Another fall TV season, another batch of creepy abstract teasers for American Horror Story.
This initial 17-second clip for American Horror Story: Coven reveals nothing at all about the storyline, which we know is going to be centered around witches in New Orleans. The opening line of “House of the Rising Sun” — the one about there being a house in New Orleans — is the only reference to the setting. Otherwise all we see is a white room where a small white cat walks toward the camera before we pan to a much more arresting visual, seven women — although a barely visible offshoot hallway suggests there could be many more — suspended face-first against the walls. Some people feel they have levitated there, perhaps because of their witchy powers, although my first impression is that they were corpses pegged there, similar to how a bug collector treats insects. Then again, that would have been more appropriate to last season’s Bloody Face storyline. Also, the different positions of the hands of each woman tends to suggest maybe they had some control getting into that position.
But if history is any judge, it wouldn’t be too fruitful to try to read too much into these teasers. Remember Season 1 with the teasers about Rubber Man and the pregnant lady? Not sure that would’ve gone all that far in tipping you off as to the true level of craziness the poor Harmon family was in for. But the concepts are there, so it got the job done.
Here’s what we do know about American Horror Story: Coven: several AHS alums returning, including Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy and Taissa Farmiga. Newcomers include Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone, Emma Roberts and Gabourey Sidibe. It returns 10pm on Oct. 9, which means the season will probably be at its strongest right around Halloween.
Yes, I’ve made my pattern of disappointment with past American Horror Story seasons apparent, as it usually tends to happen where the first three or four episodes are fan-freaking-tastic, followed by a couple of tangential episodes that the producers really seem to love but do nothing to advance the story (“I Am Anne Frank,” anyone?), and then things just continue to spiral out of control to the point that by the finale I’m watching more out of obligation than frenzy.
But I can’t quite quit the show just yet. With this cast and the certainty that, no matter what, there will emerge at least a few memorable moments, American Horror Story: Coven at least gets a day in court before I’ll burn it at the stake.