The new season of SCREAM QUEENS opens with another flashback to another Halloween party with a pregnant chick. This time, it’s at a hospital where the staff is complaining about having to help a pregnant woman with her husband that’s not breathing. Eventually, a doctor just snorts up some drugs and dumps the man in a swamp that is conveniently located behind the hospital but not before covering him in a green devil dragon costume. But it’s not a green devil, it’s a Green Meanie that lives in the swamp and will be the season’s new villain.
So back to the present, where we catch up with the characters that matter. Dean Munsch is now Dr. Munsch and has a bunch of money that has enabled her to buy a hospital, staff it and give a TED-style talk on reforming the healthcare system. After the talk, we see that Munsch is her usual shifty self as we catch up with Zayday, who graduated college in a year and half and is now working her way through med school. When Munsch tells her that she’ll pay for her schooling, Zayday seems temporarily put off before accepting the gig.
Once at the hospital, Zayday meets her new coworkers, including John Stamos’ hot doctor Dr. Holt. It’s nice seeing him back in a white coat after his stint on E.R. a million years ago, and he takes on the quirky role well. He tells Zayday a complicated story about losing his hand and then having a transplant and not being able to do surgery but he’s there, so it seems like he can operate at least a little. Or maybe just on the audience’s hearts. Zayday’s other coworkers are the literally cool Taylor Lautner as Dr. Cassidy Cascade and the super fun James Earl who made a brief appearance as an overly enthusiastic candy striper. For me, that was the only moment of true levity that I actually enjoyed. I’m always a fan of the goofball.
Zayday complains that there’s not enough girl power in the hospital, which is how the Chanels reenter the picture. Apparently, they were the subject of a Netflix documentary, To Catch a Murderer-style. So the hospital is taking on all the wacky, unsolvable cases, medical show-style. You know, poking fun at shows like Grey’s Anatomy, where doctors never turn down patients, they just do a lot of research in the field and find a unique solution to the extremely rare condition. In this case, it’s a chick with so much body hair she looks like a werewolf and Zayday does her research and decides that drilling a hole in her brain will get rid of the hair.
Meanwhile, Munsch has caught up with the Chanels, all of which society have deemed too terrible to function. They’ve found low-paying jobs loosely related to the medical field: former Little Miss Sunshine is a receptionist in a dental office, the one with the earmuffs cleans up sperm at a donation station and Emma Roberts has become a phlebotomist because she really likes blood and is good at poking people. Oh, and they somehow managed to wear even more pink than usual.
Munsch offers to pay for their med school if they come to her hospital. So there’s the reunion with Zayday—who is super cheerful. Chanel does her usual hyperactive chatter that is so fast that you barely register how nonsensical it is, but her particular vocal fry seems to be a lisp like no other so I tend to tune out a lot of what is probably supposed to be witty banter. Little Miss Sunshine is super whiny as per usual while the earmuff wearer continues to channel the deliberate ennui and monotone of Aubrey Plaza. Aubrey does it better.
A bright spot is that Kirstie Alley has a new gig as Nurse Hoffel. In case you don’t get the joke on her name, Chanel will point it out many times, the same way she did with Munsch on the first season. But Munsch wasn’t always as obvious, unless there was a joke attached. Saying Hoffel out loud is easy to catch on to, thus the joke wears out quickly. Like an SNL gag.
The rest of the show is filled with a lot of nattering as Chanel plans a new way to find fame as a celebrity doctor host like Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and The Doctors. There’s a talk about the meaning of ghosting that goes on for too long, even though it’s something that we all wonder about.
And at the end, we get our first murder of the season as Sunshine Chanel (forgive me, I’m not good at numbers), locks herself into a tub after first locking in the newly bald werewolf patient. The Green Meanie shows up to play some tunes and drip some slime and do some beheading as the show closes. Finally. For me, it’s a very long hour that I am compelled to watch each week for reasons that I don’t understand. Probably all the celebrity sightings.
Overall, it’s much the same as the first season only bringing the same characters into a new setting makes everything more loosely connected and exaggerated with a plot that is deliberately full of holes. As always, I feel that the show is so wrapped up with mocking pop culture and fitting every thought into a rapid-fire dialogue that any real cleverness actually gets lost.
Still, the cast is beautiful and makes it fun to watch and I’m also curious to discover who’s behind The Green Meanie and what’s up with the Munsch/Hoffel situation, and the deal with the donor hand, so it’s not all that bad. I’m just not sure that I’ll ever understand the world’s love of Ryan Murphy’s work.
Season 2, Episode 1 (S02E01)
Scream Queens airs Tuesdays at 9PM on FOX
Carly is a freelance writer that watches too much TV while she writes blogs and articles about lifestyle including travel, food, fashion, beauty, home decor, entertainment, health, fitness and wellness and green living.
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Carly Zinderman | Contributor