TEEN WOLF: SEASON 2
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Tyler Posey as SCOTT MCCALL
Crystal Reed as ALLISON ARGENT
Dylan O’Brien as STILES STILINSKI
Tyler Hoechlin as DEREK HALE
Holland Roden as LYDIA MARTIN
Created by: Jeff Davis
Studio: 20th Century Fox
BY KEVIN CARR
The biggest hurdle “Teen Wolf” the series had to overcome with me wasn’t my incomprehensible love for the cheesy 1985 Michael J. Fox vehicle (or my undying attraction to the not-quite-nerd character of Boof) but rather distancing itself from the “Twilight” franchise in a world when everything of this ilk is trying to align itself with it.
For the most part, “Teen Wolf” is not trying to be a “Twilight” knock-off. That was clear enough in its first season. However, the beefcake exposure element to the show has ramped up in its second season with its ridiculous opening credits sequence. Still, the love triangle aspect hasn’t been used as a crutch for the show, and that’s one of the greatest ways to emerge from the supernatural teen romance quagmire.
Still, “Teen Wolf” isn’t entirely original. It mirrors – almost too much – the overall storyline for “The Vampire Diaries” and tries to be a basic cable version of “True Blood” with werewolves. Of course, this sort of formula works, which is why Netflix tried to launch its own entry into the genre with “Hemlock Grove” (which is far inferior to any of the aforementioned television shows).
In the second season of “Teen Wolf,” things escalate quite a bit, and I give the show credit for grounding itself in (sometimes) realistic human emotion. There are victims throughout the season, but the randomness of them has been toned down. When someone dies (and believe me, some of the important characters do bit the dust in season two), they are not lost with no emotional fanfare.
The storyline continues with Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) dealing with his newfound abilities as a werewolf. He reluctantly works with Derek (Tyler Hoechlin), an alpha wolf who is building his own pack. His relationship is strained to the breaking point with Allison (Crystal Reed), whose family of werewolf hunters put her at odds with young lupine love.
However, as we get farther into the season, the shift of the story goes towards an overall villain that eventually inspires some tenuous cooperation with the wolf pack and the hunters. This comes in the form of a mysterious monster that starts terrorizing the town, a giant lizard creature known as a Kanima. Several episodes are devoted to discovering this thing exists, then a couple more discovering who it actually is, then finally a handful devoted to defeating it.
Sure, the season goes a bit off the rails when this becomes “Teen Lizard” rather than “Teen Wolf,” but it still offers some nice entries into adolescent episodic television. And, probably the biggest plus about the series as a whole, it’s one of the better live-action series that MTV has put together recently. With terrible shows like “The Hard Times of RJ Berger” and “Skins,” “Teen Wolf” is good enough to make you forget that it’s on the same network.
As a television show, “Teen Wolf” is fodder for the teenage spirit. It has the drama and the relationships, and it also has a dark edge that makes it fun to watch beyond a teen soap opera. Are the kids getting a little too old for their characters? Not yet, but they will be. In the mean time, this is a show that the target market can enjoy.
The three-disc DVD set includes all 12 episodes of the season. The special features offer some nice bonuses, which is nice for a series that can burn out in the behind-the-scenes department. In fact, there’s better special features than the previous season, which is impressive.
Additional bonus material include the “Teen Wolf” appearance at Paleyfest 2012, a CGI gag reel, a fight choreography reel, a regular gag reel and another shirtless montage for the ladies (and gay men) out there. Standard features include audio commentary on three episodes and an assortment of alternate, deleted and extended scenes, plus some alternative takes from everyone’s favorite sidekick, Stiles. Finally, to get up to speed with the new characters from this season, there’s “Teen Wolves: Meet the New Pack.”