Scream Queens (2015)
Showrunners: Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
From the creators of ‘Glee’ and ‘American Horror Story’ this has such weight behind it that seems impossible to fail, but can the mix of slasher-horror and sharp-edged humour find an audience? I think so.
Sorority queen Chanel (Emma Roberts) has to maintain her iron rule while fighting unwelcome changes to her regime, with things made a whole lot harder when a costumed serial killer starts targeting the girls of the house. Could the murders be linked to a tragic event that occurred there 20 years earlier?
Rather than just being a pilot episode only review, this show premiered with a double episode which is such a good way to get viewers on board especially when there are many characters to get to know. I’ve also had the chance to see the third episode of the season so that will be factored into this review as well.
Right from the start of the season it immediately sets the tone for the two main elements of the show. The very opening is striking with horror-infused images followed immediately by compassion-less bitchy dialogue that sets the tone of the humour. It’s a deliberately jarring mix that oddly works straight away if you embrace how harsh it is, these characters levels of compassion are shockingly low and their priorities are badly skewed, a trait that is echoed in both eras shown.
With the present-day setting of the same sorority in 2015, the house is filled with a star-studded cast including Abigail Breslin, and the doughnut licker herself Ariana Grande, as well as new pledges including Glee’s Lea Michele, and a rival house features frat boy Nick Jonas. Immediately you’re reminded of the producers behind the show, Murphy and Falchuk, whose ability to get big name stars in their other shows (Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Mirren in Glee and lots more in AHS) is clearly a cause for confidence from the network. Not all of the special guests will last long however, with around half a dozen characters dispatched in the first two episodes it has a death rate that rivals Game of Thrones! It’s a rate that is unlikely to be maintained throughout the whole season, but regular deaths are certain.
The horror infused deaths are really quite gory, yet somehow it does manage to stay funny, maintaining the mix with off-beat humour rather than just going for one over the other. The best example of that is a texting murder scene that was hilariously funny in its absurdity, thankfully having the courage of its convictions to stay with the joke through to the end to astounding effect. Other than the ‘action’, Ryan Murphy’s penchant for razor-sharp teen dialogue is definitely there. Bitchy girl dynamics are at the highest levels, this is a huge step above ‘Mean Girls’, with some lines delivered for pure comic effect and others shockingly harsh on a number of levels.
Clearly the story is going to be full of twists and turns so that we are never sure who the killer will be revealed as, with the show putting everyone in the frame at some point. I know that theories are abounding online as they often do with things like this, though for me there’s no clear idea in my head as the whom the killer truly is. The show brilliantly gets suspicions focused one way in an episode, then undermines that emerging frontrunner a few scenes later, with clear red herrings thrown in there.
Scream Queens could be a real 6 at a specially given the fact that people do you like PG 13 scared especially the ones that use the old school scare tactics rather than paranormal activity stupidity I think that this could have real legs especially given that the produce.
MTV have tried to turn ‘Scream’ into a series, maybe this is more the way to go, being on a more major network alone should attract a larger audience aside from the pedigree of the cast and crew. I am sure there’s a market for this kind of show, people do like sub-R-rated scares, especially those gained through old-school scare tactics rather than those used in the glut of ‘Paranormal Activity’ style rubbish. This could have real traction considering Ryan Murphy has proven able to gain the favour of both the teen and horror audiences before. If the storyline is properly developed in a way that can be sustained over more than just the freshman season, this could have a few years of big success ahead of it.