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One of the most fun aspects of being a fan of FX’s American Horror Story is enjoying the fun and ridiculous promotional craze leading up to each season’s premiere. Because the premise changes completely each year, there is a lot of mystery surrounding the story therefore both plot and thematic details are teased through a long series of teasers, key art and promos. As the few little nuggets of information provided, these teasers and images become the source of much fan speculation and discussion. Ryan Murphy and FX have made this slow release of information and images a science and it is definitely working for them seeing as the viewership for the anthology series has grown year after year despite its highly uneven quality.
Even though Coven ended up being a critical disappointment, the promise of something completely different for the new season offers a fresh start and allows us to look forward to the debut of Freak Show with a positive attitude.
Finally, after a couple of weeks of short teasers we get the first extended view of the Freak Show and it looks pretty awesome.
Yup, that’s Kathy Bates as a bearded lady, Angela Bassett sporting three breasts, Michael Chiklis as a strongman, Evan Peters rocking gnarly claw hands, Sarah Paulson playing conjoined twins and Jessica Lange looking fabulous as usual.
New story and character details have been released per EW setting the stage for the upcoming premiere. Freak Show follows Elsa Mars (Lange) as she arrives in Jupiter Florida in the hopes of recruiting conjoined twins Bette and Dot (Paulson) for her traveling carnival, which includes bearded lady and Elsa’s right hand Ethel (Bates), her son Jimmy (Peters), and new additions, strongman Dell Toledo (Chiklis), who happens to be Ethel’s ex-husband and his now wife Desiree Dupree (Bassett). It wouldn’t be American Horror Story without a terrifying main villain and this year’s primary antagonist will be Twisty the Clown played by John Carroll Lynch, who is none to happy with the troupe’s decision to make a stop in his town.
Emma Roberts and Dennis O’Hare play a couple of con artists, Frances Conroy plays a wealthy woman whose son (Finn Whitrock)wants to join the carnival, Gabourey Sidibe plays a socialite who returns to Jupiter when her mother (Patti LaBelle) goes missing. Similar to past seasons Freak Show will delve into the past with flashbacks to Elsa’s early days in 1930s Germany, as well as Ethel’s past. There will also be a two-part Halloween episode, this year featuring Wes Bentley as tragic horror myth, Edward Mordrake.
In addition to all these news, fans might be the most excited by the return of Asylum’s beloved character, Pepper. Murphy confirmed the news that fan favourite Pepper will be part of the cast and explained,“What Elsa has done for 20 years is she goes around to hospitals and jails and rescues these ‘freak’ circus performers who are going to be shipped away to asylums and she signs the waivers and she becomes their guardians.” So Freak Show “is sort of like what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum.” This is the first time that a character has crossed from one season to another in the horror anthology.
Freak Show teasers:
Creepy clowns, three-legged acrobats, chicken feet, oh my!
American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on October 8.