Two best friends go out into the woods in the middle of the night. When they get separated in the dark, one of them gets bitten by something huge and monstrous with red glowing eyes. One bite and everything changes. Heightened senses, increased speed and strength. Come next full moon, our teenage boy turns into… (drumroll) a unicorn! No, he turns into a werewolf. Yes, glowing eyes, claws, fangs, you know the deal. But with shows or movies like Vampire Diaries, The Order, and Twilight overflowing with your cliche vampire, witch, and werewolf stories, why would you watch this show? Here are ten reasons for you to start watching or rewatch (for the fifth time) Teen Wolf!
The Plot (Obviously)
Scott McCall, an awkward teenage boy, turns into a werewolf after being bitten by a big bad alpha the night before sophomore year. Boy gets bitten. He goes awoo. Now what? The show captures your attention with how Scott navigates his life with this newfound power and the price that he has to pay for it. In the small town of Beacon Hills, Scott and his friends must protect themselves and their loved ones from each emerging conflict all the while juggling their seemingly normal high school life, grades, relationships, and real-life problems. With each season, the plot thickens with new characters, plot twists, and mythical creatures. That’s right. It’s not just werewolves.
The characters, main or supporting, are as real as they can be. They love each other and care for those around them. Their relationships are human through and through- affection, angst, jealousy, pride; it’s all there.
Likewise, the show does not cling to the usual character tropes or token characters like the ‘gay best friend’ or the ‘mean girl’. Each character, even the antagonist, has its own significance and the character development they undergo is quite evident throughout. Along with the female characters who are no second fiddle to the men, there is a lot of appreciation for people of color and the LGBTQ community. Even the moms and dads of the characters are the concerned parents who are not okay with their kids running around the town fighting mythical creatures.
Although the supernatural trope is the most prominent theme of the show, recurring themes of human relationships, friendships, coming of age, love, hope, loss, and trauma are also seamlessly incorporated into the plot. This makes the show entertaining, emotional and thought-provoking at the same time.
One cannot help but swoon for the villains even though they could snap your neck like a twig. Apart from the obvious role of pushing the storyline forward, they are the reason our main characters grow in all aspects. The antagonists of the show have powerful backstories and are not conventional evil but realistic and intriguing which leaves the viewers in conflict whether to hate them or to root for them. At least some of them.
Unlike your amateur werewolf movie or show that shows immensely hairy figures howling at the moon, Teen Wolf sets itself apart by combining more than just one werewolf mythology. Moreover, it enlightens us about popular and lesser-known mythological creatures and legends like the Kanima, Banshees, Berserkers, and much more.
Cultural Diversity and Representation
Through the variety of mythological creatures they showcase in the story, Teen Wolf dives deeper into the cultures from which they originate. Celtic mythology of the druids, Berserkers that come from Native American culture, Japanese myth of the Kitsune or the Banshee originating from Irish mythology, each culture is paid appreciation and it’s not for namesake.
The title sequence is one of the things that first catches our eyes when the show starts. The sequence and the title card change with each season. The amount of detail in not just the intro but in the series as a whole depicts the dedication and effort director Jeff Davis (creator of Criminal Minds) has put in.
Right from the first season, there is an immense amount of foreshadowing seeded here and there. Clues are just subtly passed on through images and harmless mentions in dialogues. If you don’t pay attention, you’re bound to miss exciting hints about what’s to come.
Teen Wolf brings together an array of fresh faces along with some popular faces like Tyler Posey (from Maid in Manhattan and Truth or Dare), John Posey, Dylan O Brien (from Maze Runner), and Dylan Sprayberry (from Man of Steel). The beautiful and talented bunch of actors and actresses bring reality and relatability to their characters. Not to mention they are drool-worthy.
The huge community of fans that support and promote the show is certainly one of the main reasons the show was not canceled and it still reigns hearts and minds even after it aired its final episode in 2017. The fandom includes social media sites, discussions, shipping debates, fanfiction, and fanart. They also have some crazy theories cooking.
Fantasy, mystery, mythology, thriller, romance, comedy- you name it, Teen Wolf has it all. No matter the presence of the supernatural, the action, the violence, and the fiction, the crux of the show comes down to human emotions and how people handle them in dark times. It depicts the rawness of those emotions sensitively and maturely whilst keeping the audience thrilled with content that one never anticipates. If you haven’t seen the show yet, why not grab this opportunity to give this underrated gem a try. If you’re someone who’s already seen it, why not rewatch it and buckle up for the movie! That’s right, there’s a movie coming!
About the Author: Anupama Varma is a first-year master’s student at Manipal Institute of Communication. The author has successfully roped her best friends into binge-watching the show and most probably will rewatch it with each person she convinces without a shred of tiredness.