Following in the footsteps of Ryan Murphy's past TV series, FOX's Scream Queens is full of sharp-tongued writing and dark humor. It is often offensive and shocking, grotesque and gruesome, and hard to predict, putting it in into its own category of television show. It's also masterfully created, cheeky, and on the cusp of modern day issues. "I think that [Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, and Brad Falchuk], they're so good at writing in important messages that are really going on today and really relevant, without making it like preachy or trying to shove it on you," Scream Queens star Abigail Breslin tells Bustle in an interview.
While some of the writing can be biting and dark, it is also satirical. It's doing a service for important themes and messages that are incorporated throughout a blood-bath plot. Take Lea Michele's character Hester's transformation. The Kappa Kappa Tau sisters — led by Chanel Oberlin — are clearly obsessed with beauty and body image. So much so that they give a "makeover" to Hester, satirizing societies obsession with body image and glorifying a makeover. So whether you realized it or not, the message was there, laid out for fans to absorb and think about.
"[Murphy, Brennan, and Falchuk] find really good ways to incorporate [important messages] into the story and make you think about it, without realizing that you're thinking about it," Breslin says of the co-creators. "Which is really cool."
Breslin also says that the messages that the creators and writers have created throughout the series aren't always obvious until she's filming or watching an episode of the show. She'll say, "'Oh wow, I never realized when I was reading it that it was going to sound like that...'"
Appearance is just one message the show pays service to. There's an obsession with social media that haunted Chanel #2 to her death. Seriously, the girl tweeted as she was being murdered. There are also characters who open up the dialogue about racism and misogyny. For instance, after a lunch full of eating cotton balls (hello, body image message), the Chanels are faced with misogynistic male students in the campus cafeteria, who they quite literally take down with their words (and bodies) after being "treated like meat" and told to "smile."
"There's actually a lot of really cool moments where you see each character be kind of vulnerable and insecure about something," Breslin says. Chanel #5 personally dealt with people finding her speaking style and gesticulation obnoxious, until joining Kappa. Breslin notes that the writers incorporate character's vulnerabilities and insecurities without it being in your face. "They do it without making it like, 'OK, now we have to have the moral of the story.'"
The season has only begun, so while there are certainly more scary and grotesque things to come our way, also expect to see more commentary on society though well-placed messages told through the characters and the dialogue.
Images: Steve Dietl/FOX; Hilary Gayle/FOX