Scream's second season misses an opportunity to improve on its first season - but nobody took the opportunity to make it great.
During the summer, Netflix can become one of your best friends, and you can discover some good hidden gems of TV series. One such series I found is Scream, which is based on some of the most well-known horror films. Starting in 2015, the show has come back for its second season on the famous streaming platform, with new showrunners Michael Gans and Richard Register. The MTV show started to an overly mixed and disappointed tune, which lasted up to the season’s final episode.
For those who aren’t familiar with the show, here is a brief introduction. Several months after the first killings, Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) returns to Lakewood, still traumatised by the death of her friends. Even though she shot the first killer and her half-sister, Piper (Amelia Rose Blaire), she constantly feels targeted. As one of the survivors, Noah (John Karna), investigates his theory that Piper had an accomplice, Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) starts getting harassed by someone who knows she was closer to Piper than she pretended. It doesn’t take long before the killing starts again – threatening the Lakewood Five.
The end of Season 1 left the opportunity for a promising sequel, uncovering the story of Piper Shaw and her possible accomplice. Unfortunately, Season 2 falls flat. The intensity of the season is weak, poor compared to the thrilling plot of Season 1. Indeed, last year we were left captivated in the chase for the killer, where everyone could have been a suspect, and we feared for the lives of our favourite characters – but this time there was hardly any real sense of danger. The lack of energy and depth in the story was occasionally overcome by some interesting scenarios, such as a scene in a creepy and isolated theme park, or Zoe’s (Kiana Ledé) heartbreaking death.
Far more disappointing than the overall atmosphere was the general story. Where the first season had a rich twisting and turning backstory on which to build the action, Season 2 feels rushed and stunted. There is rarely any hint of a motive behind this new wave of murders, and it is not even clear who is really targeted until the last few episodes. The storyline is too broad, with pointless flashbacks of Daisy and Brandon James, and there are too many irrelevant storylines and unexplained situations for the Lakewood Five. Having only six survivors from the first season, plus far too few new characters, were not enough to get a real sense of tension for the viewer.
Moreover, the characters were sadly left deeply unevolved throughout, except for Audrey, Noah, and newcomer Eli (Sean Grandillo) who basically make the season, as the main protagonist, Emma, is left as unnerving as last year. This missing complexity behind the protagonists unfortunately leads to a mixed bag finale. The identity of the second killer and Piper’s accomplice seems as if it was a last minute decision, and though it makes some sense, it is a regrettable repeat of the twist at the end of the second season, leaving a bitter taste. But that is not as bad as the season’s concluding twist, which hints that Brandon James, the man behind the first killings some twenty years ago, might still be alive, and will probably return as the big bad guy in Season 3.
To finish on a sweet note, it was still great to return to some characters and to see how they have grown up from their first deadly experience. The new arrived Eli and Stavo (Santiago Segura) are intriguing characters, both having their dark sides and weird behaviours, and are very well acted by their respective performer. Some parts of the plot were worth watching, such as the return of Emma’s father – though this was maybe too short, with not enough time spent on the relationship between them. Scream Season 2 could have definitely been better.
Scream is available to stream on Netflix now.