American Horror Story: Election Night
September 6, 2017 8:52 PM - Season 7, Episode 1 - Subscribe

An anxiety-prone woman is driven to the brink of madness when Donald Trump is elected president. Meanwhile, a psychopath is inspired.
posted by kittens for breakfast (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I really really really don't know what to think about this.

Billie Lourd is really compelling, if dead-eyed as her Chanel #3 character. Allison Pill has the chops to be a respectable alum of AHS. Sarah Paulson is totally in form, I just really hate the character, but the character is a pretty complete stereotype lefty, viewed from some/most corners of the right...

which is problematic; but... not, because anyone with half a brain can see, but...

The use of 'real tv' clips is very challenging.

AHS has always been about extremes, but I'm really not sure that extremifying this theme is non-neutral. Progressives will probably condemn, racists will both condemn with glee and glorify by being recognized.

I don't know.

Not a particularly helpful piece of film for pharmaceutical-based psychiatric practitioners.
posted by porpoise at 1:22 AM on September 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I had real problems with how Pill's character flipped on Paulson's between scenes. She went from supporting her partner through trauma and phobia in the first half of the episode through when the police took her statement to "you crazy bitch you don't pull your weight at our shared business and you don't fuck me good no more even after I covered for you for the police are you crazy are you fucking insane" literally between back to back scenes. I'm not saying that such feelings don't happen in partners of people dealing with mental illnesses but it was super jarring and uncomfortable.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:18 AM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know it's not really the AHS way to do things by analogy, but I keep finding myself wishing they didn't actually reference the election and told a story of a cult leader's rise via giving disaffected basement-dwellers something to be a part of, enabled by the faustian bargain of a cynical establishment that sees the cult leader as a means to power. Then you can show "normal" people who had been ignored by the establishment alternatively become radicalized, offer tacit and quiet support, or reject this as "too much."

Now, everything is literal, on-the-nose, and has to be directly measured against real, lived experience of less than a year ago. I may check out of this season.

Also Evan Peters' character so far seems way too charismatic, serious, and grandiose to be a convincing portrayal of 4chan and/or the alt-right. It also plays into their hands a bit, by portraying them as a serious, motivated conspiracy instead of an atomized, ridiculous, and sad cohort of trolls.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 8:11 AM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really like AHS but I had to nope out of this season after the first couple of scenes. This is the literal definition of too soon.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 3:38 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've gotta say that I loved this episode and am really looking forward to the season, but I'm one of those weirdos that thinks Coven and Roanoake have been the best seasons so far. It's obviously going to be a deeply uncomfortable season, but I'd rather have Ryan Murphy make an imperfect attempt at something insightful than play it safe in the name of "too soon".
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:19 AM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Now, everything is literal, on-the-nose, and has to be directly measured against real, lived experience of less than a year ago.

I love how literal it is. And how genuinely scary that makes it.

I agree that Evan Peters comes off as too polished, but I think there's probably a point to that. EP is always pretty charismatic and likeable, and I think his roles/casting on AHS generally take advantage of that -- this one probably will, too.

And I like the idea of Trump as a big bad, with masses of elusive, psychotic, atomized clowns as his "representatives."

Sarah Paulson was killing me, because I could really feel her paranoia. And she's not wrong (like when she wanted Ozzie away from his nanny), but she's also not quite crazy *enough* to really trust that she's not wrong.

I'm excited for this season!
posted by rue72 at 6:20 PM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

OK I'll be honest. I didn't make it past 4 minutes in this episode. I can not handle how everything now is Trump including Bojack fucking Horseman. The reason I love horror is it's an escape. Blood Drive was awesome, but now cancelled by Syfy. And while I've enjoyed AHS since the beginning....i just can't. It's too soon. It's too real. It's too much.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:58 PM on September 8, 2017

To me, the problem is this presidency has been so horrific, I don't think this show can satirize it with more extreme horror. If the state of the US govt was just merely garden variety fucked up, this episode might have been more fun. Probably, when it was filmed Charlottesville hadn't happened yet. I can't help but think that the real Nazis in the US are so frightening, that Evan Peters and the clowns pale in comparison.

I haven't watched TV in ages and picked this show to get back in since it's not dependent on having seen previous seasons. I like scary TV shows, and I heard Billy Eichner will be on at some point, and he's my fave. I did like the acting and the dialogue, and perhaps as the story progresses, it will move farther away from literal current events.
posted by bluefly at 6:27 PM on September 9, 2017

It was an interesting season premiere. Surprised to see Twisty back.
posted by davidmsc at 7:58 AM on September 10, 2017

Just popping in to say I'm watching AHS the night after it airs (I don't have cable), so if anyone feels like they want to have a post up Tuesday night, they are more than welcome to, um, post it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:18 PM on September 10, 2017

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