Season four of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's FX horror anthology series, American Horror Story: Freak Show performed well in terms of ratings, much like the previous iterations of the show: Coven, Asylum, and American Horror Story season one a.k.a. Murder House. However, even a number of the series' more dedicated fans seemed to feel that Freak Show ended up being messier, less compelling, and derivative of what has come before it (surface differences aside) compared to seasons past.
That may partly account for why FX network heads are hyping the show's fifth season as being "an unusually large reinvention" of the series after Freak Show. The show's co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have likewise now made one casting decision that, love it or hate it, was certainly not expected - namely, to have pop music sensation Lady Gaga serve as one of the main stars this next season, which is now officially titled American Horror Story: Hotel.
Gaga is fresh off her acclaimed musical performance during the Sound of Music 50th anniversary tribute that was included as part of the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony (watch the clip HERE). Below, you can watch the short, distinctly "Gaga-esque", clip posted online by the artist, where she confirms her involvement with (and the title for) season five of American Horror Story.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 25, 2015
Although Gaga is no stranger to music video acting (see: Paparazzi, Telephone, etc.), her regular acting experience is so far limited to cameos in Robert Rodriguez' Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. It will certainly be interesting to see where Gaga falls on the scale of singers/songwriters who make the proper jump to TV/movie acting - a scale that, in the past, has ranged from pretty terrible to surprisingly great.
Starring on American Horror Story will also bring Gaga more exposure (and, in turn, place more pressure on her to do well), compared to the recent indie film supporting appearances by her fellow musical artists, like Pink (Thanks for Sharing) and Adam Levine (Begin Again). Give her points for ambition, if nothing else.
American Horror Story has blended in musical elements with its often grisly, but also frequently campy, horror storytelling for multiple seasons now. It seems like a no-brainer that Gaga will be required to do some musical performance as part of her role on the show; beyond that, however, we've yet to receive any details on what to expect from her character on the series' upcoming season. (Like, will Gaga take the place usually reserved for American Horror Story queen Jessica Lange, who isn't expected to appear in season five.)
Hotel, of course, is a subtitle loaded with implications, in terms of what iconic horror titles might serve as inspiration for American Horror Story season five; with Psycho and The Shining being among the obvious potential influences that immediately come to mind. Meanwhile, it's possible that Gaga's real-life showbiz history will be used for some meta-commentary during this season of American Horror Story - which, if it happens, might cut a little too close to what Freak Show is about, should that prove to be the case.
American Horror Story: Hotel is slated to begin airing on FX in October 2015.
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