Teen Wolf has a devoted fan base, and for good reason, because it’s thrilling, funny, and engaging. Teen Wolf is about a group of friends who function as a pack, led by werewolf Scott McCall. With the support of each other and some helpful adults, Scott and his friends attempt to come to terms with their identities, supernatural and otherwise. The group comprises a variety of human and supernatural beings. Scott and his friends fight dangerous foes while going to school and living not-so-average teen lives. If you aren’t already watching Teen Wolf, here are some reasons to check it out.
1. Creature Mythology
Despite the name, Teen Wolf isn’t just about werewolves. It includes banshees, kitsune, berserkers, oni, wendigo, hellhounds, and other shapeshifters. Hunters are also part of the Teen Wolf mythology, creating an ever-evolving dynamic with their supernatural counterparts. The variety of creatures, and their successful integration into the overall storyline, keeps Teen Wolf novel and engaging, even after five seasons.
2. Compelling Stories
As new creatures appear on the scene we get interesting and suspenseful story arcs to accompany their arrival. Teen Wolf is grounded in good writing and strong storylines. The story arc of Season 3 centered on Japanese spirits and supernatural beings while incorporating the history of the American government’s internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Each season has provided interesting narratives through a changing cast of characters.
3. Engaging Performances
Tyler Posey plays alpha werewolf Scott McCall. Teen Wolf also stars fan favorites Dylan O’Brien as Stiles, Holland Roden as Lydia, and Arden Cho as Kira. The Season Three story arc described above allowed for an impressive performance by Dylan O’Brien, for which he won several awards. Holland Roden is another impressive actor on the series as was former regular Crystal Reed.
4. Teen Life
As well as having smart stories with well-written dialogue, Teen Wolf never forgets the challenges of being a teenager. The awkwardness of teenage life—making friends, navigating romantic life, dealing with parents, and just growing up—plays out on screen. Most days it’s hard to be an adolescent, but an adolescent with supernatural powers creates unexpected challenges. During Season 4, character Malia Tate returns to human society after eight years of living as a coyote, she has to adjust to normal human behavior and even learn math as she returns to school amongst mostly regular teens.
5. Forbidding Villains
A hallmark of an interesting television show is a moral complexity to its characters, particularly the villains. Throughout the series we have seen foes becomes friends, and found those thought to be allies turn out to be villains. In Teen Wolf it’s more complex than just humans against creatures. Some supernatural creatures try to do the right thing, while others have evil intent, as is true with humans. Season 5 had a horror movie vibe and a trio of terrifying villains called the Dread Doctors.
6. Fan Favorite
Teen Wolf has an intense fan base, and in return the show is very involved with its fans. Just this week, Tyler Posey and Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis attended an exhibition of fan art commissioned to promote Season 5. In January 2015 Teen Wolf launched a fan competition, Creature Feature, to create a new monster. The winning entry, by Jessica Short, was a creature called a Slaugh, which can devour the souls of the innocent. The fan-driven Sterek Campaign Charity Project raised $25,000 for a wolf sanctuary, and won MTV’s Fandom Feat of the Year in 2014. The loyal fans can’t get enough of Teen Wolf, so MTV has not one, but two after-shows—Wolf Watch and The After After Show. Both of these after-shows have fun fan segments each week. Teen Wolf is a very inclusive community.
7. The Bromance
The key relationship in Teen Wolf is that between Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) and his best friend “Stiles” Stilinski (Dylan O’Brien). The two actors are friends in real life, having lived together, along with castmate Tyler Hoechlin, during the filming of Seasons 1 and 2. When you see Posey and O’Brien on screen, you can’t miss their great chemistry. Their on-screen portrayal of two young men who have been friends since childhood has resulted in some of the most moving scenes in the series.
8. Scary Stuff
Teen Wolf is scary without being gory. Some of the creatures on the show are downright terrifying, and the writing builds up characters in ways that make them psychologically disturbing. The frightening locations of Teen Wolf amp up the scare power of the series. Chases in darkened school hallways and eerie woods give the series that extra chill factor. There’s an abundance of abandoned buildings in Beacon Hills, but other scary locations include the burned remains of the Hale Family house, an empty Chernobyl-esque Russian facility, the creepy lair of the Dread Doctors, the Oak Creek internment camp, and the run-down psychiatric hospital known as Eichen House. The scenes meant to frighten us are drawn out in a way that increases the tension, using dialogue to emphasize the impact.
9. Strong Female Characters
The women on Teen Wolf aren’t damsels waiting to be rescued, but powerful and unique individuals. Holland Roden as Lydia, Crystal Reed as Allison, Arden Cho as Kira, and Shelley Hennig as Malia play a wide spectrum of teen characters that give the show a richness and complexity without resorting to stereotypes. Scott’s mom, Melissa (Melissa Ponzio) plays a smart, competent woman with her own struggles. Women are not relegated to hero and nurturer roles either, with ominous female villains such as Kate Argent (Jill Wagner) and the Desert Wolf (Marisol Nichols).
10. Comedic Dialogue
When a show has good writing and strong acting like Teen Wolf does, it can be dramatic and scary while also being quite funny. Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) is the most obvious comedic character, both intentionally through his sarcasm and unintentionally through his awkwardness. Coach Finstock (Orny Adams) provides the opportunity for the show to poke fun of clueless adults. But many of the actors get the chance to show their comedic chops, including Tyler Posey (Scott McCall), Tyler Hoechlin (Derek Hale), Holland Roden (Lydia Martin), Linden Ashby (Sheriff Stilinski), and others. In the last few seasons, Shelley Hennig (Malia) has emerged as one of the best comedic talents in the series. You might be surprised just how funny Teen Wolf can be. The humor is part of it’s charm.
You can watch Teen Wolf on MTV and stream episodes through Amazon Instant Video. New episodes are Tuesday 9/8c.
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I know you guys probably only had room for ten but one of the great things I liked about this show is the parents. They’re involved in their children’s lives, most of them in a positive way. They talk to and support their children and most of them aren’t really that clueless, especially Scotts mom, who is a favorite of mine.
I also like the supportive loving relationship between Kira and her parents and Lydia and her mother. A lot of teen shows depict the parent/teen relationship as an adversarial one, but this show doesn’t follow that trope and that was very refreshing to me.
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Agree 100%. They even get their own story lines sometimes. This season it’s been interesting watching Sheriff Stilinski’s struggle with following the law in a supernatural world. Melissa McCall has a warm maternalism that comes out when she interacts with any of the teens on the show.
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