Screaming about MTV’s Scream: Character Breakdowns

scream

Scream was the first horror movie I ever saw and it started a life-long fascination with the genre so it will always hold a special place in my heart. That, and it’s still a fantastic film. So the fact that MTV has been talking about making a TV series based on the film always enticed me, especially after Teen Wolf defied everyone’s expectations. Now that information about the series has begun to appear I’m getting more excited (and extremely nervous) to see what they do with one of my all-time favorite films.

According to TVLine the pilot “penned by Jill Blotevogel (RavenswoodHarper’s Island, Eureka), kicks off with a YouTube video going viral, which will have adverse repercussions for teenager Audrey and seemingly serve as the “catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to [her] town’s troubled past.” Right off the bat that doesn’t inspire oodles of confidence, but it’s not exactly a bad idea and there is definitely a lot of horror to be found in the social media world, as Scream 4 showed. So as long as it doesn’t rely too hard on gimmicks and risk coming across as outdated it could be really cool.

The real draw of this series is that is has a female lead, but horror has an interesting relationship with its female leads. Women are often punished for just existing and there’s a seriously problematic set of morals that prevail (see: Death by Sex). BUT it is one of the only genres that consistently puts women in the starring role, and often affords them much more agency than they would have had in say and action or sci-fi film. And considering Scream is all about commenting on established tropes and conventions this TV series could be a place for female characters (particularly teenage girls) to shine.

Harper Duval is a 16-year-old former outcast that’s now one of the popular girls, after her ditching her former BFF to get there. She’s essentially Veronica from Heathers. Okay, the description TVLine gives is a little more forgiving but it’s pretty easy to read between the lines. She also has a Gilmore Girls-esque relationship with her mother, Maggie, which is nice because I am all for strong, healthy mother/daughter bonds.

Audrey Jesen is Harper’s former BFF – the one she ditched for popularity. She is, most unfortunately, described as “the bi-curious daughter of a Lutheran pastor”. Ouch, can someone please erase the term “bi-curious” from the PR lexicon. Come on MTV, just commit to having a bisexual character already – that might be enough to give this show the edge it needs. Oh, and of course Audrey is artsy with dreams of becoming a filmmaker.

Noah Foster is Audrey’s new BFF/ tech guy. He’s apparently described as “John Cusack in his teen prime” – did anyone explain to them that Lloyd Dobler was a stalker? Never mind. Noah is your genre savvy, hipster, heartthrob that will probably have some kind of romance with one or both of the girls mentioned above. Then again, maybe he’s less Lloyd and more J.D. I could be 100% down with watching a team of teenager psycho killers.

Also Harper’s mom Margaret has issues since Harper’s dad left, and she got a dark secret from her past, which will no doubt have some kind of connection to the horrific happenings that are about to hit this unassuming bunch. If I was anyone in that town, I’d move ASAP.

Look, there’s like an 80% chance this is going to be a terrible mix of sexist tropes and boring clichés but that left over 20% is enough to get me excited. Horror at its best is a comment on society, so if this show has something to say and it says it with a predominantly female cast that may or may not include a bisexual character then it could become my new favorite show.

What do you think? Are you going to give this show a chance?

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.



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