Small Screen Scream Part 1: "Pilot" (S01E01)
We've finally been given the premiere of MTV's new teen slasher drama SCREAM, based on the super-popular movie franchise of the same name. The pilot has been received with mixed reviews, so being curious, I had to check it out. In fact, I plan on checking out every episode and reviewing them here on MorbidMuch in a feature called #SmallScreenScream.
So let's get started, shall well...
SCREAM -- S01E01 -- "Pilot"
The episode opens with a viral video of Audrey making out with a girl from another school being released through the show's popular video social network Cliplicious (like YouTube but with a way cooler name). We're instantly made aware that high school rich-bitch Nina is behind the suck-face video leak.
Also, if you look at the screen grab above, you'll see an ad for "Wes's Taco Dome," an obvious shout-out to Wes Craven, director of the SCREAM films.
So it's blatantly apparent that Nina and her dude are going to be our opening victims (ala Casey Becker and Steven Orth). But this comes as no surprise since MTV treated us to the first eight minutes of the pilot a couple days ago.
The killer quickly dispatches Nina and this opening kill isn't nearly as long or as effective as Drew Barrymore's offing.
And then we're given our first look at the killer's mask.
As we've already known, it's not the iconic ghost mask we're used to, but I think this screaming post-op mask just might do the trick.
Now like I said, Nina's death doesn't nearly have the affect that Casey's death had. And the reason is simple: Nina is a bitch. An extremely unlikable character. The opposite of Casey, who was a friendly face with innocent eyes. The students of Woodsboro literally mourned her death. But Nina? Many of Lakewood's students almost felt glad she was gone. So it makes sense that her death has no real affect on us.
We're immediately introduced to our main character Emma following the flashy SCREAM title card -- sitting in her kitchen making out with her boyfriend, Will. Supposedly, they're "studying."
And then we're introduced to George Washington High School, the new Woodsboro High. Side note: I believe this is the same school from 7TH HEAVEN (name only).
And we finally meet Audrey, the star of the viral video. She puts off a crazy accurate Neve Campbell in SCREAM 3 vibe. But she's pretty much our secondary main character...perhaps final girl #2, if you will.
Let's take a look at our supporting cast, shall we...
This is Brooke, basically Nina's understudy in the queen bitch department. She's totally unlikable yet very lovable at the same time. She'll probably die around mid-season.
This is Jake and Riley. If Will is the new version of Billy Loomis, then Jake is every bit the new Stu Macher. And Riley? She's sort of a closet geek who seems to be secretly attracted to Noah, Lakewood's local serial killer expert.
And this is Kieran, the new guy with a mysterious past. An uber-obvious red herring. May end up being a good guy. If that's true, he'll either save the day at the end, or die violently towards the end of the climax.
And this is Mr. Seth Branson, Language Arts teacher. Also has a fling with his student, Brooke. Go ahead and slap SUSPECT on his forehead now. He's very much the equivalent of Jon Bon Jovi's teacher character in CRY_WOLF. Side note: check out that credit! Kevin Williamson, baby!
Luckily, we're given plenty of exposition regarding Brandon James, a tormented teen who went on a killing spree in Lakewood twenty years ago. He suffered from a deformative condition that resulted in him wearing a post-op mask everywhere (hence, the killer's look). Also had a thing for a girl names Daisy, who we learn is actually Emma's mother, Maggie. Dun! Dun! Dun!
Lastly, we're left with an ominous over-the-shoulder shot of the killer watching Audrey and her girlfriend the yard.
Which, the shot may or may not have been ruined by this next shot...
But that's neither here nor there.
In the end, this is not the SCREAM that I grew up with, that's for sure. And I'm not knocking it for that. What worked twenty years ago just doesn't have the same bite today. I get it. And for that, understanding and realizing what this new MTV version of SCREAM is, I dug it. I'll keep tuning in.
If anything, they're giving us plenty of mystery and a nice whodunit scenario, something the movies excelled at. So I'm all in.
In the preview for next week's episode, we're treated to this horrifyingly awesome shot of the killer...
What you'd think of MTV's SCREAM?
Next episode: S01E02 -- "Hello, Emma."