THW review of Scream Queens. Wait. Whaaaaaaat?
“Wait. Whaaaaat?” Ryan Murphy’s ‘Scream Queens’ reviewed for ‘The Horror Within Magazine’ by Mord McGhee.
This fall Ryan Murphy has whipped up a witchy little stew called ‘Scream Queens.’ Before I get too far into the review, I’ll share a pertinent recipe. Here goes, brew at own risk:
One scary mask.
A sprinkle of Devil Wears Prada
Two chunks of Glee
A vein or two of the Scooby gang Who-done-it.
A fresh squeeze of Revenge of the Nerds
A dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer one-liners
A sliver of the 80s camp-horror such as ‘Student Bodies’
Two ounces of outrageous behavior
Bring to boil. Cool in freezer (where you keep the bodies)
Put into shaker and pour over an excessively bloody ice cubes.
Now onto the show.
Sorority house Kappa Kappa Tao is good at keeping secrets. It’s important that they are because its rooms are brimming with confidences best left locked away. I’ll begin by explaining the title, “Wait. Whaaaaaat?”
If you watched the two-hour premier then you get it. If you haven’t, it went like this:
An villain appears with a girl alone in her sorority house bedroom. The scoundrel, clad in the school’s own Red Devil mascot uniform, comes at our girl Chanel (of which there’re quite a few Chanels… I lost track of which she was) as she packs post-disagreement with the boss Chanel.
To avoid interrupting her (and to keep the voice behind the mask anonymous), Red Devil sends Chanel a text. “I need to kill you.”
Chanel backs off and responds… by texting (from three feet away. I have teenagers, it happens). “Wait. Whaaaaaaat?” Red Devil charges Chanel and stabs her. Chanel continues to text, “Stop. Please!”
The Devil doesn’t stop. The knife rises and falls, spilling blood. Chanel dies AS SHE UPDATES HER SOCIAL MEDIA STATUS: “Help. The Red Devil is killing me!”
Pretty good stuff.
As for the cast…
Jamie Lee Curtis is fantastic in her role as new Dean of the college. She chews people up, spits them out, and spouts soliloquies of ‘What have I become?’ In my opinion, this is easily one of her best performances. Emma Roberts is the boss of KKT and I expected a strong presence after American Horror Story: Coven. She doesn’t disappoint. She’s obnoxious, spoiled, goes to any length to secure popularity, and when somebody tells her “you’re an awful person” she responds, “I’m pretty and I’m rich so it doesn’t really matter.”
The entire cast is strong enough to speculate that Ryan Murphy may have a cult classic on his hands. Too bad they’re doomed to die one by one… or more frequently as Hell Week showed us, because Scream Queens is no doubt a new guilty pleasure of mine. Here’s a few of the names in the show. Ariana Grande, Lea Michele, Niecy Nash, Nick Jonas, Nasim Pedrad, and Abigail Breslin.Well done.
There’re bright eyed heroines, 80s music and fashion, bumbling security guards, hard-boiled cops, and subplots galore. Is there a baby birthing during a party in the KKT house 18 years earlier where the sisters sing their jam, thus letting the mother bleed out in the bathtub?
Are there disappearing bodies that keep the killer’s identity open-ended?
Are there frat boys doing ridiculous things?
Hell yeah, bro.
Is Scream Queens scary?
No. It’s twisted, campy, and fun.
Scary? It’s not supposed to be.
You know what, I’m a sucker for ‘dumb.’ Leslie Nielsen’s my all-time favorite action hero and if he were still with us, he’d be in this self-proclaimed ‘horror-comedy.’ To sum up, I say 4.5 out of 5 Cthulhus. It’s enjoyable on every front except for the fast-forward disabling network that currently owns the show. F-them and F-the person that invented commercial FF disabling.
Why am I adamant about that? “It’s only a few commercials, Mord,” you say. “Scream Queens is worth it.”
Okay, I can see that Scream Queens is worth it… but when I watch 90 minutes of a 120-minute program and it glitches out because of a local weather flash… then forces me to crawl over the first 90 minutes again… I say F-you FOX.
You hurt your own programming and brand.
Oh by the way, I’ve worked with a few scream queens in real life and the writers nailed it. Until next time, remember it’s only horror television, not a bag of burgers.