Scream: the TV Series (can I call this a) Review

“You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series,” Noah Foster (John Karna) blurts out. The class is discussing the current gothic movement of TV shows. The Walking Dead, Hannibal, and American Horror Story are mentioned as the pioneers of the current reinvention of the old genre which started The Castle of Otranto. Noah is reminiscent of Randy from the original flicks. He knows the rules of the game. He is the geeky sidekick.

His opinion mirrors that of so many of us when MTV revealed their plans. Scream as a television show? How can this spill past a first season without boring the audience? Noah explains it. It’s not about the whodunit, as much as it is about the characters in the story. Several plot and subplot points are revealed within the first hour of this new series. We have a viral video outing of a girl. We have the estrange friendship. We have the town serial killer legend. A mother with a secret past. A new kid finding his way. A broken relationship. Two boys hacking the first victim’s computer. A student/teacher affair. And it’s almost as if we’re thrust into a teen drama that finds itself tangled with slasher flick. Because that’s what it is. Very few people admit that they watch The Walking Dead for the zombies, after all, so why should Scream be about the murders? Why can’t it stand on its own two legs?

I’ll admit I didn’t expect much from a series based on 90s slasher movies. The Scream trilogy holds a special place in my heart. What I’m walking out with is an interest in it. Will I continue watching the show? Maybe, if I remember it exists; I’m not the target audience, after all.

Post script note: I’m well aware that a fourth Scream movie exists. The fourth film, as you may remember, stands alone in the way of plot from the first three. All three original movies revolve around Mrs. Prescott’s infidelity in some shape or form. And let’s not forget that each movie is a representation of how horror movies once worked. Part one establishes the rules of a horror movie. Part two establishes the rules of a sequel to a horror movie. And part three establishes the rules of a trilogy. Part four, on the other hand, deals with remakes and how they differ from the original.


“I’ve got too many answers to find”

I’ve got too many questions in my mind
I’ve got too many answers to find
Can I give up all I’ve imagined?
Am I imagical enough for this to happen?

Because I like you, I like you, I like you
And like can lead to like like and like like can lead to love
As sure as the stars above, I’d really like to kiss (fuck) you.

Exhibit A: Twitter's a culture, right?
Exhibit A: Twitter’s a culture, right?

I got Twitter-married this weekend. Not only did I get Twitter-married, but I got Twitter-married to erotica author and editor, Alison Tyler. Now, I’m probably making a bigger deal out of this than I should, but just let me have this one, okay? Be honest, this is as close as I’m going to get to the real thing. And that’s a thought that is both depressing and…well, it’s just depressing. Because I’m a thirty-year-old whose biggest relationship accomplishment is…what? Obviously, I don’t count a Twitter-marriage (because I’m not mentally sane, but I’m not Catcher-in-the-Rye-toting insane).

Exhibit B: What's more fake than Fifty Shades of Grey?
Exhibit B: What’s more fake than Fifty Shades of Grey?

As a child, I dreamed about adulthood. A romantic out of the womb, a socially awkward kid who grew into a socially awkward adult who uses phrase like “out of womb.” Chuck Klosterman said it best in his book, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: “I want fake love.” I want the sort of love that we’re conditioned to believe in through RomComs and Sitcoms. And not only fake love, but I want a fake life. I want the sort of life you get when you flip on the TV and see how easy it is to move from high school to college to career. Fuck it, let’s thrown in the entire Americana imaginary life–give me a house with a perfect lawn and a white picket fence with the perfect couple smiling and waving as their perfect kids go off to school so they can go back into the house and break out the BDSM gear. Is it too much to ask for the sexy librarian with the whips and rope?

When I was younger, I used to state that I’d have little life crisis to prevent a mid-life crisis in the future. I surpass them all, as well as, my quarter-life crisis which was pretty anticlimactic as I can’t recall what happen.

Truth is, even though I say I want the girl-the-next-door, or the sexy librarian, or MayKay, or English professor, or the philosopher, or the kinky erotica writer, or the Catholic, or the one I fought for and lost on several occasions, what I want is just someone to love me. And to love someone because they love me and because it’s right and because it doesn’t matter how many times I stumble. Because if I have to fight for a person to love me on a year-to-year, month-to-month, day-to-day basis, is it really worth it? No one’s ever had to fight for me. I either loved them or I didn’t. Simple as that.


“All Roads Lead Home”

I have made you suffer, left you waiting in the rain.
I was chasing demons in the desert of my pain.
You know me better than the poison in my veins.
So, my love, remember when god forgets my name.

She’s girl that makes you believe that god is real. The sort that makes a monster feel human. So when I ask, “Why are you so soft and loveable?” I’m not just saying words. I’ve come to terms with this in my way. I write. I cry. And I sleep. I read books and I buy books. I bury myself in work and I spend time on Tumblr looking at cute pictures of cute things.

The open-ending once comforted me. When Bill Murray whispers into Scarlett Johansson’s ear, a well of emotion surfaces. All these years later, I spoiled it by reading what he said. “I have to be leaving, but I won’t let that come between us, OK?” When a series comes to a close, the open-ending is often used. Luke and Lorelai share a kiss in the rain. Rachel gets off the plane. Same goes for the closing of a season. The Governor isn’t dead and Woodbury comes to the prison. Hank Moody walks to Karen’s door and begins to knock, much like the ending of Sideways. Will she be there? Will she understand? Will all these years end with them, finally, together?

Open-endings comfort us. They help us write our own endings to the stories, the writer’s gift to the audience. Does Sid find Cassie? Does Cook kill Dr. Foster? Do the kids turn out alright?

We want the endings that make us happy, never the ones that make us suicidal. We force ourselves to believe Ross and Rachel are raising Emma happily. That nothing bad came between Luke and Lorelai. That Frasier is happy choosing Charlotte over San Fransisco. The only open-ended finale that set the bar high in reality was Seinfeld, as the show about nothing and everything ends with the characters sitting in a jail cell.

So what has me suddenly both manic and depressed? Inspiration? Caffeine? The fact that I’m listening to Beth Hart‘s song on a continuous loop?

And ex-girlfriend once said I live my life as a movie. An actor without an audience. Furthest from the truth. I’ve often said that life was too much like a TV or book series. Even at the ending, it’s not finite. It’s not even infinite. It’s just the ending of one slice of our existence. Open-ended for our creative responses.

Last night, a friend offered her ear and shoulder. I haven’t spoken to her in such a long time, not in that way. We managed a couple of comments on Facebook and a text here and there, but nothing grander than that. And it’s mostly my fault. Okay. It’s entirely my fault.

So will I take her up on the offer? Let’s see if the spinning top stops.



So Where Were You When the Towers Fell?

28 Ghosts IV

Like most things I cannot explain, I turn to the realm of fiction. However, rather than just leaving your with the last post, I’ll give you a sliver of reality – which, I did at the end.

On 11 September 2001, I awoke to a world-wide change. Someone hit reboot on the system and the universe we once knew was no longer. I’d just hung up the phone with my at-the-time-girlfriend, Jessica – who lived in Brownsville then. She was getting ready to go to school and I was getting ready to go back to bed. See, insomnia hit me hard that year. I was a high school graduate with no ambition of going to college. My senior year nearly left me off in the deep end. Stress and emotions I couldn’t handle were getting the better of me. Soon, sleep became a luxury I was jealous others could afford.

After we said our I-love-yous, I wrapped myself back in the covers and attempted to sleep. But this nagging feeling was tugging at my strings, urging me to give it up and turn on the TV. Normally, I’m a man of empirical evidence, not hunches. It was seven or so in the morning and there couldn’t possibly be anything I was missing out on. Either way, the restlessness overwhelmed me and I turned the TV on to see the first tower. The smoke billowed. It was on the Today Show. Matt Lauer was going on, but nothing was registering.

The World Trade Center had been attacked before and would – I assumed – be attacked again. This was no biggie. I just mutter, “Must really suck to work there.”

When footage of the second plane slamming into the other tower appeared on the air, my heart stopped. This was no accident. This was human nature at its best.

Most people’s instincts told them to pray that the people were all right. My lack of a spiritual form, however, knew that nothing could undo or save those people who were caught above the hit zone. Realization must’ve set in for those people, as well. Soon after, people were leaping from a burning grave into the concrete below. They were taking their own destiny/fate by the throat and saying, “Only by my hand.” Those deaths became so ingrained in our popular culture, whether we choose to accept it or not. Falling man, especially.

My friend, Monica T., jumbled to call me. Jessica called me from school. Their voices were panicked, anger spilling in. Meanwhile, I was lost in another world. A world torn apart from this one. One where nothing like this happened because human nature had to be good. How naive to believe that anything nature throws at us will still beautiful forever.

When the towers fell, reporters were comparing it to the onslaught brought on by the alien space crafts from the movie Independence Day. What a juxtaposition, I thought. I watched, as I assumed the world watched, as they came crumbling down. People covered in the soot of hatred. Some were lost in the clouds, buried forever in the earth of the ignorant. If I could, I’d probably had been crying for their deaths. I wanted so badly to cry for them, to feel some ounce of human connection, emotion. To show my anger toward the assholes who brought this upon innocent people.

The day slipped into night and slipped into morning. The footage was shown around the clock. Musicians took it upon themselves to write ballads. Actors spoke on TV. Politicians put aside ideology. It was as if the ugly has wrought something good. A sense of unity. A unity, I knew, that couldn’t exist, wouldn’t sustain on all our hate.

The world is an ugly place, Mr. Frodo. But there is good. And that good might be something worth saving. But how could I possibly believe that then? How could I believe it now? Has personal current events outshine the world’s?

We haven’t learned anything from 9/11. That sense of patriotic unity washed away when personal agendas and unfounded Weapons of Mass Destruction filled out TV screens. If the goal on September 11 was to tear down our moral fiber, our freedoms and our ethics, then the terrorists won. Because war doesn’t breed peace. It breeds hate. It breeds more terrorism. It breeds stupidity, murderers and xenophobia. It breeds ignorance.

So where were you when the towers fell, you ask. I was at home. Watching TV. Waiting for the world to resume as it always had. As it always will.

life in reverse: