‘Scream Queens Ep. 1:’ TV Review

The highly anticipated new comedy/horror camp-fest creation by Ryan Murphy is finally upon us, and it's just swell. When I first heard about the new FOX series, I was totally excited. Take Glee minus the music and mash it up with American Horror Story "lite," and how could one go wrong? Well, one could and did on a few things, but overall it was a fun start and I'm more than willing to give it a chance. I did have to suffer through the last 3 seasons of Glee (thanks to my boyfriend!) and survived the experience none the worse for wear.

A sorority led by Emma Roberts as Chanel No.1 and her 3 numerically appointed "Chanel Lackeys" (There were four, but number four didn't have time for that!) are the resident mean girls terrorizing the campus as much as the unknown Devil/Slasher with a red mask who also just happens to be the school mascot. The role isn't much of a departure for "Pretty Woman's" niece from her role as mega-witch extraordinaire in American Horror Story: Coven.  The sorority house is even reminiscent of the witch house in AHS.

There is no shortage of celebrity power as Ryan Murphy channels his inner Love Boat once again, serving up some big names - Joe Jonas (Nice tightie whities, bro!), Ariana Grande, Lea Michelle, Neecy Nash, and Abigail Breslin among others. The best casting, of course, being that of original scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis. She steals the show and is the person you love to hate as the cougarlicious dean of students. Her over-the-top antics and downright nastiness are a little too close to Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester at this point, but I'm willing to give a sister a chance.

The show suffers a little from "Glee Speak," where everyone seems to have one ridiculously long, scathing monologue at the ready at any given moment. I believe someone even says it in the show, "No one talks like that!"  The story is intriguing enough, as it tells us about a past sorority sister who gave birth in a bathtub while her sisters partied downstairs and left her to bleed out in the bathtub! (Where the hell was "sober sister" that night?!) No one knows what happened to the baby from 20 years ago, although it's an obvious setup to have them be the killer seeking revenge for his knocked-up, left-for-dead co-ed mother, but that would be too obvious, wouldn't it?

The one problem I have is the problem I have with most modern horror vehicles. The characters are so unlikeable that you find yourself relatively uncaring when they meet their untimely demises.

Perhaps the best scene was when anti-American donut licker and pop singer Ariana Grande bites the big one, refusing to stop texting and posting on Facebook. Her final post being post-mortem at that!

Fun sets, great star power, and a compelling enough slasher mystery. It didn't and probably won't surpass The Muppets in rating or appeal. I will give it credit for a fairly strong opening and leaving me wanting just enough to tune in next week!

Check out Scream Queens on Tuesdays on the FOX television network.

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