“American Horror Story: Double Feature” started strong with — what else? — a two-part opener. Episode one of the show introduced many of the main players of our first “Red Tide” feature: the hapless Gardner Family (which includes actors Finn Wittrock, Lily Rabe, and Ryan Kiera Armstrong), Tuberculosis Karen (Sarah Paulson), Police Chief Burleson (Adina Porter), Mickey the sex worker (Macaulay Culkin), playwright Austin Sommers (Evan Peters) and romance novelist Belle Noir (Frances Conroy). We also got introduced to the feral monsters that occupy P-Town when John Waters is out of town.
Each character got their own iconic entrance to the series. Alma Gardner counted roadkill as her parents drove into Provincetown. Mickey propositioned Harry Garnder for a little frottage, and Tuberculosis Karen shrieked warnings that went unheeded by the Gardners — this town, she insists, will eat them alive. And by the end of the two-parter, it sure looks like that’s going to be the case.
But as the social media response has proven, it was the introductory scene for Belle and Austin that really delighted fans.
Who doesn’t love a little Islands in the Stream?
Austin Sommers (Evan Peters) and Sarah “Belle Noir” Cunningham (Frances Conroy) make their “AHS: Double Feature” debut as a double feature themselves.
In local tavern The Muse, Harry Gardner first sees the vampy (campy) power couple doing a duet of “Islands in the Stream.” The song, of course, was first lodged in the pop culture consciousness by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. The chorus was interpolated in “Ghetto Superstar” — a collab by Pras, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Mya for the “Bulworth” soundtrack. And who could forget its other big televised rendition, between Michael Scott and Jim Halpert on “The Office”?
Adina Porter tweeted her appreciation of Peters and Conroy’s piano bar rendition of the song, writing “Fact: Evan Peters & Frances Conroy’s duet = one of my favorite things ever.” Other fans agreed: @SarParScaup replied “Ohhhh, to be a BARFLY in that room!” Meanwhile, @twistypaulson concurred, writing: “I yelped with excitement!”
Another fan, @sophiarussola, demanded that Peters play accompaniment next time: “Even better (next time?) would be Evan on the piano, to further showcase his many delightful talents.”
Since it looks like the Gardners are stuck in P-Town for a little while longer, this fan may get their wish.
“American Horror Story: Double Feature” airs Wednesdays on FX.