Ryan Murphy, creator of American Horror Story, is back at it again, this time opting to infuse horror and comedy. Scream Queens premiered its pilot on the September 22 with an hour and half long episode on FOX.
The plot revolves around group of sorority sisters and pledges to the illustrious Kappa Kappa Tau. The cohorts are hunted by an unknown serial killer masquerading about in a tacky devil costume, hellbent on extracting some kind of revenge on the sorority, as they try to uncover his or her identity.
This sets the stage for a rather formulaic horror plot of an unknown assailant and their helpless victims. The plot does little to diverge from this and uses comedic elements in an attempt to mock itself; however, the horror and comedy elements don’t seem to mesh well. Any scene that is supposed to be scary has an unfitting joke or scenario tacked on and as a result, most of the scenes leave more to be desired.
The biggest detriment to the show is that the run time does it little justice – much of the episode felt like empty space punctuated by corny jokes. The running gags rapidly overstay their welcome, leaving you almost entirely disinterested in what you’re watching only halfway through the episode.
If there was any saving grace to salvage the wreck it was Jamie Lee Curtis and her portrayal of the promiscuous Dean Cathy Munsch. Any scene with Curtis in it was a breath of fresh air and made watching the show feel somewhat entertaining.
The concept behind Scream Queens is an interesting one, but the execution falls painfully flat. The only singular compelling aspect of the show was trying to piece together who the murderer is and what their motives might be. I highly doubt I’ll return to the show, and if anything, this has convinced me to steer clear of anything with the name Ryan Murphy attached to it.