Jeremy Likes TV

I like TV. Probably more than any human should.

Review: Teen Wolf – “Wolf Moon”

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Quick Reaction: MTV’s Teen Wolf is a CW-esque bit of supernatural fun that could end up as a decent guilty pleasure if things break the right way.

(Read on for a more in-depth look)

Full confession time: I’m a soon-to-be 33-year old married, heterosexual male who loves teen dramas. Can’t help it. Before your mind goes to dark places, I don’t like them in some sick way but I grew up watching 90210 and Dawson’s Creek and, for some reason, I’ve never outgrown the genre [1]. Sadly, this also means that I watch way more shows on The CW than is probably healthy so feel free to take this review with a grain of salt (and your mileage may vary), but I can’t help but be impressed with MTV’s reboot of Teen Wolf [2], which itself feels like a transplanted CW series. Sure, initial impressions by many (including myself, to a degree) were that Teen Wolf is nothing more than a lesser version of The Vampire Diaries [3] except with werewolves instead of vampires, but it has more to add to the conversation than that. While this new version it has precious little to do with the 1985 Michael J. Fox cinematic “classic” of the same name [4], it has all of the trappings of your boilerplate supernatural origin story of an adolescent slowly realizing new powers and not knowing what they mean as a metaphor for teenage life. Newcomer Tyler Posey stars as Scott McCall, a 16-year-old lacrosse player who is bitten by a werewolf and is forced to come to grips with the changes that accompany it and in his first opportunity to carry a series, Posey himself seems to be a bit of a cipher and has problems when it comes to portraying emotion. It’s never a good thing when your lead is a glaring weak spot so hopefully he improves or he could implode the show, but at least some spirit is shown by yet another new face, Dylan O’Brien as Scott’s best friend Stiles. The kid has a bit of a welcome Pacey vibe [5] that helps boost the energy level. Surprisingly, the production values seem decent… for MTV, anyway [6] and the nods to both MTV past (80s video director Russell Mulcahy helms the pilot and a cover of The Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star,” the first video MTV aired, is featured in a party scene) and present (Scott’s mother remarks at one point, “I’m not going to end up on some reality show with a pregnant 16-year-old) are a bit of meta fun. While the pilot’s first hour flies by, I’m left wondering what the larger arc of the season is going to be, though a twist in the final minute may suggest where we’re headed. Creator and executive producer Jeff Davis will need to deepen the world of the show, but this was a decent introduction. MTV made the shrewd decision to schedule the initial airing [7] of Teen Wolf’s pilot directly following the Twilight-heavy MTV Movie Awards, thus hoping to capitalize on that franchise’s rabid fanbase’s need for anything and everything vampire- and werewolf-related [8]. It’s also clear that the producers/network are trying to position Tyler Hoechlin (as the mysterious Derek Hale) as this series’ Robert Pattinson stand-in. The ratings sagged a bit in its timeslot premiere from the over two million who watched the pilot, but the show did see a bit of an uptick in in viewership in its third outing, which is an encouraging sign because this could end up being a fun little summer series if it’s done right.

Where To Watch: MTV | Mondays | 10:00 PM ET

Watch Online Here

RATING: 64/100

[1] I haven’t been able to quit One Tree Hill and its characters are about to hit Social Security age for chrissakes.

[2] This may be damning it with faint praise, but ten minutes in and it was already better than MTV’s failed adaptation of the UK’s Skins. Not that it took much.

[3]The CW series that’s one of the most wildly entertaining shows currently airing on TV.

[4] Nothing other than the fact that its protagonist is in high school, plays a sport, and is becoming a werewolf. It would appear that the use of the Teen Wolf name is nothing more than a marketing hook.

[5] There’s that damned Dawson’s Creek influence again.

[6] Posey’s full werewolf makeup could definitely use some work, though. Right now, it’s more laughable than frightening.

[7] Because, let’s face it – this is an original series on a cable network which means that it will air roughly 47 times over the course of a week.

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Written by jeremylikestv

June 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

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