Martin Carr reviews the eighth episode of Scream: The TV Series season 2…
Some smoking remains and the decapitated right hand of a known philanderer form the basis of our latest trip to Lakewood. As further suspicions are raised, fingers pointed and bodies pile up, Scream fulfils another in a large number of tick lists necessary for cinematic pastiche. Laying narrative patter on thicker than a second hand car salesman, we get funhouses, inappropriate small town beauty pageants and some sibling rivalry.
As usual nothing is overly dramatic, bloody or progressive in terms of moving things along. However things tick over in a non-intrusive way adding fuel to a fire which requires minimal fanning. As I have said previously Scream is nothing if not well polished. There is a lot of work which has gone into casting this show well from the kick off. That it comes across on occasion like the light beer of post-modern slasher flicks is understandable given its demographic.
This programme fills the void left by millennial relationship dramas which the United States seem so adept at pumping out. Let’s be honest The Big Bang Theory is nothing more than Friends retrofitted for a new generation. Jokes are slightly more highbrow than the aforementioned sitcom touchstone, but the fundamentals remain similar. And so it is with Scream which addresses the same issues as ‘90210, Dawson’s Creek or Party of Five, but uses a franchise based on self-awareness to do so.
There is nothing new or even original about the premise bearing in mind the source material but that barely matters. There is a structure which allows flexibility, twists which are obvious but not so much that you’re liable to switch off. While progression is incremental, episodic and measured to gain maximum entertainment alongside minimal information. After all these seasons need to maintain interest which means always keeping something back. However one plot line they have been milking for way too long concerns Audrey.
A back and forth of text messages, dodgy phone calls and less than convincing mugging by Taylor-Klaus, leaves us with the worst kept secret in Lakewood. She has almost been discovered so many times that it verges on the ridiculous. Audio files, incriminating gifs and combinations of wrong place wrong time over and over, make this the least convincing or engaging storyline right now. There was a time when this was intriguing but now the bucket is bare. That is why when the big reveal finally comes there will be no surprise, as half the audience will be off making sandwiches.
Elsewhere the sibling rivalry is also wearing thin as Kieran and Eliah exchange evil stares, occasional fisticuffs and moments of meaningless dialogue which goes nowhere. Thankfully Sheriff Acosta has enough skeletons in his closet to keep us interested, until the narrative filler plays out and normal service can resume. In my opinion this can’t happen soon enough.