Teen Wolf: The Complete 1st Season
Cast: Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Colton Haynes, Holland Roden, JR Bourne, Melissa Ponzio, Jill Wagner
Creator: Jeff Davis
New York University '00
"I don't think you're dumb... I just think at times you're under-exposed to information." -Murphy Brown
Teen Wolf: The Complete 1st Season
Review By: Dan Deevy
I am such a sucker for these shows. Anything following the basic plotline of a misunderstood teen struggling through high school, being ignored by the girl he loves and bullied by the boys who are so insecure about themselves that they feel the need to take it out on other people, who suddenly develops special abilities that make him incredibly strong, which changes everything, automatically has me as a fan!
Some of my favorite television shows of all time have followed subtle variations on this now time tested formula and have ranged from huge hits like Smallville with the amazing Tom Welling, Supernatural with the dynamic duo of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles to the less successful shows that endured because of a fervent fan base like Roswell with the ab-tacular Jason Behr and Dark Angel the one exception to my male dominated genre with the kick ass amazing Jessica Alba in the lead role.
MTV’s new series Teen Wolf now follows in the footsteps of these amazing shows and hopes to last longer than Dark Angel and be able to retell an old story with a youth and freshness the way that Smallville did. I’m not sure how realistic either of these goals are, but I will say that no matter Teen Wolf has found a fan in me.
Anyone who has seen the 1980’s hit film starring Michael J. Fox knows the basic story and this 21st century television version follows a lot of it but also makes some significant changes to it; all of which are necessary to turn this tale from a two hour movie to a series that can hopefully endure for many, many years.
Tyler Posey plays Scott McCall, our under-appreciated outcast lead who after a fateful night in the woods finds himself developing unexplainable abilities following a mysterious attack which left him a gapping bite mark on his side. His best friend Stiles, played by wise cracking young actor Dylan O’Brien, who is perhaps even more of an outcast than Scott, does some research and discovers that his best friend is now in fact, a werewolf.
And of course no story would be complete without the love interest to challenge our new heroes’ commitment to remaining steadfast, honest and incorruptible. Enter the beautiful Crystal Reed, who has a serious Olivia Wilde thing going on for herself, as Allison Argent. She’s the new girl in town whose father just happens to be a Werewolf hunter. Can you see where we are going with this? By the end of the season premiere we know exactly where we are headed but it does NOT matter. It’s still fun watching them get there.
One of those necessary changes to the story I mentioned earlier comes in the form of the sexy as hell Tyler Hoechlin playing the brooding Derek Hale, who is also a werewolf
If you think we’ve forgotten about the stereotypical jock a-hole and his slutty cheerleader girlfriend not to worry, we haven’t. Colton Haynes steps in as the big-man-on-campus, Captain of the lacrosse team who is threatened most by Scott’s new found ability to defend himself and excel in sports and Holland Roden is his bitchy two-faced girlfriend Lydia who has a sudden new found interest in Scott.
So yes, after just the very first episode all of the familiar pieces are already on the board and are ready to play. The question is will this story be able to play itself out in a unique way? Unique enough to hold the attention of the fans who were initially drawn in by the promos of Tyler Posey, this floppy haired adorable muscular ripped up man-boy, running through the woods shirtless?
I can’t answer for everyone, but for me the answer is… yes. They absolutely did. I’m not saying it’s as good as the other shows I mentioned but it is able to hold its own.
Most of the episodes in this first season are there to simply advance the overall story and plot; which is not to say that they don’t do it in a fun an interesting way, because they do. But there aren’t a ton of stand-out episodes that really blow you away.
Night School was the first one that really made me take notice. In it, the kids are trapped in the school at night and are being stalked by the as yet unknown ‘Alpha’ werewolf. This show has an amazing amount of suspense and puts the cast in what feels like real jeopardy. And the ending answers a bunch of questions that we’ve had for a while and those answers totally shift our expectations of what is to come.
Another great episode was Co-Captain that lead to some unexpected development for a lot of the secondary characters that seemed to have been forgotten about. It was great to see that no one has gone by the way side and that they had a plan for them all along. I can’t talk about the episode itself because it will give too much away but it was another one where I was really sucked in and excited to see what happened next.
The two part season finale Formality and Code Breaker are both action packed and make for an awesome way to end the season. A lot of questions are answered, a lot of secrets revealed but they of course made sure to pose brand new questions to keep audiences guessing and to give the writers a jumping off point for next season.
Turning our attention to this new young cast, all of whom are basically unknowns I have to say for the most part I
And to throw in another personal musing I have on this show is that by the second episode I realized that the lead, Tyler Posey, who I think is wonderful looks exactly like another actor friend of mine named Michael Bryan Hill. It’s tough watching another actor excel in a part that you know your buddy would have been perfect for. But, I digress.
The special features on the set include a LOT of commentary tracks on certain episodes and a ton of other features which I’m sure the fans will appreciate.
We have the coveted Gag Reel which gives a fun look behind-the-scenes at what these boys and girls are up to when they’re supposed to be hard at work, there’s a featurette called Season 1 Shirtless Montage which obviously picks up on what I was saying earlier about the cast, a featurette called Following the Pack: Meet the Cast of Teen Wolf which is a love fest of interviews with the cast and creators talking about how they all came together, then we have Love Bites! which is a short one talking about all of the on-set making out and finally Teen Wolf – Working the Red Carpet where we watch these youngsters as they cut their teeth at their first big premiere event.
Aside from all of the other praise that I have heaped on this show it’s also very obvious that series continues to evolve and mature with each passing episode; especially as it gets closer to the end of the season, which is a good sign. Most shows take a season or two to find their footing and then once they do they are able to really excel in their storytelling.
We know that Teen Wolf has been picked up for at least one more season, so if it’s able to continually improve upon itself as it has