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Scream Queens - Pilot (Series Premiere) / Hell Week - Reviews: "Smacking So Hard Your Tampon Pops Out"


1.01 - "PILOT" / 1.02 - "HELL WEEK"
Directed by Ryan Murphy (1.01) / Brad Falchuk (1.02)
Written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington



Click on a title to be taken to the review for that episode.

1.01 - "Pilot" (September 22, 2015)
1.02 - "Hell Week" (September 22, 2015)
1.03 - "Chainsaw" (September 29, 2015)
1.04 - "Haunted House" (October 6, 2015)
1.05 - "Pumpkin Patch" (October 13, 2015)
1.06 - "Seven Minutes in Hell!" (October 20, 2015)
1.07 - "Beware of Young Girls" (November 3, 2015)
1.08 - "Mommie Dearest" (November 10, 2015)



It's finally here bitches! One of the shows I have been looking forward to the most this television season premiered last night and it was quite the two-hour premiere. Like could it have been any more outrageous? It was totally the Ryan Murphy humour I've come to know and love from his recently-dead show Glee, and there was definitely that Glee meets American Horror Story: Coven feel. It wasn't scary to me, not like how other seasons of American Horror Story can be, as to me it felt more of a parody than an actual serious "horror" show. I just couldn't take this show seriously, even when it was supposed to be, but that's okay. What I love most about the premiere of Scream Queens was that it was just pure fun and it had me laughing out loud in the old reliable Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan kind of way. That's not to say this show doesn't have issues, it really does, but I am invested already and I am very excited about this show.

The flashback to 1995 showed us the original mean girls and they are absolute bitches. If a girl gives birth in a bathtub at a party, would you A) Call an ambulance for immediate medical assistance, or B) Wait until your favourite song finishes before helping the new mother? To be honest, if Crazy in Love by Beyonce came on at a party I was at right now and someone had given birth, there's no way I would get off that dance floor until I've finished. And Waterfalls is a really good song and it always reminds me of We're the Millers (also starring Emma Roberts), such a good comedy. So once that is out the way, we go to twenty years later when Chanel Oberlin is running the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority. She is in every way like Madison from Coven, if not just that extra amount of extreme high maintenance. She is not a pleasant girl but she's so entertaining to watch. I love Emma Roberts and I find her to be such a good actress (Scream 4 being my favourite Emma role) so even though she is cruel and obscene, I find her hilarious. So she's running the place and it's a horror show, but she has her work cut out for her when the Dean, Cathy Munsch (played by the wonderful original Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis), decides she's had enough of the fractured sorority system and manages to change the rules of the game so everybody who goes to the University can pledge. Obviously this is a problem for the Chanel's as they want to remain popular, and some of the pledges are downright weird! I mean, I love Lea Michele but she is so weird as Hester "Neckbrace" Ulrich - literally the uncoolest name you could have - and Deaf Taylor Swift who is actually hilarious but is obsessed with the country singer. Chanel decides to give them a hard time and tries to scare them off with the help of the maid, Miss Bean, but things go horribly wrong when Chanel accidentally kills her and forces the pledges to help her cover it up.

There really wasn't a boring character in the premiere and there were a few that stood out that I loved. First of all, Cathy. I liked the scene between Chanel and Cathy in the Dean's office. I sort of worship the ground that Jamie Lee Curtis walks on and I find her amazing, and I enjoy her role as Cathy very much, but I felt she was sorely underused in the pilot. I think they're kind of setting her up to be the Sue Sylvester of the show but not quite as funny as she tries to bring down the sorority. I want more scenes of her with Emma Roberts as I find they bounce off each other really well. When she comes to the house to tell them the doors are open to the public, I loved the panic she caused and how smug she looked for winning over the girls in that moment. Also when she introduced Jennifer the Candle Vlogger to Chanel - priceless! What's interesting to note about her is how bitter she is in life. She holds quite a lot of resentment and even blackmailed Chad into sleeping with her, even though he says he loves her. I'm super interested in seeing what more comes out of her and what other surprises she may have under her sleeve. In other characters, I do like Grace as the sort of heroine we root for and her newfound friendship with Zayday is going to be the one to watch. Pete seemed like a good guy to begin with but I'm starting to suspect him, even if he is a bit obvious, there's still something wrong there. He does seem very obsessed with the girls and it's borderline creepy. Gigi seems hilarious and she's a bit nuts, and I quite liked how vain Chad was. His ego really is huge but he had some good material, and I liked the straight/gay friendship with Boone, played by the delectable Nick Jonas whom I love.

A few scenes stood out in the premiere too. Meeting the four Chanel's was great and felt very Mean Girls with Chanel narrating, and I can't tell you how much I want her walk-in wardrobe! I liked being introduced to Grace and her normal life with her father, with a bit of Twilight music going on as well as some interesting context to her life. Loved the revelation that anyone can pledge Kappa! I was sad to see Miss Bean die in the premiere as she was the most sympathetic character there and really was treated very poorly, poor thing. Her face being burned off was grim, and then she had to make it worse by tearing the flesh off her face. Vile. It's very I Know What You Did Last Summer for the whole secret thing and covering up the murder. I love how it showed how much power Chanel has over the girls when she threatened to say it was Grace, it really does highlight her control.

The most bizarre, crazy, what-the-f*ck scene of the premiere was Ariana Grande's death scene, surely. I mean, what a way to die. I knew she was just a guest star and I had a feeling she would die pretty early on, but wasn't sure it would have been the very first episode. What a way for her to go, it was a very twenty-first century death scene, but to the extreme. I found it hilarious. Why would you reply to someone's text, who is standing right in front of you, when they say they're going to kill you with "Wait whaaaat???!" You run for that door! Instead, she got stabbed, fell to the floor, kicked him away and texted him again telling him "Stop!!!! Please stop!!!!" Like he's going to listen, but the laughs keep coming. She decides to tweet for someone to help and sort of dies before hitting enter, but she suddenly springs back to life so she can hit the Enter button. As far as death scenes go, this one definitely takes the biscuit and it's what made me feel like Scream Queens was more parody than actual horror. But it was hilarious and I expected nothing less. I loved it.

Deaf Taylor Swift. Rest in Peace too. She was truly one of a kind with her singing of her favourite artist in the face of death. Of course, she didn't know what was going on during the hazing when they were all buried to the neck. The poor girl, but her thinking they were all singing Taylor Swift while they were screaming for their lives was pretty hilarious. At least the last Taylor Swift song she ever sang was a good one, with Shake It Off helping counterbalance the deafening screams from the other girls. It did turn sour fast when the Red Devil drove the lawnmower over her head, blood going everywhere. How absolutely horrifying and gruesome and quite a good death scene. Really wanted to see way more of her!

EPISODE VERDICT

A flawed premiere, really, but it was enjoyable enough that I wasn't disappointed. It kept the laughs coming and I was totally in love with these bizarre, weird and wonderful characters. This show really is star-studded with some of my favourite actors and actresses and things can only get better from here. I do wish it didn't feel more like Scary Movie than Scream, and I hope the humour doesn't smother the horror as I feel like it did in the premiere. It went for the funny hook and they nailed that, but the horror left much to be desired. I'm loving the story and it was a good set up.

FAVOURITE QUOTES

"I am not missing Waterfalls for this. Waterfalls is my jam!"
"What's wrong with her? She looks awful."
"And then she went home and died, so that's another thing I was right about."
"I'm gonna be honest. I hate sororities and I hate you."
"Do you think you like to munch box because your last name is Munsch? Or is that just a coincidence?"
"We're having a side-boob followed by a white party. Where everyone is encouraged to wear, slash, be white."
"It's actually Game of Thrones when you pull back the veneer."
"Someone call CSI 'cause there was a murder scene in that bathroom!"
"What fresh hell is this?"
"I do sorta love you. I just, I would love you a lot more if other people loved you too."
"You told me to scrub all the floors with a Barbie toothbrush."
"Miss Bean was a servant, she knew the risks."
"Does it look like the four of us are about to have sex right now, number five?"



Hell Week was arguably a better episode than Pilot. Following on from the gruesome ending of the first episode, where Deaf Taylor Swift got decapitated by a lawn mower, the Dean is forced to step in. We get some wicked narration from Jamie Lee Curtis and Gigi also has to step up in ordering a security guard. But, typically, the security guard is perhaps the worst one you could ever find - which means she's my favourite character on the show. I love Denise! Denise is so batshit funny, she's unreal. She was what was missing from the first episode as every scene she was in was so totally funny. Her Secure Enforcement Solution Three-Step Programme was so random and totally ineffective, it reduced me to tears.

"Step 1: If you are in danger, scream Denise Hemphill's name real loud. I will be on the premises at all times and I will come-a-running. Now let's say you scream Denise Hemphill's name and I do not come-a-running. That means I'm not on the premises. Okay in that case, proceed to Step 2. Call 1866-KLJ-0199. Okay, I will be notified immediately and come-a-running. Now if you can't get through to the 866 number because of long wait times and such, then what you're gonna wanna do is proceed to Step 3. Get the hell out of there. Run away real fast."

Like anybody would survive that! Step 3 should be Step 1, yet I feel like some of these girls are stupid enough to actually follow these steps. Ariana Grande would have.

We got some more exploration into the past and that 1995 flashback, with a whole new layer - Miss Bean got Dean Munsch involved, who helped to cover up the girl's death. Add that with her creepy part of watching as Grace's dad drove away with Gigi and I think we have a suspect on our hands in Cathy. There are actually quite a few suspects I have in mind and I've listed them all in a section below so be sure to check that out for more of my suspect thoughts. Another bizarre connection between the 1995 flashback and present day is that Grace's father has a 1995 mix in his car, and Grace found one in the chest she opened. Connections are running rampant on the show and I'm trying to piece them together. Grace finding the Red Devil costume in Pete's closet was very on-the-nose and too obvious to be more than just a red herring. He's still shifty but he's not the Red Devil. If he has the costume as a mascot, then it may make it harder to identify the killer if anybody can get hold of it.

I'm not sure keeping the girls locked in the same house was a good idea and it really shows how negligent the school is, and the Dean. They should have hired better, official security but it seems like it's one big joke. Again, that's where the parody feel comes in. I do wish it would be a little more serious. However, Denise screaming and leaving the house to find Chantelle dead, and then kicked her out to the curb - that was totally worth it. One of the highlights of the episode! Another interesting note is how weird Hester is in helping dispose of Chanel #2's body. She's actually just like Chad in her obsession with death (possible tag-team?) and I never would have thought I'd see Lea Michele like this, it's very weird. I did laugh when she wanted to call them "mom", I mean, how much more freakier can she get? My bet is, she's about to get even worse.

Nick Jonas working out. I'd watch a whole show of just him working out if I could, so this was a very nice scene to include in the show's second episode. I do like his relationship with Chad, their scene together in bed felt like the set-up of some gay porno, but it was pretty funny. I wasn't too shocked when he "died" when the Red Devil appeared to him, as I saw he was just a guest star just like Ariana Grande but I was very surprised when he opened his eyes in the morgue, revealing himself to be in league with the killer. Or doing something with the killer, I'm not sure. Maybe there's more to the story. But now people think he's dead so what's he going to do now? I kind of wanted to see him join the sorority, see how that worked out.

EPISODE VERDICT

Yeah, I think I liked the second episode better than the Pilot. It just felt more like it found its footing and knew what it wanted to be, even if it's still a little silly. The introduction of Denise was the best thing to happen and I hope we see a lot more of her in the future, even if she is just a guest star too. The mystery is sort of wide open right now and anybody could be the killer, so it's pretty good that they're holding this suspense. Boone's revelation was very shocking and I liked it, it kind of came out of nowhere so it will be interesting to see that unfold too. All in all, good episode!

FAVOURITE QUOTES

"We can make it fun, huh? Like a Friends episode but someone's, you know, trying to murder all the friends."
"If one of you die you're allowed to skip the rest of hell week."
"I checked the Yellow Pages." "What's that?"
"Step 1: If you are in danger, scream Denise Hemphill's name real loud. I will be on the premises at all times and I will come-a-running. Now let's say you scream Denise Hemphill's name and I do not come-a-running. That means I'm not on the premises. Okay in that case, proceed to Step 2. Call 1866-KLJ-0199. Okay, I will be notified immediately and come-a-running. Now if you can't get through to the 866 number because of long wait times and such, then what you're gonna wanna do is proceed to Step 3. Get the hell out of there. Run away real fast."
"I have a walkie talkie to call the police who do have guns."
"I'm protecting you by having sex with you."
"I'm sorry everybody wants to have sex with me."
"Bitch. I'm 'bout to smack you so hard your tampon's gonna pop out."
"Girl Chantelle, the killer is in the house!"
"Chantelle! Why you got a knife in your throat?"
"If anyone's a psychopath, it's Neckbrace." "Oh my God, thank you."



So there are a few suspects that could potentially be the Red Devil running around killing people. So Boone is working with the killer (or is he, there might be something else going on there?) but just who is the main killer? Here are some of my top suspects.

Chanel #5. She seems to have a bit of an anger problem. She was in charge of the first haze that saw Deaf Taylor Swift die, and she also smiled a little bit when she looked at Chanel #2's body when they left it in the meat locker. She did say to Boone - "I will come after you, I will destroy you" which, if Boone remained dead, that would be so suspicious. Maybe they set up that argument to disguise them working together? Who knows. And some of the shots cut to her when something suspicious is said, like when Chanel said "it could be someone in this room" and Chanel #5 is the first person we see and she looks to Chanel #3, and again when Chad says Boone is dead, Chanel #1 looks at her. She could be trying to work her way up the Chanel ladder, and killing Ariana Grande would be one less problem for her. She is top of my suspect list.

Chanel #1. It wouldn't surprise me if Emma Roberts was at it again. She played the victim-turned-villain so well in Scream 4, so wouldn't it be a nice homage to the 'Scream' in 'Scream Queens' if the main character, Chanel #1, was the killer? She did say she doesn't fight fair, and she likes her Pumpkin Latte's two degrees below boiling. Know anybody else who likes things so hot it burns? She did kill Miss Bean and she could have tampered with Melanie's spray-tan kit.

Melanie. The president of Kappa Kappa Tau before Chanel. She did see the Red Devil at the end of her spray-tan incident, but she could have come back to plot revenge. After all, she did say "The next president of this house has to be willing to dance with the devil himself to keep this thing of ours going." And that's exactly what the Red Devil texts Chanel #2 before killing her. Maybe she's back for revenge?

Pete Martinez. This guy is too obvious but there's always a chance that's what they're going for - make it so obvious we don't think it's him, then reveal that it's him. I don't think they'll go that route, but he is a shifty guy. He basically stalked Chanel and she had to get a restraining order from him, and he does already own a Red Devil costume. He has it out for the Kappa Kappa girls.

Cathy Munsch. Now this Dean holds a lot of anger too and she has it out for the girls. If she's the killer, she'd be like Sue Sylvester killing the Glee kids instead of humiliating them in order to take them down. She's very shifty and seems bitter on how her life has turned out. The previous Dean did die beforehand too, and even though she joked it off that she did it, there's always a chance she could have. She reminds me of Chanel #1. She looks out for herself.

Grace Gardner. She would be the most shocking choice, but it could happen if that's what the writers want to do. She does seem hellbent on getting Kappa back to the way it was in the old days, and what better way than to kill those that taint the perfect image of the sorority her mother used to be a part of?

Chad Radwell. While he is so far up himself he could give himself anal, Chad admits that dead bodies turn him on. "I got my first boner watching Faces of Death." This just seems strange and so left field for someone so popular and seemingly perfect. And you know who else is obsessed with death...

Hestor Ulrich. She is messed up. She is so freaky. She has a perfectly gory way of disposing of Chanel #2 and the neckbrace could totally be a distraction to make us think she's not capable of being the killer.



CHARACTER OF THE EPISODES: Chanel Oberlin. Emma Roberts is on point in her newest role!

HUNK OF THE EPISODES: Boone. Who doesn't love a bit of Nick Jonas working out?

SHADIEST CHARACTER: Hester Ulrich. Lea Michele is awesome, but her weird suggestions of disposing of Chanel #2's body was really freaky.

BEST LINE: "We can make it fun, huh? Like a Friends episode but someone's, you know, trying to murder all the friends."

FUNNIEST LINE: "Bitch. I'm 'bout to smack you so hard your tampon's gonna pop out."

FUNNIEST MOMENT: Every scene with Denise! She is my girl.

SCARIEST MOMENT: The lawnmower incident.

SHADIEST MOMENT: Pete and his Red Devil costume. Even if he did say he's the mascot, he still acted shifty.

Did you guys enjoy the first two episodes of Scream Queens? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to watch the next all-new episode on September 29th at 9.00PM on FOX!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, The Flash, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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