If you wanted to be reminded why you hate MTV, it happens 1 minute into this video!
A TV adaptation of the film series. Scream is a slasher horror franchise, it’s major hook is that (some of) it’s protagonists are aware of horror film tropes, used to break the 4th wall and parody the genre. It’s tone is light-hearted with some instances of gore and no nudity. Wes Craven is one of the Executive Producers and nothing else.
Plot: The TV show has a similar setup. A small town (of the generic “LakeWood”) has a mass-murderer history thanks to a physically-deformed killer, Brandon James. He was shot (presumably dead) and fell in a lake, but the body was never recovered. Now 20 years later, suspicious, similar deaths are happening all over again.
Cast/Crew: The main highschool teenager/I’m actually in my 20s cast are Emma (the pretty ‘nice girl’), Audrey (the sulking lesbian), Noah (the horror buff), Kieran (the misunderstood loner with the heart of gold), Brooke (the heel bitchy gal-pal) 2 jock douchebags (whom the show makes obvious are closet homosexuals).
Thoughts on the episodes:
• The franchise also uses/name-drops/parodies modern technology; e.g. the killer sends a .gif to every phone in the school taking a selfie just after the murder. For this parody reason I’ll dismiss them doing gratingly annoying stuff like YouTube’s view-counter going up in real time and comments of a deleted video still being available to view!
• They also name drop things from pop culture, like Terminator (“the new one with the dragon lady from Game of Thrones?”). Right there you can see this MTV-project has absolutely no shame!
• Via the main horror buff, the TV show pleads with you to bear with us and change expectations, but the problem with this show, and indeed almost all slasher films, is that the characters are unlikeable, obnoxious prats – you root for the villain to end your torment watching them. However in a TV show, the characters have to sustain your attention for the whole season. You can stomach the jock douchebag for an hour or so, but not for 10 1-hour episodes! You can stomach X-Pac in one match, he can’t be in *every* match on the card!
• The first two episodes spend time with the characters and setting up the scenario of a serial killer being loose.
• There’s a lot of ‘could this be a murder’ fake-out scenes. They feel pretty cheap, but (through the horror buff) they try to explain it by saying it’s a slow burner.
• One big laugh-out-loud ridiculous moment where a girl quizzically looks at a noose before being almost startled into putting it around her neck. Died. Then she died.
• Emma is the protagonist. She’s also a huge hypocrite as she chastises her dick boyfriend for cheating on her (they were on a break! – she dismisses that saying it was only for a month – bullshit!) and she goes off and wears the face off the misunderstood loner. Heel heat, missus!
• Wasn’t impressed as the portrayal/reaction to Audrey (the sulking, uncomfortable lesbian). The highschool treats this like it was the 90s and some huge taboo; whole rooms stop to gawk at her. This is set in modern day, nobody cares. You know what else isn’t cool? Bringing your video camera everywhere and silently recording people (as she does at the pool with a couple of teens wearing the face off each other). Or if someone tells you they think they’re ugly, and shoving a camera in their face. X-Pac heat right there. It really doesn’t help that she spends most of the show being angsty AND she’s the second biggest character on the show. She’s going to have a relationship fraught with arguments with Emma and it’s gonna be awful! The type of person that tells everyone to go fuck themselves and wonder why nobody likes them. Possibly a deal-breaker.
• My favourite character is Noah the horror buff, who doles out exposition and the rules of the game. This is the show at it’s strongest, listing out and analysing genre tropes e.g. “we’re fine in groups. The killer is like a wolf. Don’t wander off alone” (cut to Emma wandering off alone). When he had a death fake-out I was ready to quit right there!
• The ‘Bradon James’ updated scream mask is a more serious monster face. I think it’s quite effectively haunting, and unmarketable. So kudos!
• I loved how nerdy Noah covered his tracks of vandalising a car by mis-spelling douche as “doosh”. Amazing.
• A true crime podcaster ‘just happens’ to set-up shop where the daughter of the survivor from 20 years ago works. She says she’ll back off and starts blathering on about her work, like she didn’t plan it. She deserved a boot in the face!
• There’s some illusion-breaking stuff, like the school-teacher flaunting his affair with a student. Only in a written prose would this not be spotted immediately and he be fired.
• They finish episode 2 with a call-back of the opening of scream 1 with Drew Barrymore, where the killer calls Emma in her house. (“You look tired…I mean, you sound tired” as opposed to “I wanna know who I’m looking at/I wanna know who I’m talking to”). Really enjoyed that.
Overall, it’s like the new season of Tough Enough. I love the gimmick, I want to like it, but the characters are very dull, I don’t recommend watching, but I’ll come back for more! We can’t all be David Arquette, now can we!