Imagine a stereotypical haunted sorority house in 1995. Girls are drunkenly swaying to TLC’s “Waterfall” while a sister, who is unaware of her own pregnancy, gives birth in the upstairs bathtub and bleeds to death as her drunk sisters admonish her for being gross and ruining the party. Welcome to the horrifying opening of Ryan Murphy’s 2015 horror comedy series, “Scream Queens.”
In the pilot episode, the aforementioned sorority, Kappa Kappa Tau, is commencing its rush week in 2015 at the fictional Wallace College. To the dismay of the KKT president, Chanel (Emma Roberts), the Dean, Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), has a mysterious vendetta against the sorority, and decrees that they must accept anyone who wishes to pledge them. This leaves KKT with all of the awkward and nerdy girls, which equates to social suicide for the sorority. By the end of the episode, the sorority’s maid, Mrs. Bean, dies when her face is scalded in hot oil; one of Chanel’s minions, Chanel Number Two, is fatally stabbed; and a deaf pledge’s head is mowed off.
Famously known for creating “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” Murphy did a 180 with Scream Queens as it is one of his most terrible projects thus far. The show is neither horrifying nor comedic, and it is difficult to get through an entire episode without wanting to bang your head against a table for sacrificing so many valuable and limited brain cells on such a disaster.
Not only is the acting unbearable, but the characters have absolutely no depth. There is nothing unique about them besides the blatant fact that they are pretty much all creepy. And if they are all creepy, then it just goes to defend the point that none of them are special.
Moreover, there seems to be quite a few unnecessary characters, like Jennifer the Candle Vlogger. It is too early to tell whether or not all the characters will have a key role in the series, but the first episode proved that quantity does not mean quality.
The show tries too hard to make every scene both funny and scary. There are few, if any, forced laughs, and every “thrilling” scene is even more predictable than the one before it. In fact, the masked serial killer known as the Red Devil takes away any remaining scary aspects of the show with its foolish and hilarious outfit.
The unrealistic storyline is one of the most agonizing parts of the show. For instance, as Chanel Number Two is being murdered, she throws aside her phone in order to get on her laptop and tweet to her followers for help. Murphy ineffectively attempts to satirize this generation’s excessive use of social media. Instead of being able to relate, viewers are left shaking their heads at the stupidity of the characters.
Nothing is more unbearable than the rape innuendos and sexual favors highlighted throughout the show. From the Dean trying to seduce every man she encounters to frat boys canoodling in bed, there is barely a single scene that isn’t overtly sexual. Yes, sex sells. But when used so frequently and unabashedly, it is disgusting and deterring.
The show is an injustice to Murphy’s previous works, and it leaves viewers unamused. Whether you are trying to find a new series to get hooked onto or you are trying to get jolted into the Halloween spirit, steer clear of Scream Queens – it isn’t worth the horror.