Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Scream Queens 1x01 "Pilot"/1x02 "Hell Week" (More Dead Bodies Than Episodes) [Contributor: Melanie]

"Pilot"/"Hell Week"
Original Airdate: September 22, 2015

The first two episodes of season one of Scream Queens aired on Fox in a two-hour event.

... And it was certainly some kind of event.

Billed as Mean Girls meets Friday the 13th, this show was born out of the post-Scream teenager slasher fest of the 90s but lacks all of the originality (the show is literally the plot of Sorority Row, which you can watch on Netflix). It seems to be trying to capture some of the magic and charm that made Scream such a success as both a parody and a slasher film; however, Scream Queens really borders on idiotic at times, with cookie-cutter dialogue about popularity (no one cares about being popular in college, it’s COLLEGE), caricatures of sorority and fraternity stereotypes that take themselves far too seriously to be called satire, and all around unimaginative characters with zero believable motivation or consequences.

... Okay, that sounded harsh. There were some good things though about these two episodes. Weirdly enough, Lea Michele was probably not only the most tolerable character in any scene that she was in, but also the funniest and best-acted. She’s playing against type this time around as quiet pledge Hester, appropriately nicknamed Neckbrace, who has some creepy obsessions. This role requires a lot of physical comedy born out of facial expressions and posture and even when Lea Michele talks as Hester, it all comes out hilariously. So far I have to give an A+ for Michele. Also excellent is the Scream Queen herself Jamie Lee Curtis who plays HBIC Cathy Munsch, Dean of Students at the school. Niecy Nash was entertaining as well as a completely awful security guard who takes off at the first sign of trouble (because honestly, who wouldn’t?).

Now that I've given you a bit of a background, onto what exactly happened in these first two episodes, plot-wise:

“Pilot” starts out in the year 1995 with an unnamed KKT sorority sister in a bloody bathtub and a newborn baby (she claims she didn’t know she was pregnant, so like, there’s that). The other sisters (in completely unrealistic displays) express their annoyance at the (again -- COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS) situation not long before baby mama winds up dead (?!?!). Flash forward to 2015 where Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) is now president of the same sorority with a tiny army of “minions”: Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande), Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd), and Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin). Chanel #4 is no longer with us.

So, Chanel has it out with the dean (Curtis) over the sorority for some vaguely touched upon reasons and it’s decided that KKT will be forced to automatically accept any and all pledges that come their way. Those pledges include the aforementioned Hester (Michele), Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer), and Grace Gardner (Skylar Samuels), who is our main character apparently. Other pledges include “Deaf Taylor Swift” and “Predatory Lez.” So, in an effort to get rid of these unwanted pledges (there’s a lot of poorly written dialogue that throws around words like “pretty,” “popular,” and “rich”... so you get the idea), Chanel decides she’s going to fake the murder of the housekeeper in front of them, to scare them off. Because sure. Of course. Logical.

Well, that plan goes awry when someone mysteriously turns the deep fryer oil on, effectively burning the housekeeper’s face to a crisp and causing her to drop dead from cardiac arrest. And, because nothing up until this point has been sensible, the sorority sisters continue the trend of stupidity and plot to hide the body (to be fair, Grace did object to this and try to go to the police before blackmail got involved). Grace decides she’s going to do some digging and enlists the help of campus barista Pete Martinez (a literally self-described investigative reporter, which he said without any trace of irony) who’s got it in for the KKT sorority. While they’re busy digging, Chanel learns that the housekeeper’s body has gone walking, while both Chanel #2 and Deaf Taylor Swift find themselves at the business end of the Red Devil’s (that’s our killer) homicidal schemes.

Episode one's total body count: 4

“Hell Week” opens with the campus in a frenzy over the murder of Deaf Taylor Swift (we’re never given her real name), which sparks paranoia over the possibility of a serial killer on campus. At this point, there is only one person dead as far as the school and media knows, so why we’re calling him a serial killer, I do not know. Munsch threatens the sorority sisters into staying on campus as she considers them all suspects. Meanwhile, Chanel works to hide Chanel #2’s body with some creepy and way-too-informative assistance from Neckbrace.

Grace and Pete continue their investigations and kiss or something and uncover the bloody bathtub from 1995, along with some random names in an old file regarding the incident. As it turns out, the dean covered up the death of the girl in the bathtub and the now 20-year-old baby of aforementioned dead woman is walking around somewhere. These discoveries are cut short by the Red Devil knocking Pete unconscious with a strong message to mind his own business. When Grace finds a Red Devil costume in Pete’s closet (apparently that’s the school mascot), she immediately comes to the conclusion that he’s the killer and leaves.

Meanwhile, Grace’s father demands a job at the school so he can watch over his daughter while Chanel has a weird and uninteresting relationship with her boyfriend Chad (Glen Powell), who is probably the most horribly written and acted out of all these characters. Boone (Nick Jonas), a brother of the same fraternity as Chad, is also… just… present. Turns out he’s gay and might have a motive for vengeance as his romantic advances toward Chad are rejected. He tries to worm his way into the KKT sorority (which is totally as weird as it sounds) as a way of coming out on his own after Chanel catches him in bed with Chad. At the end of the episode, Chanel is attacked by the Red Devil, who’s already whacked off one of the security guards and appears to kill Boone. But the last scene shows him opening up the body drawer of a morgue to reveal a very alive Boone, who appears to be in cahoots with our killer.

Episode two's total body count: 1

In this week's WTF moments...

  • The girl in the bathtub who didn’t know she was pregnant? And then she just dies?
  • The first time Grace sees the Red Devil hanging outside the sorority house she walks right towards him. Because you know, that’s smart.
  • Chanel’s psycho plan to pretend to murder the housekeeper to scare away the new pledges? Because normal pranks aren’t an option? For someone who was apparently accused of spraying the last sorority president with acid, you sure do look suspicious.
  • Said crazy plan going awry and the housekeeper ripping off her face dramatically before dropping to the floor, because. Sure.
  • For some reason no one A) really reacts to the fact that Chanel just murdered someone and B) they all have no qualms about hiding the body.
  • Chad is like a middle-aged stockbroker. He does not even remotely look college age, but all right.
  • For some reason burying pledges alive up to their necks is part of hazing? And they go along with it?
In this week's killer suspects...

It’s a mystery-thriller so, obviously there’s going to be some finger pointing week to week. And while, technically, yes, everyone is a suspect, I’ll be listing off every week’s most likely killers.

  • Chanel: She’s got a reputation already as a possible homicide suspect and is kind of insane, though she was seen in the same room as the Red Devil
  • Pete Martinez: Again, he was seen in the same room as the killer but he’s got the costume in his closet and is the only character explicitly stated to match the age of the baby
  • Boone: Possibly a Ghostface scenario where Boone and an accomplice switch off (perhaps with Pete?)
  • Chanel #5: She honestly seems poised to torture small animals at any moment, so…
So that’s all the happenings for this week at Wallace University. Tune into Scream Queens every Tuesday at 8 PM on Fox and check back here for my weekly recaps.


Post a Comment