What do you think of Teen Wolf (Part 1)?

teen wolf show title card
Teen Wolf

I started binge-watching Teen Wolf as I’ve been on a werewolf feeding frenzy lately–that is to say, I’ve been reading a lot more werewolf books and watching movies and TV shows. Now, I’d caught snippets of the show when it first started airing but I didn’t start watching from the very beginning so I often felt lost as I tried to follow along. So, I decided to watch the whole show from the beginning to see what it’s all about.

To me, it felt like MTV’s desire to do what the CW was doing with The Vampire Diaries but they wanted to do the same thing for werewolves–so, basically, tarting up the beasts to appeal to a younger, mostly teenage demographic, which is precisely what Teen Wolf is.

With that in mind, I wasn’t exactly watching for the character development or to see brilliant acting, but I’m always curious to see how different shows, films and books handle different aspects of being a werewolf, including werewolf mythology. I’ve worked my way through all the seasons so far, right up until the premiere of season 5, which recently happened. I take it for what it is–campy and fun entertainment.

Having said that, here are a few things I didn’t like about the show:

  • The show’s audience is obviously teenagers, specifically teenage girls who go gaga over hot supernatural guys. Unfortunately, that means theshowrunners decided to change werewolf transformations in this series to: claws, fur on the face, shifts in eye colour, growing sharp teeth, and running around on all fours.
    • There’s no cracking of bones, no pain associated with the transformation into werewolf form, not to mention the inconsistency with controlling shifts. In Teen Wolf, the werewolves can turn into their wolf form seemingly at will and they can seemingly shift back to their human forms without much effort. The only time they lose control over when they shift is on a full moon when they’re supposed to be more dangerous.
  • The hairless chests thing–okay, so again, I understand the audience for this show doesn’t like hair on guys. But the werewolves don’t have hair much of anywhere, except their heads and faces. Their chests, backs, arms, legs, etc, are as smooth as a baby’s behind. That makes it slightly more difficult for me to buy them as imposing werewolves. Granted, not every show is going to have the same aesthetic approach.
    • In Underworld, the werewolves stand on two feet and get furry all over. In Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, werewolves physically shift into an actual wolf. There are also hybrids (half werewolf, half vampire) on The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff, The Originals and they’re like the Teen Wolf versions: mostly human-looking with a few key adjustments.
    • Me? I prefer the kind of werewolves who have thick fur all over and, you know, viciously kill things. But that’s just me 😉
  • The Hale family is a famous werewolf family whose line has existed for centuries. Derek Hale becomes Scott’s mentor in Season 1, guiding him through the changes and his beastly form. Peter is Derek’s uncle. He is thought of as having been in a coma for six years after a fire took out most of the Hale family, who burned inside. Peter vowed revenge but he was slightly too comatose to do anything about it. Fine.
    • We later find out (*spoiler alert! Don’t read on if you haven’t seen season 1 yet and still want to watch it!*) that Peter is the Alpha who bit Scott and turned him into a werewolf and the one who’s been going around killing people. His appearance when he’s in his Alpha form is more like the traditional “furry all over” werewolf. He never goes back to that form, which I found disappointing.
    • (*Another spoiler alert*) But when Derek becomes the Alpha at the end of the first season, the only thing that changes in his werewolf form are that his eyes turn red instead of blue. So, yeah, pretty underwhelming considering that an Alpha is supposed to be a big, fearsome king of beasts who other werewolves bow to.
  • The way this show handles death–there are multiple instances in which things happen to certain werewolves that made me think, “Okay, that’s it, they’re done for. They’re dead” and yet somehow, magically, the werewolf isn’t dead. Or tricks a banshee to bringing their dead corpse back to life (even though it’s never explained how a dead werewolf’s consciousness could stay alive in order to pull off such a neat trick, but I digress).
  • I don’t know why the fight scene choreographer insists on having each character repeat the same moves ad nauseum–how many times has Derek done a kick flip to the face? The action scenes get monotonous after a certain point and it killed the suspense for me in most cases.
  • Could there be any more liberal use of slow motion in this series? Yeesh.
  • The amount of coincidences made pretty much every plotline in this show come off as contrived and silly to me. Things were way too convenient, and in some cases, were way too far-fetched to be believable.

And that’s just a list of some of the things I didn’t like about season 1 (with a dash of things I didn’t like about season 2). There’s plenty of other stuff that irked me about season 3, so I may get to that in a later blog post (hence the titling of this one as Part 1). So, what about you, readers? Have you seen Teen Wolf? What did you think? Were you a fan of the original 1985 movie starring Michael J. Fox? Sound off below!

 

 

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