AHS: Hotel Premiere
You have to hand it to Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk for coming up with shows that not only entertain but challenge cinematic norms. First, we had Glee. Then American Horror Story. And now Scream Queens. Each show is different in the issues they handle and the audiences they cater to. It’s humbling and mind-blowing to know that the same minds are behind all three shows. No appreciation is enough appreciation for Murphy-Falchuk.
AHS is an uphill series. American Horror Story: Hotel, the fifth season of AHS, has taken the show to new heights. With its intense acting, phantasmagorical cinematography, graphic content and music score, Checking In is probably the best season premiere that AHS have ever given its viewers.
No one will ever accuse AHS of being tame. And when we meet Lady Gaga’s Countess and Matt Bomer’s Donovan, we also see Murphy’s best work till date. It was one of the most engrossing scenes I have seen on television. It had my full and complete attention for the entirety of six minutes. It was everything AHS is: bloody, racy, sexy and supernatural-y. I cannot think of a better introduction for Lady Gaga and Matt Bomer into the AHS family.
The power couple getting ready for their night out was a treat to watch. Matt Bomer bares more in AHS than in both the Magic Mike movies combined. The direction and cinematography was one of a kind and an absolute treat to watch. The upbeat music and the actors portray something that dialogues never could: the show is picking up pace and picking it up fast.
In all but six minutes, they pick up a couple from Hollywood Forever Cemetery (which was, ironically, screening Nosferatu) and bring them back to the Hotel Cortez. They indulge in an orgy which ends up being a bold, bloody and racy piece of art. If Lady Gaga’s meat suit surprised you, her choice of outfit in this scene will blow you away.
The raw emotion and confidence exuding from Bomer’s Donovan was a complete delight. His character is the darkest he has played till date and his growth as an actor is obvious in the series. His journey from Neal Caffrey to Felix Turner to Donovan is something every fan can be proud of.
Lady Gaga brings not only her talent to the show but also the aura of mystery around her. Hats off to Murphy for using and developing her eccentricities and glamour. For me, Gaga is the perfect Countess and Bomer the perfect paramour for her.
If we can move beyond the gore and the sex, and look at the aesthetics of it, the direction is beyond excellence and fits the mood like a jigsaw puzzle. You know these actors can act and Murphy can write when they can execute a six-minute long scene with nothing but looks and score.
You know it’s a good scene when dialogue is not necessary and looks do all the acting. The song, “Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge was the best substitute for dialogue. If I had the option of watching one scene all my life, it would be this scene.
One thing that broke our heart, however, was the absence of Jessica Lange, even though we had months to prepare for it.