By The Madrina
Thanks to Fox Home Entertainment, we had the chance to see Teen Wolf Season 1 on DVD.
Produced by Jeff Davis (the man behind Criminal Minds), Teen Wolf tells the story of a 16 year old Scott McCall, who after an adventure into the forest with his best friend one night, was bitten by a werewolf, kick starting a chain of events which involves physical transformation, social drama, love life turmoil, identity crisis and family secrecy. Though possessing traits of any supernatural teenage shows, ‘it is really well thought out and the good-looking kids (cast) can actually act.’ (New York Post)
Inspired by the 1985 film of the same name (a comedy starring Michael J. Fox), this TV show version has a darker, sexier and edgier feel with a greater emphasis on romance, horror and the mythology of werewolves. The humor is still there, serving as the icing on the cake of the horror premise which this show takes, much like the popular high-school-thriller predecessor Buffy The Vampire Slayer. So there is a fair amount of violence and gruesome images in the series including a dead body torn in half, flashbacks of people being burnt alive, fight scenes resulting in death or grievous wounds and hallucinations of torture. It may be a handful to watch at times but it always focuses on the subject matter at hand, not wandering off into cheesy territories or absurd scenarios as the likes of Twilight.
Tyler Posey plays Scott McCall, a dorky student suddenly turned popular thanks to his new powers which elevated his position in the lacrosse team, earning admiration from peers and attracting the attention of the beautiful Allison Argent (Crystal Reed). With the help of his best friend Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) who found out about the secret, Scott is able to cope with the changes as a werewolf, all the while tackling his rival Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes) and a mysterious pack member Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin). Tension and suspense builds in each episode, harboring more secrets along the way, until we are led to the final battle which solves a cold case to conclude Season One.
The cast share a great chemistry together, whether as couples, friends, rivals, families or enemies. Furthermore, beneath their pretty looks, they are able to portray a sense of ‘there is more than that meets the eye’, making you doubt the motive and nature of every character. For the werewolves, we find the human presentation and transformation quite agreeable, not as ludicrous (like an E.T!) as in Harry Potter or as vulgar as in Twilight (take-off-your-shirt-and-change!). On the other hand, all the female leads have strong personalities and distinguished vulnerabilities which are refreshing to the eye, moving away from the tiresome damsel-in-distress and I-can’t-live-without-you types. But most of all, we are impressed with the fact that the romance element never overtakes the horror side or conflict aspect of the show, staying true to what it sets out to be about: teenagers becoming wolves.
The DVD is full of special features such as Deleted, Alternate and Extended scenes, Extended Episode and Gag Reel, Cast and Crew Commentary, Love Bites (Exploration into the human-wolves romance), Following The Pack (The Werewolf Mythology), Red Carpet moments and of course, for the pleasure of ladies, Shirtless Montage! It also looks at the music and soundtrack composed by Dino Meneghin who captures the pace of the show, creating an eerie, exciting, animalistic and haunting atmosphere throughout. And we must say, some songs (like the closing number) are very catchy, representative of the musical style of the Teen Wolf generation, somewhat cool, alternative, emo, acoustic and slick
As one critic puts it perfectly about the show, ‘werewolves, pretty girls, dumb bullies and lacrosse, what more, really, could you ask of high school?’ (Or in reality’s case, teenage supernatural drama!)
Teen Wolf Season 1 is now available in Australia on DVD and Blu-Ray