Jessica Lange Needs To Let Curtain Call Be Her Fairwell To America Horror Story


Tomorrow night, American Horror Story: Freak Show will get their curtain call, and season 4 will be in the history books.   For Jessica Lange, it appears to be her last episode, as well it should be.

Lange has been in all four seasons so far, from a supporting role to leading lady.  While the characters name and role changed from season to season, the overall basis has remained the same.  Jessica Lange has played a one dimensional character that – while yes, she added to the show in her own regard, played a self-serving character.  Every episode she appeared in was about her, and she did whatever it took to make the others around her not only remember that, but used any means necessary.

I am not necessarily suggesting that Lange’s characters didn’t add anything to the series, that is quite the contrary.  I think she has the exact character traits that Ryan Murphy was looking for in Constance Langdon, Sister Jude Martin, Fiona Goode, and Elsa Mars.  Lange has the look and demeanor to play the weary, well travelled and beaten down by a hard life.

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To  add to the one dimensional nature, which was likely by design, either in easter eggs or intentional connections from series to series; Lange referred to her co-stars in each season as her “little monsters”.  Again, it was likely by design, but I thought it took away a little bit from each season, I kept seeing Elsa Mars in Sister Jude, and a bit of Constance in Fiona.

When I first saw the writing on he wall that Lange wouldn’t be back for the fifth installment of the anthology series, I thought it would be good for the series.  Give it a chance to grow the series.  The series does not need Jessica Lange to continue, and it almost bothers me that she is now changing her mind and could possibly stay on for season five.

It seems as if they are drastically changing things around for the fifth installment of the series.

One of the things I love so much about that is that it can be radically, radically reinvented in terms of tone, setting, period, characters, cast.

That there is a quote from the president of FX.  What is interesting in that quote is that he references that the cast could be radically changed.

Could Jessica Lange be at odds with one of the American Horror Story cast members, so much that if they returned she would not want to be a part of the anthology anymore?

Personally I would not be upset if the series moved on from Lange.  I think her growth from supporting cast member (in a large supporting role) leads the way for another supporting actress in either Sarah Paulson or Lily Rabe to take the leading reign.  Myself I would like to see Lily Rabe take over.  I think Rabe would have liked to take a larger role in Freak Show, if she didn’t have other commitments.  I would like to see her clear her calendar for a potentially larger role in season five of American Horror Story.

Sarah Paulson has the strength in her characters to make it as the leading lady as well; but Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice McKee, both sane and possessed were better Horror Story characters than the ones portrayed by Paulson.  Paulson will also be taking the lead in another Ryan Murphy production, as she is scheduled to play in a sister anthology series American Crime Story.  Paulson is set to play Marcia Clark, the O.J. Simpson trial prosecutor.

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Curtain Calls brings about the end of another series of American Horror Story, and the final act of Jessica Lange as a character in the series.  If Lange wanted to come back and play a one and done crossover character, I would not be opposed to that; but a major role in season five should be handed to another leading lady (or man – if the character permits).

If clues in Season four about what could be happening in the fifth installment – a male lead could be on the horizon.  If teasers in this series are true, crossover characters could easily be done.

The Top Hat Theory would put the next season of American Horror Story in the same 1953 as the current episode, which would be a drastic change from the norm, as the show has so far alternated between the present day and past tense Americana.  1950s military would definitaly call for a solid male lead (Is Evan Peters ready for that role, or if you need an older male, Denis O’Hare).

Let the curtain fall on Jessica Lange and the American Horror Story anthology.  Pass the baton – if only to expand the series.

American Horror Story Freak Show concludes at 10PM tomorrow on FX.

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