Excellent work, Ryan Murphy.
The mega-producer lured us back into his gruesome, gimmicky fold with Season 12 of FX’s anthology series “Delicate,” starring none other than Kim Kardashian, just when we thought we’d finally escaped “American Horror Story,” which has been virtually unwatchable for nearly a decade.
The “PAW: Patrol” actress and reality TV personality plays a significant role in the latest episode (, Wednesdays at 10 EDT/PDT and streaming on Hulu), which centers on a young woman (Emma Roberts) who may be pregnant with Satan’s offspring. This wretched new season is stillborn with a tired riff on “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Hollywood starlet Anna Victoria Alcott – Julia Roberts
Shortly after the season premiere begins, Hollywood starlet Anna Victoria Alcott (Julia Roberts) and her spouse (Matthew Czuchry) struggle to start a family and attend yet another fertility appointment. Anna awakens with excruciating pain following the egg retrieval, and it is immediately apparent that something is awry. (“Nothing worth waiting for is ever easy,” a stoic nurse reassures her.) In addition, there is a disturbing doctor, questionable prescriptions, and a woman who may or may not be Anna’s stalker.
In other words, nothing that hasn’t already been seen in dozens of other horror films (or, for that matter, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” whose gruesome birth scene left us permanently traumatized). It doesn’t help that Roberts and Czuchry have all the flames of a campfire during monsoon season, and their one-note performances are even more damped by banal writing.
When Kardashian appears onscreen, the premiere episode has a vitality. Critics have long labeled the shapewear magnate as insipid and superficial. But here, as Anna’s concerned publicist Siobhan, she deftly embraces this Valley girl persona. She savages everyone from Hilary Swank to the directors of “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once,” and turns Waldorf into word salad. (“You have a strange proclivity for turning dreams into nightmares,” Siobhan observes as Anna’s confidante and walking exposition.)
When Anna receives a late-night booking on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” the merciless one-liners continue, and Siobhan is forced to console her rapidly unraveling client. (“Oh, don’t cry, honey. Andy will not tolerate puffiness on your face.”)
Sure, there are some terrible jokes about Tom Sandoval and other “Bravolebrities.” And, granted, Kardashian’s acting abilities may be more People’s Choice than Emmy-worthy. But, like “American Horror Story” alums Jessica Lange and Lady Gaga before her, she’s the only one so far to deliver on the season’s high-camp potential.
And for that, Kim, we thank you. You’re doing fantastic, honey.