Scream Queens: Hilariously Good or Horrifically Bad?

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Rayner Reinhardt, Staff Writer

America has been dying of laughter every Tuesday at 9 p.m. since September 22, 2015, when Fox aired their new horror-comedy TV series, Scream Queens.

Fox’s new TV series has brought back the stereotypical mean girl in a hilariously horrific setting. The show follows Kappa Kappa Tau Sorority President, Chanel Oberlin [Emma Roberts], at Wallace University. Chanel has the looks, the attitude, and the rich daddy that together create the main mean girl.

Kappa is turned upside down when Dean Munsch [Jamie Lee Curtis] makes Chanel open the house to any new initiates that want to join. This tears up Kappa’s reputation, as it is being forced to let in “geeks” and “nobodies”.

Along with this transformation, Kappa faces the threat of a masked serial killer that targets the house and its members. The murderer, dressed as a Red Devil, strikes at the house and across the campus, while the students and administration try to catch the killer.

The show flashes back to the 1994 Kappa House and forward to 2015 as flashbacks show connections between the current crisis and events that happened in the past. This twist draws in audiences of older generations, in addition to the teenage generation, because of the frequent pop culture references to old horror movies.

Scream Queens greatly resembles some of the classic movies. Like Heathers, Chanel’s loyal Kappa minions all have the same name. There’s Chanel No. 2 [Ariana Grande], Chanel No.3 [Billy Lourd], Chanel No.5 [Abigail Breslin], and Chanel No.6 [Lea Michelle]. The characters in the show also take on the comedy style and self-awareness of Scream.

Not only is the show a twist on a horror film, but it also has a comedy flare. Jokes are often made to resemble classic films, but some are just plain out ridiculous. They are so stupid they make anyone laugh.

Denise Hemphill, the security guard hired to keep the campus safe, frequently refers to herself in the third person. She tells the Kappa girls, “Just remember: Denise Hemphill got her eyes on you,” just in case any of the girls may be the killer.

Hemphill, portrayed by Niecy Nash, is a perfect example of the ridiculously stupid humor that makes up the show. Her self-confidence, shown through her use of third-person, just gets viewers cracking up because of her personality. For example, Denise screams, “Shondelle!! Why you got a knife in your throat??!!” after seeing her fellow security guard stabbed. This sort of “saying it straight” humor gets the viewers laughing.

The comedy can be a little much sometimes, with crude references to sex and drugs, and even audiences comfortable with this type of humor might squirm at times.

Humor is definitely one of the things that carries the show, but some of the jokes also can be seen as promoting bullying. Scream Queens brings back the typical mean girl who is usually a perpetrator of bullying. Some may view this as antagonistic, as Chanel continues to verbally abuse the sisters.

But, in a way the show takes an anti-bullying stance, too, as many of the sisters are strong individual women who stand up for themselves and others. This is very different from the recent outburst of anti-bullying programs, such as the TV-show Glee and the movie Cyberbully.

Characters such as Grace [Skyler Samuels] and ZayDay [Keke Palmer] take on this role when they stand up to Chanel’s unfair abuse of power. The girls stand up for each other against Chanel, even if she doesn’t back down. The show demonstrates real evil in girl world.

What unifies each episode is a new murder by the Red Devil. Every murder is a little different, but what keeps them similar is the element of surprise. No one knows who’s going to be murdered or when. A person who is turned off by blood or brutal murders, might now find this show for them as it includes murders by chainsaw and getting one’s face fried off by hot fryer oil. However, the inclusion of such violent ends does keep viewers hooked and always ready to see what happens next or how the death contributes to the storyline.

The cast includes several big Hollywood stars, such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Grande, Niecy Nash, Nick Jonas, and Lea Michelle. These actors and actresses attract many different audiences. Some from older generations and some from younger. Personally, the inclusion of these stars enhances the show because it is always fun to see your favorite star on screen facing the problems of a college campus.

Fox airs Scream Queens at 9 p.m. on Tuesday nights. This time is convenient because by the time I’m finished my homework, taken car of sports, and eaten dinner, I’m ready to relax and enjoy the new episode. This goes for a lot of other people too. Missing an episode will, luckily, be hard to do.

Overall, Scream Queens’ comedy-infused horror plotline has me dying to watch more. Don’t miss the next episode, or else . . .