Tag Archives: Scream Queens

I watched Scream Queens so you don’t have to

Seriously. If you haven’t watched Scream Queens yet, don’t bother.

It’s the worst sort of unfunny, “ironically” racist, tacky crap that I’ve seen in ages, and I’m so disappointed by basically everything about it. I didn’t expect this to be a good show (I mean, Ryan Murphy is also responsible for perennial turdpiles Glee and American Horror Story), but I did expect it to be entertaining and fun (in the vein of Glee and AHS). Mostly, it’s just cringe-inducing.

The thing about horror comedy is that it has to be funny in order to work, and the biggest problem with Scream Queens is that it’s just not, so it doesn’t. While there are a couple of amusing scenes in the first two episodes–most notably security guard Denise (Niecy Nash) explaining how to notify her in case of an emergency and, surprisingly, Chanel #2’s (Ariana Grande) death–it’s mostly just a constant stream of hatefulness or stupidity (and hateful stupidity) from all of the characters except for good girl Grace (Skyler Samuels), who is just boring.

Sorority leader Chanel (Emma Roberts) is a caricature of a rich bitch sorority girl, but she’s just so over-the-top vile that it’s hard to stomach. A conversation between Chanel and Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) suggests a sort of self-awareness about this, and Dean Munsch’s assertion that “out in the real world, people just don’t talk that way to other people. It’s not normal,” seems to be a wink to the audience to show that writer Ryan Murphy knows how awful his characters are. However, the Chanel/Munsch conversation doesn’t herald any character development for Chanel, and we later find out that Munsch is just as awful in her own way.

I was ready to turn the show off the first time I heard the phrase “white mammy,” but I didn’t. It turns out that it only gets more racist from there. Chanel’s blatant and incredibly hateful and mean-spirited racism seems intended to be amusing, but it’s not. It’s just a drag. Even worse is the stereotyping of Zayday (Keke Palmer), the show’s token black girl. The biggest disservice done to Zayday, though, is that she’s sidelined from the majority of the action, only appearing to show how nice and not-racist Grace is and popping up occasionally later on to exclaim colorful lines like “Y’all’s ratchet!” Zayday is, so far, less a character than a prop or a background decoration in a story that’s really about the white girls.

While I suppose good for Ryan Murphy for casting a deaf actress (Whitney Meyer) to play “Deaf Taylor Swift,” I feel like the progressiveness of that decision is undone by the choice to use the character’s deafness as the punchline of her jokey death.

The show also shortchanges Sam (Jeanna Han), a character who is still alive (for now) but just doesn’t make sense. The “Predatory Lez” moniker is as aggressively and offensively unfunny as any of the other nicknames on the show, and I just will never understand why the trope of the obviously hostile radical feminist lesbian sorority pledge even exists. I also don’t understand why Ryan Murphy would utilize that trope for comedy only to play it entirely straight. Apparently the joke here is that this character exists. Also, that feminism is hilarious.

Speaking of making fun of feminism, Jamie Lee Curtis deserves so much better than Dean Munsch. I feel like as second wave feminists get older, this type of character–the dreary, failed feminist with nothing to show for herself in middle age except a divorce and a job she despises–gets more popular. I hate it so much, and it just seems to reinforce that Ryan Murphy can’t stand women or feminism. Even the “best case scenario” feminism depicted on the show–Grace’s dream of a sorority as a real sisterhood where she can connect with her mother’s memory–is shown as silly, childish, and naive.

I have no desire at all to keep watching a show where the biggest “joke” seems to be about how stupid feminism is and how awful women are.

What I will be (and you should be) watching this fall

So, it took me most of a summer of watching light fare to recover from this last season of Game of Thrones, but I think I’m more or less ready for watching and writing about some new television this fall. I won’t be writing about everything I watch, obviously, and there are a couple of things I intend to write about that I don’t know if I’ll be able to stick with–that could end up like my watching and posting about Killjoys did this summer; I still haven’t watched the last two episodes of that show, I was so bored/frustrated with it.

Here’s the plan:

The Mindy Project – Tuesdays on Hulu starting 9/15. I honestly love this show, and I will watch it til the end of time, although I rarely write about it outside of a line or two on Tumblr. The first episode of season four is excellent, and the first three seasons are available to stream on Hulu as well so it’s not too late too catch up if you’re really dedicated.

Doctor Who – Saturdays on BBC America starting 9/19. Doctor Who is another show I just can’t quit. It’s also one that I intend to write about this year, although I haven’t had much positive to say about it during Steven Moffat’s tenure as showrunner. I’m not making any promises about this one, though. Right now, my goal is to have my Doctor Who post up on Monday mornings, but I’m not going to destroy myself over this show the way I do over Game of Thrones. If it gets too insufferable, I will likely switch to just watching it.

Minority Report – Mondays on Fox starting 9/21. Frankly, I’m already bored by this series, but I’ll probably check out the first episode or two just to confirm my suspicion that it makes no sense. I’m pretty sure the whole point of Minority Report was that the whole pre-crime thing is a terrible idea and this show seems to be presupposing that–maybe it isn’t? Okaaaay.

Scream Queens – Tuesdays on Fox starting 9/22. This show is relevant to basically all of my interests. And it has Jamie Lee Curtis. I’m currently planning to write about this one on Wednesdays.

Heroes Reborn – Thursdays on NBC starting 9/24. This show is basically not relevant to anything. No one wanted or asked for it. But it’s a thing that is happening. Since I loved the first season of Heroes as well as anybody, I will be watching this, but I’ll only be writing about it if it’s really good or really comically terrible.

Bob’s Burgers – Sundays on Fox starting 9/27. Love it. Watch it with my family. Will almost never post anything about it except gifs of Tina on Tumblr.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Sundays on Fox starting 9/27. Also love, but also won’t write about unless something major happens.

iZombie – Tuesdays on the CW starting 10/6. The first season of this show was a little uneven, and I wasn’t totally thrilled with the way it ended, but I plan to tune in again this year and write about it some more. Depending on how things pan out, I may end up choosing between this and Scream Queens to write about, though. Just, realistically, I’m not sure I have it in me to write about more than one show a day, especially as I’ve got a lot of reading that I want to do over the next few months as well.

Jane the Virgin – Mondays on the CW starting 10/12. I won’t write about this show (mostly because it’s basically perfect), but it’s another one that we watch as a family and I can’t wait.

Supergirl – Mondays on CBS starting 10/26. I kind of dislike most super hero stuff, but this show looks completely charming. I’m currently planning to write about it.

Ash vs. Evil Dead – Saturdays on Starz starting 10/31. This show is definitely what I am doing on Halloween. I’m not sure if I will write about it or not. It depends on how good this show is and how bad this season of Doctor Who is.

Into the Badlands – Sundays on AMC starting 11/15. This show is almost certainly awful, but I’m kind of interested in it anyway. No plans to write about it.

The Man in the High Castle – On Amazon Prime starting 11/20. I haven’t read the Philip K. Dick novel this series is based upon, but the trailer for the show looks promising. I’m hoping to read the book sometime over the next couple of months, and then I might watch the show.

Jessica Jones – On Netflix starting 11/20. Another Marvel show. I’m somewhat looking forward to this one, but I haven’t even finished Daredevil yet, so there’s no telling when I’ll get around to it. I do really like Krysten Ritter, though.

Childhood’s End – On SyFy starting 12/14. I read this book over the summer, and I totally understand why it’s one of the great sci-fi novels. I also totally have no faith in this adaptation of it. It looks legit awful, and I’m a little embarrassed for SyFy about it. I’ll definitely be watching it, though. And I expect that I’ll write some about it, too. I think it’s going to be just that enraging.

The Expanse – On SyFy starting 12/14. I’m somewhat more optimistic about this show, although I haven’t read the source material (and don’t really intend to unless the show is really good). I’ve no idea whether I’ll write about it or not. It depends on whether I have any feelings about it strong enough to be worth sharing.

I’m really disappointed that the new shows that seem intended to capitalize on the popularity of Game of Thrones-esque, gritty, dark medieval European settings (The Bastard Executioner and The Last Kingdom) both look boring as shit. I’m actually a pretty big fan of the gritty medieval stuff, but I have no desire to watch shows that look to be almost entirely devoid of women. Game of Thrones might hate its women, but at least they exist there.

In all honestly, the shows I’m most looking forward to this fall are all returning favorites. The new stuff that’s coming out isn’t that exciting, with a couple of exceptions, and a solid half of it looks actively bad. I figure I’ll try a few new things, though. Worst case scenario, everything is terrible and I end up reading more books instead.