TV Review - Scream Queens: Season 2

The first season of this series was basically Glee but instead of a high school musical parody, it was a horror spoof. It was a crazy, over-the-top and wickedly funny show. Like the first season of Glee, what was great was the novelty of it. After the first season, that novelty wore off, but what sustained it was the musical performances and the comedy of Jane Lynch. For this series, the novelty has too worn off. What's sustaining it here is supposed to be two things as well, the murder scenes and the presence of Jamie Lee Curtis.

Written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, the murder scenes were insane and weirdly inventive in the first season. They prove to be hard to top and thus the murder scenes here are lackluster. Given that this season is set in a hospital, Murphy and his writers who also worked on his series Nip/Tuck can bring in ideas from that medical drama.

Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Cathy Munsch, a former dean at a university who has decided to re-open a hospital that was abandoned due to a tragedy. The hospital is a teaching hospital, so she's able to bring in her students from the university. The hospital focuses on treating bizarre cases or what might be considered incurable conditions. So far, those conditions are mostly cosmetic. Therefore, this show is riffing on Nip/Tuck, which was all about cosmetic surgery.

Here, the first case is a woman who looks like a werewolf because she has long, thick hair all over her face and body. It's funny, not only because the woman is played by Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live), but also because one of the doctors at the hospital is Cassidy Cascade, played by Taylor Lautner, the action star who made a name for himself playing a werewolf in the Twilight films.

The second case is a man named Tyler covered in tumors or large pimples all over his face and body. He's perceived and called a monster. He looks like the character from Fantastic Four (2005), known as The Thing. It's funny because Tyler is played by Colton Haynes who recently played a monster in MTV's Teen Wolf.

Those connections are subtle but a lot of the humor comes from pop culture references that are pretty blatant. Niecy Nash (Getting On and Reno 911) reprises her role as Denise Hemphill and she just straight calls out the ABC series Quantico. Yet, when it comes to Niecy Nash, there's nothing subtle about her. There's also a blatant shout-out to Netflix's Making a Murderer.

Again, the series is a murder mystery constructed and manifested in almost the exact same way as in the first season. Instead of the Red Devil costume, the costume is the Green Meanie. It's a whodunit that's a little more obvious given that a lot of the characters are imported from the first season. For example, the Green Meanie probably isn't the four main, college-age girls like Chanel, played by Emma Roberts, or Zayday, played by Keke Palmer.

There are new older characters like Ingrid Marie Hoffel, played by Kirstie Alley (Cheers and Veronica's Closet) and Dr. Brock Holt, played by John Stamos (Full House and ER). Stamos was pulled from his recently cancelled FOX series Grandfathered, which was a better series than this. Yet, Stamos' sex appeal is hyped up so much more here. In the second episode, he's in fact nude and in a homoerotic, shower scene with Glen Powell (The Expendables 3 and Everybody Wants Some) who plays Chad Radwell.

It's also revealed in Episode Two that Brock Holt had a hand transplant from a serial killer, squash player. If that kind of comedy, including homoerotic showers and serial-killing, squash players is comedy that you'd appreciate, then this series is for you.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-DLSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Tuesdays at 9PM on FOX.


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