Why Michigan? Why?
In a one-word answer to a Twitter question last month, TV auteur Ryan Murphy revealed that Michigan would be the setting for the upcoming season of "American Horror Story."
Ever since then, Michiganders have been trying to figure out the reason for the choice.
What little we do know: The FX horror anthology will take place in a time frame shortly after the 2016 presidential election. The official title will be “American Horror Story: Cult," which indicates ... a Michigan cult?
Michigan— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) July 21, 2017
The visuals at the hint-dropping AHSCult.com website are dominated by videos of creepy clowns. The show's official poster shows a woman in harlequin makeup whose exposed brain is a honey-dripping hive dotted with bees.
The FX network isn’t offering explanations of how Michigan figures in the script. Thus, speculation is our only alternative. What, you expected us to leave this alone and wait patiently for answers?
Here are four possible theories for why "AHS: Cult" is putting the scary into the Mitten State.
Trump's victory: Michigan was a key battleground state in the 2016 race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In fact, Trump won Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes out of nearly 4.8 million cast, or what “American Horror Story” might call a supernaturally close margin.
The creepy clown outbreak of 2016: Remember back in October, when a rash of disturbing clown stories made news across metro Detroit? The Free Press described the incidents as ranging “from the absurd to the dangerous, where men and women dressed as clowns are doing everything from scaring kids to robbing hotels and banks." Could someone on the "AHS: Cult" writing team have heard about cases and been inspired for the seventh season narrative?
Follow the honey: Michigan honey production increased two percent last year, to more than 5.3 million pounds, according to the Michigan Farmer website. The state ranked eighth in honey production in the United States. With honey and bees an integral part of the promo art, Michigan has a legitimate claim to whatever stings await.
The Dunham factor: This really stretches credibility, but consider that "Girls” creator/star Lena Dunham will be appearing in “AHS: Cult.” Remember in the HBO series, how her Brooklyn-based character, Hannah, was originally from East Lansing and visited her parents in Michigan? If Dunham reprises her "Girls" role for "AHS: Cult" somehow ... oh, never mind.
P.S.: A contest to win a walk-on part in "AHS: Cult" (that benefits Children's Hospital Los Angeles) indicates the winner will be flown to the set in Los Angeles, where the show is being filmed. That's L.A., as in not Michigan. Sigh.
“American Horror Story: Cult” will have its season premiere at 10 p.m. Sept. 5.
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Contact Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or email@example.com.
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