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The Best And Worst Things About “American Horror Story: Hotel”

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Twelve episodes—and thousands of corpses—later, American Horror Story: Hotel has checked out. Did you enjoy your stay?

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Below, we share the best and worst moments from the entire season of American Horror Story: Hotel.

Best

AHS:H Cast

Gaga, Sevigny, O’Hare, Bassett: The acting throughout the entire arc of Hotel was certainly uneven, but these four remained standouts in the crowd. Sevigny deadpanned while Bassett and O’Hare camped it up. Accolades are certainly in order for this gang.

Gaga, meanwhile, maintained a perfectly competent balance between severity and silliness, despite plenty of negative pre-season speculation. (Though a Golden Globe may have been a bit much.)

AHS:H Style

Style over substance: With the exception of that “Hotline Bling” number, AHS: Hotel continued the series streak as theone of the best looking and sounding shows on television.

From the costumes and sets to the score and camerawork, Murphy’s team consistently triumphs in the face of increasingly poor writing. But who needs logical plots and good dialogue when everything looks so damn pretty?

7_American_Horror_Story_S05_E06_720p_HDTV_x264_KIL

Fanservice and fun: American Horror Story has transformed from a series with serious scares into something purely fun. Shoutouts to seasons past kept me interested while the general over-the-topness kept me entertained.

It’s kind of easy to dismiss outrage over nonsensical story lines when you have albino vampire children running around on screen.

Worst

AHS:H bomer

More is not always more: Plots on top of plots, characters on top of characters. Murphy has always embraced a kitchen-sink philosophy (Asylum had serial killers, Nazis, Ann Frank, zombies, demons, aliens, and evil nuns), but the sheer amount of story elements crammed into Hotel (which never actually managed to establish a real protagonist) was overwhelming.

As I wrote in my recap of episode 9: You can throw sh*t at a wall and see what sticks, but then you still have sh*t all over the place.

AHS:H Bentley

Copface: Wes Bentley can’t act. And it certainly didn’t help that his character lacked both charisma and a compelling (or, at least, original) storyline.

We probably could have had a tighter season if the “10 Commandments Killer” idea was edited out completely. But I guess Murphy felt it was necessary to shoehorn in another strong-jawed dude with nice abs.

AHS:H Tristan

Get. Better. Writers.: Can a girl get a decent bit of dialogue? Mixed metaphors and expository conversations abound throughout Hotel. While a few episodes managed moving monologues, most floundered while characters exchanged desperately sassy quips or explanatory banter.

Here’s a lesson from Creative Writing 101: Show, don’t tell. (If you can’t manage that, at least don’t write in so many rape scenes.)

Also, how about some characters we could root for? Other than Liz Taylor, everyone was miserable and evil. Who could be bothered with such a sorry lot?

AHS:H Ramona

Logic isn’t overrated: Yes, American Horror Story is a fantasy and we can’t expect its fictional universe to hold up to the scrutiny of real life.

What’s not acceptable, however, is a story that defies it’s own internal logic. There are numerous scenes involving police, and yet no one really investigate the growing body count at the Cortez. The smell alone would have neighbors calling, right?

As AHS’ mythos expands, it’s clearly harder for Murphy to hold his threads together: Do people’s spirits always stay on the property where they died? Are witches more powerful than vampires? Are demons a separate paranormal classification from other types of undead?

How are we supposed to care about characters if death is essentially rendered meaningless? If Murphy doesn’t know the answers (and I think it’s clear he doesn’t anymore) how are we supposed to?

freelance pop-culture blogger (NNN, MTV Iggy, Oxygen) / recovering academic / wannabe club kid / satanic hipster / talentless DJ.
@eric_shorey