Scream Series Premiere: Will You Give MTV's Whodunit Another Stab?

Scream Renewed Season 2

Terror was reborn — albeit with a slightly remodeled face — on Tuesday when MTV premiered Scream, a small-screen slasher inspired by Kevin Williamson’s classic horror movie franchise.

The big debut kicked off with “it” girl Nina Patterson — played by Bella Thorne, who’s already having a rough week after that whole heroin thing — being selected as the masked killer’s first victim. And while no one knows who offed Nina, her murder brings back fond memories of Brandon James, an unfortunate bro who terrorized the town of Lakewood a few decades earlier.

You know what, maybe the best way to dissect the series premiere is to examine each of the characters, most of whom double as potential murder suspects:

* First up is Emma, pretty much the only character I don’t consider a suspect, if only because she appears to be an object of the killer’s affection. Emma doesn’t know it yet, but her mother was the love of Brandon James’ life, and she unknowingly aided in his eventual murder — that is, if he even was murdered. Her budding relationship with Kieran, the new school hottie, became even more complicated in the premiere when she learned his dad and her mom are also romantically linked.

* There’s also Emma’s former pal Audrey, who exhibits all the qualities of a ticking human time bomb. After becoming the subject of an unwelcome viral video — she was filmed kissing a girl in a parking lot — Audrey became a social pariah, and when she found out Nina was behind the whole thing, she totally lost it. And what was up with that photo of Brandon James in her bedroom? Do all teen girls fawn over serial killer pin-ups these days?

* Actually, let’s go back and talk about Kieran for a second. We don’t know much about him — other than (1) he’s hot, and (2) he’s living with his dad because his mom and stepfather died in a car accident six weeks prior — but that doesn’t seem to bother Emma, with whom he swapped spit in Brooke’s greenhouse after just a few minutes of flirtation. I think we’re supposed to be wary of him, hence Emma making note of his “dark mind,” but at this point, it’s probably too soon to rush to judgment. For now, let’s all just sit back and enjoy the pretty.

* Then there’s Will, who began the premiere as Emma’s doting boyfriend and ended the hour as a cheating low-life with enough secrets to rival a Pretty Little Liar. Not only did he sleep with Nina during a brief break from dating Emma, but he lied about where he was the night she was killed and delivered a pretty chilling threat to Brooke for revealing his infidelity: “If you ever get between Emma and me like that again, I will break you.” His exchange with Jake at the end of the hour, in which it became clear they both have something to hide, also didn’t help his case.

* Speaking of Jake, how do we feel about him? I mean, he’s obviously a douche who had access to Nina’s webcam — and an apparent inability to trash files — but is he smart enough to be involved in her death? I don’t think he’s even smart enough to dress himself in the morning, though I also wouldn’t protest if he decided to skip that part of his routine one day. Just saying.

Noah, the awkward nerd with a slasher movie obsession (“Some guys like sports, I like serial killers.”), is also worth keeping an eye on. My guess is that he’ll stick around long enough to help narrate the chaos, but in the end, he’ll be neither a killer nor a survivor.

* Now for the “others” category, the people less likely to gut someone than get gutted themselves. First up is party girl Brooke, a real-life Mean Girl with a penchant for spilling other people’s secrets. She’s sleeping with bad-teacher Seth, whose love for scotch and sodas is matched only by his disdain for underpants. Brooke’s friend Riley is also somewhere in the mix; she seems innocent enough, but sometimes the ones with all the questions are merely hiding the fact they really have all the answers.

What’s your theory about Nina’s killer (even though it’s probably way too early to speculate)? Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Don't F*** With The Original says:

    This was atrocious. What a disservice to fans of the original franchise.

    • Dude says:

      I read the script a while ago, hoped it wasn’t the shooting draft. Seems like it was. What a shame.

    • Byron says:

      Loved the original franchise and thought this was quite fun – goofy sometimes (greenhouse kiss, for example,) but fun. Chuckled heartily when Brooke said, “I’ll be right back…” Love the Noah character giving the exposition which clarifies the difference between this and the source material, I hope he lives for a while… And, Andy Swift, your ‘recap’ was hysterical, I really enjoyed it!

  2. d4h8a15r16m23a42 says:

    As someone who grew up with and loves the Scream franchise I went into tonight with the lowest expectations since it was MTV. I ended up actually really enjoying it. It was by no means great but it was a fun hour of television and I’m glad i decided to check it out.

    • DL says:

      My thoughts exactly. It was way better that I expected to be. Nothing brilliant, but definitely some scrumptious television.

  3. mike says:

    I probably would have watch it if MTV here in Canada showed it

    • Simon says:

      I know right and still no word from MTV Canada on When or if they plan to air it even though people are asking them in their Facebook page.

  4. nate says:

    Well it is the first episode. I’m giving it time

  5. Mark says:

    My expectations were low. I mean, Scream, while fun, is still a slasher film (and I do love the franchise). But considering the genre, I thought it was pretty good. I’m definitely on board for the season, but I think the suspense week to week is going to kill me. (Pun definitely intended.)

    • Mike says:

      Suspense? Best case scenario here we get Harpers Island Mark II, with one cast member offed a week tops. Can’t afford to do more, their cast isn’t deep enough.

  6. Eh, while not as bad as some of the TV crap Williamson has churned out, I was questioning the point of this show and still am. That might be more damning than any arguments that can be made about the quality really.

  7. Joe says:

    I think the killer will be Sheriff Hudson. I think he will eventually be revealed to either be Brandon James’s brother or possibly Brandon James after a lot of surgery to fix his face.

    • Andrew says:

      @ Joe – That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking, and honestly—if that’s where it goes—I’ll laugh because it was predictable and obvious from the get go.

      To be fair, though: I thought the opening was good, but it only went downhill from there.

      All of these characters were so one-dimensional that you couldn’t care about them or root for them to live.

      The only character I didn’t mind, surprisingly, was the mom (played by Tracy Middendorf). However, her (and the original killer’s) backstory reeked of Friday the 13th and the 1985 film Mask, starring Cher. It was just…weird.

      I may watch another episode or two, but I don’t think this series is going to survive.

    • AT says:

      I hadn’t really thought of him because I was focused on which kid(s) was the killer – like the original movie. But this makes perfect sense. I feel like the show is a cross between Scream and Halloween. With the original Scream, you didn’t think any of the kids were the killers. They’re setting this up though to make you think any of them could be. So it probably is the Sheriff. I thought it was entertaining enough and will keep watching to see how it turns out.

  8. Antwon303 says:

    I was bored and thought it was lame. I’l give it one more episode to see it the pilot was just weak. I rated it “D”

  9. Paria says:

    Decent for a pilot. I’ll give it a B.

    Gruesome and I like most of the characters.

    Noah and Audrey are the s
    tand outs. Did anyone else notice Noah’s scar?

  10. SAm says:

    Was horrible. make Scream 5 instead

  11. ? says:

    I thought it was surprisingly good. Maybe people aren’t remembering the original movie right because of how old they were when they first saw it, but Scream is supposed to be cheesy. I liked the use of cellphone technology in how the first girl got Drew Barrymored.

  12. i like it well enough it was mtv so i wasn’t expecting Shakespeare
    but imo they could’ve tried a little harder to make it more original
    it seemed all they did was take the script from scream 1 & changed a few things

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  14. yurie says:

    Horrible acting and terrible writing. No thanks.If you want to see a better whodunnit then go for Bloodline. Not the best but leagues better than this garbage.

  15. Kalee says:

    Very much enjoyed it and this is coming from a huge fan of the Scream franchise (well… save for Scream 3).

    Emma is totally the killer. She’s just crazy and making up the phone call and other red herring stuff in her head. Audrey will probably be the true Heroine later on. I’m pretty sure they’re leaning on the scrapped stuff from Scream 4 where the Heroine and her Best Friend’s fates are turned upside down.

  16. Mike says:

    May end up watching this more out of morbid schadenfreude than actual interest. Seems like only one or two characters here that aren’t outwardly loathsome; the rest I may actually ENJOY seeing not-ghost face dispose of (contrary to Basil Exposition’s little rant about making it hurt at the end)

  17. Bob Backus says:

    This looks like it was filmed in the 80s as a bad syndicated TV show, for those to young to know what that is, think straight to DVD movie i.e. crap. I saw the first 8 minutes of the show as a preview and was really excited to see the show (except it really was just a rehash of the first movie’s intro.). It looks like they spent all the money for the show on the first 8 minutes, and had to go cheap for the rest of the episode. Really guys, the lighting and filming looks like “Small Wonder” (god awful syndicated show from the 80s.) As for the actual writing, it is obvious that the writers are really worn out and need to stop re-treading the same boring themes. Get rid of the “Randy” character. OLD really old. Kevin Williamson (I’m guessing you had little to do with this)- you are so burnt out, all you are doing is a bad repeat of your movies. Time to retire. Or at least put in some production values so that I can look past the terrible rewriting of Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3 etc etc.

    • Mike says:

      From what I’ve heard Williamson isn’t involved at all. And thank god really. Until he figures out how to make cop characters without severe neurological damage its better he just produce things rather than write.
      Wish craven had at least a little input but given how great Fargo was even without the Coens I guess they figured why not?

  18. Mike says:

    Am I the only one sorry they didn’t try and deliver on the “anyone can die” threat and actually knock off the female lead episode one? I mean that at least shows you’re willing to back it up, y’know?

  19. Jon says:

    That was ok. Acting was a little bit off, but as a big fan of the movie franchise (and still waiting for a 5th movie) I’m gonna watch it. The way I see this going is that they treat one season as if it were one movie. When the season runs its course they reveal the killer(s), and then there’s a new killer(s) in the next season. And so on, and so on. If not, if they pull a Pretty Little Liars where we have to wait for 6 seasons to find out who the killer is and then they start bringing random people to the point where the show completely loses its plot and becomes ridiculous, well, then it’d have been a waste of my time. So fingers crossed.

  20. Marco says:

    Nina isn’t the first victim; her boyfriend is, just like in Scream Steve was the first victim and Casey was the second.

    And hey, at least she got head before she died…

  21. Helen says:

    Pilot was awful. Very boring and just all around lame.

  22. damroberts744 says:

    I realize some people are going to loathe it, but looking at it as an essential cousin to the films I thought it was pretty strong summer fun. There were times when it felt like it was another cliche after cliche, but I think this may be a sleeper hit.

  23. Skyler says:

    I had no faith in this series as a Scream fan, but after seeing the first eight minutes of the pilot, I decided to give it a try and I really liked it. It had some humor, some scariness and suspense. I hope it gets even better as it goes on. My favorite characters are Emma and Noah so they better not die anytime soon. Anyone is a suspect for me except Emma but I am leaning toward Will or Kieran. Will would be a homage to the original but too cliche. Kieran would be a better bet.

  24. Oa says:

    This was actually waay better than expected. Very tongue-in-cheek/self-aware which made some of the questionable acting bearable.