Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fox's Scream Queens: Unrelenting Garbage, or Diamond in the Trash?

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am not a fan of the horror genre, for the simple reason that I am easily frightened. I am one of those people who cover their own eyes during scary or graphically violent movie scenes; I am not only very impressionable and easily influenced, but I also have vivid dreams, which is a terrible combination for a horror movie audience.

However, in an attempt to expand my horizons (aka Alex talked me into it), I recently watched the first two episodes of the new show "Scream Queens" (FOX). And, much to my surprise, I really liked it! Let me break it down.

Merits:

1) I love the nearly-all-female cast. This passes the Bechtel test in the very first scene, which is rare for modern entertainment. In fact, the first 6 minutes goes without even a mention of any male character (broken only by the naming of a male goat). Granted, pretty much all of the female characters are total caricatures, but then, so are all the male characters.
2) It is ridiculous. I love how every single line of dialogue, camera shot, background, motive, and costume is a complete mockery of the setting and characters. It's some of the best parody I've ever seen; the absurdity that coats every scene is made even better by the earnest actions and reactions of the characters. Without it, the show would fall painfully flat, but imbued with the never-ending ridiculousness, it is thoroughly enjoyable.
3) Funniest death scene ever. I will give a minor spoiler here - Chanel #2 has the best death scene I have ever witnessed. I laughed out loud before and during her death, which actually disturbs me to some degree, but it was just too silly not to. It's about halfway through the first episode, so I encourage you to watch until at least that point before you come to any conclusions.
4) Jamie Lee Curtis. "I'm going to barf on your face unless you get out of here." 'Nuff said.

Faults:

1) Bad language. I realize that I sound like my grandma now, but really...calling other women "slits" and "gashes" is about as gross as you can get. I know that it's part of the characterization of Chanel et al, but still...it's icky. Ew.
2) A lot of things are offensive. Yes, this whole show is about a self-obsessed, privileged, doesn't-have-a-soul while girl, but still...I was uncomfortable more than a couple times. I can't tell whether they're trying to push the envelope of societal taboos or just trying to shock viewers for ratings' sake.

Overall, in spite of its baser facets, I actually have to recommend this show, as long as you go in knowing that it's going to be hilarious and disgusting at the same time. Its amazing sense of humor won me over, in spite of not being the type of show I would normally watch.

If you want a good laugh *and* are old enough to tell satire from serious drama, check it out!

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