Friday, November 15, 2013

American Horror Story Coven's Delphine LaLaurie & The Axeman Are Actual Historical Real Killers

Currently I think my favorite show currently on TV may be FX's American Horror Story: Coven. Wednesday, 10/9 C.

I find the hour viewing American Horror Story: Coven goes by faster than any other show I am currently viewing, thus indicating I must find American Horror Story: Coven entertaining.

Entertaining and educational.

The first episode of the 3rd iteration of American Horror Story started off in the early 1800s with Kathy Bates being a human horror, torturing, terrorizing, maiming and being a racist pig via a character named Marie Delphine LaLaurie.


I was quite surprised when I learned that Marie Delphine LaLaurie is an actual historical character who actually did the type stuff we have seen depicted in American Horror Story: Coven, well, except for being risen from the dead and brought alive in to the present time where she reacts in horror to learn that America has a black president.

Below is a blurb from the Wikipedia Delphine LaLaurie article, and below that more surprising reality horror from American Horror Story: Coven...

Marie Delphine LaLaurie (c. 1775 – c. 1842), more commonly known as Madame LaLaurie, was a Louisiana-born socialite and serial killer known for her involvement in the torture and murder of slaves.

Born in New Orleans, LaLaurie married three times over the course of her life. She maintained a prominent position in the social circles of New Orleans until April 10, 1834, when rescuers responding to a fire at her Royal Street mansion discovered bound slaves within the house who showed evidence of torture over a long period. LaLaurie's house was subsequently sacked by an outraged mob of New Orleans citizens, and it is thought that she fled to Paris, where she is believed to have died.

The latest episode of American Horror Story: Coven's first segment was set in 1919, showing the Axeman of New Orleans terrorizing the town with random ax murders, culminating in a night were the Axeman, via a letter to a local newspaper, warned the locals that they'd better be playing jazz music on a certain night or face ax annihilation.

Well, imagine my surprise at finding a Wikipedia article titled Axeman of New Orleans, which details the serial killer crime spree of a never caught murderer, including the following blurb...

"The Axeman" was not caught or identified at the time, and his crime spree stopped as mysteriously as it had started. The murderer's identity remains unknown to this day, although various possible identifications of varying plausibility have been proposed. Most notoriously, on March 13, 1919, a letter purporting to be from the Axeman was published in the newspapers saying that he would kill again at 15 minutes past midnight on the night of March 19, but would spare the occupants of any place where a jazz band was playing. That night all of New Orleans's dance halls were filled to capacity, and professional and amateur bands played jazz at parties at hundreds of houses around town. There were no murders that night.

The night of no murders on the Axeman's jazz night, was the night depicted on American Horror Story: Coven with the witches luring the Axeman into their lair by playing a non-jazz recording, where the coven then murdered the Axeman, thus ending his axed reign of terror.

I can find no Wikipedia article about an actual witches coven in New Orleans, or any speculation that it actually was a coven of witches who did in the Axeman.....

Friday, November 8, 2013

The X Factor Voting Blunder Caused An Un-Bloated Not Overly Produced New Competition Show

One would think after years of reality tv shows having viewers vote for contestants that the voting methods would have been perfected by now.

However, a couple weeks ago Dancing with the Stars had a voting snafu which resulted in no one getting kicked out of the glittery ballroom, that week.

And now, this week, I went to watch the DVRed X Factor results show to have the annoying Mario Lopez informing viewers that due to a blunder with the voting the previous night's excruciating Motown night would not count, and that rather than booting anyone, the acts would all act again, with a new song.

To me this resulted in a vastly improved X Factor.

Rather than a bloated two  hours, it was a fast  paced one hour. With no time to come up with tacky production numbers, with backup singers and dancers and way too many flashing lights, this was X Factor-lite.

Like I said, vastly improved. Maybe X Factor has accidentally come up with a production formula that works.

But, it may be too late to save this show. Apparently the ratings have tanked.

X Factor has never done well in the ratings, never on a par with the other singing competitions, as in fellow Fox show, American Idol, or NBC's The Voice.

I have heard no mention made of the X Factor winner winning a $5 million dollar contract, unlike its previous two seasons.

I am not the only viewer to note that neither The X Factor or The Voice has found a singer who has gone on to have a hit record, be in a movie or another TV show. I think the first X Factor winner was in a commercial, during the Super Bowl, which may have been the last time the public has seen her.

American Idol has given the world Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Kris Allen, Kellie Pickler, Adam Lambert, Jordan Sparks, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips, and likely others I am not remembering right now.

I don't seem to go a day without hearing Phillip Phillips on the radio.

Fast forwarding through The Voice's result show, last night, it does not appear, to me, that that show has found an American Idol type popstar, this year.

It will be interesting to see how American Idol does this year, after last year's version, which is widely regarding as a dud. Because it was.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cher Successfully Adds Being A Dancing With The Stars Judge To Her Resume With Brant Daugherty Leaving The Ballroom

That is Cher sitting in Len Goodman's chair this 8th week of Dancing with the Stars.

I had no idea that being an expert judge of ballroom dancing was among Cher's amazingly varied talents. The show open with Cher descending from above, singing Believe, wearing a mini-skirt.

A few decades ago there was a lame joke, often  repeated, that two things would survive a nuclear holocaust, those being cockroaches and Cher.

Cher is now in her 6th decade in show business. Cher is 67 years old. Cher is the youngest looking person in their 60s I have ever seen. Cher has won Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globes, Oscars and multiple other show business awards around the world.

Is Cher currently the most famous celebrity, world-wide? If not Cher, who is it?

The studio audience was loving everything that Cher said, including a moment that got bleeped whilst commenting on Elizabeth Berkley.

Dancing with the Stars has suffered a drop in the Nielsen ratings, what with being up against NBC's The Voice. I suspect this week's Cher episode will see a bump up in the ratings.

Cher's critique of Brant Daugherty was basically that she liked his smile. So, along with the other judges, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, Cher gave Brant a 9.

A total of 27 did not save Brant Daugherty and partner Peta Murgatroyd from being the pair asked to leave the ballroom this week.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Singing With The Vienna Boy's Choir Eliminates Tim & Danny From The Amazing Race

When first I met Tim & Danny on Season 23 of The Amazing Race I figured the Oklahoma team would not be long for the race, particularly when we saw them already having trouble simply getting to LAX in Los Angeles.

I did not expect the Tim & Danny team to become my favorite, but they did. I was not pleased to have Phil eliminate them from the race this week.

I was particularly displeased because the elimination was due to a very unfair Roadblock that had Tim singing a song, in German, with the Vienna Boy's Choir.

And the song had to be in tune.

I am totally tone deaf. If I had been doing that Roadblock I would have been in last place, after Tim.

At 23 iterations of The Amazing Race I can see why I've grown a bit jaded about it. The wonder of seeing places in the world I've never seen before has faded. Mostly due to the fact that the race does not seem to go anywhere totally surprising too often anymore.

In earlier seasons of The Amazing Race I seem to remember things like teams driving on to a ferry in Gibraltar, then driving across North Africa, following route markers. That type thing does not happen anymore, or so  rarely I am not remembering the last time.

Too often, now, too much of the hour is spent on airport drama. Like that awful leg that eliminated the amusing footballers, Chester & Ephraim, unable to catch a plane break, arriving days late in Portugal.

And then there is the, what seems to me to be, over use of taxis. Show the driver the clue, ask if he can drive them there. Get a bad taxi driver and you're out of luck.

And then there are the challenges. This latest episode, in addition to singing with the Vienna Boy's Choir, had teams putting on a mask, then finding matching masks among a big herd of waltzing Austrians. Boring.

The Fast Forward turned into a dud for Jason & Amy with the strong wind making bungee jumping impossible.

The most entertaining part of the episode was, at Marie's instigation, Tim & Marie stealing Jason & Amy's taxi. That resulted in some amusing verbal fisticuffs when both teams arrived at the Pit Stop mat at the same time.

Tim & Marie are now my favorite for the win. Marie is reality TV gold. And Tim is her funny good-natured  foil.  I also like the ER doctors, Travis & Nichole.  I really don't want the Afghanimals, Leo & Jamal, to win the million bucks, but I can see where it would be amusing if they did.