MTV has released the first 8 minutes of their new “Scream” TV series (embedded below), and here's the bottom line: it is exactly what you would expect, except even worse. If my expectations were low before, they're in the core of the earth now.
Here are the 8 worst things about it:
1. Bella Thorne's character is boring and one-dimensional
I get that they're doing a variation on Drew Barrymore's iconic opening from the original movie here, but Thorne's character, a red-haired Photoshop job named Nina, is mean and shallow and literally nothing else (“It's a time-honored enforcement of the food chain. The weak are outed and then eaten.”??) Barrymore's character felt real and sympathetic, and we cared that she died. We should care.
2. The dialogue is truly awful
Kevin Williamson's clever script was the reason the original movie worked as well as it did. Here? All due respect to whoever wrote this, but “Tyler, you are skating on restraining order lake” may be one of the laziest lines ever written.
3. You are killing me with these one-liners
When you follow the line “heads up” with a literal flying head, your soul dies.
4. The plays at “millenial” relevance are cheesy and superficial
Hey look, they know what Twitter is! I mean Chirpster! I do hope they treat the epidemic of cyber-bullying with the gravity it deserves, but who are we kidding.
5. How is she texting that fast
Is she a superhero? Is this a backdoor pilot for Wonder Woman? I can't make sense of this.
6. The last five minutes are dedicated to ogling Bella Thorne's traditionally “perfect” body
One of the most unfortunate slasher motifs is the sexualization of female victims just before they're brutally murdered, and Thorne — unlike Drew Barrymore — is presented as a Victoria's Secret ideal. Kids: MTV doesn't care about your emotional well-being. This is not what women look like.
7. It feels particularly gratuitous
I'm not going to sit here and claim that slasher movies haven't always celebrated violence, because they have. But the depiction of Nina's murder is extra gross a) because “Scream” airs on a network aimed largely at a young, impressionable demo; b) because Nina continues to be sexualized just before her throat is slashed and c) because the “blood spurting from the neck moment” was clearly orchestrated to titillate the audience. It's a sick brew.
8. Nina lives in a “Cribs” episode
What is it with that outsized house and smartphone-activated speaker system? Not only is Nina beautiful, she lives in Mariah Carey's mansion. Can't relate!
“Scream” premieres June 30 on MTV.
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