The smiley face appears to fit into the themes of phobias, cults, and clowns that are populating this season.
This is partly because Murphy and the other writers often change course when they stumble across a better idea, says Paulson, who is dating Two And A Half Men (2003-2015) actress Holland Taylor, 74.
"It was really about trying to understand: Why are people voting for X or Y candidate?"
As a outcome, the opening chapters of the program's seventh edition feel as if they're exploiting the current climate as much as commenting upon it. "Why are they feeling belittled or disenfranchised or upset with the patriarchal system?" The killer clown terror craze of 2016 acts as a springboard to the exploration behind the driving force of the latest election: fear. When Murphy first conceived his election-themed idea in early September, Hillary Clinton was the presumed victor and the opening scene he then imagined was "a little different", he said. The bloody smiley face sign could also represent phobias dwelling in a person: the bloody splotch most people don't see beneath a smiling exterior.
So where can this story go now that we've met some of the key players, and seen some very different sides to both Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters than what we've seen before? Next thing we know, she's going grocery shopping and strikes up a conversation with the store clerk who ends up being a "MAGA" hat-wearing Trump supporter.
The opening scene of "Election Night" garnered chills, with real footage of Trump and Hillary Clinton declaring "I am running for president of the United States!"
Winter has, in some fashion, pledged herself to Kai, engaging in a cult-like ritual in which they link pinkies and he asks her a series of personal questions, which she must answer honestly. That's what this show is about.
"We wanted to do Charles Manson for a long time, and I couldn't figure out how to do it", Murphy explained. "And there are many, many famous ones". Lena Dunham will play Valerie Solanas, a feminist who famously tried to murder Andy Warhol. Not only does charisma help win elections, but it can also sway people to follow cults and their charismatic leaders. The election brings out the characters' worst fears and most horrific fantasies. "But this year we don't have any of that".
Still, Murphy, who was an outspoken Clinton supporter, insists he didn't sneak his own political beliefs into the show. Whether or not the show gets political, the credits suggest that we're in for quite a season. It doesn't look to be an accident - at a press screening and Q&A last month, Murphy teased that he would take a "satirical" approach to Ally and Ivy's white privilege. "Part of being an artist is being able to write about the world you live in". Everything about the show, moreover, has been constructed to highlight partisan rifts, setting the story in MI (a state Trump narrowly won) and flitting around to topics like gun rights, race relations and immigration.
Some fans of American Horror Story have expressed their displeasure with this season's focus on politics, especially those who support President Trump.
Now for the Other Clowns, that's all due to Ally's coulrophobia, which pops up at the most inconvenient times. I've always campaigned on the Democratic side and that has gotten some degree of publicity.
Cult premiere had its fair share of freaky scenes - like when the gang of clowns terrorized Ally (Sarah Paulson) in the grocery store - but one of the most memorable moments also happens to be the most amusing: that Cheetos scene.
The disfigured Twisty the Clown played by John Carroll Lynch made his return to the hit horror franchise "American Horror Story" through an animated teaser. We're getting a hyper-condensed sampling of all the extremes here. Once viewers start seeing the show, he predicts that a lot of the anxiety will disappear. "But we've tried very careful to be fair", he noted.
"What did he tap into as a candidate?" This season seems to have planted roots in a terrifying social experiment started by a young, slovenly sociopath named Kai (Evan Peters), who seems to admire the fact that society may start to fall in line and hand over their rights because they're afraid. While this is happening, Winter is showing their son videos of murders online after witnessing the boy painting a picture of a clown with a knife and wants to show the real deal. "I should have understood more". And now for a bit of a stretch, but it also makes me a bit suspicious of Dr. Vincent. Some scenes are hard. As she makes her way through, she runs into about six of them doing various activities: skating around, loitering, banging in the cantaloupes, just general tomfoolery and stuff.