Scream Queens Season 2: Thoughts, Feelings, Concerns.

Season 2 of Scream Queens went to air last Wednesday and already we’re feeling that this is a sequel. If you managed to miss the first series however, then tuning in will give you a much needed dose of red-hot humour and sharp camera panning (because it wouldn’t be a Ryan Murphy creation without them). This year the bubble-gum slasher series has relocated from the sorority mansion to an eerie AF, yet inevitably chic hospital. The only things missing are the grand marble staircases, fresh-as-hell punchlines and half of the original cast who got murdered (R.I.P. Chanel no.2).

Just when I thought scrubs couldn’t be rocked, the Chanels are back and fiercer than ever. After being framed for murder by a horribly deranged Lea Michele, the queens have been let loose on (Dr.) Cathy Munsch’s C.U.R.E Institute, “where the incurable are cured.” The only thing they forgot to mention is that the ‘incurable’ seem to all get murdered by the end of each episode.

The killing spree of Wallace University saw the bloody farewell of some major faves: “Deaf Taylor-Swift”, Ms. Bean, Gigi ‘90’s’ Caldwell, and secure enforcement solutions’ Shondell, to name a few… not to mention the infamous Red Devil killer. This year we welcome a less tokenistic but equally random cast to the scene. John Stamos as Dr. Brock Holt is the clear gaybait of the season, and a bit overhyped if you ask me. A washed-up Taylor Lautner plays his sidekick Dr. Cassidy Cascade, though Lautner seems only a ghost of himself after the Twilight franchise finished, tbqh. Joining them as head matron of the hospital is a similarly washed-up Kirstie Alley, playing Ingrid-Marie Hoffel. The awful jokes just write themselves. At this stage we really don’t know what her deal is, but she is shady as all hell and clearly out for blood. I know she will single-handedly give me nightmares.

If you’re having Red Devil withdrawals, Ryan Murphy has managed to sketch up an almost identical villain in the form of the ‘Green Meanie’, essentially the Red Devil only green. Where old mate Devil stood for the Wallace University mascot, the green machine is a 1980’s Halloween costume gone rogue, back to haunt the incurable souls of the hospital’s present. They both love a good killing, but Greenie’s route to success seems to be a lot more predictable. Conveniently it avoids the main cast as not to scathe them before their inevitable season 3 return. The plot of each episode can be followed through a formula: patient with obscure and probably fictional illness enters hospital; Chanel throws a tantrum at no. 5; Stamos gets naked; side glances from Hoffel; and the patient gets sliced by the Green Meanie. Did I mention that John Stamos gets naked?

Seriously though, I can’t help but realise that this season seems to be a bit of a misfit. If none of the main cast are getting knocked off and it’s only the patients at the end of their respective episodes copping it, I can’t see how the show would garner the same suspense as it did last year. The jokes are also feeling a bit stale. It seems that Ryan Murphy has gone back to the Tumblr drawing board and is recycling memes for a living now. Season 1 was just so well executed, that it’s going to be a hard act to follow in my humble opinion. Maybe it’s the fact that the show thrived off outrageous, white girl humour, sassily contained within the sorority walls that the jokes exploded. This time round when the context isn’t as clear-cut, the humour feels out of touch with its characters. To compensate, Murphy is apparently writing his teenage fantasy with more homoerotic scenes than one can imagine, which also feels like a cheap shot at retaining its loyal viewers.

The silver lining here is that MAMA DENISE HEMPHILL has made her much-needed entrance to the series in Wednesday’s second episode. A general response has been that the second episode was a step-up from the first, and I think Denise’s newfound FBI status is responsible. Special mention goes to the moment that she perfectly executed her Zayday accusation: “If you wanna catch a killer, you got to get inside the mind of a killer. Or, in Zayday's case, underneath the weave of a killer.” For the show’s sake, I hope Denise and Zayday’s troubled relationship takes center stage once more, because they are very much the crowd pleasers of the group. One thing we can expect is a plot line scattered with discreet cameos, after already seeing Colton Haynes and Cecily Strong treated by the highly underskilled staff in the initial episodes.

To be honest, the show’s outrageous content was never something for the whole family. The very few people who could actually sit through a full episode are probably the only ones concerned at all with what’s to come. So you can’t be too worried for the ratings, because if they were brave enough to survive the entirety of season 1, no doubt they’ll be screaming all the way through season 2. For me, the shaky start has left a salty taste in my mouth, but that’s nothing a few calorie-free cotton balls can’t fix.

Scream Queens Season 2 airs Wednesday nights on channel Eleven at 9:30pm. Or you can probably catch it online, because I hear that’s what the cool kids do now.

Pulp Editors