Ryan Murphy creates another cult hit.
by Rey Galvan (Staff Writer) – 12/20/15
Scream Queens, one of the latest series to premiere on Fox, has arrived this fall, attempting to blend both horror and comedy together.
Scream Queens is penned by the creators of American Horror Story and Glee, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan. At first sight, it seems impossible for the show to pull off both horror and comedy together. The two hour pilot episode was not a disappointment as some would think; it was nearly able to pull off the perfect mix of the two wildly different genres. One of the best things from Scream Queens is the comedy. While it may be not everybody’s taste of humor, the actresses and actors kill it with their one liners. Chanel Oberlin aka Kappa Kappa Tau’s resident mean girl (played by American Horror Story: Coven’s Emma Roberts) most memorable line and the most catchiest is, “What fresh hell is this?” The writers cleverly crafted some of the best lines for each character that best goes with the personality from Zayday Williams, played by Keke Palmer, to the weird yet hilarious Hester Ulrich played by Lea Michele.
As mentioned, comedy is a huge force for the show as it drastically sets the tone so it’s not too dark. Murphy uses brilliant dialogue that is very satirical of today’s modern society and conveys it the most through Roberts’ character, who at times says things that might be really offensive and can set some viewers off.
As Roberts stated, “It’s Mean Girls meets Friday the 13th. I think it’s laugh out loud funny, it’s edge out of your seat scary…”
There are two scenes that cleverly demonstrate this in the beginning of the series which is the death of Tiffany aka Deaf Taylor and Ariana Grande’s character, Chanel #2. Grande easily has one of the most memorable scenes of Scream Queens; she texts the Red Devil, the costumed villain of the show, to not kill her and a little dance ensues. She is stabbed not once, not twice, but three times and that’s after she decides to tweet that she is being murdered by the Red Devil.
The direction and writing is very well done with every twist and turn sure to shock anyone. RIB (the writing team name for Ryan, Ian, and Brennan) does an excellent job at making every character very guilty or make you question whether they are the masked murderer. No character is black or white, everyone has a shade of grey to their story. Although the writing seems very great, it also lacks in some episodes so far. With a huge cast like the one it has, you would believe they would kill off main characters pivotal to the series. However, that is not the case. The writers choose to kill off characters we meet and don’t have the chance to connect with. The stakes should be raised and the writers should begin to kill characters off that are relevant to the series. One show that does this really well is How To Get Away With Murder, which takes no mercy and kills characters to increase the pace and create the right dose of suspense.
Everyone in the cast has different methods of acting, and I can’t judge everyone individually. However, I can say overall their acting is average and some are real breakout stars for the series. Emma Roberts pulls off Chanel really well, making her cold and very sassy. However, it does seem that she comes off a little whiny instead of vindictive. Keke Palmer, Skyler Samuels, Glen Powell, Lea Michele, and Niecy Nash all round up the best acting of the show. They all manage to make you feel different emotions and connect with them on a different level. The latter three are downright hilarious in their own right.
While the show does seem perfect for some people tuned into it, it has it’s faults. For one, Grace (played by Skyler Samuels) is a charming character and the heroine of the show, who seems like the character to root for. However, the writers slip up and give her some moments that make you question if you are rooting for the right character. One such moment is when Gigi pretends that the Red Devil hit her yet she had no mark on there. Grace doesn’t see it despite the fact that she has proven she is very intelligent. The show has very amazing ideas for great plots yet some of them fall very flat at times.
Another thing that seems rather irritating is the usage of guest stars. Ariana Grande was hyped for so much of the time for fans yet was killed within the first episode. While her death was iconic, her other guest appearances didn’t seem right, especially her most recent one in “Beware of Young Girls.”
Grande can be highlighted in a better way, but the writers make her return, not feel that worth it.
With only four episodes left until we discover who the Red Devil is, I’m hoping the pace accelerates a bit more as it did for the recent episode “Mommie Dearest” and have the right dose of plot as it did. Nick Jonas’ return as Boone is something that many are awaiting with it setting up many twists with whom he could be connected with and why he is the Red Devil’s helper. Answers are very important and as the season or series comes to an end, that is something that the writers need to give the fans moving forward in these episodes. Overall I give Scream Queens a rating of 8.5/10.