Just a shame because Laura Kariuki is legitimately gorgeous, but it's nowhere near enough to overcome the abominable writing.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:58 PM on November 25, 2023 [2 favorites]

I agree, but from a devil's (writers) advocate, it shows that she's strong enough to overcome one serious physical challenge - she ought to be able to overcome another (hunger) but... noooo....

My mom had a tapeworm when she was little, a friend in college also got a tapeworm a few months before her wedding and had to get her dress altered. After discovering that it's tapeworms, after treatment, all of the heaviness came back and much much more besides.
posted by porpoise at 6:26 PM on November 26, 2023

I think you're missing my point-she can't suffer from neuromuscular scoliosis so severe it would impact her heart. You can tell just by looking at someone if their scoliosis is that severe, and she clearly doesn't have it. Both bacterial endocarditis and rheumatic fever can cause a heart murmur. With either of those she could "overcome" a medical condition and still have the heart murmur.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:31 PM on November 27, 2023

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