Scream Season 2 Episode 1 – TV Review
Nah, don’t get your hopes up. Noah isn’t dead yet.
I’d reiterate my wish for him to follow in Randy’s footsteps and die as part of the second instalment, but if this season premiere is anything to go by, it seems Scream The TV Series is veering even further away from its film forebears.
TL;DR Everyone starts back at school; Emma left between seasons after having emotional issues, but is back in town again; Noah is obsessed with lingering questions about Piper’s spree; Audrey is besieged by harassment from Ghostface for her link to Piper; Brooke and Jake have a DL relationship; Jake is murdered; there are too many dream sequences.
This is Scream The TV Series, not A Nightmare On Elm Street The TV Series. Spinoff idea, though?
We begin our tale much like we did last season: with the show unsure of whether Emma or Audrey is the main character. Audrey gets more attention this episode, as she tries to move on with her life while concealing her secret correspondence with Piper, Ghostface of Season 1. This new Ghostface is all over it, though, and his textual and phone harassment drive Audrey to paranoia. Which is made worse by Noah (finally name upgraded from Friend Zone), who has commandeered Piper’s podcast and is still out for answers. Meanwhile, Emma arrives back in Lakewood following a stint at a psychiatric care facility due to the trauma of last year. Things are rocky between her and Kieran (name upgraded from New Guy), and she’s plagued by nightmares of a little girl playing with pig guts in a barn. Meanwhile, Brooke and Jake are having a relationship in secret from her dad (who is still a bit upset about that whole blackmail thing). Things take a turn for the slasher when Jake is attacked, tortured, and murdered by Ghostface while out doing some kind of errand he had intended to impress Brooke with. But the others are yet to find out because Emma wastes her episode searching for her nightmare barn. And we’ve got some affirmative action-mandated new characters: a black schoolfriend of Emma’s with big hair; a Latino sheriff (to replace Kieran’s dead dad); and his son, also a student.
I don’t know. Do audiences expect a town called Lakewood to be anything other than a WASP nest?
I’d heard the news of new showrunners for this show. And it’s hard to tell much yet, but I already feel more optimistic about Scream’s future. The titles of the episodes are based on famous slasher/horror movies, we get a main cast kill in the very first episode (no chase scene, though), and I’m already finding Audrey less abhorrent.
I’m hopeful that it could become more actual Scream, and less Ravenswood.
Why I hate this episode:
The big, obnoxious red flag that prevents me from becoming truly excited is that Scream is already leaning very heavily on dream sequences. Not only are dream sequences hokey as hell, anyway, but they were also overused in Scream 3, arguably the worst of the film series. Using dreams to propel the characters to the locations they need to go to is just sloppy writing.
And the episode is titled after I Know What You Did Last Summer. If you’re gonna use referential titles, at least use one that fits. IKWYDLS was never shy of a dream sequence, either, but nothing about the episode, other than the fact that Audrey happened to be doing something last summer, fits the title. Scream needs to cool it with wanting to invoke much better properties’ names. It comes off as desperate.
Speaking of invoking things that don’t fit, the show still isn’t finding ways to be meta about the fact it’s a horror TV show. The opening scene is very Scream-esque (4, in particular) by having a reveal that the slasher we’re watching is actually a movie playing in a movie theatre. But Scream The TV Series is a, you know, TV series. So I’m confused as to why it’s using movie motifs.
Probably because, as I moaned last season, too, there’s not enough to reference in the way of horror TV shows. Which is why Season 1 did it very rarely. Which makes me, again, question why Scream should even be a TV show.
Noah and New New Guy (the sheriff’s son, whose name I did not commit to memory) also talk about horror comics. Wrong medium, boys. This is a TV show.
Jake’s death does not include a chase scene. He’s caught in an animal trap, knocked out, hung upside down, and then vertically cut through with a scythe. I appreciate the major cast death, but you couldn’t squeeze a chase scene into the season premiere? Lazy.
I also have no idea what the hell Jake was doing out at that site office or whatever.
Oh, and my tip for Jake to have a gay reveal is proven wrong this episode. So we can have black chicks, but not gay guys? What is this? The Vampire Diaries?
But it’s not all bad:
Personally, I would have offed Hot Teacher for the season premiere kill (I still don’t know why the show let him survive). But I suppose Jake is just as disposable. And I couldn’t bear to see Brooke go. So I’ll take it.
To my surprise, the two characters I hated most from Season 1, Audrey and Noah, have risen from the Scrappy heap and are now compelling. We’ll start with Audrey, whose sequel hook moment about her letter to Piper doesn’t go unexplored. Although we only get to see obtuse, vague snippets from them, Audrey apparently summoned Piper to Lakewood to punish it for being evil or something.
And Ghostface has found those letters, because he ends Audrey’s time in the episode by posting photocopies at her place of work (the movie theatre), and teasing that he has all of them at the ready.
Audrey’s worry and secrecy are sold surprisingly well throughout the episode. The best moment is when she and Noah are looking at his conspiracy board and he’s happily going on about how he’s sure Piper had an accomplice. But he doesn’t think it’s Audrey, so phew for her. For now.
The opening sequence with Audrey getting attacked while closing up the theatre starts out pretty rough. Ghostface attacks wearing a live streaming camera, heralding the shittiness of Scream 4’s ideas. So I already had my hate hard-on raging. But then, in a turn that genuinely made me smile, Audrey stabs her attacker (after he’s slashed a girl who was flirting with her), but he’s actually a prankster. He and lesbait girl were doing one of those way too extreme Internet prank videos, and Audrey fucking stabbed the guy.
The fact that it’s fake crap also nicely spits on Scream 4. Which Scream 4 does deserve.
And, even more thankfully, the new sheriff (Alex from Banshee, btw) sides with Audrey when Lesbait is all “it’s just a prank, bro.” He tells Lesbait to fuck off and has no sympathy for the boy who got stabbed. Cool.
As for Noah, he’s still spouting off shitty dialogue, but at least the show and the characters are actively fed up with him. Nobody, least of all Emma, is too happy about his morbid podcast, or his relentless desire to keep reliving the murders of last year. Good.
When Audrey finally cracks and tells him about Ghostface’s calls and texts, he immediately makes sure they go to the sheriff. Smart.
Emma and Brooke do find the real life pig barn from Emma’s dream (owned by Brandon James’ brother, natch), but it’s deserted. In the house next door, though, is a shrine to Emma. And a figure in the shadows. Ooh.
Ghostface leaves a message for Jake that calls back to a rude remark he made about Emma earlier in the episode at her welcome home party. Which implies one of the Lakewood Six, the only attendees of the party, must be the killer.
Oh, and with Jake dead, Brooke can now find a hopefully non-boy related subplot of her own.