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September 25, 2017 | by  | in TV |
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American Horror Story: Cult

It’s American Horror Story time again! The most wonderful time of the year, or in the words of George Michael Bluth, “It’s a great day! For being sad.” I’ve started to thrive on the disappointment, like a Mariah Carey fan. This year’s theme is Cult and it’s about the 2016 American election, which seems a bit Banksy-ish but we’ll run with it. As a preface: if you are scared of clowns (coulrophobia), many tiny holes (trypophobia), or Donald Trump (normal), maybe sit this one out.

Sarah Paulson’s Ally lives with her soft2 butch wife Ivy (Alison Pill) and their young and inquisitive son, Ozzy. Donald Trump’s win sends Ally’s anxiety into overdrive and her intense phobia of clowns begins to manifest into horrific real-life nightmares — in the first episode she is chased around an abandoned supermarket by maniacal clowns in a scene that evokes a Marilyn Manson music video — and after barricading herself indoors she begins to develop symptoms of agoraphobia. I’m excited about this representation for something I suffer from, which will no doubt be an extremely tasteful and accurate portrayal in a Ryan Murphy show; I, too, dare not to tread outside lest I encounter the masturbating clowns. When they look for a nanny to watch Ozzy while Ally and Ivy run their boutique butchery, they meet Winter (Billie Lourd), a hip liberal feminist who dropped out of college to work on the Clinton ’16 campaign, and hire her instantly. Unfortunately, Winter spends her time nannying showing Ozzy videos of brutal murders, and when he starts to see evil clowns she convinces his parents he’s just been reading too many comic books.

Upsettingly, Evan Peters is not just evil but racist and homophobic this year, which makes his attractiveness even more problematic than before. Peters’ Kai Anderson is a Trump-voting MRA narcissist who may or may not be leading a cult of clowns, intent on provoking America into such a state of fear and frenzy that they are desperate to be led by someone willing to “fix” it. Kai is a cross between Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannopoulos, and everyone on Reddit’s r/theredpill — when Trump is announced as president, Kai makes a face mask out of blended Cheetos and dry humps his television. Over the season Peters is set to play different cult leaders throughout history, including Charles Manson, David Koresh, and even Andy Warhol — with the latter’s would-be assassin Valerie Solanas to be played by Lena Dunham in a later episode (ugh, there’s that disappointment again).

Now I get to talk about Billy Eichner! Yes, after shitting on AHS and Ryan Murphy no less than three times in Difficult People, Billy Eichner is in Cult and has been heavily hyping it over the last few months. Eichner plays Harrison Wilton, a homosexual beekeeper married to his heterosexual best friend, Meadow (did the writers use a young adult fantasy novel name generator for this show?), with whom he shares the co-presidency of the Michigan chapter of the Official Nicole Kidman Fan Club. They move into the house opposite Ally and Ivy, after the former couple living there are, yes, murdered by clowns. Meadow is played by the critically underused Leslie Grossman, who you might recognise as queen bee Mary Cherry from another Murphy show, 1999’s Popular. I’m absolutely thrilled with this duo. I’m sure Cult will end in chaos, but the real world’s looking pretty chaotic right now too; which scares you the most?

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