Written by: Brent R. Oliver
I feel like I owe you readers an apology. This review is going up very late, much later than I’m comfortable with. Episode five of Scream Queens aired last Tuesday and it’s taken me until now to recover and be able to write anything. I honestly don’t know what long-term effects this show will have on my mind and body but right now it feels worse than heroin.
The first thing I noticed watching episode five is that this show still fucking sucks. It sucks hard enough to pull a sad baby alien out through a hole in a spaceship’s window. It sucks so bad, if it started to blow, I wouldn’t even notice. This thing sucks at being a show worse than Stephen King sucks at talking a walk.
The second thing I noticed was that the guy that got his arms chainsawed off by the Red Devil in episode, I don’t know, one of the earlier ones, is still around. Just minus arms.
I had to pause the goddamn thing and have four shots of Jägermeister just to get myself together.
So far, Scream Queens has been hackneyed, overwrought, trite, idiotic, tiresome, and derivative. It’s “borrowed” from other, better, shows and films, using its campiness to try to justify that. But usually it manages to inject its own lame, dick-flavor of comedy into the mix. Not so with “Pumpkin Patch.” This episode marks the moment when the people behind SQ just gave the fuck up and hoisted their middle fingers at the audience. I really should have been prepared for this possibility, considering the show is nothing but brute, simple-minded momentum, but somehow I wasn’t. Scream Queens has been declining since the first moment it aired. It seems designed to decline exponentially; to rocket downhill like a turd sandwich stapled to a cheetah. In fact, this thing has built up such a moronic shithead of steam that it’s now an unstoppable juggernaut of suck.
There are still occasional moments of decent humor. In one scene, Chanel is taking a test with an Asian guy next to her who is obviously helping. The professor asks if she’s cheating and she denies it, telling him she’s always had her own Asian for any math or science classes. If Scream Queens had even a smidge actual horror or suspense to balance it out, this would have been a truly hilarious bit. Instead, the genuine comedy was lost in the overwhelming, shrieking shitstorm of thousand-mile-an-hour retardation.
Other than that, the show has graduated from using camp to badly poke fun at other shows, to just outright theft and parody. I know I’ve compared this thing to the Scary Movie franchise before, but now it’s actually accurate. They’re lifting ideas whole-hog and just dropping them right in.
In “Pumpkin Patch,” Zayday has been imprisoned by the Red Devil in a pit dug out of his basement. He lowers food down to her in a basket and when he peers over the rim of the pit, he’s cuddling a small dog. When the other characters show up to rescue her, the Devil slaps on some night vision goggles and douses all the lights. He then wanders around sticking his hands in the blinded character’s faces while they grope and blink pointlessly around the room. All this is seen in green-tinted night vision. This isn’t camp and it’s definitely not satire. Instead, it’s mostly just stealing straight from The Silence of the Lambs disguised as unnecessary parody.
For some ridiculous, trumped-up reason, Chanel is momentarily jailed in this episode. Surely there were plenty of directions to go with that; any number of decent ideas that could have made it funny or weird or dark. Fuck that, bro. Sounds like work. Let’s just use Orange is the New Black.
Yep. Chanel’s scene in the slammer was a point-blank rip off of the characters, situations, and settings from Orange. Scream Queens couldn’t even be bothered to try. Again, if I’m being generous, this could be seen as parody. Still unnecessary, still stupid, but at least it’s something. But considering how lazy this show is overall, it seems much more likely this is just plain old larceny.
By now you may have picked up on my general distaste for Scream Queens. If you’d be willing to bet I’d rather jam a baby porcupine all the way down my urethra rather than watch another episode of this show, you’d win that wager. But I promised I’d watch all of them. I finally had the balls to check IMDb to see how many more episodes of this visual staph infection I have to endure. Ten. Jesus Christ. This season is going to have fifteen episodes and I estimate my suicide to occur somewhere around episode eleven.
You know, slasher movies weren’t originally about cheering for the villain. We were supposed to identify with the characters and feel sympathy for their plight. We were supposed to feel bad when they died. Over many years and hundreds of sequels, that’s not usually the case anymore. We like a cool killer, a villainous, undead motherfucker hacking his way through a bunch of hot young idiots. Those hot young idiots are there for our murdering pleasure. We don’t like them or identify with them; they’re just useless caricatures filling a vague role. We enjoy seeing them torn apart as graphically as possible. The killer becomes the interesting character and the best things happen on the end of his machete.
In Scream Queens, I don’t care about the characters and I don’t care about the killer either. I’m not even interested in watching the killer off the characters. I don’t give a shit how they die, I just wish they’d never existed.
Episode six airs tomorrow night. I’m going to go get drunk and stay drunk.