Killer TV Shows: Scream Queens

American teen horror-comedy Scream Queens has the fashion of Clueless, the gore of American Horror Story and the secrets of Pretty Little Liars. Think fluffy lined, powder pink, designer miniskirts and knee-high socks, but splattered with blood and shrouded in secrets.

Created by the same team who brought us Glee and American Horror Story, we expect nothing less than an all-star cast. There are plenty of famous faces featured in the first episode, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’ll all survive it. We see A-listers Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas and other recognizable actors, such as Skyler Samuels and (American Horror Story, The Duff) Diego Boneta (Pretty Little Liars).  However, two of the casting choices had me confused.  You might recognize one of the Chanels, Abigail Breslin, from her role as the younger sister in ‘My Sisters Keeper.’ The choice to put her in a teen-horror-comedy felt odd to me, but what surprised me the most was seeing Waterloo Road’s Lucien Laviscount playing one of the frat boys. It’s always odd seeing a relatively low-profile British actor in big budget American TV or film like this, but even odder is the fact he is English, but can’t do an English accent…

Scream Queens starts with a flashback to 1995. A member of ‘Kappa Kappa Tau’ has given birth to what she thought was a ‘bread baby’ or ‘freshman fifteen’ (lbs), in the bathtub at their sorority house party. When the frat sisters allow the girl to die post-partum surrounded by her own blood so they can keep partying, it sets the tone for the series and one of the shows mysteries begins: where is the baby now?

Fast-forward to present day 2015, Emma Roberts, ‘Chanel Oberlin’ wakes up perfectly preened and perfectly awful as head of the Sorority ‘Kappa Kappa Tau’ at Wallace University. If playing Madison Montgomery in American Horror Story’s third season, ‘Coven’, wasn’t enough to prove Roberts as the perfect choice as the beautifully toxic female lead, this role cements it. Along with her ‘minions,’ Chanel numbers 2/3/5, all clad in her namesake, we are given our first taste of her razor sharp tongue and classic mean-girl attitude. 

Jamie Lee Curtis is introduced as the dean of the university, Dean Munsch, and has plenty to say about her hatred towards sororities and we soon learn she is implicated in the murder mystery. Despite the ‘red devil’ serial killer picking off the Kappa sisters and other students, the most unsettling event for them is hearing they must now accept anyone who wishes to join. In the words of Chanel, ‘the dregs of society,’ are now allowed to pledge Kappa. In the form of ‘neck brace’, ‘deaf Taylor Swift’, ‘predatory lez’, and the apparent threat of ‘fatties and ethnics.’ You really want to hate Chanel, and I do, but I also kind of love her.

The awfully great bitchy lead role cannot exist without the completely contrasting shy, do-gooder, in the form of Grace (Sklyer Samuels), who is begged by her father not to join a sorority, and warned by the cute barista about the ‘evil’ Kappa house. We see good-girl-Grace try and honor her dead mother, an ex-Kappa pledge and shake unsure-of-herself nature by vowing to help expose the house’s ghastly secrets, the sub-plot for the series.

Without too many spoilers, Scream Queens' first episode proved to be a good one. Filled with murder and yep, you guessed it, screaming, it’s dark humor and moments where you think, ‘did they really just say that?’ keep you hooked. While it may be filled with superficial characters, it also touches on more contemporary issues such as gender stereotypes and sexism. The sound of screaming and the constant clicking of the impossibly glamorous high-heeled characters seems like the perfect soundtrack to murderously good TV show.