Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Written By: Anna Breslaw

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Anna Breslaw





Prologue


THIS IS ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS I’VE EVER HAD TO WRITE.

After five years, six seasons, ten Emmy nominations, and countless amazing experiences on and off the set with the family I’ve made here, the Lycanthrope High story has come to its conclusion. While I have no control over the decision, I could not be more proud of the extraordinary talent both in front of and behind the cameras who have collectively made this show what it is.

Write to the network if you want, but you know they’re just a bunch of old white dudes in suits, right? All I’m gonna say is that they may or may not have almost fired me for making Connor Korean-American.

But look. You know that from the very beginning, I’ve been thinking about you guys—the superfans, the cosplayers, the people who wrote letters to me saying that Luke’s death helped them with their own grief, or that Gillian and Reginald inspired them to end their abusive relationship, or that Marissa and Connor were the first complex main characters who looked like them that they’d seen on one of their favorite shows. That stuff means more to me than any critic’s opinion.

And in my own bittersweet way, I’m glad to end here, while the characters are beloved and the plot hasn’t jumped the shark. I don’t want the show to overstay its welcome. It’s kind of cool! Like the James Dean of shows, very much including the bisexual experimentation. (Wiki it.)

When you think about it, the ending is somewhat natural—graduation day was near, and then they were gonna go off to college. It’s uncertain, yes, but life is uncertain. (Tangentially related: As most of you read on my blog, I have a new baby, and it turns out babies happen to be relatively high maintenance.)

It’s been an incredible run, more than my seventeen-year-old nerdy self could have hoped for in his wildest dreams, and you guys are to thank for making it happen. I made this show for you. And don’t worry. I’m counting the minutes—perhaps when the kid’s older, anywhere between being a tiny poop monster and a thirty-four-year-old finally moving out of our basement—until I can make another one for you.

Not to get sappy, but all I did was tell people how to hold the camera. It’s you guys who gave it a soul.

Be back soon. Promise.

—John St. Clair, creator of Lycanthrope High





Chapter 1


“IT ABSOLUTELY SUCKS,” AVERY SAYS, BEATING OUT JEFFREY Dahmer for the understatement of the century. (His, after his arrest, was “I really messed up this time.”)

Ave jams an impossible amount of textbooks into her backpack. She’s the only one in the whole hallway who cares that the bell is ringing. It’s kind of her personal brand.

She continues, “It one hundred and fifty percent sucks. But—God, Scarlett, you look awful.”

My eyes are puffy, and my throat’s so sore from crying that I can barely tell her “No shit.” I stayed up all night with the rest of the heartbroken Lycanthrope community, trying to strategize a way to get it back on the air. The first stage is denial, right? That’s half of us, writing passionate letters to the network. The other half—people I used to see on Tumblr every day—are blackballing the show and moving on.

Not only was I one of the more popular fic writers on the board, but I’d livetweet the show every week at eight, amassing a pretty damn big following for a non-famous teenage girl who wasn’t posting butt selfies. Every Monday from eight to nine P.M., I actually mattered. That was like my real life—all the stuff around it was just temporary, unfortunate background noise.

The worst part is, the sixth season finale didn’t wrap anything up—it was some dumb monster-of-the-week about Greg’s robot stepmom. We don’t even know who ends up with whom. Even if John St. Clair tells us at some convention, which is what show runners generally do, it’s not the same. He made the characters so real that it’s simply unfair just to cut us off like this.

“I know you’re bummed, but this means, maybe, just hear me out, that you can . . . invest in real people, not fictional people”—Avery sees what I am about to say and cuts me off—“and not a bunch of randos on a message board who are probably all sketchy old men.”

“You really need to stop DVRing To Catch a Predator.”

Ave should be more supportive, considering we first became friends when she sat behind me in AP English. I worked on Lycanthrope fanfics in my notebook and caught her reading over my shoulder. She reads for fun a lot; she’s maybe the only person at school who does that as much as I do. But other than the architectural skill she displays by managing to fit every math textbook ever written in her book bag, Avery isn’t at all artsy or creative. I think that’s why we get along. Combined, we’d be Supergirl.

Ave is the only reason I can sit at the lunch table with the Girl Geniuses, a small clique of overachievers who run on Adderall and fear and have gears you can always see turning. No wonder they’re maladjusted; it’s uncomfortable seeing people try that hard, you know? Like, we don’t want to see your gears. Put them away. It’s their parents’ fault for flogging them like the workhorse in Black Beauty. Take the shivering mess of Jessicarose Fallon, for instance. This summer her parents sent her on a “volunteer” trip to Argentina for a cool $5K so she could write a heart-wrenching college essay about how she ran out of Luna bars on day three. They also named her Jessicarose, so it’s hard to fault her for having the eyes of a crazy person. In fact, a lot of the Girl Geniuses have a mash-up of two names, like Tanya-Lynn Gordonov. Perhaps their parents were on Adderall when they named them.

Anna Breslaw's Books