One of my favorite things to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon is to break out some of that sweet nostalgia and rewatch one of the movies or TV shows I liked as a kid. There's nothing quite like watching a Disney movie with (relatively) grown-up eyes and catching the jokes aimed at presumably bored parents that you might have missed back in the day. Even if you don't wind up finding something new, it's worth it just to go back to those childhood days of quality time with your favorite VHS tapes.
On one such rainy Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, I found myself scrolling through my Netflix queue with a trip down memory lane on my mind. After considering a few titles (Ahh! Real Monsters! and The Land Before Time, for all you 90's kids out there), I finally hit nostalgia gold in the form of a plucky little piglet looking adorably back at me from the screen. That's right: it was totally time to watch Babe.
Babe was one of my all-time favorite movies as a kid. I mean, come on, it's an underdog story with talking barnyard animals and singing field mice. There's really nothing not to love. So, my decision made, I settled onto the couch, maximized the Netflix screen, and hit play, expecting to be transported to simpler times, times of joy and whimsy.
But no such transportation was to occur. Why, you ask?
Goddamn American Horror Story.
If you've seen Babe, you'll remember Arthur Hoggett the lovable, soft-spoken farmer. He's a man of few words who is eventually coaxed into singing and dancing a jig by his incredibly precious love for an incredibly precious piglet (Babe, of the title.)
Arthur's character is made even more endearing in contrast to his portly red-faced wife, Esme, who does most of his talking for him--they kind of have a Jack Sprat thing going on.
I always liked Arthur's character as a kid. I kind of totally wanted him to be my grandpa and give me quiet, understated sagely advice....and you know what? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Point is, Arthur Hoggett is an amazing character. You almost have to physically restrain yourself from giving a full-blown standing ovation when Arthur and Babe triumph against the odds and win the big sheep-herding tournament (SPOILER ALERT, but not really, because come on this is a kid's movie,) and Arthur goes, "That'll do, pig. That'll do."
When I re-watched Babe, I expected to encounter the same old Arthur Hoggett I'd rooted for in the past. However, unbeknownst to me, something had changed irreparably. I would never be able to watch Babe the same way again.
Why's that, you might ask? I'll give you a hint:
Having spent the entire past season of American Horror Story watching the horrible antics of Dr. Arden, James Cromwell is now forever tainted by Nazi medicine and wheelbarrows full of body parts. While I was watching Babe, every time I looked at Arthur Hoggett's formerly sweet face beneath his jaunty little cap, all I could see was horrible Dr. Arden cutting Chloe Sevigny's legs off for making fun of his small dick.
As if to add insult to injury, Dr. Arden's fake "I'm totally not a Nazi, you guys, seriously" first name is also Arthur. It's like they're mocking me.
So thanks, AHS. Thanks for totally ruining Babe and obliterating a cherished relic of my childhood. If you weren't such an amazing show, I'd totally stop watching you in protest.