‘AHS: Cult’: Sarah Paulson deserves awards attention for dealing with clowns (and Trump) in ‘American Horror Story’ Season 7

Sarah Paulson‘s impressive Emmy streak of earning seven nominations in six years came to an end this summer when she was snubbed for “AHS: Roanoke.” With FX’s “American Horror StorySeason 7 back to fighting form, Paulson deserves awards attention not just at next year’s Emmy Awards, but also at the upcoming 2018 Golden Globes for her role as the neurotic and fearful Ally Mayfair-Richards.

In “AHS: Cult,” Ally is a woman whose former phobias come back to haunt her following Donald Trump‘s success with the electoral college. After comically shouting, “What’s going to happen to Merrick Garland?!” Ally begins seeing clowns everywhere, including the terrifying Twisty (John Carroll Lynch) who originally popped up in “AHS: Freak Show.” As we know, awards voters love these types of over-the-top, screaming, crying performances, so Ally could be key to Paulson returning to the awards circuit.

Paulson’s longtime “AHS” acting partner Evan Peters is also earning awards buzz for his role of Kai Anderson, a politically persuasive young man who terrorizes Ally and her wife (played by Alison Pill) on his way to creating a cult of killer clowns. While Paulson is a seven-time Emmy nominee who came off a historic 2016 on the awards front for playing Marcia Clark in “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” Peters has yet to earn an Emmy nomination. Might they both be rewarded this season for “American Horror Story: Cult”?

TV critics agree that Paulson is a standout in “AHS: Cult,” with Jen Chaney (Vulture) writting, “The whole cast is terrific, but the series is (no surprise) a real showcase for Paulson, who’s a bundle of jangled nerves and teary-eyed fear.” And Joseph Hernandez (We Got This Covered) remarked, “Ally’s mental breakdown begins to affect her wife and their little son but also sets up a woman on the edge vibe for Sarah Paulson, who unsurprisingly performs valiantly as she has since ‘Murder House.'”

SEE Emmy nominations 2017: HBO, Netflix lead all networks by wide margin

The first six installments of “American Horror Story” scored a total of 16 Emmy Awards in the limited series categories, proving that voters haven’t been scared off by the genre. Here’s a list of the franchise’s wins so far:

“American Horror Story: Murder House” (2012)
Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Lange)
Best Hairstyling

“American Horror Story: Asylum” (2013)
Best Supporting Actor (James Cromwell)
Best Sound Editing

“American Horror Story: Coven” (2014)
Best Actress (Jessica Lange)
Best Supporting Actress (Kathy Bates)
Best Costumes
Best Hairstyling

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” (2015)
Best Costumes
Best Hairstyling
Best Non-Prosthetic Makeup
Best Prosthetic Makeup
Best Supporting Visual Effects

“American Horror Story: Hotel” (2016)
Best Contemporary Costumes
Best Non-Prosthetic Makeup

“American Horror Story: Roanoke” (2017)
Best Prosthetic Makeup

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