Tag Archives: checking in

I’ll Tell You What I Thought, What I Really Really Thought (AHS Episode 1)

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I’ll Tell You What I Thought, What I Really Really Thought (AHS Episode 1)

Hi hi hi everyone and happy Friday! So as you guys know by now, I’m an avid American Horror Story fan but unfortunately, I was very underwhelmed with the season premiere of Hotel which occurred this past Wednesday. There were a few things that really rubbed me the wrong way so let’s discuss:

It was SO jumpy: The season premiere, “Checking In” jumped around so much to the point that it was dare I say, unenjoyable. We were moving from different years, characters, and locations quicker than you could even get used to the people being introduced. I think what I loved so much about season one, Murder House, was how well it flowed. Each episode and story line developed so nicely into one another and I wish that AHS would fall into a more simple but effective story line. I’m not saying tone it down by any means – I’m saying that they shouldn’t bite off more than they can chew for each episode. Am I still thrilled for the future episodes of this season? Hell yes, but the premiere just missed the mark for me. It was hard to establish the tone of each character and at least some semblance of a cohesive plot…Whomp whomp.

The blood orgy: Yeah, yeah maybe I’m a prude BUT the graphicness of the sex filled blood bath between The Countess, Donovan, and their victims just seemed so unnecessary. And here’s the thing, AHS has gone graphic before but it wasn’t something that they just threw a character into willy nilly. I get that they wanted an edgy “here I am” scene to debut Lady Gaga’s arrival as the Hotel leading lady but it could have been done differently. I feel like the “here’s my butt and boobs, let’s have a romp” scene cheapened Gaga’s character and she didn’t even have any lines. Just my opinion!

Scarlett Lowe entering a crime scene house: Seriously, AHS? SERIOUSLY?!!! A child following after his or her daddy detective into a crime scene is SO overdone that I was kind of shocked that they went for it. I actually feel like a lot of the images and narratives of the episode were things that I’ve seen before. Like the Ten Commandments Killer who John Lowe was probably speaking to on the phone after he read to his daughter…Hello! That’s fresh out of Zodiac. And yes, I have to bring up The Shining even though I’m sure everyone has already. As the saying goes, “steal from the best and make it your own” and AHS really did nothing to make The Shining-esque scenes that they copy-catted unique. When I think of American Horror Story, I think of a show that creatively pushes the envelope and there didn’t really seem to be any “wow that was crazy” moments in the premiere…Just a lot of moments that were worthy of an eye roll.

Was the episode “Checking In” completely awful? No, it was still quite good. Was it totally awesome? No, not even close. So all in all, I would give the season premiereĀ two and a half stars. I think that everyone got a little too over zealous with episode one. I’m really hoping that in the future episodes the plot will be more cohesive and the extreme Shining vibe will disappear.

I Told You What I Thought, What I Really Really Thought and now it’s your turn! How did everyone feel about the season premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel? Did anyone have opinions similar to the ones I mentioned? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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American Horror Story: Hotel “Checking In”

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American Horror Story: Hotel “Checking In”

Alright guys, as promised here’s my review and synopsis of the season premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel with the episode, “Checking In”. I think the best way to go about discussing the premiere is simply by introducing the characters who we had the pleasure of meeting tonight and outlining their role so far in the hotel. There were a lot of things that I liked and of course things that I didn’t care for, so let’s get to it:

Agie & Vandela: “Checking In” starts with the arrival of two twenty-something German girls who are in California to vacation at Universal Studios. However, as soon as they walk into the Cortez they instantly get the creeps and are put off by the fact that it’s farther away than expected to all of their vacation destinations. They ask Iris (Kathy Bates) if they could have a refund on their deposit to which she responds with a firm “no”. The girls are forced to stay in the hotel for the night but unfortunately they won’t even make it until then. In their hotel room Vandela and Agie discover a rotten smell which one of them describes as being like a “dead animal”. The girls realize that the smell is coming from the mattress and once they pull back the blankets they find crude stitching going all the way down the middle. They rip it open with scissors and out pops a badly blistered man with white eyes and horse teeth who is contorting and writhing in a most disturbing manner. A complaint to Iris gets the girls a new room and some questionable cleansing methods…

Iris (Kathy Bates): Fan favorite, Kathy Bates, returns this season as Iris, the hotel manager. With a short and brisk attitude we learn that Iris is a pro at covering up all of the dirty secrets of the Cortez. She also has an eye on the handsome John Lowe (Wes Bentley) which comes from the beautiful line she mutters upon meeting him, “woof”. Iris is the mother to the lover of The Countess (Lady Gaga). Her son’s name is Donovan (Matt Bomer) and thanks to a flashback we find out that he was a heroin addict who enjoyed shooting up with Sally (Sarah Paulson). After some stealthy detective work from Iris, she tracks down her doped up son and supplier in a room of the Cortez. Her son appears to be dead or near death and Sally begins to exit the premises only to be followed by Iris and pushed out of a window, falling to her demise. Iris then returns to the room where her son lies to find The Countess lounging beside him on the bed, preparing to turn him and his staggering good looks.

We learn in the premiere that not only is Iris a murderer but she’s also in charge of keeping the blood of the victims who fall to The Countess nice and clean. After Agie and Vandela get a new room from Iris (Room 64) things go all bad. One of the girls is found by the other lying on the bathroom floor with a sweet blonde child cowering over her with a blood soaked mouth. They end up in a chamber trapped in individual metal cages where Iris condemns them for the prescription pills she found in their luggage. She then tries to force the girls to drink a smoothie concocted from oysters, chicken liver, kidneys, and white wine to clean their blood for the consumption of The Countess. What a lady!

Sally (Sarah Paulson): One of my AHS all star favorites has to be Miss Paulson so I was very pleased to hear that she was coming back as a primary player in the Cortez, Sally. Because we know that Iris pushed her out of a window but she’s still somehow alive, I’m assuming that she’s a vampire as well. Sally is a heroin addict who has a soft spot for the captured girls, Vandela and Agie. She releases Vandela and unfortunately she falls right into the clutches of The Countess. In an extremely off putting scene where a doped up young man gets anally raped by a man yielding a spiraled pointed dildo who had latex-like skin, Sally appears. “The more you scream the more he likes it” she warns the stranger. I get the feeling that she has never had anyone in her life that truly loved her considering she begged the victim to “say ‘I love you Sally’ and it will all go away”.

The Countess (Lady Gaga) & Donovan (Matt Bomer): In “Checking In” we are introduced to Donovan and The Countess after a close up on a sign that says “Why aren’t we having sex right now?” The couple is preparing for a night on the town by applying makeup, snorting cocaine, and dressing to the nines. They go to a movie playing at a park where they attract the attention of a young couple. The first major scene to show off Lady Gaga’s acting chops ends up being a full on orgy turned blood bath after her and Donovan slit their throats with their rings with sharp talons attached. The scene closes with the couple lying in the blood of their victims and Donovan says “it’s not the getting ready, it’s the cleaning up” to which The Countess replies, “call housekeeping”. SASSY! I, for one, did not care for that scene at all but that’s just me. We learn that The Countess also has a brood of beautiful blonde haired children whom she’s kidnapped and turned. One of her “children” will definitely be playing an important role in the show, which leads me to discussing his father, John Lowe.

John Lowe (Wes Bentley): John Lowe is a father, husband (to wife, Alex, played by Chloe Sevigny), and detective. He has a daughter named Scarlett and had a young son named Holden. We follow John onto some of the gruesome crime scenes he’s investigating, which I’m assuming are linked to the Ten Commandments Killer. He is a dedicated father though, as we can see when he reads Little Women with his daughter via FaceTime. As he reads to Scarlett he gets a phone call and tells his assistant to take a message. Once he calls the number back we hear a man’s voice on the phone saying that he will be at the Cortez hotel and will kill again. He makes his way over to the hotel and is directed to Room 64 in which he ends up falling asleep and has a vision of his son, Holden, who was kidnapped in 2010. We see a flashback to this moment when the family was at a carnival and John took his son to ride the carousel. He gets Holden safely onto a horse and takes a phone call but when he returns, his boy is no longer there.

A lot of curious incidents happened to John in tonight’s episode like when his sushi dinner with Scarlett was interrupted by a text from his wife’s phone giving an address and saying she needs help. He rushes to the house with Scarlett in the car and leaves her there, telling a cop to keep an eye on her. He ends up in the pitch black home with his daughter following him shortly after. John approaches a man dressed all in black with what appears to be a top hat on his head but then he hears Scarlett scream. He finds her in a room with men hanging from their bed posts with their intestines hanging out of their stomachs. Yum! Due to Alex’s fear that whomever has been contacting her husband will harm their daughter, they both agree that he should go away for a while and the episode ends with John checking into the Cortez in Room 64.

Liz Taylor (Denis O’Hare): Known for his weird as hell characters on AHS, Denis O’Hare returns as cross dresser, Liz Taylor. He pops up everywhere in the hotel – the hallways, behind the front desk, ect. I’m confident that he knows a lot of the hotel’s dark secrets so I’ll be looking forward to the further development of this character!

Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson): Will Drake is a fashion designer from New York who arrives at the Cortez with his young son and the intention to buy the hotel. His son is befriended by The Countess who asks him if she can show him something he might enjoy. She leads him to a hallway with a trap door that opens into a futuristic room filled with wall length Tetris boards and candy dispensers all being used by her brood of bloodsucking children.

So there you have it, the lowdown on the characters introduced to us on the season premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel. The episode “Checking In” brought us a unique cast of dwellers in the Cortez and an interesting story line so I can’t wait to see what next week’s episode will be like! How did everyone feel about the season premiere? Who loved Lady Gaga’s AHS debut? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

American Horror Story: Hotel

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American Horror Story: Hotel

Helloooo everyone and happy Tuesday! So as all of you know, I’m an avid American Horror Story fan. I’ve loved it since the beginning at the Murder House to the previous season at the Freak Show. So how do I feel about the upcoming premiere of the new season subtitled “Hotel”? Shockingly, very ambivalent. Check out one of the trailers and allow me to explain:

Okay, yes, Lady Gaga is the new face of AHS and quite frankly, I couldn’t care less. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Gaga – but I just don’t know how I feel about her taking over one of my most beloved shows. In my humble opinion, Jessica Lange IS American Horror Story. Point blank. Period. It will be exciting to have someone dare I say, younger than the previous leading lady but Gaga is the wrong lady for me. She’s almost too famous for my liking when it comes to the show, if that makes sense? I like how some of the actors on AHS are pretty low key and now that anonymity (for lack of better words) is jeopardized by the arrival of a super star.

I’ve been saying to literally everyone in my social circle who’s an AHS fan that I would have much preferred an unknown actress to take over rather than a mega celebrity ever since it was announced that Gaga would be the main character on the show. And now with the season premiere of Hotel just weeks away, I still stand by that statement. And here’s the thing, I know for a fact that once I see the premiere of season five that I’ll be hooked and more than likely gaga over Gaga…But for now? I’m feeling pretty meh – I just can’t put my finger on it.

Despite my mixed feelings for Miss Meat Dress herself replacing Queen Lange, I must say, the story line for Hotel sounds great. I’ve been really pleased with all of the teaser articles and trailers that I’ve seen as well as the impeccable casting choices with some treasured AHS alumni like Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, and Evan Peters. I’m also very happy that my Freak Show faves, Finn Wittrock and Wes Bentley, will be returning for a stay at the Hotel. However, I am SO pissed that Emma Roberts is returning in this season. I seriously can’t stand her and I don’t think that she’s AHS material in the slightest…and that’s really all I have to say about her -__-

Although my feelings for the new queen bee of American Horror Story: Hotel is lukewarm, I’m still really looking forward to seeing what season five has to offer! How does everyone feel about Lady Gaga joining the cast? Who’s excited for the October 7th premiere? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: I’m so aware that my blah opinions on Lady Gaga joining the cast is not the popular one, so don’t judge me too hard! šŸ˜‰