FX claims their programming is "Fearless," but the latest season of American Horror Story: Cult is just a rehash of the same Hollywood trope of portraying Trump supporters as raging psychopaths who pick fights with innocent Mexicans and terrorize lesbians.
"Fearless" means diving into uncharted territory with no telling where you will end up. If the first episode description on Newsbusters provides any indication, season 7 of AHS is the equivalent of watching a braggadocious teen go fishing on a mom and pop trout farm in Wichita after boasting ad nauseum about harpooning marlin off the Miami coast. Hardly fearless, but plenty feckless.
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Throughout the episode, we are not-so-subtly reminded that liberals are the tolerant, kind, good guys while conservatives are hateful, bigoted, and conscienceless. The show sets up a classic good vs. evil, and the Trump supporters are very bad -- 9/11 level bad.
Not only do they go overboard to make Trump supporters look bad, they are juxtaposed against the hero worship of liberals to create a sharp dichotomy. As promised, the episode, aptly named "Election Night," kicked off with real news coverage of Donald Trump (at his worst) and Hillary Clinton (at her best). We then go to Michigan were we meet same-sex married couple Ally (Sarah Paulson) and Ivy (Alison Pill) watching the election results with neighbors and having a meltdown. Meanwhile, a Trump supporter is shown humping his television screen. Literally.
Here's the clip from the episode:
Here are just a few examples of the episode's laughable lines that the AHS writing room thought serviced as realistic and dramatic dialogue as the liberals reacted to Trump's win:
"I won't believe anything until I hear Rachel Maddow say it. She's the only one I trust."
"It's the politics of fear. It always works."
"Oh, go to hell, Huffington Post! F–ck you, Nate Silver! Oh, my God, how could they have been so wrong about this?"
"Oh, my God. Merrick Garland. What's gonna happen with Merrick Garland?"
At one point, the lesbian couple's adopted son tearfully says, "I don't want you to not be married anymore."
"Where will I get an abortion ... what is wrong with CNN not giving us a trigger warning before they announce the results?"
Later in the show, Sarah Paulson visits her therapist to lament about how it all feels just like 9/11.
Since election night everything is just so much worse. This is just like what happened to me in college after 9/11 when I couldn't leave my apartment.
I was willing to white-knuckle it, but then I didn't have to... Because Barack was elected and-and it was as if the universe... Righted itself. I loved our president. I was proud of him. And for the first time, I was included in the discussion, in the world.
The show's producer Ryan Murphy laughably contends that none of his politics blended into the show, even though he spends the whole time showing distressed liberals and one psychotic Trump supporter. It's not as if the show cuts to middle-class Americans who voted for the MAGA spirit because they hated politics as usual.
"The season really is not about Trump, it's not about Clinton," says Murphy. "It's about somebody who has the wherewithal to put their finger up in the wind and see that that's what's happening and is using that to rise up and form power, and using people's vulnerabilities about how they're afraid and don't know where to turn, and they feel like the world is on fire."