Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 3: “Chainsaw”
Written and directed by Ian Brennan
Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan
Starring Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Nasim Pedrad, Oliver Hudson, Skyler Samuels, Keke Palmer, Billie Lourd, Nick Jonas FOX
Air Date: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015, 8pm
Last week Scream Queens sliced, diced, and mowed into TV screens all over the country. The new horror comedy series created by the combined minds that gave us Glee and American Horror Story, is a wonderful combo of 80s slasher, and college sex comedy. 20 years earlier, a Kappa sister died after having a bathtub baby during a sorority bash. So obviously, we are looking for who might be that now 20-year old baby, and thus our likely murder suspect. We met the Chanels of Kappa House, led by Chanel #1, Emma Roberts, who must’ve watched Heathers and Mean Girls, and taken good notes on how to be a Queen B. Her arch nemesis is Dean Munsch, the incomparable Jamie Lee Curtis, who is on a mission to reign in Kappa House, and her plan is open admission to the sorority, and anyone who wants to join. You could totally see the elements of Glee here, as we welcome some truly “interesting” and overtly stereotypical girls. There’s a black girl, an angry lesbian, a nerd with a back brace, a deaf girl and oh yeah, the typically gorgeous, but oh so plain lead girl, Grace (Skyler Samuels), whose dead mom was a Kappa. So what’s the “scream” in Scream Queens??? Well, it turns out someone wearing the Wallace University Red Devil mascot costume just happens to be going around and murdering Kappas, with everything from a knife to a lawnmower. And with the second episode entitled “Chainsaw”, well… it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s about to happen.
The corpse of Chanel #2 (Arianna Grande) is missing which doesn’t seem to faze Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin). In fact between #2’s disappearance and her latest sexual exploits, she is poised to lead Kappa should Chanel fail as it’s leader. I just realized after typing that sentence how annoying it is to discuss the interactions between the Chanels. When Grace and Zayday (Keke Palmer), along with security agent Denise (Niecy Nash) go to Chanel #2’s house, they find that she too was in a relationship with the very sexually open for business golf jock, Chad Radwell (Glen Powell). I seriously laugh every time I hear that name. Powell is so over the top, it’s like he was literally lifted out of Revenge of the Nerds. Chanel #1 is obsessed with keeping Chad as her boyfriend, so this new info will surely lend her to the suspects list. #2’s parents by the way are the awesome duo of Roger Bart and Charisma Carpenter!
Grace’s dad Wes, (Oliver Hudson) surprises her by taking over her Film Analysis class, in which he bestows the virtues of his favorite movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. “We’re all running from the chainsaws in our lives,” he tells the class. Speaking of saws, Dean Munsch’s attempt to stop the murders and be sensitive to the grieving campus, was to change the mascot to a soft serve ice cream cone named Coney. Coney does not last too long… Back at Kappa and Chanel decides to impress Chad Radwell (haha) by giving loser Hester (Lea Michele) a makeover. This freaks out Chanel # 5 (who along with #3 also slept with Chad Radwell (haha). Before anything gets out of hand, Dean Munsch and Gigi (Nasim Pedrad) move in for the week to “watch out for them”.
The episode wasn’t hitting on all cylinders until the 40+ minute mark when the sweet sounds of Backstreet Boys blasted as Chad Radwell (haha) and his bros search campus for the Red Devil, and find TWO devils! Hilarity ensues involving baseball bats, severed limbs, and great 90s pop music. Back at the house, while Grace and Pete (Diego Boneta) explore leads, the Red Devil attacks Gigi. After Wes saves her, they become convinced it’s Munsch herself.
Like MTV’s summer hit Scream, Scream Queens gives us an unavoidable backstory, and a long laundry list of potential suspects and victims. This show is (no pun intended) gleefully over the top, but at times, it hovers on being too much. The cast, to their credit, throw themselves wildly into their roles. The other Chanels are already asserting themselves, and Jamie Lee Curtis looks like she’s having so much fun. I wish they would tone down the silliness, and lean towards the darker side a bit. The Red Devil is cool, and the kills are bloody and graphic, but it’s hard to get scared by something so ludicrous. I enjoyed this week’s show – the show takes nothing seriously, and at times it works very well. I like the characters, and I don’t have a solid prediction of who the killer is so far, so those factors will keep me coming back week by week… that and Chad Radwell (haha).
Scream Queens is on Tuesday nights at 9:00 ET on FOX.
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