My hopes are pinned on American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX) to end with a stripped-to-the-waist fight to the finish between Dandy Mott, the bodybuilding mama's boy with the heart of John Wayne Gacy, and Jimmy Darling, sideshow "lobster boy" with a kindly heart but a hot temper. I won't hold my breath. Things I want this badly almost never come to pass.
Dandy (as played by Finn Wittrock) is a sissified wrestling heel without a wrestling ring to spritz with perfume. In this past week's episode he made a pointed (far too pointed) assertion that he's no "fruit." But the denial of gayness is poignantly ironic because it was so necessary: every other aspect of the character spells "gay gimmick" in pro wrestling, and I, for one, can't wait for this pantywaist to get what's coming to him. I only hope it will be sexy and protracted.
This season especially is full of gay--and it's not just a question of subtext. Straight-identified Jimmy Darling (played by Evan Peters) first appears in the opening episode in black leather from hat to boots, looking like a biker from Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising (1963). Several of the major characters have been identified as homosexual or bisexual, though deeply closeted (this season is set in 1952) and all villainous to varying degrees.
For me, though, the season's real subtext is wrestling; with characters with names like Dell Toledo, Amazon Eve, GoGo McGregor, and Twisty the Clown, this is a cast that might feel at home in the squared circle. It's too much to hope for, but I do hope Dandy's comeuppance involves some body slams, side headlocks, scissor holds, hair-pulling, and a rear naked choke. I know it would if I were Ryan Murphy.