501 - "Checking In"

Director: Ryan Murphy
Writer: Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
«1

Comments

  • linolino Atlanta, GA
    My goodness, this show has become a parody of itself. At least the first two seasons took the time to develop the characters and establish the roots of a thoughtful story. Maybe I'm too old, but I feel like I'm watching a music video ... no genuine set up and or depth at the onset of the show. I loved Murder House and genuinely enjoyed Asylum. Coven and Freak Show, IMO, completely missed the mark. I'm afraid this season might be more of the same.
    AntManBeesteph_bHollyoakksa1001
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    My review:  First half of the episode was hot garbage.  Second half was actually interesting.  Kind of wished he'd just tell the story straightforwardly without all the flashbacks and forwards and what not.  
    Still looks amazing, too.  But like @lino says, the show has started to parody itself.  That's a great way to put it.  It's reflexively "edgy", and it's perplexing too, because some of that edginess is socially progressive but a lot of it is edgy in the 14 year old boy sense of the word.  "This season on" looked pretty bonkers in a cool way, though.
  • I agree for the most part. There were some things I found interesting that will keep me around for a little while.

    For instance, Lady Gaga's use of the finger knife to do her vampiric slayings looks like it was inspired by the Ankh knife necklaces used by the vampires in the 1983 cult film The Hunger.

    image
    Frakkin TGeorgeS
  • linolino Atlanta, GA
    I'm at the part where the son is taken (or whatever). This might be a deal breaker for me. I have a 6-year-old and I don't do well with these kind of stories.
    steph_b
  • one and done for me. that was painfully bad. I feel dumber for having watched it.
    Eric1stOfHisNamepavlovsbellksa1001
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    edited October 2015
    Sign me up, I'll take it! That was everything I wanted from AHS: It was sexy, it was bloody, they gave you at least one "normal" character to identify with, and there was nary an Evan Peters or a musical number in sight. And we already got at least 2 connections to Murder House: Marcie the realtor and the idea that the dead can interact in the physical world (Sarah Paulson's sad 80's barfly.)

    I'm taking bets on whether A-Ron will learn the name of Lady Gaga's character or if she'll just be "The Gaga" on the 'cast. 


    Michelleksa1001
  • Meh. Gave it my 15 minute watch rule, if I don't lose interest by checking my phone within the 1st 15mins of any show or movie it's generally worth watching. There's too much good content out there to waste my time, but I could easily see why people like this show.
    AntManBee
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I don't know how I feel. I was interested enough to put my phone down and pay attention, I freakin' love Art Deco, and there are a lot of actors I like in it (Max Greenfield was a surprise). But then there's Gaga, still doing her second rate early 90s Madonna rip off, and of course AHS always starts off good - Ryan Murphy is great at pilots.

    I'm in, but I'm wary.
    aberry89
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    edited October 2015

    Checking in? er uh checking out!

    Does Gaga look like Marylyn Manson's sister or has Manson "transformed"? You be the judge.

    Movies at the graveyard is a thing now. Over by Paramount studios there's a cemetery that has concerts.

    Anal rape with a big metal screw dildo. Whatever happened to standards and practices FOX? Also do they sell that tool at Home Depot?

    When they use a Bauhaus tune does it always gotta be Bella Lugosi's Dead? How about She's In Parties or Silent Hedges?

    Is Kathy Bates always angry?

    The carpet pattern straight out of The Shining.

    Do you have to be gay to enjoy this show?

    image

  • Hotel California was unforgivable as was the fisheye lens abuse.
    gluegunkyhypergenesb
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    There's so much good TV out there with deep interesting plots, that I kinda enjoy AHS as my one "turn off my brain and enjoy the weird / Craziness" guilty pleasure. So enjoyed this episode mostly lol. The plot obviously leaves a lot to be desired, but I can see my self beginning to like the individual characters.
    Elisa
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    edited October 2015
    steph_b said:

    Hotel California was unforgivable .



    When I was a teen, the hotel used on the cover of that album was abandoned. Me and some friends broke in to it, it was scary fun. When I heard the beginning of the song come on that memory came flooding back. I for one enjoyed it a lot.


    ElisaUnderwoodaberry89ksa1001
  • kingbee67 said:

    When they use a Bauhaus tune does it always gotta be Bella Lugosi's Dead? How about She's In Parties or Silent Hedges?

    That's another nod to The Hunger. Peter Murphy actually appears in the beginning of that film singing this song as the viewers are introduced to the two vampire lovers.
    steph_b
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    edited October 2015
    Yeesh, if not for the last ten minutes I would probably be one and done.

    Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates were the only aspects that worked for me in the first ep. I think their dynamic could be interesting if developed well and I'm keen to find out what Paulson's character's deal is.

    Other than that, I found the episode to be a hot, disjointed mess. Come on Ryan Murphy, there is a fine line between homage and plagiarism, and the entire look of the hotel as well as lots of other touches throughout the ep were just ripped off from far superior works. 

    Also, I really didn't like the brutal, sharp metal dildo rape. I'm not usually one to get upset about stuff like that (didn't particularly get involved with the recent rape controversies on Game Of Thrones), but right off the bat and seemingly without a justifiable reason, Murphy turns to a really horrific sex crime for nothing but shock value and it really turned me off the episode as a whole.

    Willing to give it longer, mostly because I love the podcast! Hopefully things will turn around once Angela Bassett turns up.
    steph_bpavlovsbell
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited October 2015
    I had heard about the references to The Shining and Hannibal, so I watched it out of curiosity.  So yeah, The Shining, 2001, Hannibal, Angel, Seven, The Hunger, Barton Fink... probably others I missed or have forgotten.  As @amyja89 noted, there is paying homage and then there is lack of originality.  Tarantino and De Palma cram their films with references, but you always know you're watching a Tarantino or De Palma film.  This was just a pastiche of better works mined for their iconic aspects and tossed into a blender of misery and clichés.  There was no grounding narrative to allow the buildup of tension, dread and horror, just an immediate explosion of lurid excess, which I guess is the point of a Ryan Murphy production?  There were occasional intriguing moments, and Dennis O'Hare was great, but the concept reminds me of the superior Angel episode "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been" penned by AHS writer Tim Minear, about a similarly-styled, trapped-in-time art deco hotel in the 1950's that imprisoned its secretive occupants and fed off their misery and paranoia.   That episode explored the damaging effects of social exclusion via the lens of McCarthyism paranoia and hostility, what aspect or era of uniquely American horror is AHS: Hotel exploring?
    steph_bHollyoak
  • CecilyCecily Cincinnati
    Frakkin T said:

    I'm taking bets on whether A-Ron will learn the name of Lady Gaga's character or if she'll just be "The Gaga" on the 'cast. 



    It's just Gaga so far! I am trying on behalf of both of us to get character names down!
    Frakkin TElisa
  • CecilyCecily Cincinnati
    amyja89 said:

    Also, I really didn't like the brutal, sharp metal dildo rape. I'm not usually one to get upset about stuff like that (didn't particularly get involved with the recent rape controversies on Game Of Thrones), but right off the bat and seemingly without a justifiable reason, Murphy turns to a really horrific sex crime for nothing but shock value and it really turned me off the episode as a whole.


    Willing to give it longer, mostly because I love the podcast! Hopefully things will turn around once Angela Bassett turns up.
    I didn't mention it on the cast, but definitely the worst part of the episode for me. Blood, guts, I can tune out and know that it's not real. Rape is very affecting. We discussed what made it work, though.
    Elisa
  • The Hunger (Film Synopsis) 
    John (David Bowie) is the lover of the and he's been gorgeous immortal vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve),led to believe that he'll live forever, too. Unfortunately, he quickly deteriorates into a horrible living death, and Miriam seeks a new companion. She soon sets her sights on Sarah (Susan Sarandon), a lovely young scientist, who quickly falls under Miriam's spell. However, Sarah doesn't warm up to the concept of vampirism easily, leading to conflict with Miriam.

    Elsa Mars Sings two Bowie hits in Season 4 of AHS. Life on Mars & Heroes.
    Elisa
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited October 2015
    I must be in the minority here, but I loved it.   I suppose I'm probably looking at it with a less-than-critical eye though, having not watched any of the previous seasons, but this one drew me in for several reasons.

    First, the set.  I am a lover of all things Art Deco, so naturally I am in love with this set design.  I think the concept is fantastic and I don't mind the references to other shows/movies.  In my opinion, it's a way to show appreciation to those that have come before.  Loved the whole thing.  And can I just say, those neon signs - *love*.  I did expect the rooms to be a bit fancier though given the rest of the hotel decor, but that's ok. 

    Second, the cast.  This one is getting bulletpointed because.. yeah.
    • Kathy Bates.  Love her in everything she does.  To me, she's on the same level as Meryl Streep.  I started off wondering why her character, Iris, was so cold and heartless toward everyone - and I love that we see her backstory and how she came to live at the hotel.  Inside this seemingly horrible and cruel woman lies a mother who is trying to look out for her son, and couldn't bring herself away from that.  Now, in the 20 years since Sally killed him and Gaga (sorry, I know her character's name is Countess Elizabeth, but whatever) turned him, I'm sure a lot of shit has gone down that has made Iris feel the need to stay (aside from her son).  I'm really wanting to know more about that.
    • Sarah Paulson.  I hadn't seen her in much before this and I don't know quite what to make of her acting abilities right now just based on the premiere episode, but she seems like a really talented actress (sorry @Cecily , *actor* ;-)   Something's going on there with her and the whole "tell me you love me" thing.  Maybe her boyfriend/fiance/husband died of an overdose and/or did something horrible to her while he was doped up?  Dunno, but she seems like she's on a revenge kick.   And I love her line to Iris after the glam junkie shows up to get a room..."I haven't seen one this sweet in a long time" (something like that).  I didn't put it together until after Iris' flashback that she was referring to Iris' son, and that was a slam at Iris since Iris is the one who killed her by pushing her out of the window.   Btw, this also means Sally's a ghost *and* that Iris can see the dead.  Or, maybe Gaga brought her back and now she's undead??
    • Matt Bomer.  Hotty hot hot hot hotness.  Getting out the tub and the four-gy scene.  'nuff said.  "Your boy's got jawline for days."  Yes, he does.  *rawr*  ;-)
    • Speaking of hot, Cheyenne Jackson!  I hadn't seen him in anything for a long time and didn't know he was going to be in this show, so I am pleasantly surprised and happy.   :)
    • Don't know the actor's name, but "Liz Taylor" the cross-dressing bellhop.  Three words.  Fab - u - lous.  I can't wait to find out more about this character.   And I LOVED the scene where he is walking the cop to his room and we see his flowing blue silk chiffon robe thing.   Incredible camera work.  We also see that when Gaga and Bomer are walking toward the outdoor silent movie (the shot of her red gown from behind) and later with Gaga and that white gown.  But anyway - I am way into this actor and character.  Could it be he is the killer?  Hmm, thoughts?
    • Last but not least... Gaga.  I didn't know this, but apparently she is a classically trained actor and her whole Gaga persona was a character that she created (I mean, it's obviously a created character but still).  I knew she was a talented musician and singer, but I thought she also did a decent job with the role.  The character is supposed to be mysterious, dark, intense, erotic, and glamorous and I thought she pulled all of that off quite well.  I'm so curious as to her story... how long she has been around, when and how she was turned, how long she's been at the hotel, how she got her riches, etc.  I really hope the next episode touches on some of this. 


    I didn't mention the cop there... I'm not as interested by his character for some reason, although I really want to find out wtf is going on with the commandments-related killings.   So clearly the first one is adultery, or the whole 'thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife' thing.  But the second one?   They were tied up and hanging crucifixion-style and were disemboweled.  Which commandment would that relate to?  These murders seem more seven-deadly-sins than commandments, so I dunno.  Speaking of all things just horrific and unconscionable, do we even need to talk about the sharp pointy metal drillbit thingy used in room 64?   Because W. T. F.

    All in all, I am way in for this show.  I thought the use of the fish-eye lens was a bit overdone, but I can forgive that if it's not overdone in subsequent episodes.  Everything else was so great that it more than made up for it.  Can't wait for next week!   I might binge-watch season 1 this weekend.. not sure yet.



    John_NadaElisa
  • *small voice* I liked it. Thought it was very creepy.
    MichelleElisa
  • John_NadaJohn_Nada California
    If it was not for the podcast I would have turned it off during the first half.  I am willing to give it a few more episodes only to see some back story which I hope they deliver.  The violence, as it was so gratuitously portrayed in the first half comes off as cheap and meaningless.  There are far betters ways to convey meaning than just showing things because you can.

    Seriously and I may catch flack for this but Hannibal, which got cancelled, made murder and cannibalism look like art and then there is the first half of this episode of Hotel as @A_Ron_Hubbard put it "hot garbage" and IMHO almost unwatchable.
    pavlovsbell
  • MichelleMichelle California
    This is a hotel of horrors of unspeakable measures... accordingly, there is going to be violence, and a lot of it. 
    I think one of the best scenes was Iris and the swedish girls, with them locked in the chambers and about to be force-fed a disgusting concoction.  But that wasn't as violent as the room 64 demonic rape scene, or the bloodshed after the four-gy.
    I actually think there was a lot of interesting storyline that balanced it out.  I'm really not seeing why the episode is being slammed so hard.
    Elisa
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline

    @Cecily Great to see you on the forums!
    CecilyElisa
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    John_Nada said:

    Seriously and I may catch flack for this but Hannibal, which got cancelled, made murder and cannibalism look like art and then there is the first half of this episode of Hotel as @A_Ron_Hubbard put it "hot garbage" and IMHO almost unwatchable.
    You won't catch flak from me.  Hannibal is partly about the damaging effects of being surrounded by violence and death while also seducing us with the beauty of it, then it points the finger at us for our complicity and participation.  The violence in AHS is too campy and devoid of emotion to be actually horrifying.  It just comes across as crass and boring to me.  I mean, I was horrified by the rape, but only because rape is intrinsically horrifying.  That Ryan Murphy abuses that intrinsic horror by quickly and repeatedly going to that well for the shock value is lazy and offensive.
    steph_bJohn_NadaHollyoak
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    edited October 2015
    Guys I think Kathy Bates is dead, and maybe even Liz Taylor too. Murder House introduced us to the idea that the dead can interact with the physical world, and obviously Sarah Paulson is one. Kathy Bates said she was stuck there, ostensibly to look after her son, but I think he died of an overdose and is also dead and (prediction) we will see another flashback to shortly after she killed Sarah Paulson that will show her death.
  • John_NadaJohn_Nada California

    John_Nada said:

    Seriously and I may catch flack for this but Hannibal, which got cancelled, made murder and cannibalism look like art and then there is the first half of this episode of Hotel as @A_Ron_Hubbard put it "hot garbage" and IMHO almost unwatchable.
    You won't catch flak from me.  Hannibal is partly about the damaging effects of being surrounded by violence and death while also seducing us with the beauty of it, then it points the finger at us for our complicity and participation.  The violence in AHS is too campy and devoid of emotion to be actually horrifying.  It just comes across as crass and boring to me.  I mean, I was horrified by the rape, but only because rape is intrinsically horrifying.  That Ryan Murphy abuses that intrinsic horror by quickly and repeatedly going to that well for the shock value is lazy and offensive.
    So eloquently put @pavlovsbell! I for one am going to miss Hannibal.
    Elisapavlovsbell
  • John_NadaJohn_Nada California
    Frakkin T said:

    Guys I think Kathy Bates is dead, and maybe even Liz Taylor too. Murder House introduced us to the idea that the living can interact with the physical world, and obviously Sarah Paulson is one. Kathy Bates said she was stuck there, ostensibly to look after her son, but I think he died of an overdose and is also dead and (prediction) we will see another flashback to shortly after she killed Sarah Paulson that will show her death.

    I was thinking quite the same thing. Dead and or sold her soul to bring back her son who is now the undead. Reminds me of Murder House in a way.
  • That She Wants Revenge song was my jam in high school. I thought I was going to have to go listen to it after the show but nope, they just played literally the entire song.
    ksa1001Michelle
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Gonna watch tomorrow morning cuz in a scaredy cat and that's how I watch AHS. Haven't seen S4 yet. Will let you know my yh
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    edited October 2015
    I am surprised by all the negativity guys! I thought it was fucking great, I am all about this creepy hotel. I mean, when I sit down to watch AHS I want it to be scary, gorgeous, hammy, bloody and fabulous...feel like I defiantly got that. I'am not expecting The Wire caliber writing. And I think people feeling like no characters were established is calling it way to early . I think there is just less characters to introduce and get to know (there was a huge cast last year). Plus, its the first episode, and it was mostly about establishing Wes Bently's character (super excited he's a main cast member now btw).

    There are lots and LOTS of questions after watching this. Is literally EVERYONE staying in this hotel dead...I mean, we can confirm two are... But their motives are still very much a mystery at this moment. The most confusing charahcter at this point is Sarah Paulson... Did she kill Bohmer for Lady Gaga, why in the hell did she seem to enjoy watching a man get raped?! Did she know him? Was she raped and wanted to inflict the same to someone else...WTTTFFF
    ElisaFrakkin T
Sign In or Register to comment.