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Review: 'Scream Queens' Season One keeps you on the hook

SCREAM QUEENS: Pictured L-R: Billie Lourd as Chanel #3, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin and Abigail Breslin as Chanel #5 in "Pilot," the first part of the special, two-hour series premiere of SCREAM QUEENS airing Tuesday, Sept. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Steve Dietl/FOX.

Scream Queens | Season One | DVD | Released: Wed August 24 | ★★★

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‘Scream Queens’ season one is a comedy horror that is equal parts ‘Mean Girls’, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, and every Frat / Sorority vs. the Dean of the College movie ever made. Okay, let’s get the important metrics out of the way first.

Can you binge watch it? 

Yes. I devoured the first half of the season in a single sitting. Only stopping when it I realised it was 1 am and the adult in me reminded myself I had an early physio session followed by a day of classes after.

Is it Netflix and chill compatible?

Subjective. I mean, it’s simple enough not to need to think about what you’re watching and get down to business, and it’s not going to distract you too much. The odd scream or two may jar the mood, though.

Is it ridiculous?

Billed as a comedy horror, the answer is yes, but only in the best way possible. I’m not talking ‘Naked Gun’ or ‘Scary Movie’ levels of ridiculous – okay maybe in a handful of scenes it is – as for the most part it is self-aware and grounded enough not to need to be high or prepubescent to enjoy.

Is the queer community represented?

Yes. I’m going to leave it there because in a show about stereotypes more so than characters to complain that the only representations of the queer community are too stereotypical seems flawed.

Rating.

For people who find comfort in a numbered rating, I would give Scream Queens five stars if it were on Netflix to make absolutely sure more of the same would show up on my playlists.

scream queens nick jonas

Now for the show itself. Driven by the usual slasher intrigue of who and then why ‘Scream Queens’ does a great job of keeping you on the hook episode to episode until you find yourself still awake at 1 am rationalising the sleep deprivation costs that come with watching one more episode.

The story starts off simple enough when the top sorority, Kappa Kappa Tau (KKT), is ordered to accept any and all pledges this coming semester by their nemesis Dean Cathy Munsch played by Jamie Lee Curtis – who I personally haven’t seen since ‘True Lies’ – the reigning queen of KKT, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin, and her minions Chanels One through Five make it their mission to scare off the undesirables – Lea Michelle, Keke Palmer, Skyler Samuels, Jenna Ham, Breezy Eslin –  so they can restore their position as the elite sorority on campus.

For Chanel, there is the personal motivation to also retain her boyfriend, traditional douche bag, Chad Radwell, president of the fraternity Dicky Dollar Scholars, as in his words to remain “at the top of the list of the pieces of ass he is getting there is criteria and that criteria is you gotta be popular” and “If Kappa is suddenly filled with weirdos and fatties there is literally no way for you to be popular”. So as any college student faced with the ‘end of all life as we know it’ level risk of losing their station, boyfriend, and fast track to being a future news anchor Chanel concocts a prank to send the new pledges running. However, the prank goes horribly wrong, as these things do, resulting in the death of the house’s maid.

Brought together by their shared murder and some flimsy blackmail the Chanels and their new pledges dispose of the body. Then as fate would have it the girls start getting picked off one by one by a serial killer disguised as the school’s mascot, and it becomes a race to find out who it is and stop them before they all end up at the end of the killer’s knife and or chainsaw.

SCREAM QUEENS: Ariana Grande in the "Beware Of Young Girls" episode of SCREAM QUEENS airing Tuesday, Nov. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patti Perret/FOX.

I could recount the whole plot, but I wouldn’t do it justice. Already it sounds like a pale facsimile in my words. The show is good, is it a must watch? No, that is ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix. Do I think your life will be richer for taking the time to experience ‘Scream Queens’? Yes, definitely so. The comedy is on point which is not an easy task to do while keeping the drama and suspense at palatable levels, and the plot while nothing new or original is a good working example of the revenge serial killer motif, and it is fun to play along and try and workout who is doing all the revenge slaying. The show is even smart enough that every time you think you are getting close to figuring it out it has a mini ‘Cluedo’ style parlour moment where the cast make their own accusations as to who they think the killer is and why. It never fails to destroy any conclusions you have made and completely reset the field.

‘Scream Queens’ has also given me my favourite new slap down for displays of ignorance or stupidity “If any of you bitches ever cracked a book…” The saying is the go-to for the season, so much so that even Dean Munsch uses it at one point. Instant love.

The Dicky Dollar Scholars are the perfect example of the overly inbred, egomaniacal, “gross” rich, jock – their sport of choice is golf – frat house. They aren’t the smartest cookies in the class as is clearly seen when they get “roided up” and go around campus calling the Red Devil out which he has to answer as is expected with the “ghetto code”, apparently.

Like ‘American Horror Story’, ‘Scream Queens’ looks to be following the different seasons, different story and locale theme with season two set in a hospital. Only, unlike AHS, SQ will be keeping the same characters. I, honestly cannot wait “Oh. My. Gauze.”

Aaron Angel

Season 1 of the killer comedy-horror, Scream Queens is out on DVD August 24.

 

 

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