Happiness is a Warm TV

Fall TV: ‘Scream Queens’ is a ludicrous mess – and we love it

From left, Abigail Breslin as Chanel No. 5, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin, Skyler Samuels as Grace and Keke Palmer as Zayday in “Scream Queens.”
From left, Abigail Breslin as Chanel No. 5, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin, Skyler Samuels as Grace and Keke Palmer as Zayday in “Scream Queens.” Fox

New show: Scream Queens

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday on Fox, 9 p.m. Tuesdays starting next week

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Nick Jonas

Premise: This mash-up of horror, comedy, satire and ’90s nostalgia is ridiculous, offensive, gross and over the top. And we can’t wait for the next episode!

There’s a killer on the loose at Wallace University, and the sisters of Kappa House are all potential victims – and suspects. Kappa is not exactly the friendliest sorority on campus (more “Game of Thrones” than Greek, one member notes). Plus, something bad happened in the house 20 years ago – and some folks who were there at the time (or the children of those people) are still lurking around.

And we haven’t even mentioned the present-day killer in the red devil mask. It’s all more cartoony than scary, and everything from a lawnmower to a spray tanner to a frying vat is a potential murder weapon.

Curtis, once a “scream queen” herself in “Halloween” and other slasher flicks, is the stern, sexpot dean who decides Kappa now has to take any student who pledges. (Even a candle blogger!) Roberts is the queen bee of the sorority who has a group of well-heeled accomplices (Chanel No. 2, Chanel No. 3 and Chanel No. 5) and who Googles how to do a blood oath to keep them in line. (“I figured a blood oath was cheaper than buying you all presents.”)

The large cast camps it up and seems to be having a blast – extra credit to Michele (in full headgear) as a weird pledge, Jonas as a musclehead frat boy with a secret and Niecy Nash as the kind of security guard you would only call if you needed a good laugh. Don’t get attached to any of the actors, though – there will be deaths in each episode. (And at least one big name appears to expire in the two-hour premiere.)

Ryan Murphy is the producer, and as he’s shown with “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and everything else he’s ever done, his series often start strong before going completely off the rails. Of course, “Queens” starts out off the rails, so who knows where it will end up. But for now, we’re in.

  Comments