Ryan Murphy’s latest series, Scream Queens, premieres tonight and many Murphy fans are no doubt wondering if it will have any similarities to his past shows. By the looks of the trailer, a lot of the usual Murphy suspects are present: Emma Roberts playing someone horrible; pretty people having to deal with not-so-pretty people; young, mean girls; and blood spattering all over the place. But will Scream Queens have enough Murphy-isms to please fans of both Glee and American Horror Story?
Murphy’s shows are known for dark humor that often pushes the envelope and touches on extremely sensitive subjects, but what are the real themes that tie these shows together? And does Scream Queens have the potential to be the perfect hybrid — or bastard child — of Glee and American Horror Story?
Misfits Who Own Themselves
Glee, first and foremost, was all about teenagers and adults who were keenly aware that they were all different. It makes sense to make a show about people like this because who would be interested in a show about boring people? (Answer: boring people.) The characters on Glee all struggled not only with accepting their flaws, but finding a way to live in a world where people might not accept them. Rachel was ambitious with the talent to back it up. Kurt was gay and just trying to make it through the day in his own skin. Will Schuester had dreams beyond his hometown but was still enormously faithful to it. American Horror Story did an entire season, subtitled Freak Show, about the ultimate misfits, but every season has been about the misunderstood. The ghosts of victims haunting the Murder House might have scared the daylights out of people, but they really just wanted to be heard, right? On Glee, characters made themselves noticed through music. On American Horror Story, they tried to restore balance through blood and screams. Scream Queens concerns a bunch of misfits that are being let into an exclusive sorority with a bloody reputation. What are they going to have to do to make themselves heard?