TEEN WOLF: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
When a film series like “Twilight” (which I still refuse to call a saga for obvious non-saga reasons) rips apart the box office year after year and gobbles up all the MTV Movie Awards, it’s inevitable that there will be rip-off attempting to cash in on its popularity. The fortunate thing is that with the “Twilight” series being so dreadfully, horribly written, often the rip-offs end up being better products.
HBO knocked it out of the park with “True Blood,” and the CW has a nice little supernatural romance on its hands with “The Vampire Diaries.” It was only a matter of time before MTV threw its hat into the ring.
Described as a “reimagining” (read as: totally reworked based on name only) of the cheesy 80s film “Teen Wolf” (which itself is a remake of the cheesy 50s film “I Was a Teenage Werewolf”), “Teen Wolf” offers a better story than “Twilight” but turns into a male-centric version of “The Vampire Diaries” with fewer monsters.
The story follows Sean, a struggling high school student who is bitten by a werewolf. As he changes into a werewolf himself, he discovers new powers and abilities. He also finds new confidence to find a girlfriend (whose family happens to be the local werewolf hunters… go figure) and learns about the new society of lycanthropes he is now a part of.
Where the original films presented lycanthrope as a metaphor for adolescence, “Teen Wolf” goes for a more straightforward teen angst action drama. I can get behind that, and I applaud the series for not overcrowding the screen with additional monsters like vampires, witches, zombies and the like (an annoyance of the other modern teen monster shows).
Though not a fantastic show, “Teen Wolf” shows some positive growth by MTV, which is bogged down with godawful reality programming. After utter disasters like “The Hard Time of R.J. Berger” and “Skins,” it’s nice to see a well-made show that actually tries something consistent and entertaining… even if it does feel derivative of “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries.”
In addition to the twelve Season One episodes of the series, the DVD set includes behind-the-scenes and cast commentary on select episodes and an extended version of the season finale. There’s a slate of deleted and extended scenes as well as a standard gag reel. Behind-the-scenes featurettes include “Meet the Cast of Teen Wolf” and “Love Bites!” Finally, there’s an utterly vacuous look at the cast hitting the red carpet and the “Shirtless Montage” featuertte that panders to the “Twilight” crowd a little too much.