Back in October when I was looking around for potential horror movies to watch and review, I decided it could be interesting to review the pilot for the Scream TV series. The show quickly became my “hate watch” program for a week or so and I ended up making my way through the entire season. It turns out that it’s hard to stop watching something where you know everything is leading to a big reveal. You can find my full review of the first season here - http://www.entertainmentfordays.com/all-things-television/2016/6/5/scream-the-series-season-1-review. As you can see, shit’s bad. Shit’s real bad. I had completely forgotten about the show until last week when suddenly Netflix emailed me to say “Yo man we just added a show you might like!” Oh Netflix, you don’t know me at all it turns out.
Anyway, now that the show is apparently going to be on a weekly release schedule for it’s second season, I figured it could be interesting (I originally wrote fun but come on, who am I kidding) to review this week by week. I’m a little late with the first episode since the 2nd was released today but let’s see how this pans out.
Season 2 opens…I’m not sure how long after the events of the first season. Everyone is starting to get settled back into their normal routine, except Emma who is off somewhere doing something. Did they even say where she is? Probably? She’s somewhere being super bland I’m sure. Also Noah is now doing an apparently popular podcast about the murders but I have no idea how the hell he is managing to find new material every week. Once each of the survivors tells their story, and then maybe a conclusion episode, isn’t that about it? There’s nothing to speculate, they know who the killer was. We don’t get to hear much about this podcast but the part we do see is clear evidence this is not a podcast anybody would actually listen to.
We open with Audrey, one of the few characters I liked from the first season, perhaps the only one actually, working in a movie theatre where all of a sudden she is attacked by someone wearing the exact same costume as the killer. It turns out to be a prank but holy shit is that not the worst idea ever for a prank?! She ends up stabbing the guy in what she thinks is self defense and then they have the audacity to get all defensive. “It was just a joke!” You chased an almost murder victim around pretending to be the person who almost killed her! How did you expect any other outcome other than getting stabbed?! Anyway, this is the best scene in the episode because fuck that guy.
Season 2 Episode 1 then goes on to be a consistent reminder of why I don’t really like a single character on this show. Audrey is the closest to being tolerable, but everyone else…Jesus. Noah serves as the Randy equivalent and spends all his time reminding us that he is in fact the Randy character. His character feels like nothing more than “Well…we need a Randy” and none of his dialogue ever feels natural. Actually...none of the dialogue anybody says ever feels natural. It’s all trying to replicate the wit and quirk of the original Scream, but it falls flat on its face every time. Never forget that this is the show that gave birth to the line “You sound like a bad romantic comedy! Except we didn’t meet cute, we met sick twisted!” Not only did that line make it past the writing stage and into the show, but they even used it in a tweet so you know they were proud of that shit.
The acting continues to be atrocious with the guy who plays Jake once again being the MVP of “Seriously Guys Maybe Do Another Take of That”. There’s a scene between him and his girlfriend Brooke in a swimming pool that I think is supposed to make us care about their relationship but only serves as a reminder how little I care about any of the relationships here. Scream the movie worked because you cared about the characters and they pulled that off in less than 2 hours. This show is entering it’s 11th hour and I still had to look up the names of most of the characters! Bland, disposable characters work in a 90 minute throwaway slasher movie you watch purely for the kills. This is a scripted series that presumably wants to have more going on beneath the surface but the dialogue is stilted and unnatural and the characters are one-dimensional to the point where I couldn’t even tell you if any of them have last names.
The killer…well he’s around. He sends some threatening texts, then sends some more, has a quick phone call and then he does actually murder someone at the end so at least there’s that (I remember the first season would go several bloodless episodes at a time) but he/she still never feels like anything close to an interesting threat. The first kill doesn’t even have the thrill of a chase. The killer just captures them and then kills them. Yaaaaaay! I was concerned they may try for some genuine suspense but Scream the Series never disappoints at disappointing!
So what did I like about this episode? ….Well….the aforementioned pool scene gave me some good chuckles, albeit not intended ones. Audrey is pretty alright. I don’t hate the killer’s mask as much as I used to? That’s about it. There’s just…there’s just nothing here to latch on to. It’s a horror show with no horror and a drama show where characters just say how they are feeling all the time with no subtly whatsoever. The whole thing feels about 15 years too late at this point as the times of self-aware horror seem to be long past. If done right I’m sure there’s some air there but good lord is this ever not done right.
Killer reveal prediction – As of this first episode I am leaning towards the new kid but that’s too obvious right? Or is it so obvious that we would think it’s too obvious and so it’s actually him? But that’s what they did in the first movie. But then what if we know they did that in the first movie and figure they won’t do it again so they do? You won’t fool me TV show! It’s the new guy!