It has been over 3 weeks since my last post! Sorry I took so long! I have been bogged down with school and work, and life in general. I decided to check out Scream Queens and do a preliminary review of the show. Like the Solo at the Cinema reviews, they are in a similar report card manner. I really wish I could do more reviews, but I will do them as opportunities arise.
Starring: Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Skyler Samuels, Nick Jonas, Keke Palmer, Lea Michelle
Creators: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan
Being a huge fan of 80’s and 90’s films, it was easy to spot the multitude of influences from the both the teen and horror movies of the era, particularly with movies such as Heathers, Mean Girls, and Jaw Breaker. The show has also been dubbed as a cross between American Horror Story and Glee- which I could definitely sense. It’s from Ryan Murphy after all. While the story line isn’t very original and probably does a huge disservice to the Greek community, it kept me entertained. A lot of action was packed into the premier, so at the end, I had compiled a bunch of theories on who is behind the Devil costume, and what really happened after the bathtub death. I’m pretty excited to see how everything pans out. I was a little annoyed at the amount of death in the first episode, but I have a feeling that Chanel No. 2 (Ariana Grande) will be back. Come on, she is heavily featured in almost all the promotional material. You can’t tell me she’s gone already can you?
In my opinion, the visual appeal of this show was probably more important to the creators than the writing. Ryan Murphy employed a multitude of teen social media sensations such as Emma Roberts, Ariana Grande, and Nick Jonas- knowing the millenials all would freak out and be posting the gifs of the doll-faced Donut Licker herself gracefully dying, salivating over the suggestive close-ups of Nick’s half-naked body, and drool over the fashion porn that is Emma’s wardrobe. Even though the first episode hasn’t been out a full 48 hours, gifs are splattered all over the internet.
Ear Porn: B+
The mystery stems from a bathroom death in 1995, so the soundtrack is filled with lots of throwback hits by artists such as TLC (Waterfalls forever tainted by a dead girl bleeding in a tub), the Thompson Twins, Bon Jovi, and Corey Hart. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more as the season progresses. Since most music I listen to comes from prior to 2000, I’m pretty pumped.
POC Reppin’: C
I am glad to see people of color in strong supporting roles, but I did not appreciate their typecasting at times. Zayday (Keke Palmer) is the token Black girl of the Kappa house. She’s loud. She talks improperly, and is often the voice of reason. This isn’t much different from Niecy Nash’s character- “officer” Denise Hempville who is appointed to look after the girls in the house. She’s broke and eager for a pay day (She mentions her phone being turned off), loud, the one voice of reason, and she runs scared at the drop of a hat. Zayday is one of the misfits that tries to pledge Kappa Kappa Tau along with an Asian lesbian (Jeanna Han), a deaf Taylor Swift worshiper, a candle blogger (Breezy Eslin), a death-enthusiast with a neck brace (Lea Michelle), and the pretty “unique rebel” (Skyler Samuels).
In the first episode, there were a couple jokes against POC’s that people may deem offensive. Chanel obviously has a strong distaste of all outsiders- including “ethnics”. Chanel calls the house maid “White Mammy”, and while writing on Zayday’s skin during a hazing ritual, she complains that she has to get a white pencil in order for the writing to be legible. Lastly, a line that caught me off guard is when Chanel’s lawyer Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad, another POC!) mentions an all-white party, where all guests are encouraged to wear and be white.
Girl Power: TBD
In my opinion, there is still a lot more to see before I make a final decision on the feminism in this show. As of now the score is fairly low due to the atmosphere in the Kappa house. The sisters glorify consumerism and appearances, tear each other down, and subject themselves to men. The group of misfits are made into caricatures. There’s only emphasis placed on how different and “weird” they are. There is still a lot of information to be seen. The light in the tunnel is Grace, who is a less peppy Sidney White. Raised by a single father, she looks to the Kappa house to fill a maternal void. She’s independent, smart, and speaks her mind against Pete’s (Diego Boneta) constant advances, as well as constantly butts heads with Chanel. Of the pledges, she is the only one to truly refuse Chanel’s bribes.
Nielsen Premier Rating: C
While Scream Queens had the highest social media interaction prior to its premier, it did not have the highest ratings. It was surpassed by The Muppets and Limitless. The target audience for the show would probably be streaming it or illegally downloading it instead. According to Deadline, there were a lot of mentions, but low intentions to watch. Scream Queens is probably headed to cult status, with a modest but loyal audience. This show is proof that a lot of social media buzz does not always translate to views.