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‘Scream Queens’ is More of a Whisper

The week of September 21 brought many things. The first week of classes started up at NU, along with an onslaught of sleep deprivation and the arrival of one of the most anticipated shows of the fall: Scream Queens. Unless you had no internet, there is a 99% chance you heard about the new Fox show through Twitter, news or the like. And if you know me, I love myself a good Ryan Murphy show. So, was I impressed? Had my months of seemingly endless waiting been worth it? Nope. Definitely not.

On paper, this show had everything and most certainly spelled out “hit.” The production and writing team consisted of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, who are at the top of their game right now. There was a long list of top actors: Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Jonas, etc. And the premise of the show was new and refreshing. Aside from the Scary Movie franchise, there hasn’t been a huge attempt to mix comedy and horror, especially not in a television format. In theory, this was supposed to be my new obsession, my new reason for homework procrastination.

So what went wrong? The hit-or-miss comedy and the not-so-horror horror aspect of the show. I am a girl who loves stupid-funny movies; always have, always will. There’s a new Seth Rogen movie? Count me in. Channing Tatum is collaborating with Andy Samberg? Hit me up with a movie ticket.

But the dialogue and “comedy” of Scream Queens was just stupid and silly, severely lacking on the funny. There are lines that are nonchalantly racist and offensive. In Scream Queens, the jokes were just being thrown left and right in a non-strategic type of way. It wasn’t smart or clever. I honestly feel like the writers got some of the banter from a high school lunch table.

And the stereotypes are out in all their horrific glory. You have the frat bros, the sorority girls, the nerds, and the help. The sorority girls were overly mean. The boys were overly dumb and narcissistic. The nerds suffered from every ailment and the worst social awkwardness that could have been dreamt up.

I also really don’t appreciate shows where the characters have little to no common sense, which is why I stopped watching The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars (although I keep coming back to those two). So the fact that people are dying and no one wants to call the cops, report the missing bodies or even help a fellow maimed Kappa, really just adds to my disinterest. After just two hours of this, I’m not surprised people will continue to die.

I also did not experience the “scream” part of “Scream Queens.” I love horror movies. I live for that moment right before something pops out or kills someone. The thrill of just watching hell unfold. But I did not jump once during this first episode. There wasn’t anything creepy or murderous about the Red Devil. And the deaths were completely predictable.

There were a few golden moments, however. Chanel (Roberts) had a surprisingly great coffeehouse rant about pumpkin spiced lattes. I do not like Roberts one bit, but man does she capture my inner picky espresso drinker. If it was socially acceptable to yell at anyone like that when they doubted my coffee preferences, I would.

And I also found the scene where Taylor Swift lookalike met her demise surprisingly funny. Like, it was horrible, but the fact that she was trying to sing her fave T-Swizzle song because she couldn’t hear what anyone was screaming about was so absurdly funny.  

Despite my unanticipated, yet mildly strong disdain for Scream Queens, I will continue to watch it, for at least a couple more weeks. There is room for potential and I would love to piece together who the killer actually is (Murphy said they were in the first episode). But at the rate it’s going, the only thing that would change my mind is if Lea Michele’s character Hester became the star, because let’s face it: she is way better than Roberts. 

Alani Vargas

Northwestern

Alani is a native to Chicago with a passion for women's rights, journalism and coffee. She is a senior at Northwestern, majoring in journalism at Medill. She's on the magazine track and studied in Florence last fall, advancing her second major in history. Alani has written for Her Campus national and her Northwestern chapter since freshman year and is now the Editor-in-Chief and CC for her chapter. She's also currently a freelancer for Elite Daily When Alani isn't working, binge watching Supergirl, Buffy or the billion other shows she keeps up with, she enjoys music and geeking out over Star Wars or anything Marvel. Follow Alani on twitter and instagram at @alanimv!
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