Martin Carr reviews the seventh episode of Scream: The TV Series season 2…
Unlike other shows Scream is a good old fashioned pastiche to its very marrow. There are no genre boundaries being traversed, no wild revelations or people trying too hard in the drama department. This is just predictable slaughter on a weekly basis with some rounded characters, a few creepy ones who have dubious motives and our central protagonist. Twists are believable but obvious, acting solid but self-aware, while murders, decapitations and general carnage never raises an eyebrow. Let’s be honest most of these guys would be in therapy now if this was any other show.
All of this is a massive surprise to me because when it debuted Scream was met with derision. There was no need to resurrect another failing franchise people cried. Everything that could have been done had been executed throughout the existing series surely. Of course networks being what they are plans went ahead anyway and audiences braced themselves for another thankless cash in. What came out of the traps however was something which exceeded expectations, found some feet very quickly and the rest is history.
Netflix’s acquisition of Scream only served to bolster ratings and allow them the freedom which network affiliation could never guarantee. For some reason this second season seems more relaxed and less desperate to prove something. There is a real sense of continuity and continuation within the narrative, which is only enriched throughout. Branson has gone from creepy teacher to victim, Eliah has taken over the mantle of potential killer material and Noah has possession of his mojo. None of this was surprising yet it never felt flat or boring.
Emma continues to be in danger yet escape any physical harm whilst wandering around mentally frazzled. Her mother, father, sheriff and most other ‘adults’ in this programme remain powerless despite appearances. While The Shining, The Exorcist, Hard Candy and of course Let The Right One In all get name checked. Most of the time it’s the way they work these films into context which represents the most fun for me. That there are subtleties within Scream which relate to the titles is something which provides a much needed selling point. People like to geek out and none more so than film geeks. Being a self-confessed anorak myself I have something of worth to chuck into this particular ring of debate.
If anything Scream continues doing three things for me. One it reminds me what I enjoy about films and shows like this when done well. Number two it provides a platform for me to secretly revel in my knowledge of film both contemporary and classic. And three it has been elevated to the position of guilty pleasure plain and simple. What more could you ask for.