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American Horror Story Season 9 Full Cast & Premiere Date Revealed

The full cast of American Horror Story: 1984 has finally been revealed by Ryan Murphy, teasing the usual blend of new and familiar faces. Created by Murphy and Brad Fulchuk, American Horror Story is an anthology series where each season featuring a new – though sometimes overlapping – story and collection of characters. Across the already-aired eight seasons, the show has tackled such settings as an asylum, a freak show, and most recently, an apocalypse. Garnering a number of awards for its varied cast members – including a Golden Globe for Lady Gaga – American Horror Story have already been renewed through season 10.

Though the overall plot tends to be a closely-guarded secret in the run-up to the premiere, it was previously announced that American Horror Story season 9 would be officially subtitled ‘1984’ and have a slasher theme. Since then, details regarding the ever-shifting cast has emerged. AHS stalwart Emma Roberts was the first to be confirmed as returning. The actress made her AHS debut in American Horror Story: Coven, before returning for Freak Show, Cult, and last season’s Apocalypse. It was also revealed, for the first time in the show’s history, that Evan Peters would not be starring.  Equally, Sarah Paulson will not return. Instead, it was announced that Angelica Ross had been cast. Ross is currently the star of another Murphy production: FX’s Pose.

Related: American Horror Story: 1984 Needs A Slasher Scream Queen – Who Could It Be?

Posting on his personal Instagram, Murphy opted to celebrate the first day of filming with an official cast announcement. He then proceeded to post a series of videos that, in true American Horror Story fashion, eschewed the usual tradition of such announcements. Instead, each snippet was done as though part of a camera test, blending the equal parts ominous and campy tones with which the show has become synonymous. Alongside Roberts, the returning cast also includes Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, and Cody Fern. John Carroll Lynch, who played Twisty the Clown in American Horror Story season 4, also makes a return. Check out the videos – in all their hilariously 80’s glory – below:

The new faces joining the cast (and donning their short shorts) include DeRon Horton, Zach Villa, and Glee’s Matthew Morrison. This isn’t the only project Murphy has in the works. The super-producer recently signed a deal with Netflix. As part of that deal, he is producing a film adaptation of The Prom, starring Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. He will also re-team with Paulson on a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel series, Ratched.

In terms of American Horror Story: 1984, the video doesn’t reveal the characters’ names. It does, however, convey each of their defining characteristics – right down to a recurring penis gag for one. Ross’ character, meanwhile, can be seen with a stethoscope, clearly setting her up as the camp’s resident medic. Equally, Lynch’s character looks every bit as intense and creepy as Twisty himself was. It also has a very Friday the 13th vibe, living up to its retro-slasher film intentions. And potentially having even more 80s homages than Stranger Things.

For each detail revealed by the videos, however, they pose an equal amount of questions that are sure to fuel much speculation from fans. Most notably, is the style of the videos. Could it be that what audiences will see later this year will actually be a film within a series, with the confirmed actors themselves playing actors on the set of a horror production?  It would be certainly in keeping with such previously meta seasons as American Horror Story: Roanoke. Whatever the case, fans will find out for sure when the series finally airs.

More: What to Expect from American Horror Story Season 9

American Horror Story: 1984 premieres Sept. 18 on FX.

Source: Ryan Murphy/Instagram



2019-07-13 09:07:11

John Atkinson

American Gods Killed [SPOILER] (But It Was More Epic Than The Books)

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS from American Gods episode “Treasure of the Sun”.

American Gods, season 2, episode 7, “Treasure of the Sun,” has given the character of Mad Sweeney a far more epic death than he received in the original book. This is somewhat strange given the care the series took in developing the leprechaun who preferred Southern Comfort to Guinness as a character. Indeed, many felt that Mad Sweeney was the break-out character of season 2.

In the original novel by Neil Gaiman, Mad Sweeney only appeared in two scenes. In the first, he got into a bar fight with protagonist Shadow Moon and taught him the trick of pulling true gold coins out of thin air, leaving him with one gold coin to keep. Later in the book, a bedraggled Mad Sweeney encounters Shadow and begs him for the return of his coin, which was a magic coin not meant to be given away. Unfortunately, for Mad Sweeny, Shadow had thrown the coin into the grave of his recently deceased wife, Laura, and when he passed by the bridge where he saw Mad Sweeney later, he saw that Mad Sweeney had apparently died of a combination of exposure and withdrawal.

Related: American Gods Has Made The Story More Interesting Than The Book

The American Gods TV series dramatically changed this story, turning Mad Sweeney (played by Pablo Schreiber) into a key member of the ensemble. The show paired Mad Sweeney with Laura Moon, who found herself unexpectedly resurrected by the magical golden coin Shadow tossed onto her grave. This led to an odd and oddly hilarious partnership, as Mad Sweeney reluctantly agreed to help Laura find her husband and a way to be resurrected in exchange for the eventual return of his coin.

“Treasure of the Sun” shifted Mad Sweeney’s story even further away from his character in the original novel, as it revealed something of his life and how he came to be a god, a legendary king, and then a leprechaun. The episode tells three conflicting stories, all tied to how the legends of the god Mad Sweeney had been, showing how he had changed over the years, becoming weaker and more confused as the core of who he was became forgotten. This seems to mirror what is happening to the Old Gods in modern day America, with the invaders of ancient Ireland taking the legends of the Celts and changing their gods into “faeries and saints and dead kings.”

The three tales also give three differing prophecies, two of which tell how Mad Sweeney would meet his end. In one, he is told he would be undone and abandoned west of the sunrise and that a dead woman’s bauble would seal his fate. In another, a Christian priest curses him to die on the end of a spear. The third prophecy has Mad Sweeney using a spear to save his people, the Tuatha Dé Danann, from the one-eyed mad god Balor.

By the end of the episode, all three prophecies come true. Mad Sweeney dies in America – west of where the sun sets relative to Ireland. His fate is sealed by the loss of his coin to Laura Moon, making it a dead woman’s bauble. Mad Sweeney dies on the end of a spear, after he tries to throw Odin’s spear Gungnir at Mr. Wednesday, only to have Shadow Moon catch it and turn the point upon him as he advances.

Things take an interesting turn as the third prophecy is fulfilled, with Mad Sweeney using his ability to access his extra-dimensional “horde” to store Gungnir where Mr. Wednesday can’t get it. In doing so, he believes he is saving his people from Balor, who he has come to associate with the one-eyed Wednesday. He may be mad to believe so, but Mad Sweeney certainly threw a monkey wrench into Mr. Wednesday’s plans for the coming conflict heading into American Gods‘ season 2 finale. It remains to be seen how Mr. Wednesday might recover his spear but the most likely bet seems to involve Shadow Moon having been taught the trick of accessing the horde for himself – a trick he seemingly forgot after his first encounter with Mad Sweeney.

More: American Gods: How Gods Are Born (And How They Die)


2019-04-22 05:04:59

Matt Morrison

10 American Movies You Didn’t Know Were Based Off Of Foreign Films

Remakes can be difficult in the movie business. Sometimes studios think there is an idea too good not to explore again, but audiences can get tired of seeing the same stories done over and over. But what if they are remaking a movie most of the audience has never heard of before?

Hollywood has a tendency to find those golden cinematic gems of other countries and give them an American twist. And while some of these foreign films may have made a splash in the States, there are many the average movie-goer might assume are original ideas. So give some credit to the films that did it first by looking at some of the American films you didn’t know were foreign-language remakes.

RELATED: Ranked: 10 Most Inclusive Films For Kids

10 The Birdcage

The Birdcage was a 1996 star-studded comedy from Hollywood legends Mike Nichols and Elaine May. The film starred Robin Williams, Gene Hackman and Nathan Lane in a wacky caper about an openly gay couple who pretend to be straight when being introduced to their son’s conservative in-laws. The film was a box office hit and was praised for Williams and Lane’s comedic performance.

The film is a remake of an Italian comedy which is actually an adaptation of a stage play of the same name. The original 1978 film was hugely successful, becoming a cross-cultural hit in the States as well.

9 The Departed

Martin Scorsese finally won his long-deserved Oscar for Best Director for this violent gangster film. The movie follows two moles, one working for the police and one working for the mob who play a cat and mouse game, trying to expose the other. The film starred the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson and won the Oscar for Best Picture.

The movie is based on the Chinese police drama, Infernal Affairs. While it did not reach the same level of acclaim as its remake, the original was a huge success and gained fans all over the world.

8 Three Men and a Baby

Three Men and a Baby seems like the perfect 80s movie with a cast of the decade’s biggest stars and a concept that would really only work in that decade of filmmaking. The film follows the misadventures of three bachelors, played by Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson, who unexpectedly have to raise a baby together.

Directed by Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, the film was a huge hit and spawned a sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady. The original French film, Three Men and a Cradle, only came out two years before Hollywood decided to do their version.

7 EdTV

Long before they starred in the dark and somber first season of True Detective, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson starred in this forgettable comedy. McConaughey stars as a video store clerk who is chosen for a reality TV program where cameras follow him all day long. The concept had potential but suffered from the fact that it came out shortly after the similar and superior The Truman Show.

RELATED: 10 Action Movie Legends We Want To See In The Expendables 4

Edtv was in fact a remake of a French-Canadian comedy, Louis 19, King of the Airwaves. The original, while a smaller scale, had more success than the American version, becoming a modest hit in its home country.

6 True Lies

Though not the most well-known of James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s collaborations, True Lies is nonetheless a fun, funny and thrilling action-comedy. Schwarzenegger stars as a world-class spy who hides his secret world-saving antics begin to conflict with his more mundane family life. Though overshadowed by the Terminator films to a degree, the movie was a hit with audiences and critics.

Le Totale was a French comedy that served as the basis for this film. While Cameron crank up the action and scope of the film, the story and some of its best comedic moments came from the original.

5 Delivery Man

Vince Vaughan has been hit-and-miss with his comedy movie career. While his films like Wedding Crashers and Old School are considered classics, others, like this 2013 dramedy, are utterly forgettable. Delivery Man has Vaughan playing an aimless delivery man who learns that his sperm donations over the years have resulted in over 500 children. The film has a difficult time with its shifting tone leading to an uneven and somewhat creepy final product.

The original French-Canadian film called Starbuck was a hit in Canada and generally thought of as the better film. Despite the original writer-director Ken Scott returning to helm the remake, the American remake failed to connect the same way the original did.

4 Scent Of A Woman

As acclaimed an actor as Al Pacino is, it’s strange to think that he’s only won a single Oscar in his long career. Even stranger, that win came from his rather over-the-top performance in this film. In Scent of a Woman, Pacino plays a brash and impulsive blind man who takes a younger man under his wing. The film proved a hit and, along with Pacino’s win, was nominated for several Oscars.

RELATED: 10 Best ’90s Action Movies To Watch Today

The film was a remake of a 1974 Italian film of the same name. Like its eventual remake, the film was a hit in its home country and received high praise the its leading man.

3 Insomnia

Before Christopher Nolan gained the trust of fanboys everywhere with his Dark Knight trilogy, he was making far smaller films, like this 2002 thriller. Al Pacino stars in the film as a Los Angeles detective investigating a murder in a small Alaskan town. Though one of the lesser-known Nolan films, it is nonetheless a stellar thriller featuring a great performance from Pacino as well as a rare villainous turn from Robin Williams.

RELATED: Every Christopher Nolan Movie Ranked, From Worst To Best

The film is based on a 1997 Norwegian film of the same name, starring Stellan Skarsgard in the lead role. Though Nolan’s film is certainly bleak, the original is notable for going even darker with the story.

2 Twelve Monkeys

Twelve Monkeys is one of the most insane and mind-bending time travel films you’re likely to ever see – not surprising as it comes from Terry Gilliam. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Bruce Willis stars as a prisoner sent back in time to determine what happened to end the world. The film has been praised upon its release and is still considered one of the best films of the 90s.

Though Gilliam is known for his own bizarre ideas, he did in fact get this particular one from a French short film entitled The Jetty. The sci-fi short sets up the same basic plot of Twelve Monkeys as well as provide the remake’s memorable twist ending.

1 Some Like It Hot

Billy Wilder is considered one of the greatest screenwriters in Hollywood history. Therefore, it might surprise some that one of his best films is actually not an original work.

Some Like it Hot is a comedy that follows two struggling lounge singer who, after witnessing a mob assassination, hide out and find unexpected fame as female stage performers. Still considered one of the funniest comedies ever made, the film rightfully earned its classic status. Though based on the German film, Fanfares of Love, Wilder managed to put his own brilliant spin on the material which resulted in a film that will be remembered forever.

NEXT: 10 Bad Movies That Deserve A Remake


2019-04-22 03:04:24

Colin McCormick

25 Twisted American Dad Facts That Will Surprise Longtime Fans

Here are 25 twisted facts about American Dad that will leave even longtime fans of the series surprised. Created by the talented trio of Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker, and Matt Weitzman, the animated show first began airing on Fox in 2005. Even though MacFarlane is involved with the show, it has really been Barker and Weitzman who have shaped American Dad’s style and humor, making it different than many of MacFarlane’s other animated creations.

The series follows the Smith family, with the husband and father Stan – a CIA agent by day – serving as the lead character. The rest of his family is made up of his wife Francine, their daughter Hayley, and son Steve. However, they are not the only ones living under the Smith household, as the talking goldfish Klaus and alien Roger reside there as well. American Dad ran for 11 seasons on Fox and later found a new home on TBS, where it continues to air brand new episodes.

Related: The 10 Best American Dad Episodes Of All Time

There are over 250 episodes of American Dad already released, which is why the popularity of the series should come as no surprise. But thanks to weekly reruns and streaming, the show continues to find new fans and entertain longtime ones. Screen Rant’s newest video takes a look at the past 15 seasons of American Dad content to point out some facts related to the show that may even surprise the most dedicated fans. Check out all of these facts in the video at the top of this post.

While all of these facts come from several different seasons, it has been during its time on TBS where American Dad has been given a bit more freedom. The switch to TBS from Fox wasn’t the only major change that happened to the show over the last few years, though, as Barker left the series behind after season 10. This has put Weitzman in charge of the show during this transition and has seen him push the boundaries a bit more with the comedy, but also in how much of the (usually female) characters American Dad is able to show.

American Dad just recently returned for its 17th season overall and 5th on TBS, so there will be more opportunities for pieces of trivia to be revealed as more episodes are released. Thankfully, this won’t be the final season either. TBS has already announced a season 17 renewal for the series. While there’s still almost an entire new season to watch before those episodes will air, it is reassuring knowing that American Dad isn’t going anywhere and will continue to be a source for comedy in the years to come.

MORE: 10 Best American Dad Guest Stars, Ranked


2019-04-19 05:04:24

Cooper Hood

American Gods Answers One Of The Book’s Biggest Mysteries: Where Is Thor?

American Gods season 2, episode 6, “Donar The Great”, addresses a question that was raised in the original novel yet never answered: how exactly was Thor, the Norse god of thunder, driven to suicide? Despite being the most famous of the ancient Viking gods in popular culture today (even ignoring his status as a member of The Avengers) and Norse mythology playing a central role in the plot of American Gods, the original novel doesn’t mention Thor except to note that he shot himself in the head in Philadelphia in 1932.

The questions of how gods are born and how they die lies at the center of American Gods. Gods exist as symbiotic beings in this reality, drawing power from worship and sacrifice from mortals and bestowing favors and fortune on them in return. Gods who are no longer actively worshiped in modern times can get by, drawing on the attention mortals pay unto forces within their sphere of influence, such as a god of blacksmiths taking power from the manufacture of guns and ammunition. When a god has no followers or influence, they can be killed as easily as any mortal or simply fade away into nothingness. This made the mystery of Thor’s death all the stranger, as he should have been resurrected or reborn in a new form by the rules as we know them.

Related: American Gods: How Gods Are Born (And How They Die)

“Donar The Great” explains another avenue by which gods can die, after Shadow Moon questions Mr. Wednesday about his son, and how a god as well-known as Thor could die. The answer lies in a flashback sequence, set in the early 1930s, showing Mr. Wednesday in happier times when he was known as Al Grimnir – owner of the Regius Theater and burlesque master of ceremonies. His star attractions are his son, strongman Donar the Great, and the exotic dancer Columbia, who was once the spirit of America and the Western Expansion. Donar’s act involves lifting heavy objects while acrobats dressed as Valkyries balance upon him and the objects. Columbia’s act involves stripping down from her sexy Star-Spangled cowgirl outfit while singing a jazzed-up rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In”.

The two stars are in love and dream of heading out west to California and finding fame in Hollywood, like many of the stage performers of the time did, as motion pictures began to overshadow stage shows. This doesn’t please Grimnir, who depends too heavily upon the second-hand worship he gets from his stars. This leads him to push Donar to become the face of the Friends of New Germany  – a pro-Nazi group in the United States that tried to win Americans over to Adolf Hitler’s cause. Grimnir also pushes Columbia to accept a similar offer from the New Gods, who want to reinvent her as a feminine symbol of America to inspire people in the coming world war.

Donar finds the ideology of the Nazis distasteful, however, and tries to back out of his new position, after they ask him to throw a wrestling match against a German champion. Grimnir argues against this, saying that worship is worship and what mortals do in their name matters little. This attitude, coupled with Grimnir’s trickery causing Columbia to abandon her dreams of California and a life with Donar, leads the thunder god to break his father’s spear and leave his employ for good.

“Donar the Great” changes the details from the book slightly, with Thor now shooting himself in the chest in 1942 – presumably after the realization of just how much evil the Nazis had done using the trappings of Norse mythology and his name as an inspiration. The loss of Columbia was also a factor, as viewers can see a picture on the wall of the room where Thor dies – a poster of Columbia in her new form as Rosie the Riveter. In addition to further establishing the history of American Gods‘ reality, this also shows audiences that an active decision to end their existence can permanently kill a god as easily as human apathy.

Next: American Gods Has Made The Story More Interesting Than The Book


2019-04-16 05:04:19

Matt Morrison

Exclusive: DC/Vertigo’s American Carnage #6 Preview

The American Carnage comic series from DC/Vertigo hasn’t pulled any punches in its harrowing tale of undercover conspiracy and white supremacist infighting, but the gloves are coming off of its villain in Issue #6, making the stakes clear for what comes next.

The story of Richard King, a mixed race former lawman (who can pass as white) sent into the operation of a billionaire industrialist with political aspirations makes its politics known from the start. And so far, Bryan Hill and Leandro Fernandez’s story hasn’t disappointed. With the lines between justice and revenge getting blurred, and the old-fashioned “proud boy” white supremacy coming to open conflict with the newer, more sophisticated brand of Klan mentality, our exclusive preview of American Carnage #6 hits the ground running.

RELATED: High Level is DC/Vertigo’s Most Exciting New Comic

Until now the billionaire Wynn Morgan–whose connections to white supremacy and money laundering were being investigated when the FBI agent on the job turned up dead–has stayed out of the spotlight. But with the first pages of Issue #6, there is no doubt that Richard has been shown the door into the heart of Morgan’s grand plan. But before he lets Richard walk through it, he’s got a white supremacist manifesto to unfurl one egomaniacal talking point at a time.

Take a look at Wynn’s political view of the world in our preview pages below, and believe us when we tell you that Richard’s description of Wynn’s outlook as a “dramatic way of looking at things” doesn’t cover the half of it.

That’s a heck of a tease to end on, considering how much Wynn has already asked of Richard. The previous issue had Richard sent on a mission to murder one of the chief “inbred jethro” ringleaders complicating Wynn’s political campaign. And while he didn’t actually commit the murder, readers can assume that restraint is going to cost him. But fans will have to wait for the full issue arriving this Wednesday to see how Richard’s story gets even more dangerous, charged, and violent. But for now, read on for the full synopsis and details below:

  • AMERICAN CARNAGE (2019) #6
  • Published: April 17th, 2019
  • Writer: Bryan Hill
  • Art: Leandro Fernandez
  • Cover: Ben Oliver
  • Richard is trapped. What began as a routine undercover mission for his next paycheck has devolved into a nightmare of mortal consequences. Having disrupted Wynn’s inner network and catapulted well past the point of no return, Richard fears he must sever himself from Sheila’s original assignment in order to survive—but before he can implement their final plan, a revelation from Jennifer forces him to accept his ultimate function within Wynn’s white nationalist empire.

American Carnage #6 will be available from your local comic book store on April 17th, or direct from DC/Vertigo.

MORE: DC’s Freedom Fighters Are Back to Destroy Nazi America


2019-04-14 08:04:41

Andrew Dyce

Ranked: Sarah Paulson’s Roles In American Horror Story

Sarah Paulson has been a staple of American Horror Story and has been in every season since the show began. In many of the seasons, including Apocalypse, Roanoke, and Cult, she even played multiple characters at various points. Without Sarah Paulson, the series would be very different, and she has set herself apart as one of the favorite actors from the series. She has played many strong characters. But, some of her characters were more iconic than others.

Here are Sarah Paulson’s eight main roles from the series ranked from worst to best.

8 ALLY MAYFAIR-RICHARDS IN CULT

Cult was a bit of a mess of a season all around. The season tried hard to create an allegory to current political and social issues, but it wasn’t really all that successful. Ally was a mother, wife, and woman with a lot of issues surrounding fear. This is one of the weakest roles and characters that Paulson played in the show. This season reduced Paulson to mostly just a very impressive scream queen, but the character didn’t hold up like many of the others Paulson has played in the series. It’s worth noting that Paulson also briefly played Susan Atkins, one of the Manson sisters, in this season.

7 BETTE AND DOT TATTLER IN FREAK SHOW

Freak Show was a season that had its ups and downs. While it was filled with some of the most star-studded members of the anthology cast, it wasn’t as successful as some of the other seasons.

RELATED: American Horror Story: 15 Storylines That Hurt The Show (And 15 That Saved It)

While Twisty the clown will live on in the memories of fans, this wasn’t the season were Paulson was playing her best role. Bette and Dot Tattler were conjoined twins the Freak Show with two very distinct personalities. It is a testament to Paulson that she was able to bring them both to life in the same season.

6 SHELBY MILLER IN ROANOKE

Roanoke is a season that many people forget about, but it’s better than many people realize. In this season, Paulson actually takes on three roles. The main character she plays is Shelby Miller in the My Roanoke Nightmare reenactment. She also plays Audrey Tindall, the actress who plays Shelby, and she reprises her role at the end of the season as Lana Winters from Asylum.

RELATED: Every American Horror Story Couple, Officially Ranked

While seeing Paulson bring all three of these characters to life was enjoyable, Shelby Miller wasn’t a standout role of Paulson’s. This character is more forgettable which is why this character is lower on the list.

5 SALLY MCKENNA IN HOTEL

Hotel had many memorable characters. In a season that featured Lady Gaga as a bisexual vampire, it’s definitely saying something that Sally McKenna is memorable at all. The character was an addict who died at the Hotel Cortez in the 90s, and her ghost became trapped in the hotel.

RELATED: The Myers-Briggs® Types Of American Horror Story Characters

While she was a rather tragic and dark character for most of the season, she gets a new start at the end just like most of the ghosts at the hotel. Paulson did a good job of bringing this rather unlikable character to life and making fans happy for a happy ending. Paulson also reprised her role as Billie Dean Howard briefly in this season.

4 BILLIE DEAN HOWARD IN MURDER HOUSE

Billie Dean Howard wasn’t a main character in Murder House, but it was the first season of the show and the first mark Paulson left on the series. Because of this, this role gets a middle spot on the list. Billie Dean Howard is a medium that Constance Langdon finds on Craigslist to try and get Tate Langdon to move on to the afterlife. This character also foretells of the antichrist child that will be born. This character also features later in the series in brief moments.

3 CORDELIA FOXX IN COVEN

Cordelia Foxx is a fascinating character in Coven. While she is at first overshadowed by her mother, Fiona Goode, she comes into her true power when she steps into the role of Supreme at the end of the season. Cordelia Foxx is an inherently good character, which can sometimes be hard to play without being corny or annoying, but Paulson played the character super effectively.

RELATED: American Horror Story: All 8 Seasons Ranked (From Worst to Best)

Fans felt for Cordelia and the predicament she found herself in and the love she had for the girls in her charge. When it was revealed that Cordelia was actually the Supreme, many fans were excited as she deserved this more than anyone else. She was also an extremely powerful witch and getting to see her realize that herself over the course of the season was rewarding.

2 LANA WINTERS IN ASYLUM

Lana Winters from Asylum is probably the toughest character that Paulson plays in the series or at least one of the toughest. Lana is a journalist who is committed to exposing the dark things going on at Briarcliff Manor. She disguises herself as Sister Jude to enter the asylum, and then her horror begins. She goes through horrible conversion therapy by Dr. Thredson and is also assaulted by him. This character is tough as nails and ends up escaping in the end. Lana becomes pregnant with Thredsen’s child, and, at the end of the season, has to kill her own son, Johny, to keep him from killing her. This character goes through a lot and the season is dark, but Sarah Paulson brings the character to life in complex, believable ways.

1 1.CORDELIA GOODE IN APOCALYPSE

In Apocalypse, Paulson plays three characters again. The main new character she plays in Apocalypse is Wilhelmina Venable, and she also briefly plays Billie Dean Howard again. However, the real stand out character is her reprisal of Cordelia Goode(Foxx) from Coven. Seeing Cordelia at her full height as the Supreme was an exciting moment for many fans. While Cordelia was already an amazing character in Coven, it was especially rewarding to see the character’s development and to see her try to save the world from the antichrist.

NEXT: American Horror Story: Every Evan Peters Character, Ranked


2019-04-08 03:04:25

Amanda Steele

American Gods Has Made The Story More Interesting Than The Book

We’re two episodes into American Gods season 2, and it’s already clear that the series has improved upon Neil Gaiman’s novel that inspired by expanding its focus beyond protagonist Shadow Moon. While this would seem to be a logical development for a show featuring a diverse cast with talents like Ian McShane, Orlando Jones, Crispin Glover and Emily Browning, the benefits of the ensemble approach go beyond giving the actors more time to shine.

Despite having won a number of awards upon its release in 2001, American Gods suffers from its focus on the character of ex-con Shadow Moon. Nearly all of the novel is centered upon Shadow’s experiences as he is drawn into the magical world of the Old Gods who came to America and the brewing war with the New Gods who draw power from the forces that Americans have come to let dominate their lives in modern times, such as Technology or Media. The problem is that Shadow, by necessity, is written as an everyman figure, who is told of all the important events that took place in his absence by other characters.

Related: American Gods’ Biggest Changes From The Book In Season 2

Telling rather than showing is a cardinal sin for any storyteller and doubly so in television. To that end, when Neil Gaiman began working with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green on American Gods season 1, they agreed to spend more time on developing the world with character-focused episodes rather than leaving it for the viewer to learn everything through Shadow’s eyes. In particular, they agreed to a greater focus on the story of Laura Moon – Shadow’s newly deceased wife, who finds a new purpose after her accidental resurrection upon acquiring a leprechaun’s magic gold coin. Whereas the novel American Gods is firmly focused on Shadow, with Laura only showing up to save her husband’s life, the story of American Gods season 1 is just as much Laura Moon’s as it is her husband’s.

This focus on the ensemble is even more apparent in American Gods season 2. Most of episode 2 is focused on the efforts of Laura and the leprechaun Mad Sweeney to rescue the abducted Shadow from the forces of the New Gods, despite their mutual hatred of one another. In Mad Sweeney’s case, he hates Laura because his magic coin is fueling her unlife, and he’s been incredibly unlucky ever since she acquired it. Laura loathes McSweeney because of his judgmental attitude regarding her being unfaithful to Shadow when she was alive, and his only putting up with her so as to have a shot at stealing his coin back. Ironically, despite being so closely tied together (with the two planned to continue serving as an odd couple team for the rest of season 2), the two characters never met in the original novel.

Another subplot unique to the show that is set up in episode 2 involves the pairing of a Jinn with former salesman turned cab driver Salim. In the original novel, the two were part of a short story that had no connection to the main narrative and served no purpose beyond further establishing the setting of American Gods. While this romantic scene was perfectly recreated in season 1, Salim’s story continued after his fateful one night stand with the Jinn allowed him to start a new life. The season 2 premiere  reunited the two lovers and episode 2 saw them setting off on a journey together to acquire something Mr. Wednesday needs for the coming war.

While the five-page sequence from the novel in which Shadow is tortured by the servants of the New Gods and thinks back on his mother’s death is also recreated in episode 2, even this scene is not wholly focused on Shadow. The flashback offers the first view of Shadow’s mother, further developing her than she ever was in the book. The lion’s share of the episode is still focused on the ensemble cast and we get to see the fight in which Laura saves the love of her life instead of just hearing about it once it is over. In doing this, American Gods has refined the story that it’s based on, and actually improved upon it.

More: American Gods Renewed for Season 3 with New Showrunner


2019-03-17 06:03:59

Matt Morrison

The 10 Best Episodes of American Dad Of All Time

American Dad! is the criminally underrated sister show to Family Guy. Though both shows have moments of Seth MacFarlane’s signature humor, American Dad! does a lot of things better than Family Guy. For one, American Dad! relies more on story-centric and contextual humor rather than the nonsensical cutaways of Family Guy.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why American Dad Outshines Family Guy

There are plenty of great episodes about the Smith family: conservative CIA agent father Stan, his wife Francine, liberal daughter Hayley, nerdy son Steve, hidden alien (who is obsessed with playing characters) Roger, and talking fish Klaus. These are just ten of the best episodes of American Dad!.

10 “Buck, Wild”

Some of the best episodes of American Dad! are the ones that put an emphasis on how different Steve is from Stan. “Buck Wild” is a great example of their dynamic, showing that even though their attitudes and personalities couldn’t be further from each other, Steve still wants nothing more than for Stan to be proud of him.

“Buck, Wild” finds Steve accompanying Stan on the CIA hunting trip, only to find that he and his pals have set up a high tech campsite that’s about as far from “roughing it” as you can get. Steve’s refusal to kill a deer ends up putting it down anyway (along with a host of other woodland creatures). Steve returns to the forest and raises the deer’s children as its own, making for some wonderful gags on parenthood. Roger gets a funny little B story with Klaus as well. After missing his odometer turning over to all zeros, he drives another 100,000 miles… Only to miss it again.

9 “Ad-ventures in Hayleysitting”

What might be better than examining Steve’s need for approval from Stan is seeing how much he needs to show up Hayley at any opportunity. After Hayley volunteers to babysit (to plenty of insults from Stan and Francine), she chides Steve and his friends for always playing it safe. Steve takes this as a challenge, and the kids end up embarking on a wild night.

RELATED: 11 Shows To Watch If You Like Family Guy

This episode is particularly great not just because of its tight plotting and pacing, but also for a memorable guest appearance from Charlie Day, who plays a meth dealer who is also obsessed with keeping his receipts in order (could there ever be a better part for Day?). The episode ends with a hilarious twist that comes from a seemingly unconnected storyline, making “Ad-ventures in Hayleysitting” one of the most well-constructed of the bunch.

8 “Virtual In-stanity”

Even though Steve is constantly looking for approval from Stan, he’s not the only one looking to connect. SZtan is constantly trying to figure out his son and guide him in what he thinks is the right direction. Stan’s mission to do this goes to hilarious and disturbing lengths in the episode “Virtual In-stanity.”

Stan realizes that Steve doesn’t want to spend time with him, per se, but a secret CIA project allows Stan to utilize an avatar of a teenage girl (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) in order to get closer to his son. Of course, problems arise as Steve’s teenage hormones kick in, and Stan must make a somewhat gross choice about how to proceed. The episode is hilarious and also features another Buffy alum, Alyson Hannigan.

7 “The Scarlett Getter”

Any episode of American Dad! that gives Roger more to do is welcome, and “The Scarlet Getter” is one that provides plenty of opportunities for Roger to be his best (worst) self. The episode finds Stan’s CIA boot camp crush returning to Langley, which sends Stan into an awkward, trying-too-hard spiral of trying to win her over.

Francine figures this out and recruits Roger to sweep the agent off her feet as one of his signature characters, Dan Handsome. However, the real trouble starts when Stan and Francine discover that stan’s crush is actually an alien hunter, and she has easily figured out Roger’s identity, resulting in one of the more frightening scenes of the show: Roger, stripped of his skin and organs while tied to a bed (though it doesn’t seem to bother him all that much).

6 “Finger Lenting Good”

Another great thing that the best episodes of American Dad! do is pitting the Smith family against one another. “Finger Lenting Good” does this very well, but it also does so within the confines of the Smith home, making for an episode that is small in scope but still packed with a lot of great jokes and story beats.

RELATED: Family Guy Theory: The Real Reason Not Everyone Can Understand Stewie

After everyone in the family realizes that they have broken their New Year’s resolutions, they agree to give up the same things for lent after Francine convinces them during a massive Mardi Gras party thrown by Roger. What they don’t realize until they wake up, however, is that Stan’s boss Avery has agreed to cut off a finger from whoever breaks their promise first. The episode then devolves into the Smith family all trying to trick each other into breaking first, so the rest of them can be safe.

5 “Independent Movie”

Another thing that American Dad! does better than almost any other animated show out there is satirizing specific genres without falling into straight pastiche, something that Family Guy does all too often. This sort of storytelling tactic is done to great effect in the episode “Independent Film,” which not only takes on the grainy film look of an independent movie but also hits similar types of story beats.

The episode is brilliantly structured, finding Steve and his friends going on a road trip to Snot’s father’s funeral, as well as a lego-building contest where they intend to enter figures of Ron Howard at three different ages. One of the best, most emotional scenes of the entire series takes place in this episode. Snot, trying to get the same snack he and his dad would eat together from a vending machine, breaks down when it becomes stuck, yelling “where were you?” The episode also features Zooey Deschanel in a guest role as Steve’s manic pixie dream girl.

4 “Lost in Space”

One of the most entertaining side plots throughout American Dad! is Hayley’s relationship with her stoner boyfriend, Jeff. In an earlier episode, Jeff is pushed into an alien tractor beam by Roger and flown away to a different galaxy. That story finally pays off in “Lost in Space,” when we are rejoined with Jeff as he is taken to Roger’s home planet.

RELATED: 15 Things You NEVER Knew About American Dad

This episode is fantastic, despite the fact that it does not feature any other members of the Smith family. The writers create an entirely new world on this alien planet, and even throw in a great musical number for good measure. Jeff eventually teams up with Sinbad (yes, that Sinbad, who is hilarious in the episode) to free themselves of the alien planet and return to Earth.

3 “Familyland”

It’s going to become obvious from the top entries on this list that American Dad! is really at its best when it is defying its own structure and creating episodes that focus on a singular story in a new way. Sure, the episodes where the Smiths deal with their everyday problems are good, but episodes like “Familyland” are great.

When the Smith family goes to the titular amusement park for the day, they all decide to split up, leaving Francine to lament the days when they would all be happy together. The founder of the park, Roy Family, comes back to life, only to be disgusted by what he sees in his park. He seals the exits and traps everyone inside, leaving each family member to become the ruler of their own section. Eventually, Roy pits everyone against each other in a battle royale, with only Francine left to try and save them.

2 “Blood Crieth Unto Heaven”

Another fantastic American Dad! episode that steps far outside of the animated show’s usual boundaries is “Blood Crieth Unto Heaven,” an episode structured like a stage play (with interstitial commentary from series regular and all-around awesome person, Patrick Stewart).

RELATED: Hugh Jackman & Patrick Stewart Set Guinness World Record for X-Men Roles

The highly stylized and overly dramatic story of the play revolves around Stan’s birthday, a surprise party, Stan’s father returning to see him, Avery and Hayley’s former relationship, and Roger (playing the maid, Edna) wanting to be with Avery instead. The entire play ends in tragedy and mocks the heavy-handedness of other stage dramas, but it does so in a way that also tells a compelling story.

1 “Rapture’s Delight”

All of American Dad!‘s Christmas episodes have something about them that makes them great, but “Rapture’s Delight” is by far the most ambitious out of all of them, taking what could have been just another average Christmas story and turning it into a post-apocalyptic thriller.

After the rapture occurs, Stan ditches Francine to get raptured himself when he is tricked by a fake Jesus. Francine meets the real Jesus and they begin a relationship. The episode flashes forward years later when the war between Heaven and Hell is raging on Earth. Stan has become a lone warrior. He is recruited by Jesus to find Francine after she is taken by the antichrist, in exchange for being raptured into heaven.

This episode is fantastic. It’s packed with action, great characters, and a driving storyline that manages to do more in just two acts than most shows do in six.

NEXT: Great Cartoons That Can Fill the Rick and Morty Hole


2019-03-15 05:03:10

Colin Leggett

American Gods Season 2 Character Guide: Meet The New Gods

Shadow Moon’s journey continues in American Gods season 2, and the Starz series is introducing a host of new deities as Mr. Wednesday tries to recruit allies for his war against the New Gods. As forces gather on both sides, American Gods has added cast members like Dean Winters as Mr. Town and Sakina Jaffrey as Mama-ji, while Kristin Chenoweth (Easter) and Gillian Anderson (Media) have both left the cast.

Based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman, American Gods follows Shadow, an ex-convict who finds himself caught up in a war between the Old Gods who were brought to America by previous generations of immigrants, and New Gods like Technical Boy and Media, who were born in America and have grown powerful from their recent decades of devoted worshippers. Now the old and new gods are being driven into a war, led by Mr. Wednesday on one side and Mr. World on the other, and caught up in it all are Shadow and his wife, Laura, who has returned from the dead with the help of a certain lucky coin.

Related: How To Watch American Gods Anywhere In The World

American Gods has experienced a shake-up behind the scenes, with original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green leaving and Jesse Alexander taking the reins. Disputes over the show’s budget and direction meant that season 2 was a long time coming, so fans may have forgotten who’s-who in the pantheon of American Gods. Here’s our guide to the show’s cast and characters – both new and returning.

  • This Page: Shadow, Mr. Wednesday, and Other Main Characters
  • Page 2: The Jinn, Czernobog, and Other Gods and Mortals
  • Page 3: The New Gods: Mr. World, New Media, and More

An ordinary human, Shadow was in prison for robbing a casino when the series began. He was released slightly early with the devastating news that his wife, Laura, had been killed in a car crash while cheating on Shadow with his best friend. With the life he had planned to return to gone, Shadow found himself hired as a bodyguard by a mysterious stranger called Mr. Wednesday. As the two of them embarked on a road trip, Shadow learned about the existence of the Old Gods and New Gods, and at one point was literally lynched for his loyalty to Mr. Wednesday. That didn’t scare him off, however, and Shadow is ready to join the fight in season 2.

Dramatically revealed to be none other than the Norse god Odin at the end of season 1, Mr. Wednesday is an experienced manipulator who always has a few tricks up his sleeve. In season 2, he calls the Old Gods to assemble at bizarre Wisconsin tourist attraction The House on the Rock, where he warns of the threat that the New Gods pose to their existence and tries to convince them that a war is inevitable.

An old friend of Mr. Wednesday’s, Mad Sweeney is a leprechaun who was brought to America by Irish immigrants. His godly superpower used to be incredibly good luck, until he mistakenly gave away his lucky gold coin to Shadow Moon, who then threw it on his wife’s grave. Now Mad Sweeney is stuck following Laura Moon around in the hope of eventually getting his coin back. As for Mr. Wednesday’s war… well, Sweeney is always up for a fight.

Related: Ricky Whittle & Pablo Schreiber Interview: American Gods Season 2

That casino robbery that Shadow (almost) pulled off was planned by his wife, Laura Moon, who met Shadow when she was working as a dealer at the casino. While her husband was behind bars, Laura carried on an affair with his friend Robbie, which ended abruptly when Laura and Robbie were both killed in a car accident. However, when Shadow threw Mad Sweeney’s lucky gold coin onto Laura’s grave she was resurrected as a slowly decomposing corpse, and now has the unique ability to track Shadow wherever he goes, seeing him as a bright light on the horizon.

Based on the Queen of Sheba, Bilquis is a goddess of love – but don’t be fooled into thinking she’s all hearts and flowers. She has the power to inspire adoration and lust in mortals and offer them heights of unimaginable pleasure, but Bilquis’ love is all-consuming… literally. After coming to America, Bilquis experienced a famine of worshippers and sacrifice and became weakened, but after being introduced to the wonders of the internet by Technical Boy she has since become rejuvenated.

Mr. Nancy, also known as Anansi, hails from West Africa and was brought to America by African slaves. In the original mythology he often takes the form of the spider, and in America Gods Mr. Nancy is frequently surrounded by spiders who do his bidding. Nancy is a born storyteller, supposedly having an omniscient knowledge of all the stories in the world, and frequently tells stories to his companions (whether they want to hear them or not)

Page 2: The Jinn, Czernobog, and Other Gods and Mortals

An ifrit who hails from the Middle East, the Jinn was introduced in season 1 working a humble job as a taxi driver. His true nature reveals itself through his eyes, which are filled with flames, so the Jinn must conceal them by wearing large shades whenever he is around mortals. In American Gods season 2, the Jinn returns at the House on the Rock, where he works as a kind of doorman for Mr. Wednesday – deciding who may join the meeting of the Old Gods.

A recent immigrant to America, Salim had an unsuccessful career attempting to sell tourist baubles and trinkets before he took a fateful taxi ride with the Jinn. The two men bonded over their shared heritage and had a passionate night together, during which the Jinn revealed his true nature. In season 2, Salim desperately wants to reconnect with the Jinn, and finally tracks him down at the House on the Rock.

Related: American Gods Recap: Biggest Unanswered Questions After Season 1

One of two Egyptian gods that run the Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor, Mr. Ibis appears to be based on the ibis-headed god Thoth, who represents writing and wisdom. Mr. Ibis (like Mr. Nancy) is a recorder and teller of stories, and has told some of American Gods‘ “Coming to America” stories. In season 1, Mr. Ibis and his partner repaired Laura after she crawled out of her grave. Though he only made a couple of appearances in season 1, Mr. Ibis may have a prominent role in American Gods season 2, as Wednesday and Shadow will pay a visit to his funeral parlor.

Based on the Egyptian god of death and embalming, Anubis, Mr. Jacquel runs the funeral parlor with Mr. Ibis and often takes the form of a a black jackal (in Egyptian mythology, Anubis has the head of a jackal). In season 1, we saw Mr. Jacquel usher a woman into the afterlife following her death, weighing her heart on a scale to judge whether or not she has led a good life. Mr. Jacquel is expected to return along with Mr. Ibis in American Gods season 2.

A death god of Slavic origins, Czernobog prides himself on being able to give a good death. After coming to America he worked as a cow-knocker at a slaughterhouse, and still wields his trusty sledgehammer. In season 1, Czernobog and Shadow played a high-stakes game of checkers that Shadow lost, with Czernobog’s prize being to hit Shadow on the head with his hammer. However, Shadow persuaded Czernobog to play a second game, and this time he managed to win. Now the deal is that Czernobog has to help Wednesday with his war, but once he’s done he still gets to hit Shadow with his hammer.

Zorya Vechernyaya also comes from Slavic mythology, and traveled to America with Czernobog and her siblings. She is the eldest of three sisters, all called Zorya, and represents the Evening Star, with her sisters representing the Morning Star and Midnight Star. Zorya has the ability to read people’s fortunes, and did so for Wednesday in season 1. She and Wednesday are close and appear to have a romantic history. Along with Czernobog, Zorya comes to the House of the Rock to hear Wednesday’s plans for war.

One of the new gods introduced in American Gods season 2, Mama-ji is actually Kali, the Hindu goddess of war. That might make her seem like an easy ally for Mr. Wednesday and his planned conflict with the New Gods, but she initially dismisses his call to war as “nonsense,” arguing that the Old Gods have lived in peace for a long time, and that they should wait for the trouble to pass. In her day-to-day life, Mama-ji works as a housekeeper at a motel.

Another mortal, and a new addition to American Gods in season 2, Sam Black Crow is a half-Cherokee college student, who meets Shadow when he gives her a lift as she is hitchhiking back home. In the book, Sam’s time spent with Shadow makes her a target for Mr. Town and the other spooks.

Page 3: The New Gods: Mr. World, New Media & More

Just as Mr. Wednesday is the ringleader and main driving force behind the upcoming war among the New Gods, Mr. World is the leader of the New Gods and is similarly eager to destroy the Old Gods. Broadly speaking, Mr. World represents globalization, making him a powerful deity, with his reach and influence extending beyond America’s shore. Unlike Wednesday, Mr. World prefers an insidious takeover to outright war, and hopes to eradicate the Old Gods through “mergers” that would incorporate them with the New Gods – killing them softly. Needless to say, Wednesday is not particularly receptive to this idea.

The youngest and brattiest of the New Gods, Technical Boy is arrogant and undeniably powerful, but is nonetheless effectively Mr. World’s lapdog. He represents (as the name suggests) technology in all its forms, from computers to smartphones, and therefore has a massive amount of influence and power in America. Unlike Mr. World, Technical Boy is impatient when it comes to getting rid of the Old Gods and prefers violence and force to persuasion. He was responsible for Shadow’s lynching in season 1.

Related: American Gods Season 3 Renewal is Very Likely

Media may be gone, but there’s a New Media in town. Whereas Anderson’s version of the character was born in the early days of television, magazines, and pop music, manifesting in the forms of celebrities like David Bowie and Lucy Ricardo. New Media, however, is an evolved version of the character – born from social media and entertainment hubs like YouTube and Netflix, with a talent for manipulating the way that people think that surpasses even her previous form.

Another new addition to American Gods season 2’s cast, Mr. Town is one of Mr. World’s “Spooks,” and he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Fans have theorized that Mr. Town and the other Spooks represents people’s belief in government agents working behind the scenes to manipulate society. Like his fellow Spook, Mr. Wood, Mr. Town may have been an Old God who decided to ally himself with the New Gods when he saw them taking power.

More: American Gods Season 2 Premiere Review


2019-03-10 05:03:42

Hannah Shaw-Williams