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Is Ryan Murphy running out of ideas? This week Fox has decided to go straight to series with the latest endeavor from Ryan Murphy, along with Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk, Glee producer Ian Brennan and American Horror Story producer Dante Di Loreto. The new project is described as a horror anthology series crossed with a comedy based in a school. It’s American Horror Story meets Glee. Certainly the right people are on board.
The new series is rolling with the campy title Scream Queens, and the first season or installment of the anthology series will be set on a college campus. Things have become quite scary for the students following a set of murders that have made an impact. Fox has already gone ahead and ordered 15-episodes of the series, which will hit the schedule in the fall of 2015. Just like American Horror Story, if Scream Queens catches on and earns subsequent seasons at Fox, each new season will follow different settings and plots. Despite the fact that Fox is tossing out the word “comedy,” like AHS and Glee, Scream Queens will be an hour-long program.
Murphy says he and his team wanted to create a brand new, “genre-bending” series he likes to call “comedy-horror.” He literally calls it a “whole new genre,” apparently feeling that he’s the only person who has ever thought to put together comedy and horror in the same project. Apparently, he’s never heard of Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, the Scary Movie franchise or even that excellent creepy Halloween episode of Boy Meets World. Scream Queens will be the first example of comedy and horror meshing into one fine TV masterpiece. Except it won’t.
I’m a huge fan of the way Murphy has worked American Horror Story into an anthology series. I appreciate what he did to inspire hordes of viewers on Glee, and I like that he put his heart and personal story into The New Normal. There’s a lot to like about Murphy’s work across multiple networks, but Scream Queens is already starting to sound like a drag, an overworked, reworked idea reminiscent of a lot of the stuff the writer, producer and director have put together in the past.
Scream Queens, again like American Horror Story, is going to be set up around strong female characters. It will also have a large ensemble cast, following two female leads and at least 10 supporting characters. (Too bad it's not two dudes; we know two actors who would probably be down to star in a Murphy project.) I hate to judge a series from a prolific producer months before we even get footage from the new production, but I guess I’m just tired of the ensemble casts and the same sort-of gimmicky ideas rolling around but reformatted slightly for a different audience. Until I see some compelling footage, for now Scream Queens will sit on the same dusty shelf in the back corner of my mind that American Crime Story currently sits on. Maybe, I’ll go watch the not-at-all funny or scary Evil Dead to console myself.