Saturday, October 13, 2012

10 Other Reasons (besides Sterek) to Watch Teen Wolf

Sometimes it feels like this blog has become a Sterek blog, and while that’s not entirely a bad thing, I feel like maybe I should explain… Sterek is not the only reason I watch Teen Wolf.  As strange as it might sound, there are actually a whole bunch of other reasons to watch this show that have nothing to do with slash. So before you go dismissing this show as nothing more than a fangirls wet dream I have decide to give you 10 other reasons to watch Teen Wolf.

10: It gets better.

You know what I always say – don’t judge a show by its pilot and shows like Teen Wolf are the reason for this rule. Teen Wolf should have sucked, it’s an MTV show based on a crappy 80s teen comedy and it was clearly only commissioned to cash in on the whole vampires/werewolves romance craze. In the first episode, and even the first season, you can see the show struggling with this legacy and trying to find its niche. But by season two Teen Wolf has shown it’s true colours and they are magnificent. It’s so much more than just a Twilight knock off, so push past the teen romance, Scott’s stupidity and the ridiculous prosthetics because soon enough you will find yourself asking how an MTV show could possibly make you feel this much.

9: Teenagers that act like Teenagers

Okay so they’re prettier, and wittier, than your average teen but they still act like kids which is not something that you see that often on America television. They make stupid choices that have actual consequences and they quite often want to run to their parents for help (not until they have made a bunch of stupid mistakes first of course). They have sex, without it being a big deal, no magic first times here, just good old-fashioned teenagers humping anything in their path. They use condoms and not in an afternoon special way, in a I’m a teenager having sex and condoms are a given kind of way. They drink but it’s not an ‘issue’ that needs to be fixed, it’s just something that happens. It’s just incredibly refreshing to watch.

8: Eye Candy

I know I’m supposed to be giving you non-hormonal reasons to watch this show but it would be impossible not to point out the fact that this cast is hot! Like 3rd degree burns, someone call the fire brigade, hot! Seriously what are they feeding them at MTV? It’s like pushing on a bruise, it hurts but in a good way. And it’s like the male cast members are allergic to shirts – I mean if they are wearing a shirt at the start of a scene there is a 75% chance they will take it off by the end. If that’s not your thing, there are also some seriously sexy ladies in this program and while they aren’t naked as often as the guys you still get to see a fair bit of flesh. Yes we all like good plot and interesting characters but it doesn’t hurt to have something nice to look at as well.

7: Supporting Characters

The main characters on Teen Wolf are fantastic (yes even Scott – trust me wait till season 2) and it would be super easy to rely on stereotypes for those in background. Teen Wolf doesn’t fall into this trap, and the supporting cast are some of the most interesting characters on the show. First off there’s Danny, whose just your average nice-guy jock that also happens to be a computer genius (oh and he’s gay). Then there is Bobby Finstock, who could be just a caricature of the stupidly mean coach, but somehow becomes more – he’s also one of the funniest characters on the show. And that’s just a couple of examples – trust me this show will defy your expectations on every level.

6: The Parents

In the same way that the teenagers act like teenagers, the parents of Teen Wolf act like parents but they also manage to be 3 dimensional characters as well. On teen shows, parents are usually relegated to the role of villain (they just don’t understand) or wise yoda (I hate it when they’re always right). Teen Wolf avoids this trap. The parents are parents, they worry about their kids and we don’t get to see much of their lives outside the family (the show is called TEEN Wolf after all) but they still managed to be some of the most dynamic characters on the show. They have to deal with the real world consequences of their children’s mistakes and Teen Wolf shows this without alienating it’s teen audience. Seriously, if by the end of season 2 you are not in love with one of these parental figures there’ s something wrong with you.  

5: Inclusiveness

You should never watch a show simply because they include queer characters or POC (crap shows that are ‘inclusive’ hurt more than they help) but it certainly doesn’t hurt if a good show has them anyway. Yes, the majority of the cast are white, and most of the characters are heterosexual (or at least not explicitly stated otherwise) but Teen Wolf presents a world that is a hell of a lot more inclusive than were used to. These kids aren’t outside of societies prejudices but it just doesn’t seem to matter to them (I mean they have other problems like werewolves)… and it’s just really nice to see a show where race and sexuality are not ‘othered’. Tyler Posey, who plays the lead is mixed race and as I said above there is a really cool gay character that everyone just accepts (heck the guys shower and change in front of him) – and the best part is, it doesn't get preachy. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it's still nice.

4: Watercooler (WTF) Moments

Whatever else I say about Teen Wolf, it’s important to remember that it’s Summer TV, so it’s all about making you talk. They do this through those moments that have you screaming “what the hell” at the television screen and in this regard Teen Wolf does not disappoint. Seriously pretty much every episode of Teen Wolf will leaving you staring at the screen in astonishment before reaching for your smartphone so you can express your emotions to the whole of the Internet. Whether you’re after creepy, adorable, awkward or sexy Teen Wolf will definitely give you something to discuss around the watercooler come Monday morning. Remember, a good TV show will always make you talk, and if you start watching Teen Wolf you probably won’t talk about anything else.

3: Dynamic Female Characters

By dynamic I don’t just mean likable or strong (I hate that term) what I mean is that the women on this show are interesting – just as interesting as the men. For a show with a male lead (and a predominantly male supporting cast) this show has some of the best female characters on TV at the moment. Allison is so much more than just the romantic interest – which is essentially what her role was at the start of the series – and while you might not like her she’s certainly fun to watch. Then there’s Lydia – I could spend hours discussing everything that is amazing about Lydia but it’s best if you discover it for yourself. All I will say is don’t judge a book by its cover. There are also some really cool (as much as I hate them) female villains. While these female characters are far from perfect they are certainly a step up from what we’re used to, especially on this kind of show.

2: Jeff Davis is a gift

Really I should know better than to buy into the whole showrunner is god phenomenon and I try really hard not to but it’s impossible not to love Jeff Davis. He seems to get fandom and not in an ascended fanboy kind of way because I don’t think he’s a fan himself, but he respects and acknowledges our opinions without caving to them. There is a fine line between a showrunner that understands what the fans want but knows that its not always what the show needs, and one that just caters to whim of whatever fandom is the loudest (I’m looking at you Ryan Murphy). It seems strange but it’s Jeff Davis that makes the Teen Wolf fandom such a fun group. Because while the fans might want different things, they all respect that Jeff Davis will make the right decision for the show… and that is a rare gift.

1: Stiles

I know I’ve gone on and on about the characters on this show, but trust me there is a reason Stiles get’s his own heading. When you first start watching Teen Wolf, and it dawns on you that you’re actually watching an MTV show about teenage werewolves, there is one thing that will keep you watching and it’s Stiles. Stiles is the best friend, the human sidekick, the comic relief, which is not uncommon on these type of shows, but there is something about Stiles that makes him so much more. A lot of it has to do with Dylan O-Brien’s performance, seriously remember that name because you are going to hear so much more from him. But he’s also just so well written, he’s sarcastic and funny but there is so much depth to the character, even from the first episode. All you need to do is watch one episode and you too will fall under Stiles spell, only then will you understand what I’m talking about. 

That’s it, that’s all I can do short of coming to your house, strapping you to a chair, taping your eyes open and forcing you to watch this awesome show… and I really don’t want to have to do that, so I think it’s best you just watch it.

If you do decide to watch it I would love to hear from you – come back and tell me of your Teen Wolf adventures. And those of you that have already joined the Teen Wolf cult, why not share your stories in the comments below. Why did you start watching Teen Wolf? What makes you keep watching?