Guilty Pleasures- MTV’s Teen Wolf

2 Jun

For some time, my young friend Marina (who I have known since she was knee high to a grasshopper) has been recommending that I watch MTV’s Teen Wolf (at this point I should note that the rec actually comes from her mom, who recc’ed it to her, but that’s not the point). I always said I’d get around to it… eventually.

Well, now that I have free time and my fav shows are on hiatus, I finally have the time to watch those genre shows I’ve been putting off… And Amazon Prime having the complete series (so far) streaming for free was a pretty good push to put Teen Wolf towards the top of my list.

And what can I say- I am not above enjoying a show that has pretty guys running around shirtless (especially since this happens much more often than the girls showing skin- props to MTV).

I stayed up too late the other night to finish my marathon and am now super sad that I have to wait for the next season! Which, by the way, starts on June 23rd.

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Oh, and um… SPOILERS ahead.

To begin this post… let me say what I didn’t love-

Diversity… err, the lack of it. Starting in season 2, there is finally an African-American teen… before that there was Dr. Deaton, Scott’s boss. And Ms. Morell, the guidance counselor. That’s it. And the teen- Boyd- doesn’t make it longer than a season and a half. Then we get an Asian family. OK… good. But where are the Hispanics? This is supposed to be set in California… even small towns/suburbs in California are more diverse than this… Where is the representation of any other racial group?? There’s Danny, who is both played by a Pacific Islander, and has an Island name (though I can’t recall ever hearing it said aloud), but except that they show his name a time or two, the audience would never know he was anything other than “white”. So… there is a lack of diversity.

However- I do want to mention that there are several gay characters and the show did/does a great job with them. Specifically, I want to note that it doesn’t do anything to make those characters or their storylines/relationships any different than the other characters. That’s what I mean when I say they did it right. Bravo.

Lydia. First season Lydia is my least favorite character. Is she the bitch, a la Cordelia? Is she the future romance? Is she just there to drive the audience crazy? She irritates me.

EichenHouse1Echo House. I love the idea of the mental institution- and all the fun scenes that came from it, BUT… it was/is a location on my drive to and from work. And when filming happens there, my commute gets quite a bit longer as there is never any warning, and suddenly all the idiots in LA have to merge to a single lane and they don’t understand how to do this, and I hate everyone. So… while it looks great- it’s on my list of things I hate because I cannot tell you how many times I’ve cursed out Hollywood for filming disrupting my day. Ugh.

tumblr_m6uoarJzEv1rp1r3qo7_1280Jackson. Oh my god, what a douche! Don’t get me wrong, I love Colton Haynes (Roy on Arrow/ also in the recently watched & reviewed, The Gates). And in the first season the character had a decent role as the peer enemy (because there is always one)/reluctant assistant (once he learns a little about what is going on, he’s kind of part of the gang… sort of). But in season 2… I know the writers were trying to throw the audience off, but he is such a self-centered dick and then just a dick, and a violent monster to boot!, that it’s hard to maintain sympathy for his plot. Or to keep liking him! The way he treats others… It isn’t until he starts to learn a little about what he is that the audience feels for him again. And then he spends most of the rest of that season in monster form… ugh! I would like to have seen what happened with the character once he finally was a wolf, after all the trouble of Kanima (how does that impact him???), but I’m so much happier with Colton on Arrow

Derek smiles. He doesn’t. And this is a problem for me. The one time he was almost happy it turned out he was sleeping with a psychotic dark Druid out for revenge, and that made him even grumpier than before!

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Evil Stiles. Makes me sad. And my heart hurt.

Alpha Pack. The only part of the alpha pack that I like is the possibility that the twins can be saved to behave like humans. The rest… ugh. Whatshername, the chick alpha… girl needs to put on shoes and get a damn pedicure. Seriously. Once they get to Beacon Hills, they lack any purpose other than destroying Derek and making Scott one of them. But why? For power? After several episodes of failing to do either, they should’ve moved on. But wait… nope, there’s some other reason they have to stick around. Basically, these were my least favorite villains. And that includes the fact that Evil Stiles makes me sad.

The claws. I’m sorry… every time the camera focuses on the claws prior to the character touching ANYTHING I just sit and wait to see the things pop off like the old Lee Press-on Nails. The just look ridiculous. And not at all like animal claws…

Let me lay out the things that I love-

tumblr_lpoxi5R5x91r0hvlco1_500Less lady skin. This sounds weird, I know, but I really like the fact that for the most part, it isn’t the girls getting nekkid or showing skin every episode. In fact, while Allison and Lydia frequently wear short skirts- Allison almost always has dark tights on under them and Lydia’s legs are not the focus of the shot, you only know she is wearing a short skirt when it is a full body shot. Also, there is not a lot of cleavage shown. For a network that made it’s name airing music videos of scantily clad women humping cars to hair band music… it’s impressive that the show airs more scenes of shirtless men. And lordy, whoever ran the casting couch for Teen Wolf knows how to attract the female audience- those are some nice looking boys.

tumblr_mri7dhnmps1r7lmzyo1_400Stiles. I grew up with the original, Michael J. Fox led film. This made the idea of a series… kind of a turn-off. I love that movie. But something the series did really well- and helped pull me in as a viewer, turning off my inner skeptic- was the casting of Dylan O’Brien as Stiles. I don’t know what it is, but in the first and second season (though it does start to fade in mid s2- which is fine, because by then the series has its own voice) O’Brien has this amazing knack for being “Stiles” from the film, while also giving the character a new life. I’ve always loved this character and in the series he is my absolute favorite. The second half of season 3 was both awesome and horrifying because of this…

Abs. I mean… seriously… so many wonderful sets of abs.

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281x211Lydia. Oh my god, I love Lydia so much. What is she? How does this effect her life? Does she love Stiles? Losing Jackson was probably the best thing for her as it forced her to find herself as herself. Something she is still working on. Her relationship with Aiden, while born out of the Alpha Pack’s need to keep an eye on things, was something that helped him to grow out of the psychotic Omega he was to someone who cared. Her support and friendship with Stiles helps to save them both, time and again. She always looks like she is about to burst into tears, but then something strong bursts out of her instead.

Mature Content. There are a few episodes that MTV tagged as having mature content, and the warning was carried over to the streaming eps I watched. I appreciate this because while I would consider most teen genre dramas to have adult content (let’s be honest, there’s gonna be sex and violence and language because that’s we show our kids these days), sometimes a story is going to go further (out of necessity {we all remember the gun violence episodes of original 90210 or Buffy, right?} or story telling) and sometimes families need a little preparation. In the case of Teen Wolf there was a story containing multiple suicides (mostly told as part of flashbacks) and another dark episode set within Echo House (the mental hospital). The topics are things that parents should talk to their kids about- suicide and mental illness being taboo subjects in our society, something that shouldn’t be.

By the way, both of the episodes I mentioned were fantastic.

Danny. I hope Danny never leaves the show til it’s over. And that he gets to do more in season 4. He’s just fabulous. And that he knows about werewolves… wtf? I need more!

20130822054508!Stiles_&_SheriffThe Parents… minus Mr. McCall. Whoever is in charge of creating, casting, and writing for the parents is awesome. Scott’s mom, Stiles’ dad, and Allison’s dad, are awesome. (Though why haven’t Scott’s mom and Stiles’ dad hooked up? Seriously.) Even before they knew (Allison’s dad was always in the know, but also not, ya know?) what was going on with the kids and Beacon Hills, the were still great TV parents- supportive, authoritative yet dismissive (hey, they have teens! this is normal in TV land), there but also trying to live their own lives… wait, I’m not making them sound good… but they are great TV parents. Not perfect in any way… but there, ya know? Mr. McCall is a douche. And his explanation for why he hasn’t been there for his son? Doesn’t make him any less of a douche. Make actually increase his doucheness. He can go away now.

Coach. I both love and hate Coach. But his inner squishyness makes me love him more. He comes off so gruff and sarcastic, but that seems to be the way of coaches… I bet he has a secret beanie baby collection at home or something.

Teen-wolf-23588288-500-254Derek. Remember I said Stiles was my #1? Derek is my #2 favorite character. I need more Derek centered episodes and he needs to get into a healthy relationship. In first season we learn he had been dating at one point, Kate- who was a freaking psycho who burned down his house and killed his family. In season 2, as Alpha, he has a few weird moments with Erika- but that just wigs me out because she’s like 16 vs. his 20-somethingness, and he was her alpha, so it was extra weird. But he shut that down fast- and it was more her coming on to him. Then in the first part of season 3, he hooks up with the english teacher, Ms. Blake. And this could be AWESOME… ‘cept that she’s another fricking psychopath. With a revenge plan in motion. So… basically he needs to meet a nice, non-psychopathic, non-supernatural, non-rogue hunter woman and finally have something good happen to him! I cannot be the only person wanting this. So, let’s make this happen. I need some Derek smiles. And I bet it would provide some hilarious moments with the kids being all confused with a happy Derek.

Action Scenes. They seem to have a lot of fun with the fight scenes. And I can get behind that. A supernatural genre series, full of characters that have base animal instincts and there’s no fight scenes? That would be lame. One that embraces the fights and you can almost hear the actors/stunt players having fun… I’m in.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuhLd7WTGvM]

 Okay… I’ve pretty much laid it out there for you. If you have not seen the series, the first three seasons are available via Amazon streaming for viewing. Season four starts soon. And um… it’s a fun series, with some excellent dramatic and comedic moments/writing. Definitely give it a chance.

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