on September 2, 2012
I have always loved fantasy horror.... vampires, werewolves, ghosts....the horror genre that does NOT involve chopping people up, eating them or anything that could actually happen in this crazy world! Finding new material directed at the older generation is difficult since we are supposed to outgrow these tastes, I suppose in favor of more sophisticated material (reality shows?). The odd time a truly well done adult series is picked up, it rarely lasts (The Firm, Missing, Firefly...)
I almost never tried this series because of the title "TEEN Wolf". And the main characters ARE teenagers but with several interesting adult characters thrown in for good measure. The script is clever, the special effects are wonderful and I found the whole package very entertaining.
on August 26, 2012
First of all (with due respect to the characters): This is a work of FICTION (and 22-23 year olds are playing the part of 16 year olds)!! It was never intended to be Shakespeare. It is very possible that the first season took everyone by surprise by its success and the idea for a second season was not necessarily fully crystalized. It is, after all, on MTV and not TNT or USA. That said, the show did a superb job taking things in a new direction and avoided the triteness of trying to imitate what one might see on HBO, "Vampire Diaries", or "Twilight". The special effects alone deserve kudos and the cast is uniformly strong and varied. We are treated to:1)A "murder" mystery;2)Suspense;3)Surprises;4)Cliff hangers;and 5)3-Dimensional characters, among other things. The show has been so successful that it has been picked up for a third season and moved to LA from Georgia which is certainly a step up and a vote of confidence (look how fast the 2nd season DVD is being offered compared to its predecessor). Now for the criticism voiced above:1)The show is designed for a youthful audience and the attractiveness of the cast is undoubtedly deliberate; it is called "eye candy" and the lack of shirts and other nudity is exactly what one would expect. You don't want your cast to look like werewolves even when they're not; 2)Lydia remains a partial mystery as does the "veterinarian" and his "daughter?" which is what one looks forward to; 3)The Argents were evidently a prominent family in the city. Thus the turnout for Kate's funeral (and you can't expect to see a funeral for every character killed - then we would be watching nothing but funerals);4)The death of the Omega showed us the broadsword that Grandpa Argent can wield and which appears later on in a threatening moment to one of the more prominent characters; 5)As already pointed out, Derek is not much of an Alpha; 6)By resurrecting Peter, it explains why Scott did not die when Peter supposedly did since P was the one who turned S and, according to Werewolf lore, S should have died as well;7)There may have been some "loose ends" (I could mention others but so what!)but there is a third season coming and there are always loose ends to deal with in episodic TV. This is a FUN show which doesn't pull its punches. Moments of comedy are sprinkled in with the major dramatic thrust.
Will the werewolves survive? Will the hunters prevail? Will Scott resolve his romantic situation? Will Grandpa Argent return and in what form? What is in store for Jackson? Is there another Kanima on the horizon? Is the veterinarian a competing hunter with a soft spot for certain werewolves? Is Matt really dead? What will Lydia become? What does Peter intend? What path will Stiles be taking? Stay tuned!! Enough said.
on August 31, 2012
This season had more drama, more suspense, more action, more romance, and well it had it all. Some things weren't always easy to understand but each episode made things more and more clear and made me eventually just shut up and enjoy how it all went down! A great start and a good ending that had the viewers wondering what would happen next season. Is Gerard dead? Is Peter really back to "HELP"? Are the alphas coming to cause trouble?
If one simply watches and enjoys instead of spending all day to write a review about the shows logic and flaws, because they want everything explained to them in third grade logic, they would find this a great season for Teen Wolf. Not everyone will like this season and respect it as it deserves but not everyone can write a 12 episode masterpiece for FREE Tv. Jeff Davis, his writing crew, and all the actors enjoyed making this season and I enjoyed watching it. I feel bad for the people too close minded to give the show a chance because of the whole "oh some girl teenage show" because it isn't. It is mainly for teens but everyone probably from 13-50 can enjoy it. It was well written and I enjoy the mysteries the first two seasons gave us although originally not liking Jackson as the Kanima. Great show though!
on September 3, 2015
The TW gang continues their adventures. Each individual's story arc continues, further developing Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Derek, Jackson (especially), and Allison. After the end of season 1 (wherein Derek gets cuffed shirtless to a chain link fence and tortured by his ex-lover, Kate Argent, an unexpected villain), we join our teen friends as they all learn more about werewolves and hunters... and (of course) a new "big bad" appears.
BSG fans (and fans of Canadian TV/cinema in general) will be pleased to see Michael Hogan show up as Allison's seemingly indulgent grandpa who harbors secrets and ambitions of his own. The adults here are less like props than they were in S1.
Jackson continues to be a problem here, but in a new, completely different way. I really liked the development of the Argents' family history, Scott's continuing learning of werewolf info (and Derek's less grudging sharing of info), Stiles' continuing stalwart friendship with Scott, and Derek's development as an alpha and creation of his own pack.
As usual, the motives of the more mysterious characters -- both returning and new -- remain murky until they are revealed in dribs and drabs. And Derek's pack choices are curious, kind of pathetic, and yet winningly idealistic; it really gives you a greater understanding of his character and his past when you examine who he chooses for betas this season.
There are some great dramatic moments here in S2. For all the deus ex machina lazy writing, there are some genuinely gripping moments in S2, and the show has an urgency that makes you want to see the next episode right away. (Which is great if you binge-watched it via streaming Amazon Prime, as I did... no waiting for the next ep involved, lol!)
Also, the group of kids (Scott, Stiles, Allison, Lydia) have more of a BTVS "Scooby gang" feel to them here in S2. They've become really cohesive as the local supernatural troubleshooters while also simultaneously hiding it all from the parents who absolutely can't find out. (Aside from the parents who already do...) The show is also refreshingly gay-friendly, which is great for all the gay teens out there. My nephews tell me it is no longer a big deal if you're gay in high school. While I hope that shows like this have contributed to that level of acceptance and lack of persecution, I think my nephews don't realize that how acceptable it is to be gay in high school is highly dependent on where in the US that high school is, and how urban or rural it is. Let's just hope that Stiles' continuing statements that leave viewers in the dark as to whether he will ultimately be hetero or bi continue to leave room for a wider spectrum of normal sexual behavior in a demographic that is notorious for experimentation. (And lets hope the kids watching understand the importance of barrier protection for prophylaxis of both pregnancy and disease transmission...)
Now, a word about the eye-candy/gay iconography factor to this show... It's a sexy show, all right, full of largely male eye candy. And normally I would find this to be a fine reversal of the mainstream entertainment tendency to show tons more female flesh to "sell" a show/product. But... I have some qualms about this, actually, no matter how much my mind delightfully descends to the gutter whenever they show Tyler Hoechlin shirtless in low cut jeans onscreen.
I came to Teen Wolf cold, knowing nothing about it (I ignored all the hype when it came out; I was too engrossed in Vampire Diaries at the time, which was just starting to get good before it crashed and burned, and I had also gotten into Lost Girl, which is much more adult in theme than TW or TVD can ever be).
But the gay visual aesthetic was there from day 1 of this show and it just grows stronger in S2. If you aren't familiar with it (I am, as I have gay friends of 25+ years), you might not notice it or you might think it's just "teen heart throb" based. Yes, Teen Wolf is theoretically aimed at a teen audience (being on MTV and all). But by the third or fourth episode of S1 of TW, I was asking myself why the visuals seem dominated by gay iconography.
I've heard the argument that "teen age girls don't like body hair on men." While in general that's true (I remember being a teen girl and being vaguely fascinated by yet simultaneously grossed out by male body hair -- that is, until I dated a guy with chest hair and was like, wow, COOL! yay, chest hair!), I have to say that the visual aesthetic of Teen Wolf seems very gay to me not because everyone is hairless but because only the young males are allowed to be shirtless.
The character of Derek is supposed to be in his early or mid-20s -- and he's the *oldest* of their gang shown shirtless (and hairless, of course). Older men (i.e. over 28 years old...) like Stiles' and Allison's dads, are not allowed to show flesh at all and the costume designers keep them completely buttoned up. The only exception is Ian Bohen, who is also completely waxed, but he only gets like one or two scenes where you see more of his flesh than what peeks out of the collar of his shirts. This is not opinion. That's just a factual observation. Watch the show if you don't believe me.
So the visuals on this show seem pretty gratuitous at times (and I say that as a post-40 cougar-age woman who's happy to get an eyefull of sexy, half-naked men). I get that there is an eye candy factor -- but it gets a bit ridiculous sometimes.
After binge-watching the first season and a half, I finally went online to do some research because I just wanted to fact-check my observations. To my total lack of surprise, I discovered that the show creator (Jeff Davis) is gay and that one of the frequent directors (Russell Mulcahy) used to direct Queer As Folk.
It all makes so much more sense now! But I still find it a little disconcerting. I get that there is a youth demographic to be entertained here. But the demographic this show seems to be aiming at is young women and gay men of all ages -- especially those who want to see hairless twinks half naked much of the time. There are a lot of voyeuristic-feeling guys' locker room scenes and the lingering camera work is, I don't know, a little disturbing.
So is the fact that the casting directors seem to have deliberately cast younger looking actors of 18 and over. It seems like they really wanted to use underage boys in these exploitative ways but knew they couldn't get away with that, so they figured they'd use the youngest looking, most jail-bait-appearing actors of legal age. (This becomes even more pronounced in seasons 4 and 5 with actors like Dylan Sprayberry.)
Now, I get that for a show on a teen network, aimed (ostensibly) at teen audiences, you want actors who appear to realistically portray teens in high school. I totally get that.
But you know what? Buffy The Vampire Slayer managed to do that without all the gratuitous shirtlessness and scanty clothing for either gender (with the exception of the low cut pants Faith and Buffy wore, which often threw me out of the story as I wondered if they were going to accidentally show butt crack on a teen show, or if all those bloopers had been edited out...)
So all the half-naked, hairless, barely-legal looking boyflesh on Teen Wolf just seems... a little questionable, given the youth-oriented network producing the show and the supposedly intended demographic.
If this were an HBO or other premium cable show, which is clearly aimed at an adult audience, I'd question it less because we would expect a certain level of fearless flesh-showcasing on anything on HBO or Showetime (or Skinemax).
But you know what? Even if it *were* on HBO or Showtime, I would still question it. Just somewhat less.