If there's one new show that I'm completely intrigued by, it's the upcoming MTV drama Eye Candy. The series — which premiered an insanely creepy trailer last month — is about a young hacker named Lindy (portrayed by former Victorious star Victoria Justice) who makes it her mission to hunt down an elusive serial killer who uses internet to stalk his prey. From the looks of the trailer, the series is part Pretty Little Liars, part The Following — which means viewers are in for one crazy ride. It's so crazy that some fans are wondering if the cyber stalker plot line could have been ripped from the headlines, a la crime shows like Law & Order or Criminal Minds. So is Eye Candy based on a true story? Should we be worried about a real-life cyber stalker threatening Manhattanites?
Don't shut down your laptops or put tape over your iPhone camera just yet: Eye Candy is based on existing source material, not reality. Eye Candy is an adaptation of the R.L. Stine young adult novel of the same name, which means that this MTV show shares some parentage with the Goosebumps series. But while Eye Candy might be based on the book, there appear to be some key differences between the story Stine wrote and the one MTV adapted to the screen. Watch the trailer below to get an idea of what Eye Candy the show is all about.
Now here's the synopsis for the novel, from Amazon:
Lindy Sampson is a beautiful twenty-three-year-old New Yorker with an unusual problem: She’s too beautiful, and guys are intimidated by her. Her roommate suggests Internet dating and writes a personal ad for Lindy, calling her “Eye Candy.” The responses pour in. Suddenly, Lindy is dating four guys at once—and having the time of her life. Until she gets a terrifying note that warns: “Don’t say no, Lindy. Keep going out with me. I’ll mess you up if you ever say no.” Which one of her admirers is a deadly freak? Lindy is now forced to say yes to everything the four men ask of her—dates, invitations to spend the night, anything. From the East Village to the Hamptons, panic and paranoia shadow her every move. Lindy suspects everyone, even the one person she thought she could trust. But Lindy Sampson doesn’t know the half of it—and what she doesn’t know could kill her.
In the Stine novel, Lindy appears to be more of a victim than she's depicted on the MTV show. Sure, she suspects her suitors of having less-than-noble intentions, but she's hardly the hardened hacker actively searching for clues that she is in the MTV series. On the show it's Lindy who chooses to go on dates with the men, not so she can find a boyfriend, but so she can find out which one could be the killer preying on New Yorkers.
It wouldn't the first time that a show greatly expanded on its source material. Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, and even The Walking Dead are all based on existing book series (in the case of The Walking Dead, it's based on a comic book series), but all diverged from their source material when they were adapted to the screen, altering characters, situations, and plot points to fit their needs.
And honestly, I'm glad that Eye Candy is changing things up. I was a big Stine fan growing up, but it's a little hard not to roll my eyes at the synopsis for the novel. It seems like Lindy's biggest problem in the novel is her inability to find a date due to her immense beauty — snooze. Justice is certainly beautiful, but her version of Lindy doesn't seem quite so one-dimensional — she's a fighter. We've seen way too many women on crime shows fit comfortably into the role of a helpless victim, and it's encouraging to see MTV flip an existing story on its head to showcase a strong female character. I, for one, couldn't be more excited to see what the TV version of Lindy can do.
Images: MTV; Giphy