American Horror Story: CultLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 11/21/17 at 9:19PM EST
Why are there so many cults on TV all of a sudden?
It’s not just Charles Manson and American Horror Story: Cult. Paramount Network will soon come out with Waco based on David Koresh, Jake Gyllenhaal and A&E are working on an anthology series on cults for A&E, and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is developing a Jonestown miniseries for HBO. “What specifically about cults is making them such a huge part of American entertainment right this second?” asks Adam Epstein. The recent American Horror Story: Cult season may hold a clue, he says, noting that “the prevalence of cults on TV simply reflects an America, and much of the world, that’s devolving further and further into tribalism.”
Posted Monday 11/20/17 at 11:08PM EST
In the weeks before his death, Charles Manson loomed large on TV
The notorious killer was mentioned on Netflix’s Mindhunter, which premiered last month. He's also directly acknowledged on Season 2 of Search Party, which kicked off last night. And it was just two weeks ago that Evan Peters portrayed Manson in the episode “Charles (Manson) in Charge,” which reenacted the night of the Manson murders. Manson was also the subject of last week’s season finale. ALSO: Bryan Cranston claims he saw Manson when he was age 11 or 12.
Posted Monday 11/20/17 at 1:56PM EST
Why is TV so obsessed with Charles Manson?
Manson, who died last night at age 83, is still relevant on TV and in pop-culture 48 years after his notorious killings. CBS made two Helter Skelter movies about Manson — one in 1976 starring Steve Railsback and one in 2004 starring Jeremy Davies. In recent years, Manson has been a subject in TV series like Aquarius, American Horror Story: Cult and even Mad Men. In March, when ABC News scheduled a Charles Manson special, Michael Starr tried to find out why Manson was “homicide’s go-to guy" on television. Starr asked former Manson actor Railsback, who sent a good luck note to Davies. “They’ve done so many things on him so many times, and I’m going, ‘Why is that?’” said Railsback. “I don’t know what it is.” ALSO: Hollywood and pop-culture often used Manson as “a hackneyed shortcut to outrage.”
Posted Thursday 11/16/17 at 12:56AM EST
How American Horror Story: Cult failed angry women
The subject of angry women loomed over the Cult season that started so promisingly, yet the FX series “returned to its favorite tricks, eschewing socio-cultural analysis for shock and gore,” says Sophie Gilbert. She adds: “In the series, it seems, no fertile woman can go un-impregnated, whether by a ghost in a black rubber fetish suit, or by a man being simultaneously penetrated by her brother. Mothers inevitably wreak horrific damage on the vulnerable psyches of their children. And rape is so repetitive a plot device on the show as to have become completely meaningless. Given such depictions, and their prevalence across culture, is it any surprise women are so mad?”
Posted Wednesday 11/15/17 at 1:33PM EST
American Horror Story: Cult's finale went full circle
The Cult season proved to be more than Trump vs. Clinton.
Posted Tuesday 11/14/17 at 10:11PM EST
How Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, the only actors to appear in every American Horror Story season, kept their performances compelling
“Even when the writing and plot twists on Cult didn’t necessarily make total sense, the performances by Paulson and Peters remained compelling because both of them are so committed to leaning hard into the show’s hairpin tonal and emotional turns,” says Jen Chaney. “In certain ways, their roles also felt like a full-circle landing point from where they started in season one.”
Posted Wednesday 11/08/17 at 9:32PM EST
Election night 2016: Has any other event been so quickly and repeatedly mirrored on TV?
It's been exactly one year since Donald Trump’s unexpected presidential victory, yet television keeps trying to relive the night of Nov. 8, 2016, most recently on American Horror Story: Cult and Broad City. “While Obama’s 2008 election was historic, the shock of Trump’s upset victory makes it especially evocative fodder for our left-leaning pop culture,” says Rachel Withers. “There seems to have been an immediate need to memorialize it, even as its consequences are still playing out. And these depictions are still rolling in—while South Park and Saturday Night Live were able to recreate the moment almost immediately, shows with longer production timelines are only now getting around to it. But why are we even still interested in reliving the election?”
Posted Wednesday 11/08/17 at 12:00AM EST
How American Horror Story: Cult recreated the Manson Murders
Ryan Murphy had been wanting to devote a season of American Horror Story to Charles Manson for several years. "I had been working on it and researching it, but it never felt right to me because it's been done a million times and I didn't know how to make it fresh," he says. "But the thing that I just kept being drawn back to was the idea about cult of personalities.”
Posted Thursday 10/26/17 at 2:13PM EDT
Broad City offered TV's most visceral Trump-themed episode
“Plenty of shows since last November have referenced Trump: The Good Fight, The Bold Type, The Mindy Project, Black-ish, American Horror Story: Cult,” says Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya. “Some of that commentary has been mild and broad (The Mindy Project); some has been fiery and poignant (Black-ish). But few attacks have been as incisive, direct, and visceral as Broad City’s “Witches,” which builds on the season’s existing anti-Trump sentiments, conveyed in just about every episode through protest signs, a pro-Planned Parenthood cold open, and Abbi and Ilana’s general disgust for Trump and nostalgia for Obama. ‘Witches,’ though, puts Trump-related anxiety at the forefront of the narrative.” ALSO: This season has been filled with melancholy and forced maturation.
Posted Thursday 10/26/17 at 3:36AM EDT
Colton Haynes is dressing up as Marge Simpson for Halloween
Check out the Teen Wolf and American Horror Story star wearing yellow body paint and enormous breast and eye prosthetics.
Posted Friday 10/20/17 at 4:11AM EDT
See Evan Peters as Charles Manson on American Horror Story: Cult
“Evan Peters or Charles Manson?” Ryan Murphy asked in an Instagram post.
Posted Wednesday 10/18/17 at 7:01PM EDT
Lena Dunham’s American Horror Story: Cult episode proved to be very relevant
“Though the episode, which aired on Tuesday, was intended to be timely, the story of female rage proved to be even more relevant in the wake of the sweeping Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal,” says Jackie Strause. ALSO: Did Cult reveal a gaping plot hole?
Posted Wednesday 10/11/17 at 11:15PM EDT
Why American Horror Story: Cult should have kept the mass shooting scene intact
“The rejiggered sequence feels like an odd turn for American Horror Story,” says Jeffrey Bloomer. “Part of what has made the series’ new Cult season one of its most potent in years is its unfiltered, messy dive into the culture of the 2016 election, mashing up #MAGA hate crimes, the indoctrination of gay fascists, and the horrors of suburban Jill Stein liberals into a volatile and queasy mirror of our political moment. It works precisely because of how exploitative it is, pushing its familiar genre mechanizations on far-too-plausible events to underline the very real horror show our country has become.” ALSO: Here’s your first look at Lena Dunham on Cult.
Posted Sunday 10/08/17 at 2:43AM EDT
Ryan Murphy decided to re-edit the mass shooting on American Horror Story: Cult's next episode
“I just made the decision that I’m going to have all of that violence be shown for the most part off camera,” Murphy said Saturday at the The New Yorker Festival, when asked about airing the episode so close to the Las Vegas shooting. Murphy said he did it out of sympathy for the victims. But because the episode was locked, Murphy admitted struggling with the decision. “Should you air it? Should you not air it? How do you be sensitive?" he said. "My point of view was I believe I have the right to air it, but I also believe in victims’ rights, and I believe that now is probably not the week to have something explosive or incendiary in the culture because someone who was affected might watch that and it could trigger something or make them feel upset. So our decision was to re-edit it and I felt that that was the right move.” ALSO: Murphy says his favorite shows right now are The Crown and The OA.
Posted Thursday 10/05/17 at 9:47PM EDT
Evan Peters is a dead ringer for Andy Warhol
The American Horror Story: Cult star dove into his role as Warhol, in addition to the cult leaders he’s portraying. "The challenge as an actor of playing all of them was pretty daunting,” he says, “and Kai is the most vicious of all of the cult leaders. He has been a difficult character to play, with a lot of highs and lows, and a lot of darkness.”