Warning: The following piece contains a few spoilers for the first two seasons of Teen Wolf.
Tonight’s premiere of Teen Wolf promises to kick off an action-packed third season, since MTV ordered 24 episodes as opposed to the usual 12. Before TW fans get a look at the new “Alpha Pack” (sure to be hotties) or find out what happened to Gerard after he disappeared while oozing black liquid out of assorted orifices, let’s take a look at back at the best and worst TW had to offer during its first two seasons.
Aside from Derek, Dr. Deaton is the most intriguing character on the show. The town vet and Scott’s boss, Dr. Deaton was one of the first people in Scott’s life to find out about his “condition.” He had a connection with the Hale family and continues to try and look after Derek. He has some knowledge of magic but has denied being a witch. Dr. Deaton has also hinted that something sinister was headed to town. The question of whether he was referring to the Alpha pack or something else should be answered this season.
Derek Hale strikes the perfect balance between good and evil. He’s impossible to hate because he’s often the voice of reason. But Derek isn’t above being bad like convincing weak and vulnerable teenagers that becoming a werewolf is their best option and he’s only too happy to oblige. Derek’s downfall could be his act first and ask questions later approach to problem solving. He almost slaughtered Lydia convinced she was the Kanima with very little evidence to go on. Derek also manages to always look incredibly hot which has to be hard to manage since he lives in the burned out shell of his family home.
Instead of producing just crappy reality shows, it’s encouraging to see MTV developing some good scripted television. Programming executives took a risk when they adopted the premise of a 1980’s mediocre comedy and re-imagined it into a successful supernatural series. Several of the show’s themes such as isolation, social and physical awkwardness, the need or urge to belong to a group, love, loyalty and heartbreak and bullying are all emotions and situations that resonate with both teenagers and young adults. Overall, the show encourages a person to embrace who they are which is a great positive message to send to its viewers. Also, I’m sure we at least partially have Teen Wolf’s success to thank for the upcoming MTV Scream series.
I liked it when Allison went all arrow-yielding, no mercy, uber bitch after the death of her mother. It was a little over the top, but she can’t realistically last long surrounded by werewolves without a way to defend herself. She doesn’t possess an antibody to their bites like Lydia. Her attitude toward her father sucked, and her decision to all her cute outfits for Katniss Everdeen type attire was unnecessary. After all, Buffy slayed hundreds of demons and she still managed to look cute. Once her grandfather revealed his true intentions, she did dial it down a bit. I expect she’ll find a somewhat happy medium this season, but don’t expect the old Allison to return completely.
The character of Jackson Whittemore should have never made past the first season alive. There isn’t one redeeming feature about this over privileged orphan. He unceremoniously dumped his girlfriend Lydia, blackmailed Scott and behaved like an all-around d-bag. He was the perfect throwaway cast member to fall prey to a gruesome death. Instead, they make him the creature du jour of the second season. The fact that everyone worked so hard to keep him alive in spite of the fact that he was committing grisly murders was completely unbelievable. Now that he seems to have finally attained his goal of becoming a werewolf, will he play well with others and become more likable or join the opposition?
The special effects and makeup were inconsistent. Teen Wolf should go big or go home. Since the primary character is a werewolf it would be nice to see Scott as a werewolf instead of a guy with sideburns, colored contacts and fangs who likes to run on all fours. Even season one’s Alpha, Peter Hale, resembled an overgrown mutt with alopecia. While the wolves couldn’t hold a candle to their competition on The Vampire Diaries, Jackson’s transformation into the Kanima was more in line with what you would expect to see on a show that focuses on supernatural creatures.
The writers need to instill more humor into their scripts. The only character with the ability to lighten the mood in tense situations was Stiles. Lydia had some wannabe Cordelia Chase/Caroline Forbes moments but there was a lack of follow through. It’s important to acknowledge the campiness of a show like Teen Wolf. Buffy was famous for her puns and one-liners. The mood and tone of the show are dark and intense which makes sense when dealing with the subject of werewolves, but would it kill Derek Hale to crack a smile?
Let Scott play the field, and I’m not talking about lacrosse. Scott spotted true love Allison her first day at Beacon Hills High School and the two have been pretty inseparable since. That is until she dumped him again at the end of season two. He was all about Allison all the time with the exception of some werewolf/hormone/testosterone fueled make out session with Lydia. Allison and Scott have chemistry, but she’s a bit vanilla despite her lineage. She’s pre-destined to go into the family business, as we saw at the end of season two, and the whole Romeo and Juliet angle has been played out on shows better than this one. A new love interest or even some meaningless carnal action with a bad girl would spice things up. Also, could we please get Stiles a girl, so he can stop all the one-sided crushing on Lydia?
Teen Wolf needs more strong female characters. Allison is sure to be more hard-edged this season but she doesn’t remotely compare to her aunt and her mother both of whom are now dead. There’s Erica, but for a werewolf she’s pretty ineffectual. She mainly struts around in high heels and tiny outfits. She’s a lackluster minion and doesn’t possess any remarkable skills or intelligence. Her lack of loyalty to her Alpha, Derek had already caught up with her in the second season finale. Lydia is an intellectual dynamo but she needs to stop downplaying it.