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Scream Queens
Review of Pilot Episode &
Episode 2: Hell Week
Directed by: Ryan Murphy (Pilot)
Brad Falchuk (Hell Week)

Air date: 9/22/15

Editor’s Note: Stevie’s Scream Queens reviews are done on a weekly basis and are for watchers of the show, therefore it’s worth mentioning that there will be spoilers and heavy speculation in all of the reviews. For those of you who wish to not be spoiled, please stop reading.

Scream Queens is the new horror/comedy anthology series that debuted this past Tuesday on Fox. Viewers were treated to a double episode premiere and were introduced to a large cast of characters on the campus of Wallace University. You can tell in the first half of the pilot that this show pays homage to horror movies like Scream or House on Sorority Row, and one of the main characters, Dean Cathy Munsch, is played by none other than the main scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis. The pilot began with a flashback party sequence from 1995 where one of the sisters of Kappa Kappa Tau (the big house on campus) has secretly given birth to a baby in an upstairs bathtub. Her fellow Kappas are mortified and refuse to let this ruin their party, leaving the girl in the tub with one of the sisters keeping watch. When the other girls return they find out to their dismay that the girl has died from blood loss.

So right then and there the show cuts to the chase; something horrible happened twenty years ago and the future ladies of KKT are going to have to pay for it. Once we’re back in 2015 we meet mean girl Chanel, president of the sorority, and her minions, Chanel #2, Chanel #3, and Chanel #5 (Chanel #4 died of meningitis). It’s Pledge Week and Dean Munsch has let Chanel know that she is her sworn enemy and it’s her main objective as newly appointed Dean to bring Kappa House down. It’s then that we’re treated to a flashback of when there was another Queen B in Kappa. A very unfortunate accident occurs in which spray tan solution is replaced with hydrochloric acid and the former sorority president is left mutilated. Clearly the writers want us to be aware of the fact that Chanel may have been the one to do this, ya know, to throw a red herring in for when the serial killer shows up on campus.

The new freshmen arrive and Grace and her roommate Zayday plan on pledging. Grace’s father made it very clear he didn’t want her joining any sororities, but it’s Grace’s number one priority as we learn that her late mother was once a Kappa. It’s on this first night at Kappa House that Dean Munsch reveals her genius plan: KKT will be required to take on any girl that wants to be a Kappa, discrimination will no longer be tolerated. So the previously all-white (with the exception of Ariana Grande which confused me), all hetero, high-society sorority with some seriously high standards when it comes to appearance will now be forced to take in a variety of ethnicities, girls with disabilities, and the average girls that they hate.

Let me take this time to point out that Scream Queens is extremely self-aware and the writers make it a point to show the viewer how vicious Chanel is. She is a racist, homophobic, spoiled brat; and that’s what makes you love to hate her and hate to love her. I think one of the things that was executed so well was how fantastic all the stereotypes were: the venomous lead girl, the dumb pretty girl, the sweet innocent one, the obnoxious jock guys, the sassy black women, the sensitive love interest, the butch lesbian, the creepy death-obsessed girl... each and every role in Scream Queens is a role that has been played out to hell and back in some form or another in horror films over the decades. Pool them all together and you get the over-the-top storyline of this series. Speaking of storyline… Chanel concocts a plan to scare away all the “fat and uglies” by pretending to burn the face of the house maid (whom she tenderly refers to as White Mammie). Chanel’s pseudo-boyfriend Chad (who looks like a thirty-five year old attending college) warns that he can’t be associated with an unpopular girl and that Chanel will be history if these new girls are accepted into KKT. But somebody has other plans and sets White Mammie up, turning on the fryer so that when Chanel dunks her face in it, she actually gets burned to death. In a panic, the girls cover up the death at the house and Chanel forces them into secrecy. The only problem is that someone on that campus isn’t just going to let this go away.


The deaths continue and just keep getting more and more cheesy and entertaining. During a hazing, one of the girls gets her head run over by a lawnmower and in another attack, Chanel #2 is murdered in her bedroom while simultaneously texting back and forth with her attacker. The only clues we’ve been given so far is that the killer wears the costume of Wallace’s mascot, The Red Devil, and that any one of the many characters we’ve been introduced to could be responsible. After GiGi hires a security guard to help stand watch outside the sorority, even she’s now in the line of fire as her partner is murdered in the security vehicle. You might have been thinking that only the females were at risk, but this is also disproven when Chad’s best friend Boone’s throat is cut.

Grace gets involved with the school’s investigative reporter, Pete, who is dead-set on unraveling this mystery. Grace finds out that the bathtub and bloody clothes from when the Kappa Sister died in 1995 have been hidden in a secret room in the KKT House basement and puts two and two together once she finds out that the girl’s death was covered up. The baby has grown up, and is out to avenge its mother’s death.

By the end of the second episode, Hell Week, it’s pretty obvious that we’re supposed to be assuming the killer is not working alone. In the final scene we’re shown someone pulling Boone’s slab at the mortuary out and Boone wakes up, the big reveal being that his death was fake and that he might be working with the killer. But who could the other killer be?

It’s safe to say that I don’t think it’s Chanel, that would be far too obvious. It could be Chanel #5 or #3 since they’re always treated like such crap by their leader. Could it be Grace? We haven’t found out how her mom died yet, perhaps her mother was the one who died in that bathtub. Pete has a strange hatred for Chanel and the Kappa girls, and Grace did find that Red Devil costume in his closet. He claims that he’s the mascot but we don’t know for sure. Then there’s Dean Munsch, she was once a women’s rights activist and has made it very clear that she hates KKT and all they stand for. It’s also made clear that Dean Munsch may have been involved in the bathtub cover up. And since Boone is not really dead and an obvious suspect, maybe his best friend Chad is the killer. All speculation that we will have to wait for the next episode to either prove or disprove.

Overall I think Scream Queens will be wildly successful. In between the catty arguments, the hazing, and the exaggerated portrayal of the college experience are the cheesy deaths, the non-stop screaming, and the classic murder-mystery plot. With a throwback soundtrack to boot, I don’t think there’s anything I didn’t like about the first two episodes of this camptastic show. Members of an older audience might not find it as entertaining, but I think for those viewers that enjoy a good bit of cheese with their meal, this show will suit you just fine. Check out the trailer for the next episode:

Stevie Kopas, HMS

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