Are Dark Comedies Just Plain Funny? | Andrew Guido

sq_home_headerStill from Scream Queens, “Scream Again” (Season 2, Episode 1, 2016.

I recently began the second season of my favorite television show: Scream Queens. As I watched the show, I began to wonder about what exactly makes a show “funny.” Scream Queens is not a traditional sitcom, because there is no half-hour time frame and the show does not revert back to a simplistic stasis. There is no moral, because the characters are devoid of morality. These characters are worse than the ones in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In addition, characters die, blood is shed, and there are moments that makes the viewer jump. But the viewer laughs, or at least I do. For some, Scream Queens is a dark comedy. For me, Scream Queens is a sitcom.

In the first season, there is a family created by the members of the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority and its ringleaders, the “Chanels.” The sorority sisters overcome obstacles as they try to hunt down the serial killer that is murdering their fellow sisters and students. Ultimately, the Chanels are just trying to survive. In addition, there is evident social commentary as well. Sorority sisters beat up a fraternity brother that tells them “you look prettier when you smile” in the name of feminism, another character beats up the murderer in a Scalia mask as she condemns his controversial rulings, sorority sister Zayday must combat blatant racism, greek life is held under a critical lens, and the Chanels represent America’s oppressive class system. These are just a few instances in the first season.

While there are serious aspects of this show, I still find myself laughing. The show is a mixture of Glee and American Horror Story, which, ironically, are both shows created by the Scream Queens creator Ryan Murphy. Does anybody else watch Scream Queens and still find it more funny than scary? Or are there other dark comedies that you enjoy? Overall, even though Scream Queens is a little campy, I highly recommend the show. The star-studded cast of the first season has everyone from Jamie Lee Curtis and Abigail Breslin to Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas.

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3 Responses to Are Dark Comedies Just Plain Funny? | Andrew Guido

  1. mediaphiles says:

    This show is one of favorites. I find the dark humor and the sarcasm brilliant and hilarious. This is one of those shows that you need to listen to the script instead of just half way watching it. My mom actually hates this show, she thinks its terrifying
    Laya Mohan

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I love this show too! I’m only a couple episodes in to season 2, but I’m planning to get fully caught up over winter break. I am horribly afraid of anything scary, but because this show is so much more funny than scary, I’m okay with it. Does anyone else think that Abigail Breslin is a terrible actor though? To me she’s the weakest link of the show. -Valerie Medoff

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I haven’t seen the show but I know exactly what you’re talking about. Sometimes things that are dark are also funny, and it’s not only comedies that this happens in. One of my favorite references of this is in Les Miserables when Inspector Javier decides to kill himself by jumping off of a bridge. Suicide is by no means any laughing matter, but the way that this scene was shot was not well done if they were trying to make it a dramatic affair. That may have been the hardest I have ever laughed in a movie theater, again, not because of the fact that it was suicide, but because of the way that the director tried to show it.
    -Nick Luedeke

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