TV Review: Dead Of Summer’s cartoonish hackwork puts the “camp” in “summer-camp horror”

Frothy is not the same thing as vapid. Entertainment can be stimulating without also being challenging, and one of the biggest hurdles faced by the makers of soapy summertime TV—the small-screen equivalent of a dishy beach read—is to keep things surface-level light without sacrificing the necessary amount of depth that keeps an audience engaged. Dead Of Summer, Freeform’s new supernatural summer-camp horror series, is reasonably entertaining, but likely not for the intended reasons. Its story is so clunky, and characters so wafer-thin, it all but evaporates into a haze of trite jump-scare beats and hoary teen tropes.

It’s hard to believe almost everyone onscreen is hiding a mysterious secret, given their collective inability to exhibit more than one character trait per person. This crew of camp counselors give the disposable youths of Friday The 13th films a run for their unfunny. (The third episode is even …

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