TV Review - Teen Wolf: Season 3

Daniel Sharman as Isaac
who doesn't like ice baths
This summer, MTV series has become a definite guilty pleasure. Growing up, there were four, sci-fi or supernatural shows that were the gold standards for me: Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Quantum Leap and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. With every new show that's sci-fi or has supernatural elements, I will always compare it to those four. Not a lot has been able to measure up, but Teen Wolf has.

For a lot of reasons, it has filled the void that Buffy left. It's essentially the same as Buffy. It's about a high school student with secret, special powers that has to fight monsters. What separates it from something like Smallville is its sense of humor, which creator and head writer Jeff Davis borrows or certainly takes his queue from Joss Whedon.

The one big change from Season 2 to Season 3 is the loss of  Jackson, played by Colton Haynes. Season 2 was all about Jackson and Lydia, and how both of them were biten by werewolves and how both of them changed because of it, especially Jackson. Jackson was in fact central to Season 2's story. Yet, Jeff Davis completely ditches him and writes him totally out the show for Season 3. Mainly, it's because Haynes got hired on another TV series, which is probably for the best. There's not much more Davis could have done with the Jackson character.

Another big change is the fact that Allison, played by Crystal Reed, and her father, Argent, played by JR Bourne, are no longer hunting werewolves. The events of Season 2 really rattled them. It doesn't change the image of Allison like Katnis or Merida being really good with a bow-and-arrow.

What I like about this season as opposed to the first and second is the inclusion of Derek, played by Tyler Hoechlin, in more of the story. For the first and second seasons, Derek was more of a phantom menace who pops up here and there, mostly to scare or antagonize. He remains an anti-hero, but the third episode of Season 3 really moves Derek closer to being a straight hero. There are characters and forces like Allison and Peter, played by Ian Bohen, that want to push Derek into being the bad boy but Derek is seemingly evolving.

Derek's interplay with certain characters is still hilarious. The running gag is that Derek is so tough and hard that anytime anyone tries to be emotional or touchy-feely with Derek he shoots them down or stares them down. His interplay with Stiles, played by Dylan O'Brien, is the best. Those two characters deserve their own sitcom spin-off.

Speaking of Stiles, like with Season 1 and Season 2, this season has Stiles investigating a series of virginal murders that may or may not be supernatural in nature. Given the show's premise, it's probably supernatural. There are all kinds of crazy things going on with deer, birds flying through classroom windows and even fireflies coming out of nowhere.

One oddity and possible criticism is the so-called star of the show, Scott, played by Tyler Posey, is less of a presence in these first three episodes. He's still integral, but I felt more connected to Isaac, played by Daniel Sharman. Isaac was a supporting character introduced in Season 2 but with the loss of Jackson, Isaac is pushed more to the forefront. Through Isaac, we do learn that werewolves like Vulcans in Star Trek can mind-meld.

As always, the show has its eye-candy. Most of the eye-candy are for women and gay men. This does not take away from Reed and Holland Roden who plays Lydia who are both beautiful girls, but whenever skin is shown, it's mainly shirtless guys. Posey, Hoechlin and Haynes were the ones dangled like carrots on screen in Season 1 and 2. This season, newcomers Charlie and Max Carver who are twins and who were discovered in Desperate Housewives are the eye-candy for women and gay men. I even like that the show blatantly acknowledges that.

The story for the most part focuses on a group of werewolves who are known as Alphas. Alphas are leaders of werewolf packs. They're typically bigger, stronger and faster, and considerably more deadly. The trick about Alphas is that being or having a pack inherently makes them more powerful, so growing or adding more Alphas to their group would further increase their strengths. What Derek learns is that Alphas want him and will do what they have to do to get him. How they will or won't is seemingly the thrust of Season 3.

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Mondays at 10PM on MTV.


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