Teen Wolf, season 1 (2011)


Before I start today’s review, I think a few clarifications are in order. First, I am not a screaming 15-year-old girl. I didn’t pick up the latest Tiger Beat, there are no posters of heart throbs hanging on my wall, and I am plumb out of Dr. Pepper lip gloss. Second, I haven’t watched MTV since Real World: Seattle aired. Heck, I know next to nothing about what is on that network anymore. And last, and perhaps most important, I am not, nor will I ever be a Twihard. So how was it that I ended up watching the entire first season of MTV’s Teen Wolf?

 

To be honest, I am not sure why I even watched the first episode of Teen Wolf after I saw it promoted on Hulu. Yeah, the argument could be made that I am easily influenced by media and an ideal consumer. Or it could have been that I was just really bored and wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. Either way, one fateful day in July, I clicked “play” and watched the first installment of the MTV show. Then, I watched the next one and the next; until I completed the season. Who am I these days?

 

Teen Wolf the TV show stars Tyler Posey as Scott McCall, a somewhat dorky teen who is bitten by a werewolf one fateful night. Following the attack, Scott discovers that he is developing powers—he can hear better, run faster, play sports better, and attract women in a way he never could before. His friend Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), quickly catches on to the fact that his pal has lycanthropic tendencies. While they try to deal with Scott’s newfound abilities, they meet Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) a werewolf with a dark past. Derek tries to teach Scott how to control his power, but things become a bit hairy (pun possibly intended if you are into that sort of thing) when a group of werewolf hunters and an alpha werewolf are hot on their tail (see above regarding the use of puns).

 

This is a loose remake of the 1985 Michael J. Fox comedy with the same name. And I say loose because the only things these two shows have in common besides the title is that they are both about werewolves in high school, and they both involve best friends named Scott and Stiles. The similarities stop there. Whereas the film was a lighthearted comedy, the TV show is more of a dark drama. Michael J. Fox’s Scott isn’t threatening, but the Scott in the TV series definitely has the potential to lose control. Even the way the werewolves look is very different because while the movie werewolf may give plumbers nightmares, the shifters in the television show are a little scary (not for me, I just like to sleep with my nightlight on, all right?). I like that this show actually reconceptualized the film, thus allowing it to have its own story and not live in the shadow of its older, basketball playing brother.

 

Speaking of sports, I found it interesting that MTV’s Teen Wolf does not play basketball (damn, no dunking). Nor does he play football. Or baseball. Or soccer. In fact, he plays a rather obscure sport—lacrosse. I guess I just think that it’s pretty darned cool that the teens are super into lacrosse on the show. It’s good to try new things, you know?

 

So I’ll be honest, some of the acting in this show is really excellent while a few other performances are a bit too CW for me. I’ll be kind and give props to Dylan O’Brien who literally steals the show as Stiles. It’s just hard not to like him.

 

I appreciate how MTV’s Teen Wolf is more of a drama/thriller than a soap opera. It’s somewhat like watching a PG rated horror film. There aren’t a lot of gory scenes, but people get killed and scary stuff happens. I wasn’t expecting to actually like Teen Wolf—I thought I would shut it off after the first few minutes—but I found myself enjoying the show. Overall it is well done and provides a new spin on an old classic. I was happy to discover this refreshing programming on MTV, just don’t expect me to start watching Road Rules any time soon.

 

Thanks for reading and have a grrrrreat day! Open-mouthed smile

 

Score: A-


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