Well done, Ryan Murphy.
Just when we thought we had freed ourselves from “American Horror Story,” virtually unwatchable for nearly a decade, the mega-producer lured us back into its bloody, whimsical fold with season 12 of the anthology series. from FX, “Delicate,” starring none other than Kim Kardashian.
The “PAW: Patrol” actress and reality TV personality plays a major role in the latest installment (★, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT and streaming on Hulu), which centers on a young woman (Emma Roberts) who could be pregnant with the Satan virus. spawn. But even Kardashian’s semi-inspired casting can’t save this terrible new season, which arrives stillborn with a tired riff on “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Shortly after the start of the first season, Hollywood starlet Anna Victoria Alcott (Roberts) goes to another fertility appointment, as she and her husband (Matt Czuchry) struggle to start a family. But of course, things seem dangerously off-kilter from the start: Anna wakes up in sharp pain after her egg retrieval. (“Nothing worth waiting for is ever easy,” an indifferent nurse assures her.) There’s also a creepy doctor, shady prescriptions, and a disturbing woman who may or may not be Anna’s stalker.
In other words, nothing that hasn’t already been done in dozens of other horror films (or for that matter, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1”, which irrevocably marked us with its scene of terrible birth). It doesn’t help that Roberts and Czuchry have all the sparks of a monsoon campfire, and their one-note performances are further smothered by trite writing.
The few times the first episode has a pulse come when Kardashian is on screen. The shapewear mogul has long been labeled bland and superficial by her detractors. But here, she builds smartly on Valley’s daughter character, playing Siobhan, Anna’s concerned publicist. She sharply eviscerates everyone from Hilary Swank to the directors of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and turns Waldorf into word salad. (“You have a particular penchant for turning dreams into nightmares,” says Siobhan, in her dual role as Anna’s confidante and walking exhibit.)
More:The return of “American Horror Story: Delicate” is almost here: Cast, how to watch season 12
The merciless one-liners continue to flow when Anna gets a late-night booking on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” and Siobhan is forced to comfort her rapidly unraveling client. (“Oh honey, don’t cry. Your face can’t be puffy for Andy.”)
Sure, there are lame jokes about Tom Sandoval and other “Bravolebrities.” And yes, Kardashian’s acting skills may be more people’s choice than Emmy-worthy. But like “American Horror Story” alums Jessica Lange and Lady Gaga before her, she’s the only one so far tapping into the season’s high-profile potential.
And for that, we thank you, Kim. You are doing amazing things, my darling.