An impressive series wrongly placed on MTV
I approached this series with low expectations but was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it! Firstly, it actually has very little resemblance to the 1985 Michael J Fox film it’s based on. And secondly that once you get past the initial sport heavy episodes, it grows into an entertaining and dark enthralling show. One that’s probably little known about due to its strange premiere on the once music, now more reality based channel, MTV.
The story: A teenage boy, Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) gets bitten by a werewolf and thus becomes one himself in the form of a shapeshifter. Alongside is a myriad of clichéd characters and settings: The mystery man Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) who lives in the creepy house in the woods; the high school Jock and his superficial girlfriend; Alison (Crystal Reed), the pretty girl who falls for our teen wolf geek and then of course just happens to be the daughter of family of hunters. Teen angst ahoy then!
Despite the cliché’s the writing is solid and the characters on the whole likeable. Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) is a brilliant character and at times overshadows Scott, with his enthusiasm, empathy and humour. Even the superficial couple turn out to be more than first presented.
The special effects wavered in places. There were a few times I could tell when they were travelling in the car – that they weren’t “actually” travelling in the car but was obviously the use of green screen. The CGI character of the Alpha wolf at times seemed a little more silly than scary, but again these problems were ironed out pretty quick as the effects by the end of the series were pretty amazing.
I watched this series in quick succession and found myself wanting to watch the next quite easily. Especially from episode 3 onwards where the plot really starts to pick up pace as we start to learn the motives of the main players. The story focuses quite heavily on the Scott/Alison love story, but it didn’t detract too much from the darker elements.
If you’re a teenager you’ll love it or a fan of the early years of Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Smallville (And look how they grew!) then you will find this an enjoyable ride.
The most interesting of the mixed variety of extra’s is the commentaries with the show creators. Although if you don’t want to spoil some of the magic, best avoided unless you’re like me who likes to know the technical side of things. The cast commentaries are like the rest of the extra’s a bit of light relief but nothing you need to know. There’s a look at how each cast member got their part. Love Bites is quite obvious, basically watching teenagers kissing. (You may have to be that age to appreciate it.) A Shirtless Montage which is unashamedly gratuitous, one for the ladies, gay guys and basically any man who wonders what a six-pack looks like; here’s your chance. Get down the gym now! Plus more deleted scenes and a gag reel.
Teen Wolf: the Complete Season 1, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is available to buy in the UK on DVD from 9th July 2012.