You’ve probably already heard or read from me that I enjoy MTV’s Teen Wolf. In case not, let me repeat *deep breath*
I ENJOY MTV’s TEEN WOLF.
OK, that’s out of the way. I’ve written as much on here, on twitter, and a little bit during the podcast itself. (I might even dedicate the first season as a whole to a Main Topic once the 1st season wraps in 3 weeks) I’ve seen some but not many in the horror community give it a chance and from what I have heard they have also endorsed the show. Again, not many, just the ones who actually decided to sit down and give it a chance. I completely understand why there was a resistance to this series by my peers going into it. I admit to being one of the detractors. I mean it is MTV for crying out loud, I think the “OMG another Twilight” radar went blaring well before the first promo for the show ever surfaced. However, lets get into the show itself.
For starters, the series borrows little if any from the 1980’s Michael J. Fox movie. “Scott” & “Stiles” in name only are there. As well as “wolfman” characters. Beyond that nothing. I’m not going to sugar coat the series and make it be out as something it isn’t. Most of the cast are playing characters in their mid to upper teens and there is a ton more scenes of shirtless young males than my liking (oh wait, does that suggest a certain amount is desirable? Oops.) Because the setting is high school, yes there is some teenage drama however it doesn’t feel overboard or the main crux of the show itself, it is simply there because well they are teenagers in high school, it happens, it’s life get over it.
You see, if I was to not watch MTV Teen wolf based on this issue, then I can really make no argument for why I watch True Blood which features much more, in fact at least ten times the amount of copious idiotic romance and cheap frills style hooking up for the sake of titillating the audience than Teen Wolf could ever imagine to have. I do understand the HBO vs MTV factor but still I don’t think Teen Wolf is striving to be a version of that. I think it stands alone as it’s own show.
The other complaint although this is something I have to swallow like a bitter pill when it comes to 90% of modern day horror period goes, is the CGI. It’s not that great and does kind of distract from the wolf-related scenes. Bad CGI is something I will never understand. I suppose it is cheaper and probably a lot more comfortable for the cast as they are not sitting around going in and out of monster makeup for hours upon hours, but for the audience I don’t think CGI has ever once been as rewarding or awe-inspiring an experience as scenes such as the Wolf transformation scenes in The Howling or An American Werewolf in London. CGI be damned.
See the re-ocurring theme here?
And that is really where my criticism of the show ends.
Put on a damn shirt man!
The story I feel is pretty strong. Scott is not a werewolf by bloodline in the series (at least it hasn’t been revealed as so…yet?) Also, being a werewolf is not the fun & games it was for Michael J. Fox in the 80’s. There is no free kegs of beer or basketball slam dunking. Sure, Scott is on the lacrosse team and it did help him get onto the first-line of the team, however there is so much more going on as a result of being a werewolf that the entire sports plot line is minimal at best. He isn’t out as a werewolf, only a select few know, and half of the people that know are not very sympathetic to his plight.
It isn’t fun & games, there is no “Surfin’ USA” on top of the van this go around.
The supporting characters are also strong. No one feels like merely a background character in this show. Everyone has their own connection and dilemma’s which seem to be explored adequately enough. Yes, some more than others, but no one feels forgotten or left out. One of the most interesting sub-plots in my opinion is of Alison, Scott’s love interest. Her family comes from a lineage of Werewolf hunters which includes her Aunt(played by Jill Wagner who you recognize as Krista from The Blade Series show from a few years back) who has some questions of her own to answer because it looks as if she may be playing a couple different angle. It is not known yet if they are out to kill them all, or just kind of keep the more out of control ones in line. There is much more to be revealed that hasn’t yet, however the one big sub-plot point that is about to take off is that Alison is starting to enter the beginning stages of being groomed as the next in the bloodline to hunt and kill werewolves.
From hunting Vampires in Blade to shooting Werewolves in Teen Wolf....the lovely Jill Wagner
Besides Alison, we have the Jock character who traditionally gets some of his own medicine once the “nerd” becomes strong, but so far that hasn’t been the case in this show, and I kind of like that they went a different route. For reasons I won’t spoil, the dynamic between Scott & Jackson is going to be something to keep an eye on in the future. I’m not going to waste your time breaking down every single side-character’s subplot, however lets just say everyone from Stiles, to the “mysterious” character of Derek, and even Alison’s best friend Lydia there is plenty else going on in the show to keep it feeling fresh from week to week (and this is still leaving out tons of characters including the hilarious lacrosse coach played by comedian Orny Adams)
Look, I know this show isn’t going to be for everyone. Even if you finish this article and give the show a chance, there is still the possibility you hate it every bit as much as you thought you would and storm back here to write some nasty vitriolic response (please do, it amuses me) however as a fan base, horror fans are usually pretty starved for content on Television. This fall with Dexter & The Walking Dead coming back, as well as some new shows such as Death Valley, The River, & Grimm, and even some original movies such as Remains & Ghoul coming out there will be no shortage of content to smother our grubby hands all over, but until then why not finish out summer with a show that is currently on. If I’m wrong, and you don’t end up liking it, fine. Come back and tell me how much it sucks and how stupid I am, however if you end up enjoying it, then you have another show you can add to the list to gather around the tv with some popcorn and dimmed lights! Until next time….AAAHHRRWWWOOOOO!!!!
Catch MTV Teen Wolf Monday's at 7pm/10pm