Good evening, idiot hookers! (As if I'd open my "Scream Queens" recap any other way.)
To love Ryan Murphy is to also hate Ryan Murphy. "Glee" was once my favorite show before it derailed in season 4. (But I still kept watching until the bitter end.) Meanwhile, his horror anthology series, "American Horror Story," is excellent -- when it wants to be. (It's uneven, to say the least.) And nothing will ever come close to the love I have in my heart for "Popular" -- Murphy's first show, canceled after only two seasons. (Perhaps for the best.) Needless to say, Murphy and I have a long history of triumphs and losses.
Enter Murphy's latest pop-culture masterpiece: "Scream Queens." If loving you is wrong, dear "Scream Queens," then I don't want to be right.
I can't remember the last time a pilot was so instantly memorable. Say what you want about Murphy, but the man has a voice and an aesthetic that is so in tune with everything I love about pop culture.
"Scream Queens" was described by Murphy as "Heathers" meets "Halloween," and tbh, that's the show's DNA. It's absurd, hilarious and devilishly fun. The opening scene alone sets the tone for the rest of the two-hour premiere with it's bitingly self-aware take on Greek culture and the horror genre.
Led by Emma Roberts in a decidedly star-making turn as the vicious mean girl on campus, "Scream Queens" boasts the freshest young talent in Hollywood. Lea Michele is shedding her "Glee" image in a role that's perfectly creepy and macabre. Nick Jonas steals the episode, imho, as Boone, a closeted frat brother who's got a total broner for his best friend Chad -- and he's hiding a seemingly dark agenda. Chanel's group of preppy, couture-clad lackies (known as The Chanels) are instantly memorable, from Ariana Grande's daft Chanel #2 to Billie Lourd's hilarious #3. ("Don't look so excited," she tells a Kappa Kappa Tau pledge hopeful while handing her a drink. "It's not diet.")
"Scream Queens" follows Chanel, the ruthless Kappa Kappa Tau president who rules her sorority with an iron fist, and her squad of idiot hookers, The Chanels -- Chanel #2 (Grande), Chanel #3 (Lourd) and Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin). Together, they're the pretty, popular untouchables of campus. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, Chanel #4 got a bad case of meningitis and died. RIP Chanel #4. We didn't even know your real name.)
Chanel's reign of terror is put at risk when Dean Cathy Munsch, played by OG scream queen and overall badass Jamie Lee Curtis, forces the KKT president to accept anybody who wants to pledge at the sorority, even "fatties and ethnics," as Chanel calls them.
As a result, Kappa adopts a helpless group of misfits, including Hester (Michele), also known as Neckbrace, a strange girl who loves death. Meanwhile, legacy pledge Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels) is the complete opposite of Chanel. She wants to restore Kappa Kappa to its former "glory" days. Something tells me that's not going to be possible. After all, the ladies of Kappa have buried more bodies than they'd probably ever admit.
However, when a string of gruesome murders at the hands of a masked Red Devil threatens to ruin her popularity and future career goals of being the younger, hotter Diane Sawyer, the merciless Queen Bee orchestrates an elaborate plan to keep the murders under wraps. But what does this Red Devil killer have against Kappa, anyway?
And that, my Kappa sisters, is where all of the OMG moments begin. Here are all of the big moments from the "Scream Queens" pilot episode:
Bye Bye Ms. BeanFox
Technically, this wasn't the first death of the episode, but it was the only death that made me vomit in my mouth a little. In an effort to scare her young, eager pledges away from Kappa, Chanel orchestrates a plan with her favorite punching bag, the poor house maid, Ms. Bean. The plan is simple: she'll pretend to "get mad" at Ms. Bean and dunk her head into the deep frier as punishment. But the frier won't actually be on, of course. Yeah, that didn't go according to plan.
Instead, Chanel got mad at Ms. Bean for realz and dunked her head into the frier... without realizing it was on. Cut to a horrific scene in which Mr. Bean emerges from the grease and proceeds to PEEL HER FACE OFF.
Ariana Grande gets Drew Barrymore'd
Let's just say I wasn't completely shocked when Grande was the first "main" cast member to get offed. But as the Drew Barrymore of "Scream Queens," Grande got one (fresh) hell of an epic death. Not only did Chanel #2 find herself texting with the killer which he/she was merely a foot away, but she also tried to tweet about her attack BEFORE RUNNING THE EFF OUT OF THERE. Girl, if you're trying to run away from a killer who just stabbed you, do not take the time to tweet. Also, maybe be a faster tweeter. It does not take that long to type 140 characters. Grande's deadly tango with the killer wasn't just memorable, it was downright hilarious. The girl gets stabbed in the HEAD and yet still has enough in her to finish her tweet. Now, that's dedication.
The opening scene not only set the tone for the series, but it also established a bit of Kappa mythology.
During a KKT party in the '90s, in which TLC's "Waterfalls" was (and always will be) the current jam, a group of selfish Kappa sisters come across a shocking discovery: a sister who had given birth in the bathtub. Uh, that's a major party foul.
But instead of wasting time comforting their sister after after she had given freakin' birth, the ladies of KKT leave her in the bathtub to go dance, natch. When they come back to check on her, she's dead. At least the baby was A-OK. (Side note: that's totally bb Grace, right?! Or could it be bb Red Devil? That would explain why the masked killer has it out for the Kappas.)
So what do the Kappas do? They call their sorority leader, Ms. Munsch. Dun dun dunnn. How does she fit into all of this shadiness? This whodunnit started off with quite the bang.
Forget Chad and Chanel... No, seriously, forget them. Even though Chad is a ridiculously hilarious d-bag of a guy, that doesn't mean I'm supporting this problematic af relationship.
Grace and Pete, on the other hand, can get it. What an adorable meet-cute! She ordered cold coffee, he smiled and cracked a joke. It was perfect rom-com moment. This supremely attractive couple is doing more than Netflix and chilling -- they're trying to solve the mystery of the Red Devil killer. Ultimately, this makes me worried for Pete's survival. All boyfriends must die, according to slasher lore.
Shake it offFox
Aww. Too soon? We hardly knew you, Deaf Taylor Swift, but we really, really loved you. No one deserves to get their head decapitated by a lawn mower.
Dean Munsch is hiding something major.Fox
Munsch talks a good game, but we all know she's got a few skeletons in her closet. One, she was connected to the night the unknowingly pregnant Kappa gave birth and died. And two, she's hooking up with everyone from Chad (ugh, girl, you can do better) to Grace's dad. So why does she have such a gripe against Kappa? It's not like she's on some morally higher ground.
Aside: you really gotta love Murphy and co. for committing to their Millennial satire. When local news reporters descend upon Dean Munsch after Deaf Taylor Swift's murder, questioning her about the devil-mask killer, tearful students lurk in the background, taking selfies and giving faux-devastated interviews about a victim they’ve never even met.
Nick Jonas, what's good?Fox
OK, we were totally into Boone until those final few seconds. Why did Boone fake his death? Is he working with the Red Devil killer? And if so, why?
Boone had just pledged to Kappa -- thereby becoming the sorority's first gay male pledge -- something Chanel agreed to not because she's compassionate (lol) but because she loves positive publicity and knows the move will trend social media. Chanel #5 was NOT happy about this, so when Boone showed up dead in the Dickie Dollar Scholars frat house, we kinds suspected she might be the Red Devil, but now that we know Boone faked his own death, possibly with the Red Devil's help, now we're not so sure.