Scream returned tonight with “Hello, Emma,” an episode that cemented the type of show that Scream is trying to be. Unfortunately for anyone hoping for it to be tonally similar to the film series, it seems to be going for more of a Degrassi feel than a Scream feel. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it’s good that the show is carving its own identity, but it’s bad for anyone hoping for Scream to be a legitimate horror show. When I reviewed the pilot a few weeks ago, I commented on how the show has potential, but it still has a ways to go. That is still the case with “Hello, Emma,” as it didn’t do much to push me over the love it/hate it threshold.
The episode was book-ended by two strong scenes. The first was Rachel’s murder by hanging, and the second was the killer’s second phone call to Emma (which contained the creepy “did you just lock me in or out” seen in many of the promos). These two scenes had the playfulness that was lacking from the pilot, but that playfulness was nowhere to be seen between these two great set pieces.
The main issue with the series (and something I touched upon in my initial review), is that the characters aren’t that particularly interesting. They fit into their archetypes just fine, but they’re all just kind of boring. Emma showed a little more spunk this week, which bodes well for future episodes since she was the least interesting part of the pilot. Other than her and Brooke (who is the most interesting character but has the least interesting storyline), no one stands out.
We were introduced to Gale Weathers stand-in Piper Shay (Amelia Rose Blaire, a stand-out in True Blood’s weak final seasons), who has her own crime podcast (as opposed to Gale’s TV show). She was relegated to two or three brief scenes though, and is missing the ruthlessness that made Courteney Cox’s character so memorable. Ideally this will be remedied in future episodes, but with 8 episodes left the show better get on it.
This episode went all out with it’s homages to the film series. Interestingly enough, many of the callbacks were to Scream 4. This makes sense, since both the series and the third sequel take place in the same generation, though we did get an homage to the original Scream when Emma heard some female classmates talking about her in the restroom. I have no issues with callbacks to the films, but many of the ones in “Hello, Emma” came off as pale imitations rather than homages.
That will be my last comparison of the show to the film series, as I think we all owe it to the series to judge it on its own merits.
If Scream is wanting to be more soapy like Degrassi or Pretty Little Liars, that is fine. It is just something that all of us (myself included) are going to have to accept. It’s just such a jarring transition when we go to really effective horror scenes to the over-the-top soapiness of teen drama. That being said, that is what it would be like in real life if the events in Scream were to actually happen, so I may be being too harsh on the show.
There have been complaints from people about the acting on Scream. While it’s an understandable point of view, it really just comes down to the type of show that is being developed. Scream is a teen soap opera. A teen soap opera requires a certain kind of “poor acting.” That over-the-top acting is a big reason why I compare the series to Degrassi. It just takes some getting used to since the soap opera is kind of a dying art form.
In other news, we didn’t really get any more information on Maggie’s past with her deformed tormentor, but we did learn that she is a mortician (or a crime scene photographer, I’m not really sure). The one thing that is refreshing about Scream is that it seems like the police force might be competent. Once Maggie told Sheriff Hudson that Rachel was most likely murdered, he didn’t immediately shut her down.
What did you think of “Hello, Emma?” Did you like it more than the pilot? Or has Scream lost you completely? Let us know in the comments below!
- Spot the Pop Culture Reference: Seth refers to Noah as Will Graham from Hannibal, there are references to Game of Thrones (more than once), Terminator and Scandal. Did I miss any?
- Are we ever going to learn what pulled Noah underwater last week? Or was it really just a wire? If so, boo.
- I love how they try to dress Amelia Rose Blaire down by giving her glasses. Where’s her ponytail?
- Is anyone else having any trouble telling the guys apart? I can pick out Noah, but all the rest are interchangeable to me.
- Ah, the classic paint/blood mixup. Kind of surprised they resolved that cliffhanger from last week so quickly.
- “It’s my fault that you slept with Nina?” -This made me chuckle. At least Emma has some sass. I thought she was kind of boring in the pilot.
- Noah has his own monologue music (the violins). Not sure if I love it or hate it yet.
- Seth has his entire class take a moment of silence to mourn Rachel, a girl none of them (except Audrey) has ever met. Alright.
- That gay rights joke is already dated, given the Supreme Court ruling last week. Things like that could be a problem for the show.
- “I kissed him. At the party. In the greenhouse…and it felt great.” -Emma, get better at making guys jealous.
- “You’re like a ninja.” “That’s racist.” -I actually thought this was really funny.
- Brooke and Seth’s relationship is awful. If any of you watch Pretty Little Liars (though I feel like I may be the only one on this site who does), it’s worse than Aria & Ezra’s relationship. And I hate Ezria. Just kill the teacher and let Brooke do her own thing.
- “A girl loves a little romance with her gore.” -No. Just….no. Also, that’s kind of sexist.