TV Review - Teen Wolf (2011)

Colton Haynes (#37), Tyler Posey (#11)
and Dylan O'Brien in "Teen Wolf"
MTV has launched the new series Teen Wolf. The show is based or inspired by the 1985 Michael J. Fox movie of the same name. It centers on Scott, a typical teenage kid, played here by Tyler Posey. Scott's best friend is a fellow teen named Stiles, played by Dylan O'Brien.
Unlike the movie, Scott is a lacrosse player, not a basketball player. Instead of it being a hereditary thing, Scott turns into a werewolf because he gets biten by another while stumbling in the woods. Scott is befriended or stalked by a friendlier if creepier, older brother-like, werewolf named Derek Hale, played by Tyler Hoechlin. Instead of being a comedy, this series has more of a tone resembling Twilight.
It's funny because the premiere of this series came after the 2011 MTV Movie Awards in which the final award was given to the cast and crew of Twilight: Eclipse and the person accepting the award was Taylor Lautner who played a teenage werewolf in that movie. Is this new series living in the shadow of that one? I would say so. Is this series trying to capitalize off the success of that movie? I would also say yes.
I think most teenagers, teenage girls in particular, are in love with Lautner not because of his acting abilities but because of how good he looks without his shirt. Guess what the first shot of Posey in the premiere episode is? It's him shirtless doing chin-ups in his bedroom, and just like Lautner, Posey has as many scenes without his shirt as the producers can possibly throw in without seeming excessively exploitative.
Despite the fact that this show starts off with a murder, no other real time is dedicated to it. It's more or less about establishing the cutesy relationship between Scott and the new girl at his school named Allison, played by Crystal Reed. Since Bella goes with the vampire in the Twilight series, all the teen girls who were team Jacob now get an outlet to see how romantic things would have been if Bella had gone with the hairy beast. With the revelation that Allison's dad is a hunter who is trying to kill werewolves, it looks as though this season will be all about the tortured, star-crossed love affair that is a staple of these teen, supernatural shows and movies.
If that's all this is going to be, then it's no better than any of the rest of this stuff. It certainly makes it no better if not lesser than True Blood, which deals with issues that are far-reaching than who Scott will be going to the prom with or will he win the big lacrosse game? Trying to keep this werewolf thing a big secret is something that the movie dismissed back in 1985. It's also something that True Blood dismissed with bringing vampires out of the shadows. Hopefully, Teen Wolf will be as progressive.
The several episodes following the premiere have been rudimentary steps with advancing whatever plot the producers are angling toward. I don't know if that's the right approach with the MTV generation, but I'm curious to see where the show goes. On a sidenote, this show co-stars Colton Haynes who last year co-starred in a TV series called The Gates where he too played a werewolf. It doesn't look like he's a werewolf in this new show, but the season is still young.
Three Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-PG.
Running Time: 1 hr.


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