Scream Queens Season 2 Episode 1 – TV Review
American Horror Story’s new season may be so intolerably dull and tedious that I’ve already abandoned it, but at least they tried something new; something to escape the dumpster fire of the previous season.
Scream Queens, conversely, has decided to keep making the same mistakes it was already making.
Scream Queens: ambitionless.
At least they’re not making any new mistakes, though.
TL;DR The plot still defies its own internal logic and nothing matters; except the show wants us to think the whodunit matters; none of the characters have changed; there are no stakes; the episode-closing kill is meaningless; Kirstie Alley looks pretty good.
Which means, given she’s something in Scream Queens that isn’t abjectly terrible, she’ll be murdered swiftly. And without a chase scene.
So the plot pathetically wriggles out of the resolutions last season’s spectacularly shit finale came to: Lea Michele is arbitrarily caught for the murders after all, which means the Chanels are out of the loony bin. Meanwhile, Jamie Lee uses her publishing fortune to found a teaching hospital to take on weird cases, but the hospital has a murderous past: some douche doctor in the 80s murdered a patient because he was inconvenient to a Halloween party. Just like how the sorority girls last season let their friend die so they could listen to TLC. Omg so offbeat and quirky-cute, right? Thanks, Ryan Murphy. And, because we need all our characters to come together, Jamie Lee hires medical student Keke Palmer to her staff, and the Chanels. Because plot. Also on hand are John Stamos, a doctor with a transplanted murder hand (so original!), and Taylor Lautner, who I assumed was only hired to make Billie Lourd’s acting look better by comparison. Kirstie Alley stomps around in the episode’s only decent sequences as the head nurse or administrator or something, but it’s not long before a new killer with an even stupider costume than the Red Devil’s comes calling. They off the hospital’s first patient, and then Number 5’s fate is left unknown in a cut to black.
“Who cares” is, again, the tagline of another Scream Queens season. The show invests so much time in the whodunit mystery, but there’s nothing at stake because stupid, random shit can happen at any time that makes the mystery impossible to try to follow or predict.
Which means we’re left with two things: the jokes, which, just like last season, fall flat as fuck; and the characters, whose “charms” already wore out their welcome last season.
Oh, and yet more grating Chanel narration monologues. Because we didn’t get enough of those last time.
Why I hate this episode:
Even though I post salty television reviews on a crappy website called I Just Hate Everything, I do try to evaluate these shows as best I can to determine what merit they do have, even if those merits don’t appeal to me. But Scream Queens really is a case I just simply don’t understand. The mystery doesn’t make sense, the jokes aren’t funny, the stakes are non-existent, and the characters have nothing to do but display their actors’ deficiencies (oh, Emma). Even Pretty Little Liars, the worst of the worst currently on air, has character arcs that, although inane, try their best to be internally consistent. I just don’t get why anyone would care what happens to the characters on Scream Queens.
The premise for the mystery is a “WTF/how did anyone let this make it to air” level of awful writing. A Halloween party attended by apparently the entire staff of a hospital, at the hospital, is interrupted by a pregnant woman whose husband is a patient. Her husband needs attention, but Doctor Jerry O’Connell and Nurse Laura Bell Bundy, rather than miss the party, instead take the husband out to die in the swamp in the hospital’s backyard. Jerry dumps his Halloween costume with it, too, and that’s what our killer wears when they show up in present day. Like, come on, Scream Queens. Really? That’s it? Like, fuck, man. Even having been desensitised due to how garbage the first season was, I was aghast at just how absurd the premise was. Just, no. Honey. No.
Jamie Lee’s decision to hire the Chanels is equally bizarre. Keke complains about a lack of female representation in the hospital staff, so Jamie Lee brings the Chanels on board. We later meet Kirstie Alley and her fleet of nurses who are all female, but I guess Keke doesn’t see nurses as people, so that could explain that. But then we find out that Jamie Lee didn’t want the Chanels there, is shocked when they disobey instructions not to do anything stupid, lauds over them the fact that she will actually not be paying them, and then ends up threatening to expel/fire/whatever them if they keep up the bad work. What the actual fuck, writers? What the actual fuck?
The Chanels, likewise, are determined to stay in the hospital’s employ because…? They want medical degrees, and I think Chanel wants to bang Stamos. But, like, how about you just leave? I can’t wait to see what infuriating excuse they come up with to stay after the new killer’s rampage begins. Because you know they will.
I like the fact that Lea Michele was finally brought to justice, but way to immediately retcon the ending of the previous intalment, Scream Queens. That’s what all failed slasher sequels do. Jamie Lee should know a little about that from her Halloween: Resurrection days. Why didn’t she say anything to the producers?
Cecily Strong plays the hospital’s first patient, who is afflicted with a condition that makes her have hair everywhere on her body. Chanel comes up with a simple remedy that makes all the hair fall out. But then Cecily goes fucking apeshit that all her hair fell out, including her head hair and eyebrows and eyelashes etc. Um, cunt, pretty sure that beats being a fucking werewolf. Bonus demerit points when the show thinks it’s being oh-so-clever by having the Chanels make her over and promptly pop on a wig, some drawn-on eyebrows, and fake lashes. Ugh.
Speaking of werewolves, Taylor Lautner’s character’s quirk (apart from the lack of acting ability) is that he’s unnaturally cold. So he’s probably going to be a vampire or something.
Number 3 has swung back to wanting penis. So Scream Queens hasn’t even got the LGBT angle, anymore. Didn’t Ryan Murphy see what happened to The 100 on tumblr when they lost their girl-on-girl action? And you know Ryan Murphy is no stranger to tumblr.
Stamos’ “my transplanted hand wants to kill things” quirk is such a yawn. The Simpsons did it better. And with hair.
Scream Queens still hasn’t fixed its problem of having no defined main character. Even without Grace around, and Chanel’s constant screentime, I still don’t know who this show is supposed to be about.
5, knowing full well that the hydrotherapy tubs lock, because she just put Cecily into one, gets into a hydrotherapy tub and accidentally locks herself in. Fucking groan. Jesus.
Scream Queens, always eager to add to its Missed Opportunities list, sets up Cecily and 5 for a boiling in the hydrotherapy tubs, but the killer chooses to decapitate Cecily (and maybe 5. We don’t know yet), instead. I’m tempted to praise Scream Queens for subverting the obvious “boiling bath” setup, but I honestly don’t believe Scream Queens is even aware of what happened.
There is no chase scene.
Oh, and this season looks to basically be Nurse 3D if it was a TV show. But without the brevity of eighty-four minutes, or the T&A. Which was Nurse’s only selling point.
But it’s not all bad:
Emma Roberts strips down to her underwear and looks pretty hot. So that’s cute, I suppose.
The best thing about Scream Queens, still, is Jamie Lee Curtis. Even with this dogshit role on this dogshit show, she’s still always present and always professional. She’s the Jessica Lange of this one. If the worst happens and Scream Queens is picked up for Season 3, let’s hope they bloody well hang onto her. They need her.
Kirstie Alley could give her a run for her money, though. She is not taking her role as a joke, and I welcome any character who can oppose the Chanels. I do worry about her longevity, as Scream Queens is fond of killing off its more famous actors quickly. But I’ll be glad to have her for however long we can.
Poor Grace seems to be the only thing Scream Queens didn’t want back. And I do not miss her. Bye, bitch.
Niecy’s takedown of an idiotic Lea Michele in the catch-up was decent.
The Chanels encountered a harsh dose of reality following their exoneration for the murders, as the world still hated them for being the terrible people that they are. I appreciated it.
Oh, and I hope 5 did get killed. I’ll always love my Little Miss Sunshine, but damn, she sucks in this. Even next to Emma and Billie.