Where have all the good teen shows gone? Sure, we have the likes of Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries, but we used to have a bunch of new options every season, shows that are actually about teens who are still in high school or college. There's a reason why a lot of us are going back to the days of The O.C., One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, and co. But now there's a new show that just might be able to fill the teen mystery-shaped hole in our hearts.
Enter Dead of Summer, a show set in Taylor Swift's birth year (hello, Madonna pearls and popped collars!), in a summer camp that is much scarier than advertised in their best-summer-ever brochures. (Although this is coming from a wimp who can't watch Supernatural and hasn't seen a horror movie since The Grudge!) After establishing the creepy 1800s backstory of Camp Stillwater, we are introduced to the jock, the queen bee, the newbie, the whole Breakfast Club, who met each other as campers and are now back as camp counselors. What's different about this group is that they're actually friends, and each of them are more than the typical teen archetypes they represent.
The showrunners promise to peel back these characters' layers as the show goes on, using flashbacks to one character's backstory every episode. If that sounds familiar to you, it's because the creators are the same people behind Once Upon a Time, who also worked on Lost. "We want you to fall in love with the characters before we kill them," creator Adam Horowitz puts it so eloquently.
Not that you can expect the body count to rise with every episode—a person can be haunted not just by ghosts, but also by their regrets and inner demons. And as creator Edward Kitsis says, "If you just start killing everybody in every episode, you will actually find yourself detached, because who wants to befriend somebody that’s only going to leave them?"
You won't want to leave this particular group, too. You might even find yourself already invested in them in the first five minutes because a lot of the actors are from familiar titles: lead star Elizabeth Lail was Anna on Once Upon a Time, Zachary Gordon was Greg in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Elizabeth Mitchell was the Snow Queen on Once Upon a Time and Juliet on Lost, Eli Goree was Wells on The 100, and Mark Indelicato was Justin on Ugly Betty.
To add to all these reasons why you should give the show a try, it's on the same network as Pretty Little Liars. So you can pretty much bet that the people behind Dead of Summer know exactly what they’re doing. See you all at Camp Stillwater!