So, not many folks around these parts are really talking about the new Scream TV show currently airing on MTV. That probably speaks volumes to the general level of interest in the transformation of the Scream film franchise into a 10 episode small screen experience. Maybe it doesn’t appeal to the current MTV demographic, maybe it doesn’t appeal to the original Scream fans.
All I do know is that I’ve faithfully watched the first five episodes and plan to watch the remaining five. Not because I think Scream the TV show (STV) is great TV. I’m also not hate watching it. I do believe that STV is decent enough and decent enough means that it could get better.
So in the spirit of a decent TV show having the potential to become a better TV show, I’m going to apply the practice of Praise, Question, & Polish in order to critique STV’s premise and some of the characters. Since I know that the powers that be at MTV lurk around the Odeck seeking inspiration and fan feedback, then I know this exercise will be well worth the effort!
According to MTV this is what they think the show is about:
What starts as a YouTube video going viral, soon leads to problems for the teenagers of Lakewood and serves as the catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to the town’s troubled past.
This is what the show is really about. A town’s secrets come back to haunt it and in the process disrupts the lives of a group of mostly white teens. Murder, bullying, copious amounts of smartphone usage, shaming, blackmail, more murder, making dubious choices, fighting, drinking way too much coffee, and even more murder ensue.
PRAISE: I’m really happy you didn’t use any of the movie universe world-building. That leaves the potential for any film sequels not to get muddled with the TV show continuity.
QUESTION: You do know that people watch horror to see people get killed? And that in five episodes you’ve only killed four characters in three of those episodes? You realize that Murder She Wrote has a better kills per episode ratio than you do, right?
POLISH: I saw that you’re getting a second season! So, consider increasing cast diversity, killing at least one character per episode, and NOT use college as the setting.
The Killer’s Mask
The showrunners couldn’t use the mask from the film franchise due to issues ($$$) with the rights related to that mask. The mask used instead is a post-surgical mask that helps in the recovery of Brandon James (the town’s representation of past sins coming back to plague the residents).
PRAISE: The STV mask uses some elements of the original film mask, which is nice. In the not going to get you sued kinda way.
QUESTION: Did you mean for it to resemble a personal pleasure doll?
POLISH: I look forward to how you will explain the odd ‘O’ shape of the mouth in relationship to Brandon James’ surgical recovery needs.
Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) is our primary protagonist and the actual target of the killer.
PRAISE: She’s likable, in the way that plain yogurt is likable when there’s no strawberry yogurt left.
QUESTION: Did you name her Emma because Emma Roberts played a role like this in Scream 4? Did you like Emma Roberts in that role because you thought she did a great job? Do you really believe that? Like really?
killing adding something to jazz up the character a bit. Might I recommend some strawberry preserves?
Noah (John Karna) is basically playing the roles of Randy Meeks, Charlie Walker, and Robbie Mercer all rolled together. He is our meta exposition character as required by law.
PRAISE: I would’ve had a total crush on him in high school.
QUESTION: Do we really need a meta exposition character?
POLISH: Maybe Noah should die this season and not be replaced. Something to think about.
Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) is a combination of Kirby Reed (aka the best character in Scream 4) and Robbie Mercer (but only because of the whole videotaping everything schtick). She carries around a video camera 24/7 for some reason.
PRAISE: I really like that you think she’s this shows Kirby. Dream big!
QUESTION: Did you think it was fair that you cast Bex in this show only make her live in Kirby’s shadow?
POLISH: Have her character grow beyond trying to be Kirby. Don’t negate the character’s queerness in the tail end of the season, that would not be cool.
Brooke (Carlson Young) is the ‘poor little rich girl’ stereotype AND also the ‘mean queen bee’ working toward redemption stereotype on the show. Two for the price of won! What a deal.
PRAISE: I like that you have me rooting for Brooke to end up being the actual final girl.
QUESTION: You do want to use this TV show to subvert tropes, right?
POLISH: Consider making Brooke be the final girl of season one, then consider killing her off in the first episode of season 2.
Other Random Bits For Which I Have No Praise or Polish, But Do Question
- Piper Shaw is no Gale Weathers, that’s for sure. Piper is hardly on this show.
- Jake and Will’s scenes together give off some major homo-erotic vibes. I do not believe this was intentional on the part of the showrunners, at all.
- Kieren Wilcox is being set-up to appear to be this show’s Billy Loomis. I see your red herring and I’m ignoring it.
- There is no Dewey analog on this show. That makes me sad.
Can You Just Complete the Second Film Trilogy, Please? I Know You Have the Script Treatments!
I still had hope that we could get a Scream 5 & 6. So I decided to go right to the source to find out about the potential of continuing the film franchise.
When reached for comment, Bob “So Hip, It Broke” Weinstein had this to say.
“It’s like putting an art-house movie in an art-house theater,” Weinstein said. “Where the teens reside is MTV.”
There you have it folks. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The teens live at MTV and not at the art-house theater.
Is anyone else watching this show? Am I the only person above 19 watching this show? Do I live in an art-house theater because I am not a teen? Since none of the actors playing the teen characters are actual teens does that mean that they aren’t allowed to live at MTV? Are they my roommates at the art-house theater?
What say you Odeckians (h/t Antipodes)?