On a Tele-Tuesday post last year, I introduced MTV’s new summer TV series: Teen Wolf. We all remember the 1985 comedy starring Michael J. Fox, right? MTV promised to use the generalized idea behind the ’80s Teen Wolf, but compared their story to a transformed version with a darker side, similar to the CW’s The Vampire Diaries.
First, a few similarities:
In 1985, Michael J. Fox played Scott Howard; today, Tyler Posey plays Scott McCall.
In 1985, Scott Howard’s best friend was an oddball named Stiles; today, Scott McCall’s best friend is an awkward oddball named Stiles (played by Dillon O’Brien).
In 1985, Scott Howard wasn’t the best basketball player on the team, not until he transformed into his wolf-self; today, Scott McCall isn’t anywhere close to the best lacrosse player on the squad, until he endures the cursed bite, that is.
Now, to a few differences:
In 1985, Scott Howard suffered from a family curse, a long line of male werewolves that sometimes skipped a generation; today, Scott McCall is bitten by a werewolf while out in the woods searching for the remains of a dead girl with his best friend.
In 1985, Scott Howard show-boats around as his wolf-self; today, Scott McCall works desperately to keep his curse secret from everyone, excluding his BFF, Stiles.
In 1985, audiences laughed along with Scott Howard in Teen Wolf; today, viewers and Scott McCall cringe as another person in the community is brutally attacked by a supposed animal.
MTV’s Teen Wolf pleasantly surprised me. First of all, like most other things MTV, the show is geared toward the younger audience or YA as we’ve become accustomed to in the literary world. I may be in my thirties, but I like most Young Adult television series, and more importantly I really enjoy Teen Wolf. And it’s not just me – my guy doesn’t miss an episode either.
Moreover, the show’s claim to focus on the mythology of the werewolf and the darkness of the curse has played a major role in the television series. If The Vampire Diaries has taught the TV rating’s world anything, it’s that teens (as well as whoever is watching) prefer the dark twists and storylines – if we want comedy, there are sitcoms for that.
During the first season, Teen Wolf introduced the idea of the alpha and beta wolf. An alpha is the strongest, most powerful, and the most deadly kind of werewolf. Scott McCall and Derek Hale (played by Tyler Hoechlin from 7th Heaven) are beta wolves. The Alpha bit Scott, and wants Scott to join his pack – insists actually.
The Alpha is obviously a nasty and horrible werewolf, and Scott wants nothing to do with this violent lifestyle. Will Derek help him? Or is Derek setting Scott up? Let’s say a little bit of both – nothing like a taste of both worlds to make Derek even more lickable – I mean, likable.
As with any supernatural drama, Teen Wolf also offers a bit of werewolf on werewolf in the form of fight scenes. While it wasn’t as exciting as a Salvatore brother fight (Yes, I’m talking about Stefan and Damon, ladies!), it held our attention and stayed true to MTV’s promise of a darker rendition of the cinematic classic.
Like most Young Adult features, or really any television show for that matter, Teen Wolf also has the love story: the typical nerdy high school boy (Scott) who wants to lead a normal life and date the beautiful new girl (Alison Argent played by Crystal Reed). Not interesting enough?
How about a forbidden love… Did I mention that Scott’s dream girl’s father is the lead hunter out to kill the werewolves in the area? And that she too is to train and fulfill her family legacy of hunters? Only Alison doesn’t realize at first that she hails from generations of hunters or that her boyfriend is a wolf. But when she does, will she choose her family or Scott?
And let’s not forget that Scott’s humiliation of “top-jock” Jackson Whittemore (played by Colton Haynes from The Gates) on the lacrosse field now drives Jackson to discover exactly what Scott is hiding. Jackson knows that Scott didn’t pick up his super strength overnight by hitting the weight room. Once Jackson learns Scott’s secret, he decides he wants a “piece” of the wolf himself.
What exactly was Jackson’s deal with Derek? We all know after the final battle Derek assumes the role of Alpha; will Jackson join Derek’s pack?
Speaking of Derek’s pack, he wasn’t the one to bite Scott. Is it now safe to assume it will definitely be Scott versus Derek in season two?
And what about Lydia (played by Holland Roden), the annoying girl admired by Stiles but who barely gives anyone besides Jackson the time of day? The original Alpha did attack her before his demise, but Scott apparently gave her a clean bill of health when he noticed her marks weren’t healing as quickly as his wolf bite did. Is she in the clear or is she too now a member of a pack?
I smell some major wolf action in season two…
Season two premieres Sunday, June 3rd on MTV, following the MTV Movie Awards.
What do you think? Did you watch the first season of Teen Wolf? Do you plan to continue with season two? Do you prefer the 1985 comedy or the newer, darker version? I’d love to hear from you!