MTV’s reimagined Teen Wolf is a welcome arrival from a network that in recent years has been better known for its reality and/or faux-reality docuseries than for scripted programs or God-forbid, actual music.
But aside from not-being The Jersey Beach Teen Mom Challenge – The Duel,Teen Wolf has a lot of positive things going for it and should ultimately be a fun ride if they can keep up the quality of the pilot.
Teen Wolf follows Scott McCall, a high-school lacrosse player that isn’t exactly part of the in-crowd at school , who get bit by a werewolf after heading into the forest one night with a friend on an adventure.
The fast-paced first episode does its best to lay the groundwork for the rest of the series as it covers the first signs of Scott’s transformation as well as establish his relationships with his mother, his best friend, his teammates and of course his love interest.
A nice, though unsurprising twist at the end of the first episode easily sets up a season’s worth of story
But for a series like this, its creative success will lie in its ability to find the right blend of mythology and teen drama.
San Francisco Chronicle’s Dave Wiegand brought up ABC Family’s late, great Kyle XY in his review of Teen Wolf and it made think of what I hope for from this series.
What Kyle XY did so well was balance the sci-fi with the high school and family drama, being able to weave the two genres together and having both affect the other without seeming contrived.
Teen Wolf, at least in the pilot, doesn’t have that big of a family aspect in its story (though I hope it will). Its task then is to make werewolf mythology and high school, teen angst, neither being new territory, fun and exciting.
A bonus if they manage to make either or both aspects fresh.
Plus, like Kyle XY‘s Matt Dallas, Tyler Posey is a likeable, charismatic lead (who can act!) playing a likeable, charismatic character.
But Teen Wolf definitely has potential. It’s certainly less forced than MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger and tying-too-hard Skins US. And for me (and apparently Reese Witherspoon), more watchable than any of MTV’s reality offerings.
Teen Wolf doesn’t need to resort to gross-out humor or gratuitous sex like its MTV siblings. As long as it maintains an interesting, quick-paced mythology, realistic, non-cliche teen drama and keeps its sense of fun, it should be a fine success.