Wait, did Scream just get good?
Let’s lend some context to that statement. It’s the middle of hiatus apart from the ever-reliable Suits there is little to no entertaining new releases. The blockbuster season is near over with Ant-Man and Paper Towns (concluding with Fantastic Four in two weeks) and despite lots of flashy trailers debuting at Comic-Con it looks like a boring eight weeks ahead.
It’s also freezing. The Antarctic Vortex is causing it to snow in parts of Queensland. QUEENSLAND. THE SUNSHINE STATE. If you can be bothered to venture outside you need thirty jackets and some really thick woolly socks. It’s honestly just easier to stay in and watch Netflix. On a related note, I’ve begun watching Firefly. Excellent show. Younger and equally charismatic versions of Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres acting out science fiction from Joss Whedon. Amazing.
Anyway back to the topic at hand – MTV’s Scream. It is in no way, shape or form anywhere near the same ball park as Firely. One is a modern day classic and one is some dribble I’m ingesting while I wait for my preferred dribble – Faking It – to return. But it’s freezing and here we are.
The names of all the cast are so forgettable that it only serves you to remember them by their stereotypes. So far we have Good Girl, Outcast, Nerd, Nerd’s Girlfriend, Bitch, Footballer #1, Footballer #2, Hot Teacher and Mum. We have to add Handsome Guy to that list as an adversary to Footballer #1, a love interest for Good Girl and a source of leaking police documents to the teens. He was the one kissing Good Girl in the pilot by the lakeside, not Hot Teacher. You’ll have to forgive me – MTV seems to have recruited all its male leads from the same Dolce and Gabbana catalogue.
Except for Nerd. He’s a real actor.
He’s fallen head over heels for Nerd’s Girlfriend (funnily enough) and the two are about to have sex on the football field before he calls it quits. An episode later they’re about to sex on a lounge when she gets a text from Ghostface to meet up. Nerd’s Girlfriend obviously doesn’t know it’s Ghostface because Scream is trying it’s hardest to be a thriller/slasher/horror/whatever. Nerd’s Girlfriend is under the impression it’s Tyler.
No witty nickname for Tyler. He’s kind of unforgettable. Not the character or the actor too much – but the way in which he bit the dust. In a twist on the legendary opening of the original feature film poor Tyler has his head cut off and thrown in his girlfriend’s pool. Ghostface then collected it back – hopefully setting up an excellent jump scare down the line – and positioned the blame of all the murders to fall on Tyler’s … head.
Elsewhere, Footballer #1 and Footballer #2 are cross for some less interesting reason. It’s not abundantly clear why, and it’s not abundantly clear whether that was intentional or not by the writers. In the opening scene there’s some trickery with a webcam that may have been Ghostface or may have been the Footballers, though further down the line it’s determined it’s a longstanding operation that Tyler was a part of. Then how could the three be responsible for the stunt that escalated into Tyler’s beheading?
No idea. I miss How To Get Away With Murder. Also, the two have an old fashioned shovel VS knife Mexican standoff that amounts to nothing. Bit disappointing really.
Across town our protagonist (Good Girl) is experiencing lots of feelings, namely angst. She’s realised that the man she kissed by the lake isn’t Hot Teacher and actually Handsome Guy which means the two can do the whole Ross and Rachel dance for another seven episodes. Meanwhile Footballer #1 is angry he was dumped in the pilot and insists on creating a love triangle.
Outcast isn’t having a good time either. Her girlfriend isn’t replying to her, probably because Ghostface promptly killed her and framed it as a suicide inside the first ten minutes of episode two. Mum – pulling double duty as the town coroner – examines the body and determines it was a murder. Her daughter Good Girl overhears and drops this news to former friend Outcast at the girlfriend’s wake for God’s sake. Very insensitive, although the pair bond somewhat to progress the plot.
And Good Girl continues getting harassed by Ghostface. Shrug.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Who is Ghostface? It’s too early to tell. There are still a lot of options on the table.
It’s not Good Girl, obviously, and it’s not Mum. And the motives don’t match Outcast or Bitch. Hot Teacher has zero plot so we’ll put him in the good guy pile for now.
Footballer #1 and Footballer #2 are in a very negative light right now and are the first to show outward aggression. #1 had his relationship ruined by Ghostface though so it doesn’t make an abundance of sense (not a prerequisite for Scream).
Which leaves Nerd, Nerd’s Girlfriend and Handsome Guy. We’re supposed to believe it is Nerd. His interests in the previous and current case are easy clues and the meta-commentary can get a touch creepy. At times it can get super-creepy, but that’s the producer leaning too heavy on one solid trait. It’s not him.
And I didn’t think we had enough evidence to point towards Handsome Guy. Which left Nerd’s Girlfriend, the suspect just left of centre that would be an AHA moment everyone ‘should have seen coming’. One problem: she’s dead. Got a slice down the back of her leg and another in her back, prompting an emotional video call as she bled out on the roof of the local police station. Ironic. Not intelligent irony, but the look-look-we’re-Scream attitude the series is taking to the whole thing.
Which leaves Handsome Guy. Or Footballer #2. Or Hot Teacher. Or literally anybody else.
I’ll let you know more clues in two weeks.