Brace yourselves, Freak Show fans. Wednesday on American Horror Story: The Musical Jimmy Darling is going to cover the Nirvana classic "Come As You Are." As an added bonus, Ethel the bearded lady is soon going to belt out (in her weirdo accent) a cover of Hole's "Doll Parts." Finally, grunge has come to the freak show, and it's actually been a long time coming.
As Ryan Murphy explained to EW, “We decided we only were going to highlight musical artists who at some point in their career had identified themselves as feeling like freaks or misfits or outcasts, which our people are going through.” Well, the unchallenged king and queen of the misfits in the '90s were undoubtedly Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and his wife Hole frontwoman Courtney Love.
Feelings of alienation transcend many generations of music (classic rock and roll, punk, etc.) but grunge especially pulled on the heart strings of alienation. There was melody and melancholy and anarchy, all at once. Then the aesthetics became commonly co-opted. In the early '90s, running Manic Panic through your hair or tying on Doc Martens to pair with babydoll dresses wasn't only socially acceptable, it was borderline hip.
Eventually being "different" became a selling point, and music that was literally deemed "alternative" became a commodity. And this all fits in with what's happening on Freak Show, because what is a freak show if not using people who don't fit in as a financial commodity?
And this isn't the first time grunge has played a role within the AHS anthology. It feels just like yesterday Evan Peters was playing blonde '90s teenager Tate Langdon, cuddled up in his green sweaters and battling severe mental illness. He would waltz around the murder house spouting things like, "High school doesn't matter, Kurt Cobain was a high school drop out" and, "Oh, hey Violet, you have any sweet Kurt Cobain tunes?" I mean, it was far more subtle than that, but I noticed, and I was so enchanted by it. Everyone who knows me knows that Cobain is totally my obsession, so watching a character who looked Cobain-esque from the get-go share in that reverence with me was heartwarming. To me, it marked that he was lost and potentially sensitive, as most young Nirvana fans tend to be.
This, of course, was before (SPOILERS) he was revealed to be a sadist, a mass murderer, a ghost and a rapist, mind you. Regardless, since all the seasons are somehow connected, is there a secret Nirvana tie between all of Peters' characters that I haven't noticed? I'm having a hard time applying that to Kit Walker...
All in all, the arrival of grunge is a fitting addition to the Freak Show playlist. It makes you think will this mark, like grunge, the rise of the freaks? Will this mark, like grunge, the fall of the freaks? And who, out of the entire bunch, is going to get a record deal? Tune in to (hopefully) find out.
Images: FX, Giphy (2)