Teen Wolf (Season 1)

Teen-Wolf-1Overview:

“A somewhat awkward teen is attacked by a werewolf and inherits the curse itself, as well as the enemies that come with it.”

–IMDB

Plot: 4.5/5

IMDB gives you a log line about the show, rather than an actual summery, so I will expand on that. Also- I’ve never seen the 1985 movie “Teen Wolf”, so I can’t really comment on if it is similar, all I can note is that from IMDB I can see the main character’s name was Scott (different last name though) and both have a Stiles (in this show he is Scott’s dorky best friend).

It is very difficult to summarize season 1 without giving some background, so here is the mythology–

  • Scott is a ‘Beta’- a werewolf who’s wolfed-out form is restricted to claws, a longer, flatter nose, fangs, stronger brow line, sideburns, yellow eyes, and pointy ears. A Beta can’t bit someone and turn them into a werewolf, and if they learn to control their power, they can turn at will, not just on the full moon.
  • The more traditional image of a werewolf can only be taken on by Alphas- the head of the pack who has glowing red eyes and full-out wolfes. An Alpha can only get their powers by killing another Alpha, or being the closest to them if they die without conflict. If a human kills an Alpha then the power would move to the next werewolf in their pack, just fyi. Alphas are the only wolves who can bite and turn people.
  • It is possible to be born a werewolf, if your parents were wolves. You are born a Beta with blue eyes, not the yellow of someone who was bitten. And you instinctively can control the change, so the full moon doesn’t really do anything other than make you vaguely annoyed at everyone.

OK, so Scott McCall is an asthmatic who acts as a bench warmer for his high school lacrosse team along with his best friend Stiles- the sheriff’s son. Scott has no dad, just an ER nurse mom, and Stiles has no mom. But no- Stiles’ father and Scott’s mother aren’t an item (much to the frustration of the fans). Stiles comes one night to drag Scott into the woods after overhearing his father receive a call about the lower half of a woman’s body being found. The two boys decide they will find the other half, despite the sheriff saying it looked like she was ripped in two by an animal.

This woman is Laura Hale, an Alpha who was one of only two members of the Hale family remaining, the rest having been killed six years before in a horrific and mysterious fire (technically there is another Hale, her uncle Peter who is the only survivor of the fire, but he’s comatose and covered in burn scars). Stiles gets caught pretty quickly by his father, but Scott stays hidden, not wanting to get busted as well. When he tries to wander back out of the woods, animals start charging around him, he finds the top half of Laura’s body, and is attacked and bitten by a wolf with red eyes.

The next day Scott is healed of his bite, his asthma is gone, and he’s suddenly got super fast reflexes and strength, which earns him a coveted spot on the lacrosse team. He also has super-smell and hearing. Scott falls hard for the new girl in school- Allison Argent. By the end of the first episode Scott finds out something even Allison doesn’t know– her family is a group of the most powerful werewolf hunters in the world. But they have a strict code– they only kill wolves who shed human blood, and never the children werewolves.

The Alpha in full-wolf form

The Alpha in full-wolf form

Scott quickly puts himself on bad terms with Derek Hale, Laura’s younger brother, a blue-eyed Beta (so, he was born a wolf). Derek agrees to help Scott learn to control his new abilities in exchange for help hunting down the new Alpha- who is murdering more and more people and is using his powers as an Alpha to control Scott (his Beta) and trying to make Scott kill.

Derek and Scott quickly realize the fire that killed Derek’s family, the arrival of the Argent family, and the murders are all connected somehow to Kate Argent, Allison’s Aunt who is basically a sociopath. The Argents know all about Derek’s family, what they are and such, and know Derek blames them for the fire, but they do not know the identity of the new Beta, so Scott has to be careful as he dates Allison (who’s father is already looking for an excuse to kill him).

It’s kind of angst-ridden in the first few episodes, but then the plotline comes into play with the hunt for the Alpha, and that’s pretty fun. Also- nearly everyone who watches the show expects Stiles to become that jealous friend who hates how strong and popular his buddy became and begins to resent him for it– but he isn’t. That’s one of the refreshing things about this show- no matter how strong  Scott gets, Stiles still can save his butt with quick thinking and clever ideas. He doesn’t resent Scott’s abilities, he wants to help him learn to use them to help people.

Acting: 4.5/5

Scott McCall is played expertly by Tyler Posey, but he is the one who got the half point off. His aggressive/angry look just isn’t believable the first few episodes as he gets his feet under him. Think Daniel Radcliffe in “Harry Potter”- most of the anger is shown in his jaw, but he just doesn’t seem angry. Posey’s acting does improve, once he gets into the swing of things, and by the end of the season he’s gold. I don’t buy him as an asthmatic, though, they should have just left that out of the pilot. Scott is buff, does pull ups, and was somehow allowed to join the lacrosse team, not something that goes along with just how severely asthmatic he’s initially shown as being.

Dylan O’Brien also gets his own paragraph- he plays Scott’s best friend Stiles. Stiles is ADHD, snarky, awkward, and easily the most realistic character I’ve seen on TV in a long time.  He isn’t an archetype, and O’Brien shows loads of personality without any hint of awkwardness (it helps that the cast has always said in real life he is most like his character). Season 1 doesn’t have too many moments where he can really show his range, but trust me, in season 2 & 3 he totally outshines everyone on the cast (and it’s not a shabby cast at all).

Generally disgruntled Derek Hale

Generally disgruntled Derek Hale

Crystal Reed is Allison, who is kind of wimpy and whiny, but the character beings to grow and step away from the damsel-in-distress look and towards a stronger image, and that’s when you can really see Reed’s ability. Always a fun character to see is Lydia Martin- the kind of Queen Bee of Beacon Hills- and the girl Stiles is hopelessly in love with- always well played by Holland Roden. She’s snarky, sassy, and kind of bitchy sometimes, and you can’t help but love her, especially when you see Jackson, played by Colton Haynes- your typically high school super-jock who is too smart for his own good, and basically pure evil.

If I don’t mention Tyler Heochlin, Derek Hale, a crime has been committed. Derek seems to be constantly in a bad mood (which makes it hilarious as he finds himself more and more stuck teaming up with Stiles, who doesn’t take much seriously, or takes things way beyond too seriously). He’s aggressive, angry, and has no time for really anything but his own agenda. But when he gets emotional, and that happens sometimes as the show goes on though other seasons), Hoechlin brings the A-game. Plus he’s gorgeous. And if he looks familiar to you- it’s probably because he’s the grown-up version of Tom Hank’s kid in “Road to Perdition”. And he grew up well.

I don’t want to make this too long so let me just say all the rest of the cast- JR Bourne (Allison’s father), Melissa Ponzio (Scott’s mother), Ian Bohen (Peter Hale), Linden Ashby (Stiles’ father), Orny Adams (the lacrosse coach), and last but in no way least Keahu Kahuanui (Danny, the lacrosse goalie) are all the epitome of perfection and brilliant acting.

Age Recommendation: 10+ (depending on the episode)

There’s not really any sex in the show, but they imply it with a lot of making out and the occasional crude reference. When the show is on they don’t put a parental advisory notice (until “Motel California” in season 3), but there is violence and fighting, and for some reason Jackson in every season has really freaky and vivid hallucinations… Preview before showing it to young kids and make judgements based on maturity level of little ones. Yes it’s a werewolf story, but there’s a murder mystery and love story attached.

Fun Trivia

… I’ve got nothing here and IMDB isn’t helping. The only trivia I can think of is that Dylan O’Brien and Tyler Posey became best friends in real life.

Um… Well, since there is no trivia, I’ll just put links to the cast twitter pages (because everyone on this show is really into social media and connecting with fans).

Teen Wolf Official Twitter: twitter.com/MTVTeenWolf

Tyler Posey (Scott McCall) Official Twitter: twitter.com/TylerGPosey

Dylan O’Brien (Stiles) Official Twitter: twitter.com/DylanOBrien

Tyler Hoechlin (Derek Hale) Official Twitter: twitter.com/TylerL_Hoechlin

Crystal Reed (Allison Argent) Official Twitter: twitter.com/CrystalMReed

Holland Roden (Lydia Martin) Official Twitter: twitter.com/HollandRoden

Colton Haynes (Jackson) Official Twitter: twitter.com/ColtonLHaynes

Linden Ashby (Stiles’ father) Official Twitter: twitter.com/LindenAshby

JR Bourne (Allison’s father) Official Twitter: twitter.com/IAmJRBourne

Melissa Ponzio (Scott’s mother) Official Twitter: twitter.com/MelissaPonzio1

Orny Adams (Coach) Official Twitter: twitter.com/OrnyAdams

Ian Bohen (Peter Hale) Official Twitter: twitter.com/IanBohen

Keahu Kahuanui (Goalie Danny) Official Twitter: twitter.com/KeahuKahuanui

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1 Comment

  1. Molly

    Okay, I’m sure you know by now, but having blue eyes doesn’t mean you were a born werewolf. And they don’t just automatically have control over their shifting. 😀

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