For the longest time, I have been a big fan of the 80's teen comedy Teen Wolf. True, it was pretty cheesy and totally unrealistic but who cares? It was fun, silly and starred an actor (Michael J. Fox) who was on the verge of breaking big into film with his next film, Back to the Future. So when I found out a couple of years ago that a re-make of sorts was being planned, I was excited. Why not re-make it? A film that knows how to poke fun at itself would be well-received, especially with all the other movies trying so desperately hard to be super serious. And when I found out it would be made into a TV show, I was even more excited. When it finally aired, I allowed myself to let go of the film I held so dear and let this show stand by itself (which it did) and found myself enjoying the show. With the exception of the title, the show and film had nothing in common, even the protagonist's name has been tweaked from Scott Howard to Scott McCall. Now after a few years, the show is still going strong but, for me, starting to show signs of fatigue. At the end of season 2, they teased the threat of an Alpha Pack, which sounded interesting to me. Now having seen the first half of season 3, I found I still enjoyed it but could have done without one or two plot points. Let's begin...
In this season, teen werewolf Scott (Tyler Posey) is facing the threat of an Alpha Pack coming to town to take over or so it seems. As the season progresses we discover that they don't wish to take over, but have a deeper goal in mind, one that pertains particularly to Scott. Scott has to also juggle his ex-girlfriend Allison (Crystal Reed), who spent the summer away and has now returned to school. The ever-faithful friend Stiles (Dylan O'Brien), my favorite character in the show, also has some issues being supportive of his friend and continuing to pine for Lydia (Holland), who is discovering her own emerging supernatural powers. Things come to a head in the middle of the season when Scott and his friends find themselves facing off against powerful druids as well.
That's the basic gist of the first half of the season. While I could go into more fine detail, I'd prefer to focus on what I felt were the unnecessary plot points for this season. First off, as I said before, I liked the idea of the Alpha Pack, the initial setup from season one of there being different levels of werewolves (Omega, Beta, Alpha) felt right and fresh to me. While making use of the standard lore, the writers brought in a little real-world animal hierarchy to the story. What lost me was what occurred in the opening sequence of the first episode. While I won't give anything away here, I will say it has to do with the twins and their unique "ability". While I can get on board with the Alphas taking the strength of their pack into themselves, I can't get on board with some of the more unique abilities they seem to possess. Secondly, Lydia developing powers; again, unnecessary. Instead of trying to make every character "special" in some way by giving them some power or ability, how about they (the writers) keep them as they are? Lydia can be, and is, interesting without having to become something fantastical. Lastly, the constant addition of more shape-shifting and/or supernatural creatures, I get that Scott entered into a world he wasn't prepared for when he got bitten, but does that mean that there has to be 3 or 4 different villains every season? To quote a friend of mine, "Complicated isn't always better".
With all that said, I still found this season very enjoyable. I liked how they wrapped up the druid storyline while leaving others like the Alpha Pack and Derek's uncle Peter open for more developments when part 2 of season 3 rolls around. For me what works best in shows like these where the supernatural is something we see every week is when the writers know how to balance out the supernatural with the natural. Stiles is still one of my favorite characters on the show, though that's thanks to Dylan O'Brien and his excellent comedic timing. But we've also got some great characters that need a little more fleshing out as well, Allison's hunter family as well as her psychopathic grandfather. Lydia and her need to play the part of the ditz while clearly being way smarter than the average bear. Scott's mom needs a little more screen time than she gets; hopefully, the introduction of Scott's father to the show will allow her storyline to broaden a bit.
Like a few of the TV shows I've reviewed lately, Teen Wolf came to me on standard DVD. Nothing to brag about here, picture was clear enough and most of the colors blended well but there was definitely a lack of sharpness to everything and it made for a disappointing viewing experience. The same can be said for the audio. Only fed through one channel, while there were no big explosions or firefights, the dialogue seemed a bit muffled at times and I found myself turning on the subtitles after a few repeated attempts to discern what someone was saying.
- Back to the Pack: A feature on the new pack in the show and some of the actors playing them.
- Shirtless Montage: Exactly what you think it is
- Gag reel
- Deleted Scenes on Selected Episodes
Teen Wolf very quickly established itself as its own property completely separate from the film and having watched it from the beginning, I have to say that overall I'm happy with what they've done. Not every show is great all the time, there are even seasons of my favorite shows that I wasn't pleased with. But with this show, it still seems like they're finding their groove and I would think after 2 seasons they would have figured out a template to stick with. Hopefully, as time goes on and more seasons get developed the producers can figure out a more stable mold for these characters. Still, despite its faults, Teen Wolf remains a fun show that is worth a viewing.