16 Problems With MTV's "Scream" (And 4 Things I Liked)


I tried watching Scream when it first premiered on MTV in June but I couldn't get past the opening twenty minutes. Everything about it seemed to piss me off. From the bad dialogue to the cheap look. So, I promptly forgot about it until last week when I saw that the finale had aired. Suddenly I was interested. Now that I could binge watch it, I could give it a chance and not feel invested.

Plus, I wanted to experience the big twist without it being spoiled.

So I binge watched the show and now my brain hurts. It's not that the series is bad, it's just that they screw up so many times that it's hard to recover and that comes down to the simple fact that it's the Scream brand. Expectations were set high and if it had just been called an original slasher series, these issues wouldn't be as evident. But as it is, here are 16 problems I had with MTV's Scream.


1.  It's a good thing that Bella Thorne is out quickly. 
I get that she is super hot but she's so stiff and lacks any sort of charisma that I'm glad she's taken over the Drew Barrymore role. I couldn't imagine her having a bigger part in the series and am glad she doesn't.

2.  The killer's name is a joke. 
"Brandon James" sounds like the singer of an emo band, not a crazy person who killed a bunch of people. They really needed to come up with something different.

3.  The back story is bland and generic. 
I understand they're shooting for new territory but the backstory is just lazy. "A deformed boy gets obsessed with a girl and attacks a bunch of teens?" It just seems like standard slasher territory when the Scream series is anything but.

4.  The homages feel pointless. 
They clearly try and pay homage to certain characters from the films but they also randomly decide to switch it up their dynamics for no reason. Randy Jr. is here (Noah) and probably the best character but then there's the news reporter, Piper, who they decide not to go the Gale Weathers route with until later on, which I don't get. Why the slow burn with her? We're already suspicious of her being a bitch due to past experience with the series, so why act like she's not going to inhabit the same role? Odd choice.


5.  Scary moments are ruined with total cheese. 
Great moments like the teens coming across the new mask spray painted on a wall and proclaiming "he's been here" provide plenty of laughs and are when the show fails. I'm sure someone could edit together a satisfying 2 hour movie from these 10 hours of television.

6.  The kills are weak. 
I got real sick of slashes within the first couple episodes. That's one of the big problems with MTV: the violence just isn't there. The movies are brutal and impactful; these are just lame. There's one really cool gag later on in the show but it takes so long to get there, to a character that they were in the middle of redeeming, that it comes more out of nowhere than anything. What was the point when so many other characters would have fit the role better and therefore the kill would have been more satisfying.

7.  The soundtrack doesn't fit with the tone of the series. 
Another MTV-related issue is that they keep using the show to showcase some of their random music. A lot of the time it feels out of place and makes it feel like just any another generic MTV show. 

8.  There are odd limitations in place. 
It's really weird the limits that are placed on the show when it comes to violence because at one point in the show, you can see a girls bra removed and her bare breasts are exposed. Sure, it's on a phone and isn't completely in focus, but it's real clear as to what's going on. Which I found flabbergasting.


9.  The dialogue is more grotesque than the kills. 
It is just so bad at points which is pretty inexcusable given that this is Scream, something that's known for its witty dialogue. Every time I start getting into the show, some character opens up their big dumb mouth and ruins it. At some point everyone is terrible, which isn't fair to the actors who are trying their best. Any of the lines that the writer's clearly think are going to be cool and hip are some of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show.

10.  Too many "Boy Who Cried Wolf" moments. 
While they handle tension well, as stated before, there's so many false moments that it makes it harder and harder to carry that momentum for long. By the end, most moments of tension are simply misunderstandings.

11.  Emma may be the worst "Final Girl" ever. 
Surprisingly, the show is decently acted but the problem comes with the lead girl, who is soulless. Given that she's supposed to be our anchor, you'd think she'd be the best of the bunch, but she is instantly unlikable and provides for most of the character's issues. She does so many terrible things and just shrugs off her actions. And this is our lead. Ugh. It wouldn't be as big of a problem if this weren't based on Scream and therefore based on Sidney Prescott.

12.  Cliché tropes get introduced out of nowhere. 
Is there a reason why the FBI agent investigating the case becomes such a bitch out of nowhere? She is so unreasonably angry that it's solely to draw the viewers' ire and make us hate her. It's just lazy. And the mysterious boyfriend?



13.  Hallucination's and dream sequences randomly pop up. 
Speaking of lazy, nothing is lazier than the addition of all of Emma's hallucinations. The only explanation for them is that they suddenly start saying she's not sleeping and that's what ends up happening. Of course, then my mind wandered and I started to wonder if this was trying to pull the ole switcheroo and turn into a Nightmare on Elm Street series which admittedly would have been much smarter than it ended up being.

14.  It's just not original and doesn't live up to the films. 
The main issue with the show is that it's 75% Generic Slasher Series and 25% Scream. If it were called anything but Scream, I can see enjoying it in a so bad its good way but as it is, it's really frustrating. It's fun but feels too much like an MTV show most of the time. I'm still holding out hope for Scream Queens

15.  There's so much filler, the main story loses impact. 
I'd like to see what someone could edit this into, taking out a lot of the needless subplot and boring exposition that leads to nothing. There's such a long time in between some kills that it plays off like a teen drama for most of the runtime.

16. Spoilers Ahead.

This is where we get into spoiler territory so if you're still wanting to see this for yourself, turn back now.

Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, what the hell is with the killer reveal? I thought they really shit the bed on that one. Who cares if it's the reporter? We didn't get invested in her at all during the show and didn't even care when she was seemingly almost murdered.

And so does this mean that Audrey is fully in on it or was she forced into it by Piper?

Why the hell was the blood on Noah's hand never explained from the first episode? If they pull a Lost and just never answer it, I'm gonna be pissed. 



Don't get me wrong, I did still binge the series so I must have found something charming about it. And I do. So here are some of the things that I actually liked about the show.

1.  I like the slow burn and mystery the show is going for. 
It manages to kill people off without setting off five star alarms. Although it does rely a little heavily on normal moments creating scares due to camera placement and high strings, it still provides legitimate thrills at a least a couple times.

2.  There are at least two great characters. 
I'll also give the show credit for creating at least a couple characters that are easy to care for. Noah and Riley are fun and bring something interesting to the table that actually feels in the vein of Scream, rather than the generic slasher film that the other characters seem to have fallen from. And Audrey feels like someone that is going to have more and more layers as the series continues (if it makes it past season two).

3.  The "Rules" are classic. 
Just like the Scream films, some of the greatest moments are when Randy spouts off about the rules and this series is no exception. Noah going all meta and explaining how a slasher TV series would go serves so many purposes but given that it's a callback to the original in a show where the connections are loose, I'll take that alone.

4.  The references are the true highlight. 
You know one of the reasons that all the movie/tv talk is so damn enjoyable? Because that's what our lives consist of, especially at impressionable ages. Seeing Noah is like seeing me in high school, relating absolutely every possible thing back to movies or television.
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About zombievictim

I'd like my writing to further represent me as a person by providing different insights into the things currently on my mind. Whether it's writing about a movie, TV show, album, book, wrestling event, experience, or life lesson. I don't plan on making this a personal blog where I treat it like a diary. This is just supposed to represent… Me.
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