I can’t do horror. I mute my TV and hide under a pillow if a commercial for a horror movie makes its way into the lineup. When I first heard about the new fall show “Scream Queens” early last summer, I was a little skeptical about it. At first, I wasn’t sure whether or not to mute my TV and hide when its commercial came on. I decided to sit through the commercial. It didn’t seem that scary and it was filled with iconic stars from my childhood.
On Sept. 22, I decided to plant myself in front of the TV (pillow ready and thumb hovering over the mute button) to watch the two-hour premiere of “Scream Queens.”
The episode begins with a party set 20 years ago at the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority house. One of the pledges has a baby in a tub during the party, and her sisters naively let her bleed out. This sets the scene for the rest of the episode. I again became a little skeptical about the show after seeing this haunting scene, so I proceeded with caution.
Suddenly, Emma Roberts flashes onto the screen as Chanel Oberlin, the current president of Kappa Kappa Tau. Roberts plays the perfect spoiled mean girl. She has the clothes, the minions, the power and even the boy. Instantly, she is one of the most-hated characters on the show, but also the most envied; she is perfection.
The rest of the star-studded cast is introduced to the show. Abigail Breslin and Ariana Grande play two of Chanel’s minions. Jamie Lee Curtis is introduced as Dean Cathy Munsch. Curtis’s character is a grown-up version of Roberts, but uses more manipulation.
The show really takes off when the new Kappa pledges are introduced. Among the actors who star as pledges are Keke Palmer, Skyler Samuels and Lea Michele. These girls do not meet Chanel’s standards, so she decides to scare them away. Her plan goes sour and she accidently ends up killing the housemaid. Events that follow include the disappearance of the body and the entrance of the Red Devil. The Red Devil kills off Grande’s character and beheads one of the pledges with a lawn mower.
Luckily the show is not too graphic in the killing scenes. It leaves a lot more up to the imagination. In this way, “Scream Queens” is not your typical horror show, like “American Horror Story” or “Scream.” The dialogue is very ironic at times, and the “scary” scenes are more comedic than they are horrific.
A scene in the second episode of “Scream Queens” exemplifies this notion. The Dickie Dollar Scholars, the male counterpart to Kappa Kappa Tau, decide to take on the Red Devil with baseball bats in order to avenge the death of their friend Boone, played by Nick Jonas. In this scene, the group of boys are walking around the streets wearing head-to-toe white outfits, while the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” plays in the background. The combination of the music, the boys’ outfits and their stupidity makes this one of the most hilarious scenes yet. Two of the boys end up getting killed, but the fight is long, hard and hysterical.
Although the show revolves around the notion of a masked serial killer, most of the scenes and especially the dialogue are more satirical. It dares to poke fun at college students, Greek life and the general unrealism of horror movies, by exaggerating all of these. The mean girls are meaner; the relationships are more dramatic; and the murders don’t always add up. Regardless of the irony, we can all connect a little bit with some of the humor “Scream Queens” incorporates regarding college life.
In the show, two students, Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels) and Pete Martinez (Diego Boneta) make it their mission to unmask the Red Devil. The investigation seems a lot like “Pretty Little Liars” and the girls’ attempt to find “A.” There are a list of suspects who all have motives. Grace and Pete will stop at nothing to figure out who the devil is and if he or she is the descendent of the Kappa girl who died 20 years ago. No one is safe in Kappa Kappa Tau, nor is anyone affiliated with it.
Some other highlights from “Scream Queens” include the couture fashion worn by Kappa Kappa Tau members and the incredible performance by the star-studded cast.
As the season of “Scream Queens” continues there’s sure to be many more shameless jokes, murders and investigations. The new question on everyone’s mind is: Who is the Red Devil?