Scream Queens: ‘Black Friday’ is Present You’d Want to Re-Gift



‘Gotta run or we’ll be late for the midnight hippo stampede at Walmart.” -Chanel


Barbara Brown directs the Scream Queens episode Black Friday with consummate class and unflinching ferociousness. Brown, who helmed one of Scream Queens’ best episodes in Beware of Young Girls, really carries over that same directorial discipline in the latest episode Fox’s freshman sorority-slaughter season. While the direction in Black Friday is a far cry from last week’s Thanksgiving, Michael Lehmann’s masterfully made episode (which is arguably the best helmed entry in the season), Brown’s newest entry still features solid direction in sporadically awesome moments.

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These wonderfully helmed moments include- but aren’t limited to- the opening featuring Chanel ascending down her magnificent “closet” steps, a ceiling shot looking down at a mysterious cold chamber, and a few nicely places realization shots; one especially amazing side-winding realization shot that I haven’t seen much before but a lot of filmmakers could learn from the move.

In terms of Black Friday’s script for Scream Queens, written by series co-creator Ian Brennan, continues the trend of trying to figure out who “The Red Devil” is and holds back on the over-stuffed parody comedy. While Thanksgiving had the amazing Radwell dinner, and this situation was hilarious while adding a new dimension to Chanel (a side that is sadly seemingly gone in Black Friday), the episode’s A-storyline was all about figuring out who the killer is. In fact, the last three episodes have been stellar in terms of plotting (especially compared to the drivable of the first half of the season) and Black Friday keeps it going. The only problem I have with the episode (an argument that could be made of the whole series) is Grace not being a protagonist of solidarity- not in her morality but the series’ scripting. The series will go from focusing on Grace and then treating her like just another Kappa girl. This is unfortunate, and severely strains the overall narrative. I have the feeling that the series creators believe the parody is more important and to this is say ” You Crazy!”… ok back the review.

As for the acting, Denise Hemphill returns (played always amazingly well by Niecy Nash) but is barely in the episode. The two stand out performers would be Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts (I’m beginning to sound like a broken record with restating the two top performers).

Curtis has arguably never been better in Scream Queens and its a delight to lay eyes on the aging, yet stunning, beauty of an actress. Much like last week’s Thanksgiving, Curtis gets much screen time and delivers yet again. Trust me, you wont be disappointed.

Roberts is also great and gets a lot of the screen time as well. While the actress has no doubt been a featured mainstay in Scream Queens, the daughter of Eric Roberts has a lot to do and knocks it out of the park. While Roberts was basically crap in Wes Craven’s fourth Scream installment, the actress has grown in amazing ways and Black Friday is proof of that.


Barbara Brown’s Black Friday is a great entry in the freshman season of Fox’s Scream Queens. It forgets a lot of the plot-stopping comedy and is entirely focused on its mission of slowly divulging whom “The Red Devil” actually is. While the newest outing isn’t as good as last weeks Thanksgiving, its still extremely more accomplished than all of the series’ episodes prior to The World Series break. Its highly recommended Fright Fans, so keep on creepin’ on and I’ll catch you next time.




next week as I review the double feature of

“Dorkus/The Final Girl(s)”,

only on


. Check out a preview next week’s double feature below, courtesy of