Idiot Box: Leslie Jordan Joins “American Horror Story: Coven”


According to Queerty, the wonderful Leslie Jordan will be joining the cast of “American Horror Story: Coven,” the third installment of Ryan Murphy’s horror serial. Color me concerned.

Ryan Murphy’s faux-gothic series started strongly enough with the first installment, but with one preposterous plot twist after another, and histrionic performances (most specifically – albeit deliciously – from Jessica Lange, who won an Emmy for her role), it rapidly descended from promising chiller to unabashed camp-fest. All that was missing was a drag queen or two (Lange’s over-the-top Southern loon Constance Langdon – a fusion of Baby Jane-meets-Blanche DuBois – notwithstanding).

Last year’s chapter, “American Horror Story: Asylum,” was a different entity altogether – with nary a wink or a nod, the acting – again, most specifically by Lange, who was transcendent, and the great Sarah Paulson (just hand her the Emmy already) – was excellent all around – even when the plot promised to ride off the rails (and it did), the cast elevated the material (thankfully, though, the story steadily chilled with genuine thrills, eeriness, drama, and even pathos). Despite it’s inimical Alien plot line (which was [mostly] curbed most appreciatively, almost immediately), “Asylum” was must-watch TV deserved of the moniker – and one of 2013s best TV dramas.

“Coven” boasts a mighty cast of actresses – Lange and Paulson of course, as well as Lily Rabe and Frances Conroy, will be joined by Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, Mare Winningham and Broadway legend Patti LuPone. Will there be any scenery left with the colossal amount of chewing sure to take place?

Which brings me to that one aforementioned caveat. Sight unseen and without a single shot viewed, as this cast was mounted and announced, my Spidey senses started tingling in overdrive. My consternation was that Murphy will somehow regress back to the camp that nearly ramshackled that first season. And with Jordan on board – a flamboyant comic actor of charm, wit, sass and class – that fear seems an almost probability. I don’t begrudge Jordan of the role, of course, but I can see the warped wheels in Murphy’s head all askew already.

Singularly, each actor is a force of nature. Cumulatively, it promises to be the event of Fall TV.  Perhaps I shouldn’t pre-judge what hasn’t been written yet, one has learned, over the years, that one cannot trust Ryan Murphy to do the right thing. In TV land, that’s the real Murphy’s Law.


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