10 Reasons Why Being a Teen Wolf Fan Is Bittersweet (but totally worth it)
Once you get hooked on MTV’s Teen Wolf, it’s impossible not to obsess, despite knowing that anyone who hasn’t watched the show—and a few snobs who have—will likely judge you for enjoying it. Granted, it’s not the most intelligent show out there (and is definitely short on critical acclaim), but it’s insanely addicting. Plus, plenty of sane people with perfectly good taste have fallen victim to its charms. For almost every negative aspect, there is a positive one that outweighs it, so we’ve outlined them here.
It’s hard to not sound idiotic when you’re fawning over a gritty, dark reboot of a campy 1980’s Michael J. Fox film where teenage werewolves play basketball. The concept sounds completely ridiculous, but the show couldn’t be farther from its film-version namesake—the series is from the same executive producer as Criminal Minds and feels much closer to that than the movie.
Why it’s actually the best: The cliffhangers
Being left on the edge of your seat is a main reason to continue watching any show, but Teen Wolf excels at setting up cliffhangers that keep devotees coming back from week to week. They clip it at exactly the right point in the story to keep us thirsting all week for a resolution. Another strength of the show is its ability to tie up loose ends—I spent the entire first season thinking they were introducing strange, random plot points and forgot about them, and now some of these storylines are resurfacing and helping everything make sense.
Every person on this show is gorgeous, which may have influenced casting decisions more than their acting. The biggest offenders are, unfortunately, the main character Scott, played by Tyler Posey, and Derek, played by Tyler Hoechlin. Posey (who we all remember as the little kid from Maid in Manhattan…no, just me?) isn’t great with most of his dialogue, but he has a certain charm that makes it forgivable. Hoechlin, on the other hand, handles some of his dialogue but seems pretty devoid of emotion (unless screaming counts as an emotion, in which case, he nails it). Fortunately, their shortcomings really aren’t enough to break the show.
Why it’s actually the best: Some of the acting is great
There are plenty of actors in this show that do a very good job. Some of the standouts include Crystal Reed and Holland Roden, who play Allison and Lydia, respectively. An honorable mention goes to Colton Haynes, who made a mark on Wolf before leaving to be on the CW’s Arrow. Then there’s Dylan O’Brien, who had no acting experience prior to Teen Wolf other than a few self-produced YouTube videos, but he is by far the most impressive actor in the cast. He has a great sense of comedic timing, while also handling the more dramatic scenes heartbreakingly well.
Why it’s bad: Some parts are awkward
Teen Wolf is definitely one of those shows that thinks it knows the “real deal” about teenagers. As a result, there are a lot of awkward moments that are meant to come off that way, and an equal amount of moments that just come off as awkward because it feels like MTV is trying to hit its “sexy time” quota. Plus, there’s a handful of characters who pretty much exist just to be the token gay guy or the annoying aunt who think she’s hip like da kids. Unfortunately these feel shoehorned in and uncomfortable more often than not, but sometimes they do work to develop the relationships or set up a good scene.
Why it’s actually the best: The awkward is fun to laugh at
This is a show that tries very hard to be trendy and edgy, and sometimes it works in their favor, but other times it comes off as a little campy, and so bad that it’s good. As I mentioned earlier, Teen Wolf tends to hyper sexualize the “teenage” main characters. This is a facet of the show that MTV has beaten to death with a stick and then smothered with a pillow just to be sure we got the point. Things have become so sexually focused that this season they’ve literally started sacrificing virgins, because who needs ‘em, right? A lot of the time the ridiculous amount of random hooking up can be funny (seriously, if you made it a drinking game you’d get wasted—fast).
Why it’s bad: Some of the characters suck
The two that stand out in my mind are Kate and Erica. Kate, Allison’s annoying aunt, was the worst—she made every interaction uncomfortable by not behaving like an actual person. And Erica seems more befit for a nineties rom-com: She started out very unpopular with super-low confidence, then one wolfy makeover later she was suddenly the hottest girl in school. (Plus the fact that she was a bit of a bitch didn’t help her case.) Luckily these types of characters have a penchant for being killed off.
Why it’s actually the best: Stiles
Even people who wouldn’t go near Teen Wolf with a ten-foot pole like Stiles, who is by far the most relatable character (and played by the aforementioned Dylan O’Brien). He is the only person without some weird supernatural connection. As a result, he’s just along for the ride with his werewolf friend Scott, making witty comments the whole way. Plus, his devotion to Lydia despite always walking the borderline of being completely ignored or friend-zoned is really cute.
We spent the whole second season chasing a lizard creature called a Kanima, which felt pretty ridiculous, although it did make for an interesting mystery dynamic. To be fair, most sci-fi today can get pretty carried away (i.e. Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, etc.). Basically, if you watch anything on the CW, you can handle the sci-fi on Teen Wolf. Another strike against Teen Wolf is that the CGI is pretty awful. I think their budget in the first season was about four dollars and a bag of slightly stale croutons, which made their big bad alpha wolf look more like a sickly gorilla. I’m happy to say that it has improved since its inaugural season—it’s still not great, but getting better.
Why it’s actually the best: The changing dynamics
This show has pretty good character development. Take Lydia for example: She started the show as an entitled princess who was dating the head jock and had no idea about the supernatural world around her. Now, she’s fully aware of everything and is probably being used as a mentally unstable puppet by one of our new villains. The relationships between characters are constantly changing as well, and you never know what you’re going to get each season in terms of main storyline and villains.
Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on the wonderful mess that is Teen Wolf!