Scream 1×02 ‘Hello, Emma’: Do you watch scary TV shows?

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Another murder, another creepy phone call, and many more TV and movie references: it’s time for a new episode of MTV’s Scream. With more callbacks to the original film, this show is acknowledging its source material more (albeit subtly) while simultaneously proving that it’s becoming its own entity. It’s also starting to become more intriguing and is bringing back the same amount of mystery that the movies had (much to my surprise). Let’s see what the show has done right and wrong so far.

This week’s episode starts with another murder (what a shock). Rachel, the girl Audrey made out with in the viral video, is killed by the mysterious masked figure, who purposely makes her death look like a suicide. As seen clearly in the beginning and according to Audrey, Rachel “had some issues with depression” (and I have some issues with that statement), but it takes Emma’s mom to figure out that the wounds did not correlate with where Rachel’s body was found. But Emma, being the one who could have stopped Nina from filming the video, takes full responsibility for Rachel’s death (because for some reason Emma’s mom doesn’t tell her that Rachel was probably murdered).

MTV

MTV

In accordance with the whole modernization of the show, the reporter, Gale Weathers, played by Courtney Cox in the original film is essentially recreated in the character of Piper Shaw, reporter and creator of a true crime podcast who has come to Lakewood to dig deeper into Nina’s murder and the Brandon James case. While her appearance is minimal in this episode, it’s clear that she’s going to show up a lot more as the season continues (especially if they’re going to pay a true homage to Gale Weathers’ who was obnoxiously persistent).

The other homage the show pays to the film is in the form of Noah, the film nerd (who I’m going to talk about significantly because he is the most entertaining and memorable character in the show so far) who actually seems like the most likely suspect because he’s so well versed in how slasher films work and probably knows how everything is going to play out (oh, and his obsession with the Brandon James murders). But the obviousness of it makes it unlikely that he’s the murderer (thank goodness). While his moments are probably the best of the show so far, it’s quite distracting when he starts talking about the murders in class and then the try-hard dramatic music starts and continues throughout his whole monologue. While being obnoxiously distracting, it takes the viewer out of the show and also takes away from the dialogue itself. There’s no need to force the drama if it’s already there.

MTV

MTV

This episode serves primarily as set up for more important things that are bound to take place throughout the season. Emma’s dad is mentioned a bit more because he is the only person who survived Brandon James attacks. This means that he will most likely show up at some point, especially since Emma and her mom are at the center of this whole thing. Kieran, the sheriff’s son, and Emma will most likely romance each other some more since her boyfriend thing is an utter douche. And Piper Shaw will surely stumble on something that will make her a more substantial character as the season goes on. But I’m sure most people watching the show are mostly wondering who’s going to die next week (because you bet that that’s how the show is going to go down). There’s also the glorious self-awareness that the show has continued well with this episode. Noah states that “romance is always shoe-horned into genre fare,” uses Terminator as an example, and then ten seconds later he’s making out with the girl he just said that to. Well played, show. Well played.

The best part of the episode (and also another great homage to the Scream movies) is the creepy phone call that Emma receives at the end. The call at the end of last week’s episode wasn’t nearly as sinister as this one. While showing just how much power the killer has, it also really calls back to what the original movie was about: making the main character relive a past that they’d like to forget by using elements of the present to their advantage. Emma may be no Sydney Prescott, but it’s being revealed slowly that there might be more to her than meets the eye. There is actually hope that character development is afoot. But of course what everyone really cares about is who’s calling Emma? And is it just one killer, or is the show going to pull an original Scream moment and make it be two killers? Speculation is imminent, and my first suspect is the English teacher because he’s creepy and he’s one of the least likely suspects so far (I swear my logic makes sense). The initial negativity expressed in the review of the first episode has slightly dissipated. The show is still not the movie, but this episode has proven that the writers know what they’re doing in terms of referencing the best parts of the franchise while still having the show stand on its own two feet for the most part.

Sarah Lord

is a college student in New York City. Her extreme knowledge of British comedians and TV shows almost surpasses her general love for film. When she’s not sitting in her apartment/nerd cave reviewing movies and TV shows, she sometimes makes time for long walks in the moonlight. Check her out on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr as TheSplord.

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