We’re just now catching up on American Horror Story: Asylum episodes here at BTYM headquarters. Just to refresh everyone on the process: two fans of the show go back and forth questioning and trying to answer. We are by no means experts on the horror genre (although one of us is “All But Dissertation,” and the other is, um, also technically not yet in possession of a dissertation), but we watch carefully, examine, and discuss the nuances, so that you don’t have to.
MJ: Finally, Adam Levine is no more. It took two episodes but felt like five hundred.
BS: I’m shocked that he didn’t ask for one less inappropriately-timed bj.
MJ: I don’t think I fully understood how much I’d fall into the 60s vibe, but I’m fully committed. Ha ha, puns. Think Mermaids and The Wonder Years and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s feel-good bloody family entertainment with extra cigarettes. I have to say I’m impressed that a show with such promise in its first season (or, I guess, miniseries) has surpassed its original purpose in creepy opportunities. My husband would say that there are, “too many things happening, jeez,” but I am looking forward to the future.
BS: Ryan “Too many things happening, jeez” Murphy. Yes, I was skeptical at first, but the second episode has helped me get more into it, and yes, the 60s music and clothes have something to do with that. Also, was this season entirely crafted as an homage to Girl, Interrupted?
MJ: All I can think of is that and But I’m a Cheerleader. Speaking of, we have a Saphic problem. The electroshock therapy scene was maybe the hardest to watch for me. Have you read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lachs? Her sister was treated in much the same way in much the same type of facility.
BS: No, I haven’t read it, but I agree. That was hard to watch, also because Sarah Paulson is such a good actress. Speaking of…what is she hiding in her past that makes her so sure that young Kurt Cobain is bloody face?
MJ: Well hello there, Zachary Quinto! Will he be found out by Scary Sister as a card-carrying ‘Mo?
BS: Yes. Definitely, yes.
MJ: By episode two I’m pleased that we’re already referring to the grounds’ monsters as “creatures,” or more specifically as physical beings. You see I worry about Lady in the Water syndrome.
BS: Ugh, don’t remind me of that horrible movie. Yes, I love that they are “creatures” and I love the whole creepy Little Red Riding Nun vibe that goes on with the younger sister.
MJ: Just a point of order: What is this old hospital/asylum they are filming in? It can’t be just a set, right?
BS: Good question. Maybe we will find it listed in LA real estate postings like last season’s house?
MJ: I’m going to say it: Chloe Sevigny is too good for this writing. “I knew as soon as I was five-years-old and slid my fingers inside myself.” Um, really? I’m not even completely sure the director’s giving her any help either. We don’t need to see the nymphomaniac overact.
BS: I’m not convinced that she didn’t improv that whole scene.
MJ: Demon or Alien? I choose alien to keep things interesting. I was referring to Scary Doctor’s hooker. Zing! I don’t kiss — not on the mouth. But seriously, there are demons, monsters, aliens, and regular killers? And whores. PROSTITUTION-WHORES!!! Truthfully I loved the sort of old-school exorcising of this episode. It’s too early to have conclusions anyway, so let’s just go balls-out and have a demented inmate divulge Scary Sister’s past. Someone has to.
BS: Oh man, I was so digging the exorcism. And, now that younger sister is possessed, I’m pretty sure Scary Sister (and everyone else) is about to be outed. I’m very intrigued by Scary Sister now that I know more of her backstory. Regarding the killers: Is the doctor also Bloody Face? Does he somehow control Bloody Face? If not, he is killing other people, right? Is Bloody Face one of the creatures?
MJ: Hmm, these are good questions. I don’t think we have been given enough info to really know any of this, although I think the doctor controlling Bloody Face is an intriguing angle. Maybe there is not a single Bloody Face…
MJ: How did the other inmates attempt escape to begin with? Did the demonic child cause a power failure somehow? Are the locks even powered? Save us, Joseph Fiennes.
BS: Yeah…that is a good question. I guess I just took everything for granted in that scene because the tropes are so familiar. I feel like that is actually one of the things AHS does well/terribly: the writers save a lot of time for weird shit to happen because they rely on the viewer to be so familiar with the genre.
BS: By the way, you can totally buy those vintage bondage photos at AIPAD.
MJ: I’m still not super sold on why exactly Lezzie Reporter is being confined. Sure, I realize being a lesbian in the 60s is frowned upon, but it wasn’t ever really fully explained to me why she was such a clear and present danger to the asylum. But who can argue when you have butts?
BS: Yes, and it also wasn’t clear why her partner would be able to commit her. Or, is that just special roommate rights?