It was a dark and dreary day when the world learned that Jessica Lange would be leaving American Horror Story after its fourth season. (To be honest, I still have nightmares about it to this day.) And while I'm desperately hoping that Ryan Murphy will find a way to woo this supreme superstar back for another year, it also makes me anxious to ensure that the show's other star players will definitely be coming back. After all, this FX anthology may be a great series, but that means nothing if you don't have a fantastic cast to give it the proper backing it needs/deserves. So, if I were Murphy, one of my top priorities would be to lock in Kathy Bates' return for AHS Season 5.
I mean, it's bad enough to potentially lose one phenomenal actress next year, but to lose two could really do some significant damage to the show's appeal. Granted, Bates has only been on the series for two seasons, but now that we know what it's like to have her on board, I doubt any fan would be willing to let her go without a true Dandy-style hissy fit. And we all know how dangerous those can be. (Blood bath, anyone?) The point is, while Bates may have been significantly underused in Freak Show (and don't even get me started on that accent), many of us are well acquainted enough with her talents in terror (I'm looking at you, Annie Wilkes) to know that the show would suffer greatly without her. We'd all be Misery-able, so to speak.
But will Bates be back for another round of AHS horror? Well, according to a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the chances seem very much in our favor. When asked by the outlet whether or not there was any hope of her returning for a fifth season, Bates seemed more than up for the opportunity:
Well of course there is. I love Ryan ... He’s rejuvenated my career in a way that I have a young audience now and that’s fabulous! So why wouldn’t I want to come back for more of that?"
Based on that response, I'd say we can all expect to see Bates back on FX this fall. However, if she is kind enough to bestow us with her presence, I've come up with a few demands on her behalf that Murphy will need to accommodate if he hopes to keep her around for years to come.
More Screen Time
Seriously, how often did we even see Bates this season? I remember during Coven we were constantly witnessing her crazy and disturbing antics all the time. But now we were lucky to get even five full minutes with her per episode. This cannot stand, Murphy. A true talent like Bates needs to be used, not ignored. Give her that spotlight!
Crank Up the Scare Factor
This is a show about horror, right? And yet Freak Show opted to kill off their much hyped about clown villain after only four episodes into the season. And while Bates did what she could with the role that was given to her, Ethel was, truthfully, pretty boring and lacked that twisted, terror factor that Bates brought to her Coven character, Delphine LaLaurie. Now THAT is horror at its finest, folks. Ethel is easily forgettable, but Delphine will haunt your dreams for the rest of your life. Just imagine her and Dandy swapping blood-skin treatment stories together. (Where is that spin-off, Murphy?) But the point is, Bates knows how to do horror and should be given the chance to shine.
No More Strange Accents
For the most part, Kathy Bates is a national treasure and can do no wrong, but that accent was just plain terrible. In my opinion, it added nothing positive to her character and distracted me more so than anything else. It has to go… and stay gone.
So come on back for another season, Bates. We need you… and so does the show.