Martin Carr reviews the second episode of Scream: The TV Series season 2…
If Scream had been entertaining this week or even mildly diverting, then it may have deserved to steal Hitchcock’s title. If there had been some decent progressions, diversionary bloodletting and clever segues this conversation might have been different. However what ‘Psycho’ became very quickly was bland. Neither exciting enough to keep me interested, nor bad enough to allow some sense of injustice air to breathe.
Between the mindless babble, lovelorn meetings in ill lit locations and people having flashbacks Scream amounted to a whole load of nothing. Taylor-Klaus, Karna and Fitzgerald played second fiddle to Carlson Young’s highly strung cheerleader clone for a majority of the episode. Which amounted to not a great deal happening, things not moving in any particular direction and no tangible threat being established. Even the closing minutes which offered up a half way decent reveal felt vaguely underwhelming.
Not that any of this nonsense can be blamed on the cast who do a good job despite the plotlines they are dealing with. Audrey appears to be suffering from some sort of stress related issues following on from last week, yet throughout season one she kicked arse and kept a pad handy for names. Karna spent most of ‘Psycho’ not really doing much and only got vaguely interesting once he began tracking down a possible lead.
None of the haunted house Halloween overtones connected with me which has to be a first, while minimal film references, non-existent jump scares and indifference filled any remaining running time. Now the world and his wife might well know that Jake is dead and rotting somewhere, but for whatever reason his absence and acknowledged fatality meant very little to me.
Underhanded guardians and suspect cousins were signposted as unsavoury in the opener, meaning that any surprise has already been spoilt for audiences. In all honesty there is a sense the writers have created a second season with no beating heart. They appreciated in season one the irony inherent to Craven’s Scream franchise and treated it accordingly. Here lessons seem to have been lost, forgotten or ignored leading to a lack of belief in scenarios, which unfortunately translates on screen.
As I said a few paragraphs back there is no one acting who deserves blame for this. After all a second season means larger pay checks, more recognition and something mainstream on the CV. So from that point of view no one not directly involved in writing this show can be held accountable. These are still good character actors lumbered with poorly written parts, as much at the mercy of networks as anything else. For my money episode two at least feels like it was written by committee rather than anyone with creative ability. I know it sounds harsh but that can be the only explanation for why ‘Psycho’ inspired nothing more than indifference and apathy in me.