American Horror Story: Coven lost me about three episodes in. As soon as Gabourey Sidibe was trying to seduce a minotaur by sticking her hand down her pants and masturbating on the front lawn of a witch school, I was out. It was too much. Season two, Asylum, nearly lost me at a few points with its mental patients, pseudo-zombies, demons, nazis, aliens, and serial killers. I stuck with it to the end, but my faith in the series had been greatly reduced. A few episodes into Coven, and it had succeeded in completely pushing me away. It was a farce. But since the announcement of a fourth season, I’m suddenly pulled back in.
Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, we now know what the fourth season of FX’s American Horror Story will be called, what it will be about, where it will take place, and who will be in it. Subtitled Freak Show, this season will see the return of series anchor Jessica Lange as a German who runs a freak show in a place called Jupiter, Florida, in 1950. We now know that third season regulars Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett will be returning, along with series veterans Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and Frances Conroy. We might also see Denis O’Hare and Emma Roberts again. All of that is good news, but it’s not why I’m back on board.
I moved to Jupiter, Florida when I was thirteen. I lived there throughout my teen years and into my early twenties. It’s the northernmost town in Palm Beach County, clumped around a few exits of I-95, extending to the eroding beach, where there is a red lighthouse. There are some wooded scrub areas, filled with slash pines and saw palmettos. It’s not a resort town, or a working class fishing town. It’s a suburb of West Palm Beach, which is about 25 minutes south, if you’re not driving during rush hour. There are beachfront condos, mostly populated by older seasonal residents, who fly north to their homes in the hotter months. There’s no downtown, no uptown, just shopping centers, a scattering of industrial areas, a lot of suburban residential neighborhoods, and some immigrant communities. There’s one movie theater that’s been there for ages, with a whopping eighteen screens. It was a Regal, then a Cobb. Now it’s a Paragon. It still projected on 35mm up until a few months ago. It still has the old seats, and still smells musty. I don’t live in Jupiter any more, but my parents do. I live close, though.
Of the several towns in which I grew up, I lived in Jupiter the longest. I guess you could call it my hometown. I never imagined in a million years that one of FX’s most popular shows would ever be set in my hometown, a place that most Americans haven’t heard of. That’s why I’m back on board.
American Horror Story: Freak Show doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but there will be thirteen episodes this season, and I hope the series can keep me watching through all of them.
EDIT: Freak Show will premiere in October.