These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: American Horror Story: Coven
Alas, Poor Scrappy: Though the fandom didn't take well to Hank, some found his death to be rather tragic.
Madison's death is pretty tragic when you take into account that Kyle had previously been the only frat brother that tried to do something about his fraternity gang raping her and also that she was left traumatized by her death and return. It's hard not to think that Spalding doing what her wants to do with her body was a little too much.
Spalding keeping Madison's corpse in the attic was disturbing, especially since he dressed her up and later on had sex with the body. But watching him accidentally tear off her left arm was funnier than it should've been.
Marie chopping off Delphine's hand is pretty hilarious considering that Delphine was stupid enough to mock and taunt Marie while locked inside a cage.
Myrtle Snow gleefully slapping a pair of feet together while disposing of Cecily and Quentin's hacked up bodies.
When Cordelia finally has an emotional breakdown and starts smashing everything around her, Myrtle looks like she's about to say something to comfort her. Then she decides to ignore her and nonchalantly continues playing her theremin.
The Axe-Man kills a witch hunter by picking up a severed hand still clutching a handgun, and then shooting the witch hunter with the gun still pried in the severed hand's fingers.
Marie taking a picture while The Axe-Man slaughters the witch hunters.
Myrtle has gotten quite a bit of love for her dynamic with Fiona, intelligence and her relationship with Misty Day. She's been especially popular post-revival by Misty, with her being more assertive and cunning.
Cordelia also grew far and far more popular as the series went on.
Evil Is Cool: The popularity of Fiona and Madison runs on this.
Fridge Brilliance: The finale has Queenie failing to revive Zoe despite using that ability in the past. Cordelia once said that witches gain extra powers in dire situations meaning in that situation she only temporary channeled that ability, explaining both why she was able to do it before and working as a Red Herring before that episode.
Cordelia didn't say the powers were temporary, and the situations were still similar. But Zoe's wounds were more severe than Misty's oxygen deprivation.
Myrtle suggests that the girls are developing so many powers so quickly (aside from the danger), is that Cordelia's magic was manifesting through them. All the powers the girls manifest after they come into the Academy are one of the Seven Wonders, powers the Supreme has. The only exceptions are Zoe's Necromancer powers (developed before she spent more of her time at the academy); and Queenie's ability to survive being shot, which developed after being away from the Coven.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Joan says to Luke 'I made you and I can unmake you'. In 'Head' she makes good on that promise.
Harsher in Hindsight: The feature of Stevie Nix's music and Misty's insistence that she's a witch. The creators actually had to spend a lot of time getting her permission to user her music and, later on, get her to agree to cameo. She was hesitant because she'd gotten a lot of harassing fanmail and hate-mail from people who were convinced that her lyrics were proof of her being an actual witch.
Madison's abuse of Kyle, and him killing her, in light of the domestic assault issue their real-life actors had.
I Knew It: Delia being the next Supreme. Zoe would have been way too obvious, a promo spoiled Misty's death, and Madison and Queenie weren't as important. There was also a significant clue in that her credits image in the opening sequence depicted Santa Muerte, AKA the Lady of Seven Powers.
It's the Same, so It Sucks: One of the major complaints about this season seems to be about how it doesn't offer anything new, especially regarding Jessica Lange's character Fiona, seen by many as a retread of her season 1 character, Constance.
Same goes for Denis O'Hare, yet again playing a gutless grotesque hopelessly in love with Jessica Lange's character.
After Zoe stabs Spalding, he proceeds to stick out his tongue in such a silly way that it looked like he was trying to blow a raspberry at her. Probably intentional, given the morbidly camp nature of the show.
When Hank tries to ask for forgiveness from Cordelia in "Head," he does so using the sappiest lines ever, such as saying that "his heart is bleeding."
The phrase "baby gravy" is always narmful, even if it is spoken by Angela Basset as Marie Laveau when she explains a fertility ritual to Cordelia.
"Surprise bitch. Bet you thought you'd seen the last of me." Compared with the general tone of this season, that's a little hard to take seriously.
Misty's idea of hell is her middle school biology class where she's in an infinite loop and raising and killing her frog. Becomes heartbreaking, though, when she can't escape the loop and dies trapped there.
"The Replacements". Between Kyle's mother having sex with him, a mason jar of semen, and Queenie rubbing one out in front of LaLaurie's bullheaded houseboy, it's going to produce a very strong urge to shower.
"The Axeman Cometh" confirms that Spalding did have sex with Madison's corpse, as if dressing her up and playing tea party with her wasn't creepy enough.
Zoe impales herself on the M.me Robichaux's gate after a transmutation gone wrong.
FrankenKyle finally puts an end to Madison after she pointedly refuses to resurrect Zoe.
Fiona dies and gets her own hell.
They Just Didn't Care: The term for magically moving from place to place is given as being "transmutation," in spite of transmutation meaning "the process of changing one thing into another thing." Not only is the term ubiquitous in real world occult history (see: good old alchemy), but it's also frequently used in both scientific and everyday contexts to indicate state changes. It's a wince-inducing malapropism that access to a dictionary or even a normal vocabulary would've avoided. But then again, the writing for the whole season has turned out to be subpar at best.
Early episodes state that it's rare for a witch to develop multiple talents, and that the reason Fiona thought Madison was the Supreme was because she was telekinetic AND pyrokinetic. Cue the later episodes, where nearly every girl is able to perform most of the wonders, including raising the dead (which was also stated to be an incredibly rare gift).
They Wasted A Perfectly Good Actor: Evan Peters and Denis O'Hare are both members of the main cast and have proved themselves to be talented actors in previous seasons, however in Coven they have almost nothing to do.
The reason for their little importance is said to be to give the women actors more to do, keeping in theme with female empowerment... only for the show to give importance and arcs to other male characters such as Luke and Hank, making Peters and O'Hare's talents look even more wasted.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Many long-time fans, critics and even some who started watching this season share this opinion. But of course, there are just as many who consider this season better than Asylum.
Sex equals death (a rather cliched horror trope) is exaggerated to the point one wonders if Coven is promoting Abstinence Only.
While someone raping a rapist is comparable to the ethical issues surrounding killing a killer, having the main protagonist rape a rapist note the rapist in question isn't a killer to death without any consequences or reprehension raises a lot of other issues.
Of the four students at the witch school, the heavyset black girl and the girl with Down syndrome have secondary billing compared to the two pretty white girls. However, after Madison was killed, their roles were equalled out and mostly stayed that way after Madison was revived.
The only male witch seen in multiple episodes is Camp Gay, and never referred as such. In the finale, when Myrtle says she has to be burnt at the stake she defines him as a 'colleague'.
The mostly Caucasian witches use their powers to garner wealth and live luxuriously. The mostly African American voodoo witches call the ninth ward their territory and live very humble considering what they could do with their gifts.
Marie Laveau, who was by all accounts a nice person and had followers of all races in real life, is the villain of the season and has grown to hate whites (and not just the racist ones). Further, she has had the least amount of character development of anyone in the season. Meanwhile, the notorious Delphine Lalaurie has been made as a character searching for redemption.
Every mother who appeared longer than one scene has been abusive or neglectful towards her child or children.
The central themes of Coven are oppressed groups (referring here to women and, to a lesser degree, people of color) and 'power corrupts'. This leads to some unintentional and rather ironic implications that "women with power are evil".
Every single male character on the show is under control of a female one, all but stating that female empowerment is basically misandry. Further reinforced by the fact that the witch-hunters (the witches' main threat) are ALL male while the witches are all female (Ryan Murphy thought that having warlocks would 'make the season too much like Glee' so he basically opted to be as offensive as possible).
The eviler the character, the better her situation is (of course, unless it's a man), and of course the nicer they are (or just if they're male) the worst they have it.
Averted by the end, where Fiona, Marie, Delphine and Madison are all dead, and Cordelia, Kyle, Queenie and Zoe are happy.
Still played straight in regards to gender, because the male character that had the happiest ending ( Kyle) got an eternity of servitude.
Ryan Murphy announced that, starting from episode 9, characters were starting to die and not come back. The first to go were both male characters and the first witch to die permanently was Nan, the one with Down's syndrome AND the only one whose backstory was never shown on screen.
Young women coming into their own is a threat to older women. There's only so much female power to go around.
In the final episode, the new Supreme Cordelia goes on TV and gives an interview. The scene equals witches to gay people, but like True Blood before it, this show didn't get that while people are stupid to fear LGBTQ people, they are most certainly NOT to fear witches, as we've been repeatedly shown this season that they are really likely to abuse their powers.
The interview also seems to imply that Cordelia will offer young witches a place to be at M.Me Robichaux's, but has no intention of creating a similar place anywhere else for young warlocks, all but confirming the misandric slant of the season.
Not necessarily. If anything it's because the minimal number of warlocks (there was like what one?). According to Ryan Murphy the reason there were so little warlocks was because he didn't want the show to "be too much like Glee" or something like that.
He said that he made the school a girl's one because of that (and it still is sexist). There must be more than one, since the Council was called 'Council Of Witches And Warlocks'. And, the point is made even stronger by that. Warlocks are even more endangered than witches and the Supreme just says 'you have a penis? Do by yourself!' It isn't only misandric, it's downright suicidal for the witch race.
Except she didn't say anything like that, she didn't mention warlocks at all. We can assume that any who do exist will be welcome, but they are vastly outnumbered demographically for whatever genetic reason makes witch abilities far more likely to express themselves in women.
We can assume neither. Add to that RM trying so hard to erase the fact that warlocks existed in the finale (including referring to Quentin as a 'colleague'), and Cordelia never even mentioning warlocks becomes a clear message.
Not really. While it may be a signifier of bad writing it's certainly not a signifier of "misandry" and this message you seem to insist that it makes is really reaching. Honestly it's getting a little bit tired seeing so many people complain about this season being "sexist against men".
The reason so many people complain about it being 'sexist against men' is because it IS. Of course, being a Ryan Murphy production, it also manages to become pretty misogynistic as well (see below). Also, we do NOT know that the witch gene is far more likely to express itself in women, we only saw witches because to Ryan Murphy, female empowerment can come only when there are no men AT ALL around.
Despite the show trying to have a "feminist" message it really is anti-feminist considering most of the times female characters who are supposedly very powerful are utterly helpless in the face of violence perpetrated by male characters (like Marie almost being killed by Hank or Madison being killed by Kyle so easily or Fiona basically being some toy for the Axeman to slap around for all eternity).
Of course, we can also use the excuse above and say it's terrible writing. There is no shortage of evidence of that.
The female characters rarely, if ever, team up and show loyalty to each other, feeding in the old prejudice that women are too selfish to be team players, taken to the extreme in The Seven Wonders, where Madison, Queenie and Zoe were laughing and playing outside seconds after Misty died.
Female empowerment is linked to the ability to dominate/hurt/kill people, especially men.
The male character are either evil, useless to the extreme, or both, this is not only misandric, but also pretty misogynistic, suggesting that women have to have the playing field heavily slanted in their direction in order to be empowered, and thus perpetuating the idea that women are lesser than men.