American Horror Story Coven: Review

American Horror Story: Coven has conjured up a twisted and stylish stew of witchery that's rich in detail and overall lighter in tone than the previous two seasons. But there's still a fine edge of horror (and gore) to ensnarl the senses. Right from the start we're treated to all the standard motifs: black clothes, eccentric behavior, spells and potions whipped up in the apothecary, mystical powers, life-essence sucking, and the requisite burning at the stake. With all this checked off the list, it's now up the creative team to tell a real story with all these interesting characters milling about New Orleans past and present. Kathy Bates as the real-life historical figure Madame LaLaurie is wrecking ball force. Jessica Lange is acerbic and downright funny at times. Frances Conroy (for the 2 seconds she was on) is odd and kooky, and Angela Bassett as the other real-life historical figure Marie Laveau is exquisitely sinister. The younger cast led my Taissa Farmiga and Emma Roberts paled in comparison but someone's got to bring in the younger demographic. As expected, the premiere episode was a tangled bramble to be unraveled throughout the season. Perhaps those who didn't care for American Horror Story's psycho-sexual Murder House (Season 1) or the dour hopelessness of Asylum (Season 2) will be enchanted by the entertainingly (fun?) theme of Coven.