The fifth installment of "American Horror Story," subtitled "Hotel," begins Wednesday night (Oct. 7) on FX. This is both the first season of the anthology series featuring singer Lady Gaga and the first without Jessica Lange, who won Emmys for the first and third seasons.
Lange's fourth and final season, "Freak Show," won five Emmys, all in Creative Arts categories. All told, "AHS" has won 13 Emmys from 71 nominations. Will it add to that tally next year? And will Lady Gaga be among them?
Let's take a look at what the critics are saying.
Verne Gay, Newsday: "Let's talk about one Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – you know her as Gaga – because that's all anyone coming to the fifth season of 'AHS' will want to talk about anyway. As the Countess Elizabeth, she's a voluptuary and old soul … She's a bright white light that punctures the gloom, much as that exotic hand accessory of hers punctures throats. Gaga fits perfectly into Ryan Murphy's tableau of horror-meets-sex-meets-death."
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle: "The cast is mostly terrific, of course, including Mare Winningham as an unhinged hotel maid. The exception, unfortunately, is Lady Gaga. Don’t get me wrong: She makes an enormous visual impact, but the minute she opens her mouth to deliver a line, it’s obvious that acting just isn’t one of her many talents."
Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter: "Early on, 'Hotel' hasn't hooked me with its storytelling, but it's always fun to see what the series does with its repertory acting company and with new additions. Throw in the normal grotesquerie and visual panache and that should keep me going for a while, even if all of the humor appears to have been funneled into 'Scream Queens.'"
Brian Lowry, Variety: "There’s almost an indifference to story – after the premiere, it’s hard to see a huge motivation to watch in order to unlock the show’s lingering mysteries."
Photo: Lady Gaga in "American Horror Story: Hotel." Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX