MTV kicked off its latest scripted drama last night and boy was it intense. Based on R.L. Stine’s book of the same name, Eye Candy is a dark thriller with hints of Veronica Mars and lots of attractive cast members. Here’s my recap of the pilot:
We start the creeptastic night with plucky hacker heroine, Lindy, played by Nina Dobrev’s doppelgänger Victoria Justice, picking up her sixteen-year-old sister, Sarah, who’s been MIA for three days. After giving her lil’ sis a stern talking to about hanging out with the “douchebags,” they decide to patch things up by grabbing some fast food. Honestly, though, there’s not much a Big Mac can’t fix — it’s like chocolate, only greasier.
But things take a terrible turn when Sarah gets out of the car to use the bathroom. As she waits in the rain, she’s grabbed from behind. Lindy, horrified, scrambles to get out of the car to help. By the time she crawls out the window, Sarah’s thrown in a creeper van that drives off into the night.
Flash-forward three years, we find Lindy speaking to a woman who’s daughter, Julia, has gone missing. Using some ultra-fancy, sci-fi mental technology, Lindy pulls up the daughter’s info — oh wait! Just kidding. Lindy’s just daydreaming. She’s actually just a technical support employee for a big investment company. On the side, though, she fights crime and runs an online group that helps find missing people. Her co-worker is also her co-conspirator. Hooray for friends!
And now we cut to the first of many creepy scenes. Julia answers her front door and meets her online date for the first time. At her home. Guys, don’t let strangers into your house. Ever. Complete with a disturbing voiceover, the date murders the girl because she has crooked teeth, which weren’t shown in her profile, so obviously she has to die.
Lindy’s been busy the last few years hacking and being a criminal, though we’re not let in on the specifics, and today she’s getting her ankle tracker removed! Yay! And the cop who’s removing it? Her hot ex-boyfriend, Ben. Ben is yummy, guys. They exchange some cheesy dialogue about her criminal record and labels and blah blah blah. Also, I have never seen an ankle tracker be removed so sensually.
Later, Lindy meets up with her cool best friend, Sophia, who owns a trendy nightclub in the city. “I almost needed therapy after that break-up,” Sophia cries when she realizes her gal pal ran into her ex. Lindy assures her she’s over Ben, and Sophia tries to convince her bestie to get back on the dating wagon. Lindy’s not havin’ it.
Get it, girl.
Back at her apartment, which is, of course, in Williamsburg (hipster alert!), Lindy hacks into the NYPD database to see if Julia has been reported missing yet. She comes up empty, but we now cut to a slow-mo scene of kids playing soccer in a remote part of the city where Julia’s bloodied body has been dumped. (Is anyone keeping tally of the number of creepy scenes? We’re at 2 so far, I think.)
Turns out Sophia’s club is hidden behind a floral shop and as she and Lindy make their way over to the hotspot, Sophia signs Lindy up for Flirtual, a Grindr-meets-Tindr app. Lindy’s username? Eye Candy. #Obvi.
(Let me just say that Sophia is a smart business lady, if only because she seems to require her hunky bartenders to mix drinks shirtless.)
We meet Connor, Sophia’s sassy friend, who finds pretending to like Lindy “exhausting.” But it must not be too hard because he’s happy to show Lindy how to use Flirtual. Matching up guys in the bar with their profiles, the two swipe through various guys’ profiles. One guy, “Lawyerup” has the hots for “Eye Candy” and he comes over to introduce himself. Guys, he’s pretty, his shirt is partially unbuttoned and he has an accent. Major swoon alert. After he leaves, Sophia puts it best, “He’s so hot it burns.” Through the night, Lindy chats up two other guys: a doctor named Peter and Reese, a car enthusiast who may be the biggest tool ever.
This is “Lawyerup” aka. Jake. Swoon.
But Lindy just can’t catch a break because neither guy seems too promising and as she leaves the club, she runs into Tommy, Ben’s fellow officer, who gives her some sass about her hacking tendencies. As she leaves, she starts receiving cryptic and creepy texts from an unknown number seconds before almost getting run over by, presumably, the psycho with the unknown number. At home, in an attempt to calm down, she uses her techie skills to get the lowdown on the three guys she met earlier to see if one of them is her new stalker. Before she can get down to business, though, photos of her start popping up on her computer and she realizes someone has hacked into her webcam. *shudders* When she tries to reverse hack him, she’s spammed with bloody images of a young woman. (Julia?)
Creep Count: 4
Sophia feels bad about signing Lindy up for Flirtual and wants to go to the cops. But, of course, Lindy refuses, but the two settle on letting Lindy use the bar to scope out the guys further. As Lindy chats up her new boy toys and secretly hacks into their phones, Sophia tells Ben what’s going on and he intercepts Lindy while one of her dates is in the bathroom. Ben’s concerned, Lindy doesn’t care.
Lindy’s co-worker picks her up and as they try to monitor the hacked phones, Lindy realizes Peter took her phone by mistake. Jumping out of the car and running to find the good doctor, Lindy finds him sitting on a bench in an empty park. The swings are swinging creepily, so we know he’s dead. And sure enough, he is, with her phone shoved in his mouth. GROSS. The killer left a message: I thought we were exclusive, Lindy.
Creep Count: 6+
Finally coming to her senses, Lindy goes to Ben and Tommy to enlist their help. She presents them with her theory that there’s a serial killer on the loose in NYC who’s using Flirtual to find their victims. Later, Ben decides to stay with Lindy at her apartment to keep her safe. He tries comforting her and suggests they order takeout. But first he must shower, if only to satisfy my need for a hot shirtless guy scene. When Ben comes out of the shower, looking just as good without a shirt as I hoped, Lindy’s nowhere to be found. Grabbing his gun, he looks everywhere for her and ends up going to the roof, where she’s been the whole time because she “needed some air.” Girl, you’re supposed to tell people where you’re going when you’re being stalked. This isn’t some lame horror movie, Lindy, get your act together. Sheesh.
Lindy and Ben start getting swoony-eyed and before you know it, kissing — and more — ensues. At this point, given how jealous Lindy’s stalker has already gotten, we know Ben’s toast. Poor Ben. He’s too hot to die, I tell you! Though, it’s always the hot ones who go first.
The next night (I think?), Ben and Tommy are staking out Lindy’s other Flirtual dates while she’s at work. Suddenly, her computer cuts to video feeds of her apartment, where the stalker is creeping on an oblivious Sophia. Frantic, Lindy races to catch a cab and calls Ben to warn him. She then tries Sophia again and when she finally picks up, we learn Sophia’s not home; she’s at the club. It’s a trap! For Ben! When Ben arrives at the apartment, he finds a creepy mannequin sitting in front of the window before he’s knocked out.
When Lindy shows up, Ben’s nowhere to be found and she finds the mannequin holding a laptop, which shows her a video of Ben telling her not to come looking for him. As Lindy cries and pleads with the creeperman, Ben tells her it’s too late and hints that he’s on the roof. Lindy races up there and finds Ben, dead. Tommy finally shows up and drags a hysterical Lindy away.
The night ends with Lindy grieving and sitting on a bench, scrutinizing everyone who walks pass as the killer provides yet another unsettling voiceover: “We’re just getting started.”
Lindy sure has it rough.
Final Creep Count: I lost count.
Bottom Line: I am never online dating ever again. Also, Ben has some sound advice: “Don’t drink and date stalkers.”
Will you keep watching? I sure will! Catch Eye Candy on Monday nights at 10 PM EST on MTV.