Review of "Dead of Summer" on Freeform From The TV MegaSite

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"Dead of Summer" review by Suzanne 7/5/16
Tuesdays, 9/8c on Freeform

I usually like summer teen shows, but this one is not all that great.  For one thing, the acting is not very good among some of the younger actors. For another thing, the characters are all just stereotype teens with no particular flair or interest. Perhaps casting could have been better. I was very surprised to learn that this was created by the people who made "Once Upon a Time," one of my favorite shows. It's sure not as good as that one.

Part of the problem is that we already have the really good teen horror show "Scream" on MTV, and the farcical "Scream Queens" on FOX. Not to mention shows like "Pretty Little Liars." I don't think this one is really needed or all that original. It just seems like a bad spoof of all of those teen camp horror movies, but it's not a comedy.  Pardon the pun, but it's Dead Serious.

The basic story is not bad, but it just seems poorly executed and it could be more original. I found some of the back-and-forth between the past and present a bit confusing, too.  A funereal-looking black man (Tony Todd, "The Candyman") is attacked by an angry mob as he plays the piano in a little cabin by the lake. He apparently killed lots of young people that are dead in the lake.  Then we see the present where the camp is being opened up in 1989 as a summer camp, after years of being closed. The woman who runs the camp, Deb (played by veteran actress Elizabeth Mitchell, who deserves better thant his dreck) used to go to this camp, as did most of the young camp counselors.  They're all very young but out of high school, apparently. Deb hides some kind of secret. So does almost everyone on the show. That's tiresome.

The lead girl on the show is Amy, played by Elizabeth Lail. She's the "new girl" to the group and we see a lot of her checkered high school past in the first episode.  I think I would like the actors better if their characters were a bit more fleshed out, but I'm not sure... They have the Smooth Guy, the Dumb Italian, the Mopey Boy (who's really a girl), the Hot Girl ad nauseum.

There's a lost of action. It's certainly a supernatural show because there are ghosts who come and go, and someone dies, and a fire starts out of nowhere.  I hope you enjoy your summer better than the people in this show do. Don't bother with it.

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