Whether it was Murder House, Asylum, or Coven, American Horror Story has been scaring viewers for years. The hit FX show has been set at the Freak Show, in a Hotel, and at a horrible home in Roanoke. Each season different, yet with returning actors in changing roles. AHS is truly one of the most unique programs to ever hit television. Now, after dealing with witches, serial killers, and demons, AHS has taken a different approach to Season 7. American Horror Story: Cult focuses on the big, scary 2016 presidential election.
When the theme of Cult was announced, many viewers jumped ship before watching an episode. Some of the pro-Trump fans of the show spoke out on social media saying they would dump AHS figuring the new season would be all about tearing down the Commander in Chief. Perhaps they jumped the gun on this one.
AHS creator Ryan Murphy is not a Trump man. He has supported many Democrat candidates and causes. That said, Murphy has claimed AHS: Cult is not a pro-Hillary/anti-Trump endeavor. He just might be telling the truth on this one.
“I think a lot of (the assumption) is because of people knowing my politics,” said Murphy during a question and answer event sponsored by FX before the new season started. “I’m an out, gay man. I’ve had the president of the United States at my house twice. I’ve always campaigned on the Democratic side and that has gotten some degree of publicity. So, I think that when people see that this is what it’s going to be about, presume something.”
Murphy added, “I’ll ask the writers room who they voted for Emmy awards, but I’ll never ask who they voted for president.”
He claimed this season does represent both sides and that Trump backers and Hillary supporters are all fair game. “Part of being an artist is being able to write about the world you live in and the times that you’ve been a part of,” he said. “We’ve been very careful to be fair…We’re not burning people in effigy.”
With the season more than halfway through, Murphy is this far living up to his word.
The first episodes of AHS: Cult have certainly taken shots at President Trump and his supporters. Kai Anderson played by Evan Peters is a local Michigan suburban leader running for office in this new season. He’s pro-Trump and clearly either a psychopath or a sociopath. Time will tell. But while Kai isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement of Trump voters, progressives are not painted in a good light either. In fact, while many Trump supporters on the show are accurately portrayed simply as Americans who are sick and tired of a corrupt Washington, the liberals in AHS: Cult, for the most part, are portrayed as entitled, elitist, maniacs.
Ally Mayfair-Richards, portrayed by Sarah Paulson is completely beside herself since the election of Trump. Ally owns a restaurant with her lesbian wife. She suffers from coulrophobia, a fear of clowns, and trypophobia, a fear of irregular clusters of small holes. Her hallucinations reflect her fears, as she often sees menacing clowns or bleeding holes in food during episodes. She has expressed discomfort with pieces of coral to her psychiatrist, due to the porous pattern of it triggering her trypophobia. She also clearly suffers from TDS–Trump Derangement Syndrome.
In one episode Ally exclaimed, “I won’t believe anything until I hear Rachel Maddow say it.” That gives you a solid idea of the character right there.
Each episode features Ally freaking out over politics and everything else. If you know any liberal Trump haters, you know an Ally. AHS has captured the typical response to Trump’s win perfectly. To an insane tee, actually.
One thing AHS: Cult has captured beautifully, perhaps surprisingly, thus far is the hypocrisy of liberals. Ally’s wife voted for Hillary but the Democrat candidate wasn’t liberal enough for Ally who cast her ballot at the last moment for the Green Party’s Jill Stein. When pressed, however, Ally shows us her utopian, Kumbaya politics are good for us, but not necessarily herself.
In one of the most powerful scenes of the season so far, Kai comes to Ally’s door to talk about his run for office. Ally answers with a knife behind her back. Her door is fortified with big, metal bars.
“When was the last time you felt really safe?,” Kai asked. “Like can you remember when you weren’t scared all the time?”
He continued, “Did you know that you are forty percent more likely to be the victim of a violent crime committed at the hands of an illegal immigrant and that the murder and rape rates are the highest they’ve ever been?”
“Thats not true,” Ally countered. “Those numbers don’t seem right to me.”
“There are no political parties anymore ma’am,” said Kai. At first he calls her ‘miss’ but then stutters and switches to ‘ma’am’ worried he may have offend the progressive. “It’s just them and you and the people like me who are willing to stand between you,” Kai said.
Ally gives a text book liberal response. “I am interested in reaching out to people, making contact with other human beings, building bridges not walls,” she said. .
Then it happens. Kai, and really Murphy and the whole AHS franchise, obliterate liberal hypocrisy, faux outrage, and the phoniness of progressives in one fell swoop.
“What’s that behind your back?,” Kai asked after noticing Ally’s weapon. “This door is new,” he said while shaking the bars loudly. “Strong,” he said. “Why would you need a strong door like this, bars on the windows? Why would you need a knife to answer the door? Are you going to melt all this metal down and build a bridge?”
Talk about undressing and exposing the platitudes that have become the programmed responses of liberals nationwide.
Kai then makes an attempt to get in Ally’s home. He asks for a drink and to use the bathroom. “Can’t you see I’m an injured man,” he said. “Aren’t I a vulnerable class now?”
“I am going to call the police,” she said.
Kai replied, “It’s so easy until it’s you they’re coming for.”
How many times have we seen actual liberals use Ally’s flawed argument. Anti-gun politicians and performers using armed guards. Hollywood elites building walls around their homes while ripping Trump’s plans for a border wall. Telling us how racist our police are, then calling those same officers when they need help. Draping themselves in red, white, and blue when discussing Russia but kneeling on those same colors when the NFL is involved. Hypocrites extraordinaire.
After Kai’s last comment, Ally closes the door, showing exactly why conservative fans of AHS should not close the door on the show.
“People have the wrong idea already about what it’s going to be,” said Murphy pre-season. “People in the Rust Belt who have loved the show (are tweeting), ‘I’m out. I can’t believe that you’re tackling this. They don’t understand that every side on our show gets it just as much.The white privilege that Sarah (Paulson) and Alison Pill(‘s characters) deal with is satirical as well.”
He added, “The world we’re living in is ridiculous. So, I think that the show, in some ways, is reflecting the idea that nothing makes sense, and the only way to get through it is to try and have some degree of humor about it.”
Murphy seems to be living up to his word. AHS is not anti-anybody, but anti-everybody. Other thanSouth Park, there aren’t many shows that can say that. So please sit back and enjoy American Horror Story: Cult if you like the show. Don’t run from pop culture–infiltrate it.
But don’t think it will always be easy on the eyes. Along with the blood and guts, there’s some real, awful horror coming up on AHS. Episode 7 is featuring guest star Lena Dunham. Truly horrific in every sense of the word.
Follow Kevin Scholla on Twitter @kevinscholla