The 12th season of the popular FX anthology series, American Horror Story: Delicate, kicked off on Wednesday and marked one of the first big recurring scripted TV roles for reality superstar Kim Kardashian.
AHS features a revolving door of returning actors and fresh faces and was created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. This latest season is based on the novel Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine, described as a Rosemary’s Baby for a new generation.
This story for Delicate follows a woman named Anna, played by Emma Roberts, who is convinced that someone is going to great lengths to keep her from getting pregnant. The first episode, called “Multiply Thy Pain,” was directed by Jessica Yu and written by Murphy, Falchuk and Halley Feiffer. In it, viewers got to know Anna, a former The CW star turned indie film darling, along with some people from her inner circle like her husband Dexter, played by Matt Czuchry, and her publicist Siobhan, played by Kardashian.
And with all eyes on Kardashian for this season — literally much of the promotion was centered around her — here’s how her performance on the show so far is sitting with critics.
Kardashian is far and away the best part of AHS: Delicate. And nothing will prepare you for the shockingly vulgar first line of dialogue she says in the series: “Tell [them] to suck my cl*t!” … It's Kardashian who, based on [Wednesday] night’s premiere, is going to make this season truly worth watching. Her affected line readings and familiar face might make it hard to take the show completely seriously, but that’s exactly what AHS needs: a season that has given up on trying to be anything more than good, campy fun. — Coleman Spilde, Daily Beast
Little was known about the type of character mega-influencer Kim Kardashian would be playing for her AHS debut. Now we know she’s starring as a foul-mouthed publicist… In short order, Kardashian’s Siobhan Corbyn joked that her client Anna is suffering from dementia, dissed The CW, said that Anna “violating” herself is “called being an actress” and dropped at least one f-bomb. But Episode 1 also revealed that Siobhan met Anna at a IVF support group. As jaded as this publicist may be, prepare for emotional layers. Whether those layers are ultimately good or bad for Anna remains to be seen. — Kayla Cobb, The Wrap
The only normal person in Anna’s life seems to be her publicist and confidante, Siobhan… How’s Kim’s acting? She plays a dead-on Type A entertainment industry type who champions her doubting client that her life and career are great. You feel like Kim is channeling her mom-anager Kris Jenner with the greatest of homage. She’s perfect for the part. Everyone calm down, it’s not like Kim is playing Portia in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. — Anthony D'Alessandro, Deadline
The few times the premiere episode has a pulse come when Kardashian is onscreen. The shapewear mogul has long been called vapid and superficial by her critics. But here, she cleverly leans into that Valley girl persona, playing Anna’s concerned publicist Siobhan... And yes, Kardashian’s acting skills may be more People’s Choice than Emmy-worthy. But like American Horror Story alums Jessica Lange and Lady Gaga before her, she’s the only one so far to deliver on the season’s high-camp potential. — Patrick Ryan, USA Today
The attention shifting back to Kardashian is no doubt a welcome distraction for the show this week, after actress Angelica Ross accused Emma Roberts of making a transphobic remark on the set of American Horror Story in 2019, resulting in a phone call apology from Roberts.
This season will be split into two separate parts, with the first five episodes airing Wednesdays through October 18, while part two is set to debut sometime in 2024.