pick of the week
American Horror Story: Hotel Monday, 9.30pm, Eleven
After watching this you’ll want to sleep with the lights on and a chair jammed against the door next time you stay in a hotel. In the fifth season of this horror anthology series, Lady Gaga stars as Elizabeth — known as the Countess — a several hundred years old bloodsucking fashionista who owns a spooky hotel in downtown Los Angeles and is the mother of 10 vampire children. That alone should give you an idea of where this is going. The first episode, Checking In, sees homicide detective John Lowe investigate a chain of gruesome murders that finds him at the Hotel Cortez, home to some pretty unusual guests. You’d think they couldn’t come much weirder than the Addiction Demon, who roams the hotel armed with a drill-bit dildo, but alas they do. There are references to the Ten Commandments, a lot of gore, the dead don’t always stay dead, and frightening things hide under the beds. (Not the sort of thing you find on TripAdvisor.) Various events at LA’s more notorious hotels were the inspiration for Hotel Cortez, but it’s a bit of a stretch to think creator Ryan Murphy ( Glee, Scream Queens) came across anything quite like this. American Horror Story has won 40 of its 171 award nominations including the Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries won by Jessica Lange, who starred in the previous four seasons.