In this day and age, we strive for things like gender and racial equality (yay!). I’d like to think that audiences would have the same worldly approach to the television programs that air on various networks. However, there are times that a show, despite its immense potential and rich story lines, is discriminated against because of its host network. Ladies and gents of Sofa-land, I am writing today about Teen Wolf. You can re-read that as many times as you wish, but the words won’t change. TEEN WOLF.
I may be late to join this welcome crew (or fandom, what have you) but I am excited to be here! Yes, I was certainly skeptical; in fact I was once, many moons ago (heh) a naysayer of this show. “I mean, just look at the title! Look at the network: MTV!” I remember having uttered those exact words upon the show’s announcement last year. I sure do regret them now.
“But what changed? What compelled you to watch this show?” you might be asking.
Thanks to tumblr and having Netflix at my disposal this fine summer, I was finally convinced to give it a try.
Teen Wolf might deal with the lycanthropy thing, which seems to prevail lately in young adultstuff (cough Twilight), but don’t be discouraged by this. The use of the fantasy elements in Teen Wolf is more in the style of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer – another show with an odd title that deals with mystical ass-kickery. Teen Wolf is both witty and visually enticing. And what is most intriguing is the dialogue itself; creator Jeff Davis writes the majority of the episodes and artfully spins a complex web of plot and pithy banter between the ensemble cast, similar to the great Joss Whedon’s ”Buffy Speak” (google it). Now, I don’t wish to compare two shows forever, but if anyone needs convincing, just use this as a frame of reference.
So what’s it even about?
The show follows Scott McCall (handsome-man Tyler Posey), our teen wolf in residence. He’s a very genuine kid whose single mom works mainly night shifts as an ER nurse. His best friend, Stiles Stilinsky (played by the ineffable Dylan O’Brien) is the Sheriff’s son and the Robin to Scott’s Batman; in all honesty, it was Stiles’s physical comedy and general sarcasm which made me swoon from the moment he graced my laptop screen. I can’t even tell you just how many times I laughed at Stiles’s interactions with the rest of the characters (sidenote: Our wedding invitations will be in the mail next month). But this glorious bromance aside, the other characters include:
- Derek, the jaded and astoundingly hunky werewolf searching for vengeance.
- Allison, the new girl in town with a mysterious family history.
- Jackson, the captain of the lacrosse team, just asshole-ish enough that you love to hate him.
- Lydia, Mensa-level intelligent popular girl who buries it underneath fashion and four inch heels; also the love of Stiles’s life.
Even after all this, if you’re still sitting there saying, “But it’s MTV…” know that, just as you should not judge a book by it’s cover, you should not judge a tv show by its host network. Many other shows have to deal with the same issue. Recent examples include, Bunheads on ABC Family or even Awkward on MTV; these networks are clearly aiming in a new direction and taking on quality programming to counter the overabundance of reality tv which tends to fill lineups.
Teen Wolf has it all: lacrosse, shape-shifting, hallucinations, star-crossed lovers, archery, drag queens, resurrections, and most importantly, character development. Jeff Davis just happened to wrap it up in a nice werewolf-y bow, is all. Now, do us all a favor and WATCH IT, because history is behind me as I say that each genre has a show like this one that gains a large following just as a network decides to chop it off the lineup:
- Sci Fi: Firefly
- Drama: My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks
- Comedy: Arrested Development
So join me in preventing Teen Wolf from a similar fate in the horror/drama category. Pretty please?
- Alejandra Buitrago