When Ryan Murphy originally pitched "Scream Queens," he stated that the comedy-horror series would be a mesh of his two hits, "Glee" (musical-comedy) and "American Horror Story" (horror and murder). Well, the second season adds a third of Murphy's previous shows: "Nip/Tuck," a medical drama that was set in a plastic surgery office.
"Scream Queens" had much anticipation for Season 1 – promos, billboards, magazine articles, and a killer cast including Emma Roberts, Lea Michelle, Jamie Lee Curtis, Keke Palmer and Abigail Breslin, as well as new faces Skyler Samuels, Billie Lourd, and Glen Powell. Nick Jonas and Ariana Grande also made appearances, and the series looked like it would be another grand hit for Murphy.
Then it actually started airing.
The first season was a disappointment, especially in terms of reviews and ratings. "Scream Queens" is a slasher series but doesn't actually emulate real slasher movies. The storytelling was haphazard, which has killed many of Murphy's previous shows, the jokes weren't that funny, and the scares weren't actually scaring viewers. By the time the Red Devil was revealed in the final episode, it can be safe to say that nobody cared. But somehow, FOX decided to give the series another chance and renewed them for a second season. But after two episodes, it's clear that they shouldn't have.
Season 2 takes place in a hospital, which brings up two points: one, cheap slasher setting, and two, what is Ryan Murphy's obsession with medical dramas ("Nip/Tuck," and the second season of "AHS")? Majority of the main characters from last season returned, which isn't a surprise because the Red Devil only killed about four main characters, but a slew of minor, irrelevant ones. However, Skyler Samuels and Oliver Hudson, who both had big roles in last season's mystery, were not asked to return for this one. A statement hasn't been released as to why.
The plotline is rather simple: Dean Munsch (Curtis) has suddenly decided she is qualified to become a medical doctor after receiving an honorary PhD. She opens up a medical hospital called CURE, which seeks to find treatments for incurable diseases. There are two sexy additions to "Scream Queens" this year, Dr. James Holt (John Stamos) and Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner). Dr. Holt is a brilliant surgeon that received a mysterious hand transplant, and the hand seems to cause him a lot of trouble. Not too much is known about Dr. Cascade, only that he is freezing cold. Dean Munsch seeks out Zayday Williams (Palmer), who has graduated from Wallace and is now a medical student. She offers her a job in her hospital as a doctor, even though Zayday hasn't graduated from medical school yet.
And now, enter everyone's favorite "Final Girls" – the Chanel's (Roberts, Lourd, and Breslin). After Special Agent Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) busted Hester (Michele) as the Red Devil, the Chanel's were freed from the asylum and live boring lives pulling minimum-wage jobs. Dean Munsch rescues them from their mediocre lives and gives them positions at the hospital, even though once again, these three girls are rich morons and have no medical training.
The story is a little interesting, with the central mystery this season: the Green Meanie (yes, I'm serious). A flashback to 1985 reveals the hospital Dean Munsch now owns was originally filled with very neglectful doctors who drowned a dying patient because their Halloween party was much more important. Before they went back to get drunk, one of the doctor's threw his "Green Meanie" costume and mask on top of him. It turns out the patient had a wife who was pregnant with his child, but as of now it's unknown what happened to them. The second episode further revealed that in 1986, someone dressed as the Green Meanie interrupted the annual Halloween party and massacred everyone, including the two doctors who were responsible for the patient's death. And now, back in 2016 at the hospital, the Green Meanie has returned and is killing everyone.
One word: dull.
Every character on the show, sans Zayday, is stupid. One of the reasons why it's so hard to get into "Scream Queens" is because it's just so unrealistic. In real life, people aren't this dumb. In Season 1, the police and Wallace University administration were dumb, the students didn't attend school and sorority life was not depicted correctly. In Season 2, there's a hospital that's supposed to find cures for incurable diseases where majority of their employees aren't even real doctors or medical students. While John Stamos is always amazing to look at, his romantic interactions with Chanel (Roberts) feel forced and awkward, and are clearly a set-up to a rivalry between him and Chad (Powell), Chanel's on-and-off boyfriend. Even Taylor Lautner, resident-hottie from the Twilight film series, is unforgettable.
In the early seasons of "Glee," the jokes and comments were so laugh-out-loud funny that one's stomach would hurt from laughing. On "AHS," the scares are so intense that I had to watch all the Twisty scenes from Season 4 with the lights on. "Scream Queens" doesn't have those qualities. Instead, the show just falls flat. The medical cases aren't even that interesting (Werewolf Girl? Warts Guy?) – real doctors aren't even examining these patients.
Season 2's premiere drew in 2.17 million viewers, which is pretty bad and a huge drop from Season 1's premiere's dismal 4.04 million viewers. The second episode of Season 2 doesn't seem to be bringing anyone in, because it came in at an awful 1.70 million viewers. For a show that was so heavily promoted, it really should be doing a lot better.
The verdict? Cancel the show once Season 2 finishes airing. While "Scream Queens" may be popular on social media, it's not biting with critics and viewers. On the off-chance that FOX does decide to give it another go, it will be renewed for a third season, but definitely won't make it to a fourth.
"Scream Queens" airs Tuesdays on "FOX."
Watch the Season 2 trailer below:
Reach Staff Reporter Adrianne Ramsey here.