'American Horror Story: Coven' Parallels Mean Girl Culture
'American Horror Story: Coven' Parallels Mean Girl Culture
Gina Vaynshteyn
Gina Vaynshteyn
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
I don't think we needed to watch (and adore) Tina Fey's Mean Girls in order to understand that a lot of girls just don't have each other's backs. Girls can be cunning, twisted, jealous, and manipulative, and as much as it sucks, it's a fact of life. At least, according to film. In the recent episodes of American Horror Story: Coven, Ryan Murphy seems to be wrapping up the season with one particular theme in mind: betrayal. 

In episode 9, "Head," we saw a lot of bloodshed. Cordelia's husband, who turned out to be a witch hunter, went on a crusade in Marie Laveau's beauty parlor and decimated the entire Voodoo crew, leaving Marie's forces weakened. She turned to the coven and united their powers. At this point, all of our witches are still alive (or at least, re-born). The coven celebrates Misty Day as the new Supreme and no one seems to really question Fiona's resurrection. Things seem complicated, but at least the witches and Voodoo queen are united.

Nothing stays calm on AHS, though. Last week's episode, "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks," seemed to bring out the worst in everyone. Misty Day, drunk on Stevie Nicks' presence and shawl, is confident--maybe too confident as a newcomer turned Supreme. Madison, annoyed that simple and joyous Misty is getting all the attention, knocks her unconscious and buries her out of jealousy. Fiona, upset that she couldn't obtain immortal life from Papa Legba, murders the newly cocky Nan in order to help Marie Laveau and transfer any possible life and power Nan had into herself. Fiona realizes she needs to kill the entire clan if she wants to keep any remaining youth she has. So much for a witch safe house.

Matters only grew worse in this Wednesday's episode, "Protect the Coven." The only one truly trying to protect the coven, is the creepy butler whose doll-playing is, as Madame LaLaurie would say, "unsavory." Oh yeah, and Cordelia, who stabs her eyes out to properly watch out for her girls. Madame LaLaurie decides she's had enough time spent role-playing as a maid and not enough time torturing and killing people. Going back to her old ways, she defiles the coven's dinner with Madison's excrement, horrifically mutilates the groundskeeper, and tries to murder Marie Laveau.

There's been so much backstabbing (literally) that there may not be many witches left by the season finale. The dark comedic value in American Horror Story: Coven truly shows how some women will resort to vile, nasty things if they feel like their vitality is being threatened. Of course, most of us girls don't resort to violence, but think about it. In high-school, if a girl is caught sleeping with someone's boyfriend, or happens to be nominated prom queen over someone else, that girl is banished. Both symbolically and physically. If two girls get into a fight, mutual friends usually pick a side. In the work place, so many women will turn on their female co-workers in order to get ahead. 

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AHS isn't the first drama to replicate the Darwinistic dynamics of an all-girl group. The 90s classic, The Craft, also shows how some women must out-do others in order to gain power and leadership. In the 90s, Wynona Rider kills her cronies because they're terrible people in the movie Heathers. Why does this happen? Men kill each other for power too (think Game of Thrones), but when women do it on television it's catty and bitchy. Madison and Fiona, both blood-thirsty for everlasting energy and spotlight, are broken individuals. They're soulless. What is this supposed to say about women?

If American Horror Story: Coven was about a group of men, would we view it differently? I think if this show was about a group of warlocks killing each other to get ahead, it would be a completely different show. Instead of a dark, twisted comedy Mean Girls, we would have something like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad.

Unlike Mean Girls, however, I don't think Coven will end on a light note. Ryan Murphy isn't the type to go that route. He wants to prove to television that a group of women are just as lethal as anyone.

However, as Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon a Time would say, all magic comes with a price. Instead of combining forces, the witches are being torn apart by their own greed. Fiona may have taken care of the witch hunters, but her coven is about to fall apart. I mean, who's left at this point? Madison, Queenie and poor Cordelia? Fiona may be buying herself some time, but no one can live forever (unless you have a soul to sell).

Watch the next American Horror Story: Coven Wednesday at 10pm on FX to find out which girls are left and if they'll survive.

(Image courtesy of FX) 


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