Is 'AHS: Freak Show' On Tonight? Going A Week Without Freaks Is Really Difficult
Maybe you're like me and think American Horror Story: Freak Show may be Ryan Murphy's most infuriating work on television yet, but you still might be hoping that on Thanksgiving Eve for some fresh freakiness. Is AHS: Freak Show is on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? Nope. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. At least we know turkey is on the way, right?
Plus, this time away gives us time to reflect on Freak Show. The premise, freak shows and carnivals, is so ripe for exploration that it's a shame this season seems strangely boring and reductive. But maybe that's just me. Perhaps you love the show despite what happened to Ma Petite or the many plot holes in AHS this season. Perhaps you're just really into everything Jimmy Darling has going on. With this show, any range of emotions and opinions is possible. AHS is all over the place.
No matter how you feel you about the show, it's not on Wednesday night. No ifs, ands, or buts. So whatever will the bored AHS fan do? Well, if you're not braving the hectic world of planes, trains, and automobiles to get to your family celebration, perhaps this list ranging from Old Hollywood noir to deep explorations of the lives of so-called freaks will help you fill the time until American Horror Story: Freak Show comes back Dec 3 with a Christmas episode after taking this week off.
1. Delve Into The Real Lives of Conjoined Twins
Dot and Bette, the conjoined twins played by Sarah Paulson, are definitely standout characters of AHS this season. But what about the lives of famous conjoined twins that may just be the inspiration behind Dot and Bette? Bound by Flesh is a moving documentary that originally came out in 2012 that covers the lives of Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who were sideshow sensations early in the 20th century. Despite their fame spanning from films like Freaks to vaudeville shows that put them alongside icons like Charlie Chaplin, the lives of these women were ultimately a tragedy. So have some tissues handy for this well-researched and in-depth documentary.
2. Read The Final Confession of Mabel Stark
This novel by Robert Hough is quite a doozy. During the golden age of the big top during the 1910s and 1920s tiger trainer Mabel Stark was an eccentric celebrity working at circuses like Ringling Brothers. The novel fictionalizes the dramatic life of this real life woman. Mabel Stark was brazen, Southern, and dangerously courageous. If you want to delve deep into the circus scene with a badass and complicated woman as the protagonist then you'll love this novel.
3. Go Old School and Check Out Nightmare Alley
Do you like your freak shows to be dark and mysterious rather than campy? Than check out the 1947 film noir Nightmare Alley with Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell. The film involves the rise and fall of a con man played by power who is a part of a very seedy traveling carnival. It's a dark, dynamic, and haunting little-known noir you can check out through Netflix. The film may not be as graphic as anything AHS is doing but it has pathos and intelligence to spare.
4. Watch Carnivalé
Carnivalé shares some surface level aspects of American Horror Story: Freak Show. But HBO's short lived show is another beast entirely. The show takes place during the Great Depression and involves two main storylines that slowly converge.
The first involves a young man named Ben with strange healing powers who joins a traveling carnival full of an assortment of morally gray performers and freaks. The second involves a preacher who shares Ben's prophetic dreams and has his own set of superhuman abilities.
The show deals with the battle between good and evil in a way that never feels on the nose. It is brutal, beautiful, and utterly captivating. Basically everything American Horror Story: Freak Show has failed at this season. Be forewarned, the show only lasted two seasons and the cliffhanger is one of the most infuriating things to ever happened on television.
5. Marathon Every Season of American Horror Story to Figure Out How They're Connected
Since AHS is off this week it may be best to re-watch every season thus far to figure out how exactly they're connected. We already know Pepper from AHS: Freak Show is the connection to Asylum. I don't have much faith in what Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are planning, to be honest. But that doesn't mean that rewatching these campy seasons full of well dressed witches, crazed sex fantasies, and a creepily surreal asylum isn't totally worth it.