FX's American Horror Story: Coven has taken some interesting stances in its first nine episodes. First, there was a momentary and somewhat prudish approach to sex, the confusing presence of "reformed" (and then reverted) Madame LaLaurie, and the scathing take-down of Generation Y. Now the series takes aim at none other than former Secretary of State and beacon of feminist hope Hillary Clinton and we have to ask: What is your beef with Mrs. Clinton, AHS?
The insult in question comes as Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), fresh off of Fiona (Jessica Lange) disowning her for marrying a witch hunter, explodes at her "aunt" Myrtle (Frances Conroy), who's trying to shake her out of her doldrums. Myrtle eventually tries to sympathize as a fellow victim of Fiona's oppressive presence. "Living in Fiona's shadow is a challenge. What are your options when your mother is Hillary Clinton?" she muses.
Minutes later we learn that Fiona is not only (mostly) heartless, brutal, and selfish — she's also quite literally soulless. She is a living witch functioning without a soul and while I'm not sure what science has to say about this, in layman's terms Fiona's basically a notch down from fire-breathing demon. And how, exactly, does that make her equivalent to Clinton?
Perhaps the writers simply meant that Fiona, as the Supreme, is the leader of the Coven, just as Hillary Clinton is a leader in politics. Sure. But why not reference someone like Margaret Thatcher, who wasn't soulless either, but was met with a level of disdain and resistance — much like Fiona — during her time as Prime Minister of England? Why let Clinton be the real world equivalent of a woman so selfish, she's willing to kill every one of the young witches she's supposed to protect in order to maintain power and youth?
Either the series' stance on Clinton is similar to that of folks who'd call her direct, authoritative (and awesome) smack down during the Benghazi hearings a "meltdown" — outspoken women in positions of power are often dealt the "bitch" card where praise should be paid instead — or the series has far too much regard for its anti-heroine Fiona.
They've taken every bit of humanity from her — she has no soul and while she purports to protect the Coven, she'll murder any member of that Coven who stands in the way of her remaining in power — yet, in the final moments of Wednesday's episode "Hillary Clinton" is found weeping in a quiet, sympathetic moment, touched only by the sweet sounds of Stevie Nicks.
With that, it seems the Clinton reference was a function of Fiona-love rather than Clinton-hate, which is better, but not ideal. Still, we can deal with more sloppy writing and character infatuation from the writers on a Ryan Murphy show; it's encountering more Hillary Haters that's unbearable.
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