Before we begin, a little note on how I ended up becoming obsessed with Teen Wolf: I simply needed a fun summer show to kill some time. Something to put on while I was painting my nails or waiting for enough of So You Think You Can Dance? to record so that I could fast forward through commercials. I wasn’t looking to become obsessed.
Like many of you, I’m sure, when MTV announced in 2011 it was producing a remake of the classic Michael J. Fox movie I outright laughed. Whyyyyy? Why are we just remaking old things? Why do people want to watch a show about a teenage wolf good at basketball? IS NOTHING SACRED?! But over the years the show kept getting renewed and I kept reading not horrible things about it. It was on my radar.
Then I saw that seasons 1 through 3 were available on Amazon Instant. FOR FREE. I was in. Also, new Teen Wolf plays lacrosse because that’s way cooler than basketball. So I’m told. I’m learning a lot.
Moral of the story: I’ll watch anything for free no matter how much I vowed to hate it. I have no principles, get over it.
Then something happened: I became a woman. Wait, no, that’s a different story involving wolves. For another day!
Then something happened: I starting watching Teen Wolf and I couldn’t stop. It was actually a GOOD show and it kept getting BETTER. I blew through the previous seasons and now I’m watching in real time with all of my teenage friends (who are imaginary) and I don’t even paint my nails while I watch.
As you all know, teenagers scare the shit out of me anyway, so, in all fairness why wouldn't I like a show where the teenagers are supposed to scare the shit out of me? It was kind of a no-brainer.
Before you start hating on me as I know you’re wont to do, just hear me out. Also, I’ll try not to spoil too much because I know in my heart-of-hearts some of you will read this and begin watching immediately, but there may be some light spoiling. For my thoughts on spoiling, read this. (In summation, I don't give a shit.)
Now, here is how Teen Wolf won me over and a few reasons why you should try it out too. (If you're only here for the man meat, I understand. Also, scroll to the bottom.)
1. It’s smart and funny and somehow tricks teens into watching “issue” stories without knowing it.
To be honest, when I first started watching Teen Wolf, I was worried it was going to turn into this whole dramatic teen love story which - BARF CITY, USA. And although there is an element of that (titular teen wolf, Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), falls for Allison Argent (Crystal Reed), a girl who - gasp - is part of a family of ancient werewolf hunters), it doesn’t become the only important story. It’s really a show about figuring out who you are, what matters to you, and how far you’re willing to go to fight for those things.
Honest sidebar: I just read that paragraph back and I don’t even know who I am anymore.
It’s such a smart show. First, smart in a technical way: the pacing is perfection (teenagers get bored, you guys! I blame snap chat.), the dialogue is snappy, the structure of episode and season arcs is really tight, and for a drama, it is seriously, seriously funny at times. I mean, a few so-called TV comedies could learn a thing about comedic timing from this show.
But it’s also smart in the way that it tells typical “teen” stories. It disguises them beneath all the supernatural craziness and hot people making out, but those teen issues - teen/parent relationships, depression, sexuality, peer pressure, bullying - all of those issues are still discussed but in a way that fits in a supernatural show. It just takes a super smart adult like myself to realize what’s going on - those stupid teenagers have no idea! Dummies! (Just kidding, love ya, text me, laterrrz)
|wolfing around town.|
For example, there is an episode that takes place in a haunted motel (just go with it), where people who stay overnight become some kind of possessed and try to off themselves. It’s a completely terrifying episode - especially when our hero Scott COVERS HIMSELF IN GASOLINE and has to be talked down from lighting himself on fire by his friends. It’s emotional and scary and at the end of it I realized, holy shit, they just did an “it gets better” episode without really doing an “it gets better” episode. It’s like when you’re a kid and your mom hides medicine in piece of a really delicious PB&J.
What I’m saying is, I’m really glad this is the show teenagers are deciding to watch because it doesn’t dumb things down and it certainly doesn’t shy away from important issues teens are dealing with just because it is a show about werewolves.
2. It has one of the greatest TV bromances of all time.
Ah, Scott and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien). Stiles and Scott. They’re the bestest of friends! They’re brothers, ya know? They take care of each other. They make each other laugh. They keep each other in check. They challenge one another. They love each other and don’t care who knows it! I mean, back to that suicide ep, you guys: Stiles was crying, I was crying, WE WERE ALL CRYING. It really is such an accurate and refreshing portrayal of male friendship, and I would know because in my free time I creepily watch a lot of male friendships blossom.
|they're just bros who love each other.|
another sidebar: Is Stiles one of the greatest beings on television right now? Dylan O’Brien is a REVELATION. When I was talking about comedic timing, I was mainly talking about him. But then, THEN you get to season 3B and he shines in a dramatic arc (he gets possessed by an evil Japanese spirit and goes on a killing spree, obvi). Get that kid cast in everything ever (The Maze Runner this September, anyone, anyone?). Mama says you’re gonna be a star, kid!
3. It features some of the strongest, most badass female characters on TV.
This, I think, is where Teen Wolf really shines. The show is just full of these amazingly rich and strong female characters. Again, you would assume the Wolf would be the hero and would just be strutting around town saving damsels in distress left and right. Wrong. Remember when I said this show is smart?
The aforementioned Allison Argent is first introduced as a love interest for Scott, but when she discovers her family’s history as badass wolf hunters, she take a shining to it. She turns into a sick bow-and-arrow wielding huntress and saves the guys repeatedly. Not to mention, that wolf hunting family she comes from? They’re matriarchal, so it’s always a woman making decisions.
Allison’s best friend is Lydia (Holland Roden). When we first meet Lydia, she’s presented as the pretty, popular girl - all parties and boys and clothes. It doesn’t take long, however, to discover that Lydia is actually a genius - like an archaic latin-speaking, math wiz, chemist extraordinaire genius. It’s such a cool and fun twist on the cliche popular girl character. See, kids? Learn how to speak a dead language and you, too, can date the hot captain of the lacrosse team!
|You can look cute and kick ass (and be smart!).|
All of Teen Wolf’s main female characters rise above cliches. Later on, you get a Were-Coyote who doesn’t take no shit from anyone, a delightfully awkward but deadly teen-turned-Kitsune (it’s a thing), and a super sexy, badass mercenary, who is totally cool with selling out to the highest bidder. A lot of these roles would normally either be given to a guy or made one-dimensional. Even a lot of the villains are women. Though, I guess that’s not as surprising because, well, bitches be crazy.
4. The parents on this show are the best.
Speaking of ladies, Scott’s mom, Melissa (Melissa Ponzio), is another great female character. Sure, she’s understandably scared and confused when she discovers what has happened to her son, (the episode right after, when she can’t even look at him, is just so heartbreaking and true to life - I mean, true to how I would assume most mothers would deal with their sons being turned into werewolves), but she learns to trust him again (DING DING - another example of Teen Wolf commenting on teen issues without, ya know, commenting on teen issues). She also is a pretty smart and fearless chick. I love those moments when she does something insanely brave and Scott just looks at her in awe, so proud of his Moms.
Also, Stiles and his dad (Linden Ashby). I CAN’T WITH THOSE TWO. Stiles and his dad bring me joy and laughter and tears and love and basically just adopt me, OK?
|Parents hug their kids on this show and I think that's great.|
Listen, MTV knows their audience is primarily teen girls and a 29-year-old creeper with needs. Play to your audience.
But for real, these abs:
|Derek (Tyler Hoechlin): the older, wiser, more ab-filled werewolf.|
Also, these are abs:
|Just hanging out in your typical high school locker room.|
|Um, they're twins.|
And, I, uhhh:
|are people even reading the captions at this point?|
I could go on, but I need to take a cold shower and you need to do yourself a favor and watch some Teen Wolf - somewhat for the strong female characters and smart storytelling, but also for the abs.
*I, regretfully, take NO credit for any of the photos included in this post. If you'd like to know the source info, please message me.