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It's the apocalypse! You have a few minutes to get to a shelter before the World ends! Unfortunately, only the most obnoxious assholes seem able to be able to afford places in the one few shelters that survives the Nuclear winter. Suck it, preppers! Apocalypse opens with showing us the select few who make it into a mysterious bunker, run by a possibly satanic gang of 19th Century southern plantation cosplayers called "The Cooperative". I missed the entirety of American Horror Story: Cult, season 6's Roanoake did a lot to improve my expectations of the series, and so I've arrived at Apocalypse with an open mind.
My favourite part of this season is actor Cody Fern, who plays a shady figure from The Cooperative, sent in to decide who in the bunker gets to live and die. He looks and acts exactly like a Contrapoints character, sliding around the bunker on a glistening carpet made of smug. In a tv series that has long been known for its share of ham and cheese, I think Cody Fern takes the gold award. And he's against stiff competition too; once the plot opens up, there are entire gangs of flamboyant, preening, scene chewing actors bailed into the plot by the bucket load. It's hilarious! It's also not at all scary, but then again, when has American Horror Story ever been?
All of these additional characters are brought in by bait and switch plot that, on one hand mercifully guides the story away from its initial boring set up, but on the other it replaces it with a long intrigue backstory that goes into far more detail about some of the characters than was necessary. We are talking back flashes within back flashes, over the course of most of the damn season. It also relies on the viewer remembering shit from the first couple of seasons, which is a bit much considering they came out eight years ago and I've never liked them enough to watch again. It also makes it harder to tell which characters are from previous seasons and which are from the present one, given that they recycle the same actors over and over.
This time around, it feels like the show is short on material and has packed up the gaps in the story with unnecessary filler. It's nice to see actors return from past seasons and have their character's plot unexpectedly resolved, and I am getting a lot of laughs, but it's not as clever or as imaginative as Roanoke.
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