This Scream Queens review contains spoilers.
Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 7
“7 Minutes In Hell” was as bottle episode-like as a show like Scream Queens can get. The Kappas found themselves locked inside their sisterly manse thanks to Chanel’s decision to invest in a crazy security system in a bid to one up Jodie Foster’s in Panic Room. The tension should be ratcheted up, but at this point murder courtesy of the Red Devil seems like a given.
Instead of building suspense, the faux bottling (as it were) provided a great opportunity to for the central cast members to forge deeper connections. Which is good, because if this show isn’t going to go the way of every single Falchuk-Murphy venture before it, it needs to go a little deeper and stop coasting on its (admittedly) outre and controversial quips.
Speaking of which, and putting my reservations about the series’ future aside for the moment, the comedic beats this week were strong (discarding the almost constant vein of racism – I hate that I’ve made that a parenthetical). Chad and Chanel’s every interaction is glorious, as is watching Hester play her two-faced game. But the winner this week was Ear-Muff Chanel exploring both her Mason-like charisma and her sexuality. Girlfriend totally won the day with her deadpan delivery. Carrie Fisher must be so proud.
Now let’s talk about the fact that they killed off a woman of color who was also a lesbian and how that is deeply problematic. Right now, we don’t know who is really dead, and we don’t know who is fake dead (aside from what’s-his-tits, the one who is a Jonas). At this point it’s fair to assume that some of the deceased are actually fine and dandy while others are alive, well, and helping the Red Devil with their plan to exact revenge upon Kappa for the dead baby mama in the bathtub events that kicked off the season.
This ain’t The Vampire Diaries, the show has the good sense to be color-blind when it comes to murder (in TVD if you are black on the show you are a witch, or you are murdered, and why this isn’t a major point of conversation about the show is beyond me). It is a veritable Beneton of murder.
The problem lays in the Murphy and Falchuk penchant for casting of the “different.” They cast a deaf actress — and cut her head off. They had a woman of size — and they fried her face off. Now, they killed off their lesbian character. It just rankles. You can’t have a campy send-up of a horror show when you’re actually practicing tokenism. It doesn’t make sense. And it’s offensive.
Scream Queens doesn’t need to be resting on these faux shocking laurels. It’s at its riotous best when it revels in sex and gore — best to avoid even attempting to examine race in a piss-poor attempt at meta-television.