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Why ‘Scream Queens’ deserved better

Prior+to+its+cancellation%2C+Scream+Queens+received+mixed+reviews.+Fans+appreciated+the+campy+take+on+horror%2C+while+critics+saw+it+as+too+messy+and+ridiculous.+To+this+day%2C+the+show+has+retained+a+cult+following.
Photo provided by: @tvscreamqueens
Prior to its cancellation, ‘Scream Queens’ received mixed reviews. Fans appreciated the campy take on horror, while critics saw it as too messy and ridiculous. To this day, the show has retained a cult following.

‘Scream Queens’ aired on Fox Network from Sep. 2015 to Dec. 2016. Following a sorority tormented by a serial killer, the show masterfully blended comedy, horror and satire and was, in my opinion, one of the most robbed television shows of its time. There are several aspects of the show that contribute to its legendary status in my mind, some of which are the cast, the absurdist comedic style, and the way it paid homage to the horror genre as a whole. 

To say the show had a star-studded cast almost feels like an understatement. Looking through the cast list, there’s very few actors and actresses in the show that would not be considered A-list celebrities. This makes watching the show exciting, because in every episode there are several familiar faces, and it’s insanely funny and juxtaposing to see them in the scary but ridiculous situations the show brought forth. For example, pop star Ariana Grande was featured in the first season as Chanel #2, a sidekick to Emma Roberts’ Chanel Oberlin. In one of her character’s scenes, we see her texting the disguised figure that is about to kill her as he is standing right in front of her, very plainly and openly preparing to kill her. The scene is extremely satirical and funny, and the fact that it was such a recognizable face acting it out just enhances the enjoyment. 

In the same vein, the comedy in the show works insanely well. Given that the show comes from the same creator as ‘Glee’, another shamelessly ridiculous show that I happen to be a fan of, this is unsurprising. The show is very clearly a satirical work, and because of that, it does not hold back on using very outlandish situations and dialogue to earn laughs – and earn laughs it does. In practically every scene there is something that comes out of one of the characters mouths that puts a smile on my face, often purely because of how unexpected and unfiltered their statements are. The utmost driving force in the show’s comedic excellence is the incredible timing and delivery of the lead actress, Emma Roberts. Having already been seasoned in the horror genre due to her time on ‘American Horror Story’, Roberts proved with ‘Scream Queens’ that she could deliver twisty, biting and raunchy dialogue like it was nothing. Chanel Oberlin, the show’s anti-hero protagonist, is the leader of the targeted sorority, and has a spoiled, narcissistic, but hilarious outlook on her life and those in it. No matter how cruel or insane the things Chanel said were, Roberts managed to deliver them with such ease and grace that the dialogue successfully hit both cruel and comedic levels. 

One of the most unique and impressive parts of the show, however, was how it honored and referenced many iconic horror films of the past. The most obvious way the show did this was by casting Jamie Lee Curtis, who is considered to be the original ‘scream queen’ from her performance in 1978’s “Halloween”, in a main, antagonistic role. “Halloween” was a pioneering film for the slasher genre, and having its leading lady in the show was a wonderful callback to the iconic film. Additionally, there was a strong parallel between “Scream Queens” and 1996’s “Scream”, another pillar of the slasher genre. In both the show and the film, there was a marketing tactic used where an extremely famous figure (Ariana Grande and Drew Barrymore respectively) was included heavily in promotion only to be killed off at the beginning of the story. The tactic was very successful in “Scream’s” day and became very famous, and using the same tactic for “Scream Queens” made for an excellent homage.

Overall, “Scream Queens” was a brilliant show and deserved to air for longer than it did. Whether you need scares, laughs or even just something to put you in the Halloween spirit, the show was and is a perfect choice.

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About the Contributor
Annaliese Long
Annaliese Long, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Annaliese Long is a third year staff member and Editor-in-Chief of the Brantley Banner. She is also a member of various clubs and honor societies such as Latin Club, Quill and Scroll Honor Society, National Honor Society and Social Studies Honor Society. Outside of school, she enjoys creative writing, reading novels and Wikipedia articles and listening to music. She plans to become a music journalist when she’s older, combining her two passions of music and writing into one job. She is grateful to be a part of the publication as it has helped her gain experience she will need to excel in this career. 
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