Thursday, June 09, 2011

Guest Blogger Mac Tackles Teen Wolf

I've been waiting for an extraordinary paranormal show since Buffy ended. I got my hopes up for The Gates, for the American version of Being Human, and every time my expectations were dashed. Well, sign me up for one more potential heartbreak, because Teen Wolf looks like it's got the potential to be pretty awesome.

So far, they've shown the one-hour pilot followed the next day by the first 'real' episode. They pleasantly defied my expectations. The pilot did what it had to; at the risk of damning it with faint praise, it performed its necessary and dull task of defining most of the show's parameters adequately. Many main characters were introduced and their relationships were established. They revealed the, for some reason, freezing cold and constantly raining California town of Beacon Hills. And the paraphysics were lightly touched upon (in short, what powers he gets for being a werewolf). It's all done with a laudable degree of organic-ness, and a spoonful-of-sugar's worth of comic relief.

Speaking of, let me introduce you to, in my opinion, the real star of this show: Dylan O'Brien. This guy's acting is what's going to keep me coming back week after week.

Seen here, perfecting his Barack Obama "Staring hopefully into the future" pose.

He plays Stiles, the best friend, son-of-the-sheriff, comic relief and exposition rolled into one. Currently possessed of no supernatural gifts, he nevertheless balances energetic comedy, palatable plot-progression, and in the first two episodes alone, quite a few touching friendly "sidekick" moments. Think Xander and Willow at once. Actually, don't think that. I did, and now it's all I can think about...

Anyway. The show tries to star Tyler Posey as the eponymous Teen Wolf. Shirtless in every preview. I assumed his acting would be wooden, as he clearly exists to be eye-candy. What actually happened… was interesting. As it turns out, I wasn't entirely wrong. He plays the "straight man" for a great deal of the comedy of the show, and he's a natural. Someone wrote him a great many scenes where the appropriate reaction was "confusion" or "blank incomprehension". This person deserves an Emmy. Or possibly a Nobel. Don't get me wrong, Posey has a few scenes where he has to actually act, and he manages to get through them without being hammy (especially the scenes where he's adorably in love). It's just that the producers know what he's good at, and they know how to get it out of him.

Ladies and one-in-ten guys? Is it working?

In conclusion, though I've focused on the characters, the show really has a lot to offer. There are already several mysteries for the main characters to solve, from figuring out the specifics of "being a werewolf" to a good old-fashioned whodunit, as well as many intriguing clues. I can't wait for the next episode to see if any of my guesses are correct.

The show airs on MTV on Mondays at 10pm EST


Maggie Cats said...

Hmm...I might have to check this out. Shirtless teens? Sign me up! And then sign me up for jail.

Monkey Sri said...

Mags, thank god for you. We can always count on you to say the thing we were all thinking, but thought better of bringing up...

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