Scream Queens: Thanksgiving – Bring Me the Head of Gigi Caldwell (Review)

The Scream Queens Thanksgiving episode should have been titled Bring Me the Head of Gigi Caldwell. While the whole Thanksgiving Agatha Christie reveal scene at the Kappa Kappa Tau meal felt like one long buildup for the diners to see that Gigi lost her head to the remaining red devil killer.

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The Scream Queens: Thanksgiving episode  should have been titled Bring Me the Head of Gigi Caldwell. While  the whole Thanksgiving Agatha Christie reveal scene at the Kappa Kappa Tau meal felt like one long buildup for the diners to see that Gigi lost her head to the remaining red devil killer.

It has to be said that only this series could blend the kid’s game Duck, Duck Goose into a Miss Marple/Hercule Poirot “the killer is” dinner scene so seamlessly. After Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtisdelivers her evidence to prove the Chanel # 3 (Billie Lourd) is her prime suspect, the dean pats the sorority sister on the head saying “Goose.”  Then, following the rules of the children’s game, # 3 gives her evidence (being “it”) that Munsch is the killer. 

The Thanksgiving scream queens, plus one,  at the house then do a round robin as various protagonists point the accusatory finger at their choice suspect. Note: The idea of naming the killer was Dean Munsch’s brainchild.  Episode 110 of Scream Queens has the various sorority sisters heading out to attend celebrations away from the house only to return. The girls  then partake in the “mystery dinner party” reveal game suggested by the dean.

Hester (Lea Michele) pops up alive and well at the Radwell family feast, after being pushed down the stairs last week by Chanel Oberlin  in the sorority house. The Radwell family tree is chock full of various versions of Chad, in other words the entire clan turn out to be snobby, snotty and downright nasty.

*Sidenote* Did anyone else notice that Julia Duffy (Newhart, Shameless) who played mommy Radwell,  looked an awful lot like Brit entertainer Jennifer Saunders‘ character in Shrek 2?

Standout moment:

Grace’s dad Wes (Oliver Hudson) confessing  that he was in the meat locker because of his new diet.

“Paleo diet. It works.”

“Paleo.”

Standout Moment Deux:

The brilliantly vicious and tacky Pictionary game at Chateau Radwell:

“Snore, uh, uh, um, um, whore! Neck brace whore! ”

(Radwell family cheers)

“Neck brace whore!”

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Neck brace whore (Lea Michele) Chad (Glen Powell) and Chanel # 1 (Emma Roberts)

Of course the episode’s crowning moment (See what we did there?), which allows all the participants at the Kappa Kappa Tau Thanksgiving dinner to scream in horror,  is the appearance of Gigi Caldwell’s decapitated head in place of the “pardoned’ Tiburon.

Missed Opportunity:

Pete’s list of evidence, which actually revealed that Grace’s dad, is the father of the recently deceased Boone, was not done in his “Matthew McConaughey” voice. Would have been perfect guys, and you missed the chance to bring Diego Boneta all the way home. 

Coulda, shoulda, woulda…eh fellas?

Near Miss:

Chanel # 3 and her Thanksgiving meal of Swinson’s TV dinners.  This gag was a “close but no cigar” joke that did not quite work.  There was the sound of gears meshing in thin air as the whole thing felt like a near miss instead of the spot on humor this series is known for.

Scream Queens: Thanksgiving was, overall, humorous well paced and a little annoying.  If felt like that long, and massively irritating, “Little Bunny Foo Foo” joke.  All build up and too long a wait for the punch line.

At the start of the episode, where Gigi hands the electric carving knife to the remaining red devil killer, the audience know that this grown up sorority sister has goofed.  It was, from the moment that the costumed serial killer “revved” the blade, fait accompli that Caldwell’s severed head was going to turn up.

Unfortunately, by the time that Gigi’s “John the Baptist” entrance is made the viewer has almost forgotten the buzzing carving knife.

Scream Queens does still deliver in the comedy department though.  Curtis’ vitriolic and acid tongued college kid hating dean is still brilliant and continues to amuse:

Chanel # 3: “Then Dean Munsch.”

Munsch:  “Than. Not thenThan. Have you ever even cracked open a book? Or attended a class? (snorting) God. I hate you people.”

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“Then Dean Munsch…” (Billie Lourd)

As the list of suspects dwindles;  both Gigi and Boone are now dead,  the last red devil killer is still at large. However, as the late Ms Caldwell stated in an earlier episode, her team of serial killers are not the only homicidal maniacs haunting the college grounds and eliminating sorority sisters.

Scream Queens airs Tuesdays on FOX. Tune in to see who the next victim will be.

 

Thanksgiving Tis the Season to Reflect

Thanksgiving

Well hello there! Time has shot by faster than a speeding super train and it is the day after Thanksgiving, or as I like to think of it, “Tis the season to reflect.” Soon enough it will be “Tis the season to be jolly,” but since I really feel I am here on borrowed time, I am a much jollier person all year round.

As I am not out and about today, Black Friday…shudder, I felt that a short visit to my poor neglected blog was in order whilst I put off cleaning my portion of the house. Procrastination added to recovering from Turkey day illness equals blog time…Apparently.

I feel quite guilty really, this whole blogging lark started a few years ago and now that I write full time for a living, Deputy Managing Editor/Senior Entertainment Editor for the Guardian Liberty Voice, I mostly link to articles which I post to the paper, since I do interviews and reviews of both film and television,there is not a lot of time left over for my little friend here.

I do have mates here who stop by and comment on my reviews (And to them I say a hearty, “Thank you!”) I am sure that at some point in the near future I will be spending a bit more time on here, but I cannot really say when.  Dealing day-to-day with getting used to my new life after almost dying is interesting, frustrating, fascinating, and time consuming.

So…where was I?

Oh yes, Thanksgiving and “Tis the Season to Reflect.” This has been my first Thanksgiving in the USA for a very, very long time. I have been back in the land of my birth since January 15 this year. Thankfully, (I need to mention the things I am thankful for, it is that time of year, after all.) my medical needs are met by the Veterans Administration folks and apart from not having a dental plan, as well as contemplating suing the dentist who messed up my mouth when he extracted on particularly painful tooth, health wise everything seems to be okay.

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I do feel very much like a stranger in a strange land. Nothing is more puzzling and confusing than to have spent the majority of one’s life in another country (And becoming a citizen of said country.) and then returning to your home country to find you don’t particularly fit any longer. Having spent a lifetime learning how everything works in the United Kingdom has left me ill prepared for life in the United States.

Everything has changed, as I have, and even the food tastes different. I have become a supermarket ghost. Wandering aimlessly up and down aisles looking for something tasty, which in my case equates to the Brit food I’ve ingested for over 31 years and not finding any. I am not a noisy wraith while I shop for something that looks appetizing, although I do sometimes mutter under my breath with frustration…

I am counting down the days till I start writing about my time as a Prison Officer for Her Majesty’s Prison Service. I have had to wait as there is a rule that one cannot divulge anything for a two year time period after leaving the Queen’s employ. There is a certain amount of excitement attached to this upcoming project, I had some very interesting and entertaining times working with the juvenile criminals of Britain. I also had to stop working with some very special and dear people.

As yesterday was Thanksgiving, a day that I spent mostly either  dozing in my chair in front of the laptop or sleeping properly in my bed, today tis the day of my personal reflection since I pretty much missed the festivities. I had a lovely meal to attend and had to beg off there apologies all around and a bucket load of guilt was in order. My solo “sickbed” thoughts yesterday were about how odd life is and how diverse the path is to where we are at any particular moment.

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Most prevalent in my musings was, and is, the thought of just how surreal this whole thing has been. My life recently has been full of dealing, meeting, interacting and writing about people that, until recently, I had no chance of seeing apart from on television or the big screen or the pages of a magazine. Speaking with wildly talented people whom I admire greatly has been a dream come true and funnily enough a dream that was never at the forefront of my mind.

My dreams, apart from wanting to be a writer from age 11 (Which has come true via the auspices of journalism.), have always been to be a professional actor, I have done this infrequently, last year working in a fellow blogger’s first professional film for festivals, but would love to do so more often. I may still get the chance, this is, after all, the land of opportunity (I should know, I was born here.)

At this point in time, I count myself successful, although sad that thousands of mile separate me and my lovely talented daughter and her fella as well as being closer to my son, who is very busy leading his own life so contact with my children is, sadly minimal. I am, however, doing a job I would do for free (“And getting paid!’ he said, cackling wildly) and everyday, I count my blessings and am very thankful that the “Big Guy” decided to keep me around that little bit longer. I missed the old “tis the season to be thankful” chance to have a spot of holiday refection “on the day,”  but since surviving my two close brushes with death in 2012, everyday is Thanksgiving to me.

By Michael Smith

Thanksgiving: Movies to Watch at the Cinema

Thanksgiving: Movies to Watch at the Cinema

For those who are ready to push away from a groaning Thanksgiving table, having eaten their fill and given thanks, there are four new films to choose from for families to watch at the cinema. Comedy rules the turkey day weekend with two very funny offerings. Out of the comedic films, one is for kids, big and little, and the other is of the more grown up variety; lastly there is one of the best romance stories of modern times and a historical drama that will make one think.

Black Friday PS4 Launch Starts in United Kingdom at Midnight

Black Friday PS4 Launch Starts in United Kingdom at Midnight

Like many other American “traditions” Black Friday has come to the United Kingdom and the PS4 Launch started at midnight in Game stores across the country coinciding with the “new” marketing tradition. While many publications in the UK have questioned the wisdom of English retailers aping American stores and their “official” Christmas shopping period, gamers came out in force Thursday night to line up for the Sony next gen console launch.

 

Thanksgiving, a Perfect Time to Reflect

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...
English: “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember being taught in grade school about the first ever Thanksgiving celebration. We were taught how the Pilgrims were so thankful to have made it through their first winter in “The New World” that they wanted to celebrate with their Indian friends. Friends who were instrumental in helping them to survive in the  new world.

But the new arrivals didn’t let their friendship keep them from taking advantage of their “saviours.” It wasn’t too much later that white men bought what would later be known as Manhattan Island from a local tribe for a parcel of beads, mirrors, brightly coloured cloth and cheap weapons.

The acquisition journey had begun and the “new” settlers were already pushing their way into lands already occupied by Native Americans and in pushing their way in, the Indians were pushed out.

And so the history of America which is pretty much glossed over in school textbooks, is the history of conquering a nation that belonged to someone else. The eastern Native Americans fought against this never-ending  tide of white settlers and because of their location were able to see first hand how they were never going to stem this tide.

Only one Indian nation managed to fight successfully, but that was in the wilds of Florida where the geography helped the inhabitants. The settlers still won though and forced the remnants of a once great tribe further west.

As time marched on, the settlers became known as pioneers. Eternally seeking more land, more places where no one had been before. No one, that is, except for the locals. The Native Americans who had been there since time out of mind.

These pioneers were just as determined as their ancestors, the pilgrims and settlers in taking this new country over and calling it their own. Even more so with the discovery of gold in the Black Hills of Dakota. Once precious metals were factored into the equation the rest of the country was not just taken over by “well-meaning” pioneers.

Now the west was being overrun by folks just interested in getting rich. Never mind that the land and the minerals legally belonged to someone else. This was destiny partner. The new world had land and riches just waiting to be snatched up. Don’t worry about the natives. They are just savage and ignorant. They don’t even realise how valuable their land is.

But let us not be deceived, it was not just personal avarice that affected the legal occupants of America. It was an entire races greed. Greed that originated in another country. England to be exact.

You can discount the school tales taught to our children about how America was the place where people who had been vilified and reviled for their choice of religion went to get freedom to worship their deity as they chose. America, in the beginning, was never about freedom of religion.

It was about acquiring a country and its resources and minerals for nothing more than the sweat and blood it required to wrest it from the legal existing populace.

Later when the Apache and the Comanche (and other) tribes were fighting to drive this white menace away from their lands, it was deemed acceptable for entire villages to be wiped out. These were heathens after all, they were not considered to be children of “our god” and their number should be decimated. All the easier then to convert the remnants of the tribe into Christianity.

After a couple of centuries had passed and schools dotted the countryside, the myth of the first Thanksgiving being taught to all those children to show how magnanimous the Pilgrims were in including the native savage contingent of the New England colony’s.

I suppose in an ironic way, it was more than appropriate for the new settlers to invite the tribe to the feast. They were not only thanking the Indians for their help, but they were thanking them for the country that they would be instrumental in helping to take over.

I will be celebrating Thanksgiving today, but on a very personal level. Being thankful is not a bad thing, unless of course you are thanking God for helping you to destroy an existing culture and nation.

So as an American, both in the Native American sense and otherwise, I think Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on how we got where we are today. And I suppose to be thankful that the white settlers did not decide to eradicate the original occupants of the “new world.”

Chief Sitting Bull
Chief Sitting Bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)