It was announced this week that Lady Gaga would be starring in the fifth season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, subtitled Hotel. The show has famously skirted controversy with its rash, nuanced depictions of race, mental handicaps, rape, homosexuality, dwarfism, civil rights, and ageism in entertainment. With Lady Gaga entering the fray, Murphy and co-creator Brad Falchuk are sure to push the envelope even further.
Flavorwire has decided to help them out by suggesting a handful of potential storylines that would totally work. Personally, I’m vying for Hotel Starbucks, but any of these things are reasonable in comparison to the absurdly awful finale of Freak Show.
American Horror Story: (Resurrection) Hotel
The series starts in 2006, with a shot of Madame Sane (Lady Gaga), a struggling singer-songwriter who has eked out a living by transforming cabaret classics into club-pop hits performed weekly at Los Angeles’ famed The Faultline. Early one morning, after a particularly devastating set, Sane stares into the distance at the Chateau Marmont, cheeks stained with teary mascara. A taxi arrives; she climbs in.
After hours spent wandering the hotel grounds, Sane finds a large pile of trash and takes a nap, when her fate is changed forever: she finds the dead body of Tony Bennett, whose chest is covered in a Latin tattoo that describes a resurrection ritual. She tracks down a Latin-learned psychic named Randall (Finn Wittrock), and together they resurrect Bennett.
Grateful for her help, Bennett agrees to record an album of duets with Sane. They win a Grammy; Sane is on top of the world — until Randall, unhappy with his cut of the profits, threatens to undo their whole enterprise by giving an exclusive interview to a famous gossip, Juarez Hilton.
From there, death and decay follow as Bennett’s otherworldly spirit begins to crack through his corpse’s seams while Sane enlists a psychic crew of gay San Francisco assassins — the Castro Hellions (Evan Peters, Michael Chiklis, Matt Bomer) — to track down and murder Juarez and Randall. Throw in a few of Bennett’s murderous former mistresses (Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson), and you’ve got one bloody mix, all set to smash hits as reworked by musical director Amanda Palmer.
A cabaret version of “Paparazzi” plays as the credits roll.
American Horror Story: (Extraterrestrial) Hotel
It is 1936. Lady Gaga is an alien named Trixie who has inhabited the body of a nun who is visiting Area 51 in order to recover a priest, Alejandro (Denis O’Hare), who had been abducted by aliens. The priest, however, does not want to go with the nun back to Briarcliff Hotel because he has fallen in love with Xokd’uda’d (Sarah Paulson’s face on the purple body of Evan Peters), an alien from an Earth-like planet known as Podicktron.
After several episodes, we discover that Trixie is also in love with Xokd’uda’d, and that the Xokd’uda’d has four extra limbs that, against all universal odds, resemble human penises. Eventually, Trixie, Xokd’uda’d and the priest return to Briarcliff Hotel, where it is revealed that all of American Horror Story‘s former characters were either the offspring of Xokd’uda’d, or poor souls that had been possessed by Trixie.
The finale concludes with a showdown between the priest’s former lover (Gabourey Sidibe) and Trixie, resulting in Trixie’s inhabiting the woman’s body, enchanting it with eternal youth. Cut to 1955, when we see Briarcliff Hotel’s signage being changed to Briarcliff Asylum. We see a montage of all of the series’ future events, only to learn that Trixie had been in the background of every American Horror Story scene ever.
“Born This Way” plays as the credits roll.
American Horror Story: (Sexy Penitentiary) Hotel
Lady Gaga is Agatha, an Icelandic punk rocker who is serving time in a mythical haute Los Angeles hotel for the attempted murder of her manager and on-again, off-again lover, Hans Hands (Neil Patrick Harris). The place, called Casa del Locos, is a prison-cum-hotel where the rich and famous go to serve their time.
While imprisoned, Agatha becomes a member of the Aryan Nation while secretly sleeping with a sexy, black security officer lady, Sol (Angela Bassett). Episodes will also take the form of a procedural, with Agatha and various Aryan gang members setting out to murder rival crews. Agatha will perform both at the beginning and the end of each episode, either through flashbacks or for the crowds of public onlookers who have no idea that the guests of the hotel are imprisoned.
Sexy Penitentiary Hotel will delve into the racy issues of fame and incarceration politics as Agatha struggles against her Aryan leader (Lily Rabe) while coming to terms with the fact that she loves a black woman. When she finally confronts her leader, midway through the season, it’s revealed that the leader is actually a proxy made up of several different interstellar beings (Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Emma Roberts, Taissa Farmiga).
Agatha tries to fight them off, but is only able to completely destroy them once Hans Hands reappears. After defeating the interstellar beings, Agatha and Hans make love, roughly. Sol looks on, crying, clearly a comment on the white patriarchy. It remains unclear if Agatha will be released back to the public, or if she is fated to forever be a guest of the Case del Locos
“Bad Romance” plays as the credits roll.
American Horror Story: Hotel (Starbucks)
Lady Gaga is Stephanie (not Stefani), a down-on-her-luck 20-something with a degree in Classic Literature and a rampant caffeine and Adderall addiction, which she acquired while finishing her (ultimately rejected) thesis that surmised that each of the books from the Harry Potter series was representative of a single circle of Dante’s Hell, with the two extra being found on J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website.
Stephanie is a store manager at a Bridgeport, Connecticut Starbucks, housed in a Marriott Hotel lobby, and faces the daily horrors of adult contemporary covers of Radiohead and rich, gay regulars (Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, Lance Bass, Finn Witrock, Matt Bomer, Michael Chiklis, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Ryan Murphy).
That’s all that happens. Sometimes she sings to an empty store after closing, hoping that a record executive will hear her cries for help. In the heart-wrenching finale, one does (Jessica Lange), but, upon overhearing Stephanie, the executive walks up to the counter silently. The two make eye contact. The exec points two fingers at her own head, jolts her hand back, crosses her eyes and sticks out her tongue. Stephanie cries, again.
“Applause” plays as the credits roll.