Before diving into Scream Queens, let me just say that we have a spotty past with Ryan Murphy. The first few seasons of Glee were actually pretty delightful. And, as of right now, we’re 50/50 with American Horror Story — seasons one and three were good (although Coven‘s ending was incredibly disappointing); we watched only three episodes of Asylum before falling off; and then there’s Freakshow, the train wreck with zero direction. So, yeah, it’s been spotty.
But based on the premise, the promos, and the cast, Scream Queens looked to be oodles of fun (despite Murphy thinking he invented the horror-comedy genre). And after watching last night’s premiere, it did not disappoint. Phew…
The two-hour premiere (double episodes) spewed bitchitude from every angle as Emma Robert’s Chanel No. 1 reigned supreme as the KKT sorority leader. I have to wonder — is Roberts a bitch in real life? She wears it well. And every TV reviewer from here to the moon likened the “Chanels” (Roberts and her pack of unnamed minions played by Ariana Grande, Abigail Breslin, and Billie Lourd) to the ladies of Heathers, Jawbreakers, and Mean Girls — to name a few. That’s a good group of big-bad girls to be associated with — if you can ascend to/maintain their level.
But these popular girls are getting hit hard when the school’s angry, KKT-hating Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) orders the sorority to let anyone pledge — namely a crew of misfits and presumably our leading lady/final girl, Grace (Skyler Samuels). And on top of that debacle, there’s also a masked killer making the rounds with the girls, the pledges and then some. This semester is really going to suck, yeah?
In short, it’s a modern-day sorority slasher rife with clear satire, sharp dialogue, narcissistic young adults you love to hate and actual mystery. Plus, Jamie Lee Curtis is bringing the sass and spice as Dean Munsch. See ya later, Laurie Strode.
Without spoiling anything, below are a few bits of note:
- Who knew Lea Michele could be so funny? Leading lady no more, Michele is a mere pledge in Scream Queens. A back brace-adorned pledge with an obsession for death (and fitting in). Her lines were few and far between, but the girl was deadpan hysterical.
- Another surprise: Nick Jonas and Glen Powell. My limited knowledge of these dudes begins and ends with Camp Rock for Jonas and The Expendables 3 for Powell. Over-the-top comedy works well for them.
- Camp. This show is campy to the point of being borderline slapstick and/or parodic. From Ariana Grande texting with the killer (“Wait, whhhaaaaaaat??”) to the rom-com kiss shared between Grace and the nosy barista/school reporter, Pete (Diego Boneta). Cue “If You Were Here,” by the Thompson Twins. Seriously. THAT HAPPENED.
- Abigail Breslin plays Chanel No. 5 — like the perfume. There is no Chanel No. 4 (she died in some backstory). In a weird way, I have to believe Breslin’s character name is no coincidence. Like, it’s going to mean something later. Maybe?
Going forward, I’m going to stay cautious because Murphy’s let me down before. Though, the man does know how to hit the ground running with new shows. And even if that’s the case here and we get one really good season of Scream Queens, then that’s something. After all, it’s another anthology series…