• Home
  • About Me
  • FAQ
  • Forum
  • Contact

Thursday, January 30, 2014 American Horror Story: Coven Series Review & Themes

In the wake of the American Horror Story: Coven finale last night, I thought it only fair to vent my obsession with the show for a bit. If you intend to watch the series, I must warn you that I may have some spoilers sprinkled into my post so continue reading at your own risk!

If you have never watched American Horror Story before, you may not know that every season there is a completely new story line, characters, and cast (keeping only a few familiar faces each season). The first season revolved around a dysfunctional family living in a house that was haunted by ghosts who had died there in the past. The second season brought us back in time to an Asylum with a crazy doctor who performed experiments on patients and even aliens?! This past third season was about a Coven of witches who are trying to discover who the next "Supreme" is. As far as past seasons go, I loved the first one but wasn't crazy about the second. The third, however, may now take the title of my favorite season of the series so far!

Now call me biased, but having a season with the majority of the cast being powerful female characters was really exciting! Jessica Lange is definitely a force to be reckoned with and a complete badass in every season (especially this one). Then of course there's my "girl crush" Taissa Farmiga who returned to the show after being absent for season two. The amazing Kathy Bates, Emma Roberts, and Gabourey Sidibe were also thrown into the mix this season and they were all perfect in their roles. The idea of witches is such an empowering concept in itself. Powerful, feared women who have a strong bond with one another and feel like they can rule the world. "I am woman, hear me roar!"

Now the main point of this post is to share some of the underlying themes I felt resonated throughout the season:

Empowerment over Power: This was definitely my favorite theme overall. In the end of the season, Cordelia realizes that she has been the Supreme all along. While all the other witches in the show had their eyes set on being the most powerful, Cordelia's goal was always to feel (and make other witches feel) empowered. Throughout the beginning of the season, Cordelia always tried to please her mother Fiona, but she was never good enough. It wasn't until she stopped trying to please Fiona that she discovered she truly had power within her and became her own (strong) person.

Racism and Sexism: One of the first themes that's brought up in this season is racism. Not only do the "white witches" not get along with the "black witches", but there's also Madam LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) who tortured black slaves. In the end, Queenie tries to let Madam LaLaurie redeem herself for her racism and murder but she refuses. On the flip side, Marie Laveau eventually ended her racism towards the "white witches" and banded together with them toward a shared evil. I guess it's a lesson that some people can be changed while others can't no matter what. Also, although the cast was almost entirely female, there was a few moments of sexism during the season. The biggest one being the group rape scene in the first episode involving Madison. There was also the manipulation of men which may bring about the lesson that sexism isn't always centered on women which was an interesting concept.

You Get What You Deserve: The ending was satisfying when it came to giving the not-so-nice characters what they deserved. Madam LaLaurie ended up spending eternity being tortured like she did to her slaves, Fiona spent eternity in a fish-smelling cabin with the Axeman, and Madison was strangled by the boy she sexually abused to get back at Zoe. Then of course the nicer characters like Zoe and Cordelia had the happy ending they deserved. Of course the fates of Misty, Myrtle, and Nan weren't deserved for those characters but we will turn a blind eye to those.

Struggles of Women: Coven ventured not just into the theme of female sexuality, but also mother-daughter relationships, fertility, aging, and other themes that deal with women’s identity and their relationships with one another. It's often shown that having a bunch of powerful women in one house can often lead to fights, but it was also shown that it can also lead to becoming stronger together.

Don't Be A Spalding: Spalding was the creepiest and weirdest character. Please don't be a Spalding in your life. That entails you not playing with your huge collection of scary baby dolls, and not hanging out with a dead girl in your free time.

What am I going to look forward to watching on Wednesdays now that it's over?!


  1. I've been thinking about watching this, but I saw in a DVD catalogue that here it got an MA15+ rating for "sexual violence" and I thought it might be too "rapey" or something?
    Is this series a no go zone for the sexually squeamish?

    1. Yeah, you have to have a strong stomach to handle watching AHS. There were a few scenes of both sexual violence & violence in general that made me feel uncomfortable throughout the series. (And that's saying a lot because I watch a lot of shows that have things like that in it) I wouldn't recommend the show for more squeamish viewers like yourself. I'll review other TV series in the future that you may like more. :)

  2. These movies were based off books ? if so could you please name the author...