Teen Wolf: An Extensive Look as to Why the First Five Minutes Are Hard to Get Through but the Everything Else Makes it Worth It
Yeah, that pilot episode is a bit of a doosy to get through. The CGI deer, the mini subplot surrounding an inhaler, Scott hearing little birds singing whenever he sees Allison, creeper!Derek (which ends up being a delightful reoccurring theme) and… well… the idea that you are watching a show about freaking werewolves that everyone has told you will be good but really how is this good it has horrible CGI and it’s on MTV and what actually is this music what the hell.
I was there. I didn’t understand why everyone was making such a big deal about this show. It wasn’t that special. I was ready to drop it and start watching Vampire Diaries because at least that was popular, right? (And now after watching Vampire Diaries, lol knowing what I know about Beacon Hills and all the nods they give to Mystic Falls? Wonderful)
Now look at me - I’m one of those people that makes a big deal about this show.
And let me tell you why. I’ll even use pictures.
(Fanartists, if I used your art, I linked you, but you don’t want me to use it, or want me to use a different link for it, let me know and I’ll remove it/change it, alright? You guys are my heroes and I don’t want to get on your bad side, here.)
…TL;DR? Yeah this turned into a big ole mess of why I love Teen Wolf okay I’m sorry. It also became a little guide to the fandom. Oops.
- That link is a video that is actually on the Season One DVD. You know. The official DVD. Put out by the show itself.
- Pretty girls
- Awesome girls clothes
- Leather jackets everywhere
- Tight shirts and wife beaters on the boys when they are wearing shirts so
- Showcase of pretty awesome stunt work (some done by the cast themselves showing incredible athleticism) including krav ma gra moves and parkour
- Hot Silver Foxes
- Crystal Reed’s neckline alone deserves awards
- Every show says this yeah I know but really
- Their friendship with each other okay
- I JUST WANT ALL THEIR DREAMS TO COME TRUE
- They all have twitters and on them you can scroll around and see just how much they love each other and their show. Many of them post photos of their own, some even live tweet while they are watching an episode.
- Posey, Crystal Reed, Holland Roden, Dylan O’Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Colton Haynes, Gage Golightly, Sinqua Walls, Ian Bohen, JR Bourne, Eaddy Mays, Stephen Lunsford (who also has a tumblr), oh goodness I’m missing someone I know it.
- They genuinely love their show and their characters. And no one loves Derek Hale more than Tyler Hoechlin.
- Plus he’s adorable and his voice doesn’t match your expectations and it’s delightful.
Jeff Davis by himself
- He is a stand in for his actors and he takes care of them.
- He is in control of everything to do with writing and doesn’t have a team of writers just ghost writing for him.
- Is very active online and on twitter and is very aware of fans and fandom.
- He gives “Teen Wolf Trivia” on his twitter all the time, as well as insight, answers questions, and posts behind the scene photos.
(And yep, that’s Jeff Davis.)
- LOOK AT HIS WRITING it’s wonderful and it keeps getting better and the show just keeps getting deeper and alsjdf
- When DirectTV dropped MTV, he bought 500 fans with DirectTV the episode on iTunes.
Fandom and Meta
- The Fandom is actually a breath of fresh air.
- Meta is commonplace and all meta is usually accepted and loved. There is even a wonderful meta tumblr for all your meta needs. And it’s not just “I wanna talk about this show,” (while there is some out there and it’s just as loved) it’s smart meta, well thought out meta, has links and sources meta.
- Here are some of my favorite metas:
- It’s all about the Trust
- The Sterek bit that was quoted by other articles
- Shameless self promotion
that Jeff Davis himself called brilliant
- Colors and Symbolism
- This fandom is smart. The show, I think, makes us want to be. Makes us want to think on our feet, wants us to try to figure out what’s going on. It doesn’t assume that we are all mindless teenagers sitting on our phones while we watch MTV. It assumes we are smart and can keep up and then takes off sprinting.
- We are also smart enough to realize that some things are problematic. We discuss them and groan over them and defend them and shame them. It’s a wonderful little world and I never want to leave.
- We like each other. For the most part, when we argue, it’s well thought out and sourced. And then, when there is still a disagreement, it’s a mutual understanding that it is and that’s that. Yesterday I saw someone lose their cool, and then later apologized that they did. We’re a nice fandom. For the most part. All fandoms have bad eggs and bad moments, but Teen Wolf’s fandom is doing so well so far omggg. This is coming from a girl that’s been apart of fandoms for over a decade. This is literally the best fandom I’ve been apart of and I was an active Browncoat.
Fanart and Fanfiction and Shipping
- The fanart for this show alone (not just for a pairing but for the show) deserves a small display gallery so here we go. Let’s go with some of my favs kay?
(apparently you can get this on a shirt omg)
And my fav:
Basically kreugan’s entire Teen Wolf Art Tag
- There is also the Teen Wolf Fan Art Tumblr so check that out okay? This fandom already has so much ~good~ fanart that it rivals some well established fandoms with years and years on their belt and we are only on season two.
- The fic, while there isn’t enough long fic, is incredibly good. Bad fic is actually rare in this fandom. Chances are, unless you are really, really picky about how you like your fic, you’re gonna find something that breaks your heart and warms your soul. There are so many good short fics and one shots that are written beautifully man, just wait until the season is over when the fic writing starts up unf. Also, there are quite a few rec lists floating around out there.
- I’ll probably find a few for you before I post this because I’m like that.
- Yep here I go. These are rec lists in my bookmarks so. Keep in mind there are SO MANY MORE out there. (Wow a rec list for rec lists wow)
- Derek/Stiles season one list
- Another season one list
- Smutty list
- Another Derek/Stiles list oops
- A list that looks at different characters and ships and pack and also looks at fandom as a whole so that’s cool.
- And another one for good measure.
I’m sure those lists have lots of repeats but meh
- While not everyone does it, multishipping is just so EASY on this show.
- This post sums that last bullet point up nicely.
- The Big Ship (with capital letters) is Stiles/Derek (Sterek), which most people assume the show is about before they start watching the show simply because it has the highest volume of fans and activity. And there is plenty of discourse (god is that right word?) on WHY it should become canon and PROOF it’s going to happen and isn’t going to happen floating around out there on the interwebs.
- The Cast and Crew are aware of shipping, mtv’s Tumblr saying that they love Sterek (thank you for the link werewolfhugs), cast members rec shipping fanvids, Jeff Davis responds to shipping polls, and they even poke at the shipping side of fandom with a sharp stick they’ve named PUN INTENDED.
- Point is, they are actively aware of fandom and, for the first time in my fandom life, the show isn’t scared to have conversations with the fandom.
- (Not fans like individual fans, but the fandom. Yes, there is fan-service and fan-service is a thing, but this show delivers that in the form of folks taking off their clothes, not story lines the fans want to see like some shows do. This show is talking to the fandom like they are an adult they have a friendship with instead of the kid that they babysit once a week for an hour. It’s like they are in a relationship with the fandom, rather than just putting up with the fandom. It feels a lot like Firefly/Serenity days where we (we being the show and the fandom) took care of each other. Fans showed support, show delivered. It’s a nice, symbiotic relationship.)
Which leads me to:
- The Hunt, an interactive facebook game, is actually a wonderful insight into characters and a great way to pass the wait for a new episode. It gives you just enough of a fix to get you through the week.
- The Offical Twitter and Tumblr (run by the same, amazing, anonymous person) seems like they are One of Us when it comes to fandom and they understand general fandom vocabulary and makes gifs. They post gifs during the show. They are my favorite thing about the fandom right now, ngl.
- The Official Website is actually a giant fangirl.
- MTV advertises the shit out of it. Watching the channel at night is a great way to fall asleep because it’s mindless television. But just about every hour there is a commercial about Teen Wolf. Preview of the next episode, a commercial about The Hunt, SOMETHING. That is such a switch from fandoms like, say, Supernatural.
The Genre and how it breaks it’s genre’s rules
- It’s about werewolves (duh) with a deep and wonderful back story and mythology that just makes you want to roll around in it it’s so good.
- While it’s a genre, it has real life consequences like Matt being called out for being a stalker instead of a hopeless romantic, Stiles’ dad losing his job because of Stiles’ delinquency, and Scott facing the real possibility of being held back a grade because he’s been so focused on being a werewolf that his grades have fallen drastically. Things like this just doesn’t happen in other genre shows. Most recently for me, it’s Vampire Diaries. They literally SKIP SCHOOL ALL THE TIME on that show and they are fine, academically speaking. Just no.
- The “Supernatural Romance” is there, but in a way that’s refreshing. And THERE ISN’T A TRIANGLE like in so many teenage supernatural romances.
- The characters aren’t one sided. Each character has depth. Every single one of them. They aren’t cookie cutter stereotypes like you see in supernatural shows and movies. You end up caring about each of these character’s emotions and outcomes.
- And then there is the whole “sexism and homophobia don’t exist” thing.
- I’m going to quote Jeff Davis here:
"I’m trying to create a world where there’s no racism, there’s no sexism, there’s no homophobia. And I know it’s not real life, but I kinda don’t care. I’d like to create a world where none of that matters, you have the supernatural creatures for that to work as an analogy. In my mind, if you can create a world like that on tv, maybe life starts to imitate it. That’s important to me. I think there are other shows that are better equipped to deal with serious topics. We’re doing werewolves in high school."
- Just. Sigh. It’s so wonderful I’ve lost my words.
- Because that’s what he’s created.
- I mean, the women and ladies are another story but the homophobia. Does. Not. Exist.
- There are so many examples of this. Danny, an openly and canonically gay character is loved by everyone, even the jerk jock Jackson. Scott isn’t scared to push him down, smell him, and then compliment his cologne. Then you have Stiles being almost upset that his father said he wasn’t gay. (“I could be!”) and becoming friends with the drag queens from the club. The girls raising their hands to be Erica’s partner in chemistry. I mean.
- Other people have discussed this better than I have so I’ll stop because I’ll just butcher it.
Film Nerd Stuff
- This show is gorgeous
- I’d show you but I’m getting tired and I don’t wanna screen shot.
- I might edit this later so it has that.
- Oops didn’t happen.
- Deep Symbolism in everything from colors and props to names and camera angles.
- And meta to go along with it.
- There is blood and gore. If you like that sort of thing. I mean, people are being shot, stabbed, torn up, cut in half, ripped in half, burned alive, walking around half burnt, I mean it really is gory.
- The portrayal of women is just beyond refreshing. You have teenage girls that are fighting for their boyfriend’s lives - not their attention. They are all confident in their bodies and their genders. They live in a world where sexism doesn’t exist, and it shows.
"Can’t I be strong, and go to prom?"
- I wrote all about the ladies once so instead of repeating myself I’m just gonna link you.
- The Argents and hunters are led by ~women.
- Female characters are important to the plot and character development even when they aren’t there. (Laura Hale and Stiles’ mother being prime examples.)
(and whoa shipping feelings but I won’t get into that here okay oops)
- Female characters can be the villains without being cackly Cruella DeVills. They (And I’m thinking Kate and Mama Argent rn) are protective of (well Allison) the ones they love and believe that their actions are the true, pure, and right actions. And yet, you still love them because they are they way that they are.
(Man, I wish we could have seen the two of them interact goddamn it.)
Now, there are some problems
- The CGI get’s a little bit better but it doesn’t get much worse.
- “It’s an animal attack!” gets old, but I love that the Sheriff is on the same wavelength.
- Stiles, while a perfect angel, isn’t actually perfect. I know I just contradicted myself. He’s got a lot of problems and some people claim he has Nice Guy Syndrome and he calls people with mental issues “wackjobs” (it was once! and they guy is close to his breaking point, so… he gets a pass for that from me THIS TIME) Point is, he’s a flawed character and a sixteen year old boy. And he’s still my favorite so.
- There are portrayals of child abuse and torture and statutory rape. All of which are actually handled pretty well (?) There are no episode warnings for it, but if these things really get to you, you can ask fandom and fandom will help you out in avoiding it. Which I love.
- The students at Beacon Hills, while super great about things like sexuality, gender, and race, are actually really horrible. They laugh at the epileptic girl, they fail to save the guy in the pool that is screaming “I CAN’T SWIM!!!” They suck and I want to smack them over the head while singing “I can fix you” gently while I tuck them in for bed and lock their windows because they live in a very dangerous little town.
- Every time a question gets answered, a thousand more questions pop up.
I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT TEEN WOLF CAN YOU TELL AND I DIDN’T EVEN GO INTO THE CHARACTERS OR THE PLOT OKAY
Sometimes I think I need a life beyond television, but then I realize that would mean I’d have to socialize with people without a computer keyboard as a buffer and then I’m perfectly okay with television being one of my best friends.
/finished and I’m sorry I’m going to go hide under a blanket now bye.