If you're one of those Scream: The TV Series fans who absolutely adored Season 1, but felt disappointed by the second, brace yourself for some major news. According to Deadline, MTV is rebooting Scream: The TV Series for Season 3, and it's going to mean a fresh start for the show. As well as introducing a brand-new storyline, Scream will be featuring a new cast, which means saying a difficult goodbye to terrific fan-favorite characters, such as Audrey, Noah, and Brooke (as well as Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, and Carlson Young — the actors who perfectly embodied these roles).
Back in October 2016, Scream was renewed for a third season, albeit only for a six-episode run (which is approximately half the length of the first two seasons). And since then, Willa Fitzgerald, who played Emma Duval in Scream, was cast in March as a series regular in the Fox pilot for Behind Enemy Lines. All of which seemed to imply that something was definitely changing about Scream, both structurally and cast-wise.
Regardless, the news that Scream will be rebooted so early in the show's history is still a little surprising. But it's a surprise that I, for one, am definitely welcoming. While Deadline is reporting few other details regarding this new direction, it's definitely encouraging to see that nobody involved in its creation is giving up on it just yet. Which is fantastic news, because like many other fans I'm sure, I'm not giving up either. This reboot of the show's concept could be just what Scream needs to survive.
Trust me when I say that I'm a huge fan of Scream's first season. Though I was dubious about Scream's inception to begin with, I soon warmed to the show's delicious sense of irony, and gleeful playfulness with both horror and teen TV show tropes. Season 1 did exactly what fans of the original movie deserved to see, providing a sublime balancing act of horror, comedy, and teen drama. It was self-aware, never took itself too seriously, and even brought some dark, if slightly predictable, twists.
But then, Season 2 arrived and something was different. Though the intrigue was still definitely there, and the characters were (for the most part) still just as endearing and captivating, Scream lost itself within its own laborious plotting. While there were some memorable moments (mostly all involving either Brooke or Noah, if I'm being honest), the show felt flat and try-hard. It lost much of the fun of the first season, and featured a less-than-killer twist when the obvious suspect was revealed as the killer all along.
It was a season full of more dead ends than dead bodies, and as much as I wanted to believe that Scream was going to reveal something stupendously clever or restore its shining humor, it never did. The season also took 10 episodes for what could have easily have been done in six. And it made me feel like shrieking, "Come on guys, you're better than this," at just about every core moment.
That's why the potential of this reboot excites me so much. Not only only does it present an opportunity for a fresh story, new characters, and the urban myths and folklore of a new location, but this reimagining also suggests that the people creating Scream may have learned from some of the mistakes of the first and second season.
For starters, a six-episode season, though it may seem short, actually provides a stronger foundation for the sort of taut storytelling that horror and crime narratives thrive in. There's less room for too many red herrings to be introduced and forgotten about (I'm still mad about Tom Everett Scott turning up as Emma's shady Dad, only to disappear again forever). And more room for viewers to enjoy a completely unpredictable twist. Scream is capable of that, but it hasn't quite managed to achieve it yet.
Scream, as a show, has a solid, fun concept and plenty of potential. But it definitely needs to reset itself with some new ideas and characters. In fact, why not reset the show each season? Everything that works about Scream would benefit being an anthology series, rather than sticking with the one canon. Just because the world of the Scream movie franchise lent itself so easily to four movies, that doesn't mean that the Scream TV series can do the same across multiple seasons.
Television provides the opportunity for innovation, and fresh ideas. And with anthology shows like Fargo and American Horror Story successfully maintaining an invested audience, the makers of Scream would be foolish not to consider it. But just know that whatever Scream manages to do next, I'm sure we have a lot of surprises and wondrous plot twists to look forward to. So please, be at your best, do your worst, and be the show that the first season showed so much promise of becoming.