Will you be taking another stab at Scream?
Scream Season 1 Episode 1 certainly set the scene for a murderous summer when "it" girl, Nina was butchered and we were introduced to the key players.
TV Fanatic staff Stacy Glanzman, Caralynn Lippo, Whitney Evans, Amanda Steinmetz and Paul Dailly chat about that opening scene, their favorite character and what they thought of the transition to TV.
Did the premiere manage to capture what made the movies so good?
Stacy: I am a huge fan of the movies, so as excited as I was for this show, I also made sure not to go in with too high of expectations. I actually really enjoyed the pilot and thought it did a good job of capturing the suspense, violence, and over-all cheesiness of the films.
Caralynn: I agree with Stacy – I was keeping my expectations tempered so as to not get my hopes up. But the pilot was a pleasant surprise! Overall, it captured the "meta" horror movie vibes that the original movies were all chock full of. It was a good mix of silly/making fun of itself and legitimately unnerving. The tension wasn't quite as well done as it was in the Scream movies, but given time, I think the tension will naturally ramp up as we start to get attached to these characters.
Whitney: It did and it didn't. I was very curious to see how they would play the whole slasher film concept on the small screen and while I do think they captured a lot of what made the films so entertaining, the characters really failed to bring me in. Neve Campbell wasn't exactly the most gripping heroine of all time, but she seems like a much better lead than Emma thus far. But it's only the pilot, so hopefully the characters will grow on me.
Amanda: I agree that the tension needs to slowly build here. A film is done in 2 hours, so the pacing will have to be different for this series. I think the pilot managed to capture the meta-ness that made the Scream films so great. However, I didn't take an instant liking to most of the characters.
Paul: I think it did a good job of capturing what made the movies so good. We have Noah, who is pretty much our Randy and the overall look of the show is similar to the movies. All things considered, it exceeded my expectations.
Who is your favorite character?
Stacy: So far I think it's Audrey. I already liked the actress from The Killing and I think she's intriguing so far. I'm curious why she has a picture of that serial killer. I also liked the way she told off Emma.
Caralynn: I really liked Audrey. Most of the other characters felt pretty obviously derivative of the characters (or character "types") from the original movies. Audrey felt the most unique to me, and I loved her "I don't care what anybody thinks" attitude. I also like Brooke, despite her obvious existence as a Tatum knock-off.
Whitney: Yes, I have to echo my fellow round tablers and say Audrey made the best first impression. Bex Taylor-Klaus was a revelation on The Killing and it's exciting to see her pop up on some new shows.
Amanda: Looks like we all agree about Audrey. Her outsider persona makes her more interesting and sympathetic. Most of the other teenagers came across as obnoxious. Emma seems nice enough, so why on earth would she be friends with such losers? I get that it's high school, but she could try to find some better friends.
Paul: I'll go with Brooke. Sure, she is by no means the most flawless character, but she is being billed as the other bitch on the show. I think we all know that as the show progresses, she will become a nicer person.
On a scale of 1-10, how weird is Noah?
Stacy: I'll say 8. Noah is probably my second favorite character as he's clearly the Randy of the group. I loved his explanation in the class of how slasher films can't work as TV shows. His obsession with serial killers is definitely weirder than Randy's obsession with movies. The end of him with the blood on his forehead is my main basis for the high rating. What was that?
Caralynn: I'd say he's a 6 or 7. His explanatory "meta" speeches throughout the episode were really entertaining. I definitely didn't think he was the killer at any point (way too obvious) and the blood on his forehead at the end screams "red herring," to me.
Whitney: Noah is that character who says exactly what the audience is thinking, a la Randy in the movies. So, based off that, I didn't find him weird per say, just a little different from his cast mates. I'll give him a 5 on the weird factor, because he's definitely different but that's not a bad thing.
Amanda: I'd give Noah a 5 or 6. The blood on his forehead was weird, but there is bound to be an explanation for that. It's too soon to label him the killer. On the other hand, it would be interesting for the "Randy" of the group to be the killer since Noah's the most meta about everything.
Paul: I'm going all the way to 10! He gave me the creeps. Sure, the chances of him being the killer are pretty much zero, but it makes for some interesting TV to have him know everything.
What did you think of the first kill?
Stacy: It wasn't as shocking or gruesome as Drew Barrymore, but I didn't expect it to be. I thought it was really well done and was a great way to usher in the series.
Caralynn: This sounds terrible, but I honestly didn't care about the kill all that much. Nina was characterized almost immediately as an awful person, and very stupid (why would you not call the cops?!) so it was hard for me to feel invested at all. She reminded me a bit of Heather Chandler from the 80s movie Heathers. It was also very stilted and sudden, there wasn't a ton of build up at all. It would have been really hard for them to top the first Scream movie's Drew Barrymore death, which was so intense and well done. In terms of special effects, I do think it was pretty good – the blood looked real-ish, and she died pretty realistically. Trevor's head-turned-beach-ball did make me laugh out loud, though.
Whitney: Nothing will ever top the Drew Barrymore death scene, but I thought the Bella Thorne death was well done. I do think it was an interesting choice to make her rather unlikable, though. Is the killer looking to get revenge on just the "bad" teenagers?
Amanda: For TV censors, I thought it was fine. It wasn't overly gory because MTV is definitely not HBO. I didn't really care about Nina's death. She seemed awful the second she opened her mouth. There also wasn't a slow building of fear and tension that made Drew Barrymore's death in the first scream film so memorable.
Paul: I thought they done really well. I expected them to water it down quite a but, but they didn't. It was well thought out and I liked that they really brought the franchise into the 21st century.
What are your hopes for the season ahead?
Stacy: I hope it's not too predictable. I hope there are plenty of shocking deaths and that it keeps the cheesiness. I like that so far it's able to poke fun at itself and the genre.
Caralynn: A lot of the characters seem like empty stereotypes right now, so I am definitely hoping that improves as we get to know them. I also hope that they don't overdo it with the red herrings. I really want the twist to not be overly drawn out and for it to be actually twist-y (and not obvious), by the end. I like the cheesiness too, but I hope they don't go too nuts with all the meta. I definitely don't need to hear Noah give a dissertation on the slasher genre in every single episode.
Whitney: I hope we get a decent body count and they aren't afraid to shock the audience. When you watch a slasher flick, you go into it knowing a major chunk of the cast is going to die, but I have no idea what to expect with a television show. I hope this show dares to shock us and doesn't go the easy route.
Amanda: I hope that the show surprises me and keeps me guessing. I also want to actually like these characters. If I'm supposed to be invested in them by the time they get killed off, the writers have their word cut out for them because the majority of them seem stupid and mean. I definitely want to learn more about Emma's mom. I want to learn more about her past when she still went by "Daisy".
Paul: I hope that they have shocking kills and follow a similar pattern to The Walking Dead and have no character safe. I also hope that Emma becomes a bit more likeable.
Grade the premiere.
Stacy: I'll give it an A- for being entertaining and exceeding my expectations. It definitely had potential to be a disaster.
Caralynn: B+/A-. Definitely better than I thought it would be. It was pretty entertaining and I'm hoping that some of the more obvious stock characters (Emma, innocent and kind optimist; Kieran, mysterious new guy) can manage to rise above their stereotypes and become more fully-fleshed out.
Whitney: I'll give it a solid B. Pretty good for a pilot, but there is definitely room for improvement. Like Caralynn pointed out, the characters needed to be more full formed. That will go a long way in making this show better.
Amanda: I'll give the pilot a B. The meta aspect was great to watch, and the tone of the show seems strong. However, they need to make more characters likable, and show more complexities to their personalities.
Paul: I'll go with a B-. There was a lot to like, but I agree that the characters need to be more fleshed out for me to care for them.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.