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I'm having a hard time convincing myself to watch "American Horror Story: Hotel."

This is normally the time of year when I reveal just how behind on the times I am by writing a review of the last season of American Horror Story.  But I'm going to have to break with tradition in 2016 - I've yet to watch any more of the Hotel season than the first episode, and I'm not terribly excited for the rest of it.

The show has been moving along a frustrating curve for years now.  Every other episode seems like the writers locked themselves in a room and said, "What is the most ~~EXTREME~~ thing we can think of?"  And that's fine, but then they fired the person whose job it was to cull all that baggage and make an interesting and creepy story out of it.

Here we are in season five, and after just one episode, I'm already sick of it.  I can't say for sure, but I think it was probably the drill-dicked rape demon that put me off.

Let's be fair.  AHS has never been shy about outrageous or wacky ideas.  Even so, they used to give me confidence that they would mean something later.  Remember back when the Internet went apeshit for Dylan McDermott crying while masturbating?  Who'd have guessed that five years later some of us would be saying, "I miss that nuance?"

The drill-dicked rape demon could actually be scary.  I mean, I don't want to get raped to death.  Who would?  That's a very specific and unique monster to put in your horror story.  But when it's the third-billed villain - after a vampire seductress who enjoys gratuitous lesbian sex and a Seven-esque serial killer who's implying that he'll torment a cop's innocent wife and daughter - then you've got problems on a basic conceptual level.  I should never be forty minutes into a TV show and asking, "Say, wasn't there a rape demon around here a minute ago?  What's up with that?"  The second you put a rape demon in your story, you're either making a story that's primarily about a rape demon, or you're a shitty writer.

(Come to think of it, the rape demon of AHS is a lot like the robot in Rocky IV.  Which means that in about twenty years, snotty post-adolescents on the future Internet are going to be making jokes about it and inserting it into memes.  Unless we've already done that.  We probably have, haven't we?)

Horror isn't supposed to just be a bunch of relentless gore and cruelty.  Those things are horrifying, sure, but there's a difference between being disgusted and being terrified.  You keep filling your show with pain and torment and after awhile it just becomes noise.  I remember being unnerved by the first two seasons of this show.  Now I'm just annoyed.

Flayed skin in the foreground.  Rape demons in the background.  I'm done with it.