Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cinema Saturday



Teen Wolf: Season One
MGM Television
May 22, 2012
12 episodes; 522 minutes (3 discs)
IMDb; DVD; Amazon Instant Video
starring: Tyler Posey, Crytal Reed, Colton Haynes


Developed as a series for MTV by the creator of CBS's Criminal Minds, Teen Wolf is a redo of the 1980s Michael J Fox movie of the same name. The TV series, however, is not a remake of the movie, it only follows the same basic premise: a teenage boy turns into a werewolf and has to deal with it.

In the TV show, which is about to start its second season on June 3rd (in a special premiere after the MTV Movie Awards, regular airings are Mondays, beginning the 4th, at 10/9c), Scott (Tyler Posey) is attacked by a werewolf. The 1985 movie is a comedy, the series more of a drama.

Teen Wolf is very cleverly written. It's almost a shame that it's on MTV because some people might miss have missed it or written it off because of some of MTV's reality programming. Teen Wolf is a teen show but it's less soapy and cheesy just about every CW show on right now. The teenagers don't feel like someone writing teens who can say, do, be the most in 42-ish minutes for maximum effect.  It's definitely an amazing summertime, fun show but it's also, actually, really good.

Allison (Crystal Reed) and her story have an interesting story line that just seems rife for somethign to blow up and become trouble for several someones; Stiles (Dylan O'Brien) is probably my favorites, funniest best friend since Landy Clark (Jesse Plemons) on Friday Night Lights. I think the only character/actor I don't really like is the coach (Orny Adams).

Teen Wolf's werewolves are noticeably less hairy and animal-y than those in other current, popular movies and shows MTV's series aims to keep their werewolves sexy at all times - even when they're not quite human looking or acting.

There is a lot more of the upside to Scott's being bitten, at least at first. The Teen Wolf movie focused on the characters struggle between the benefits and the curse that came alongside them, the TV show does seem to more heavily emphasize the good . . . but that doesn't mean the angst isn't still there.

The CGI in the first episode is pretty bad. It either gets less used and/or better later on though because I didn't take as much note of it. The make-up and stunts were much better - and also seemed to improve as the show progressed.


The filming itself does an excellent job mixing 'horror' with 'teen show,' the long dark shots of isolated locations followed by someone all alone, etc. when things need that edge of creepiness but well bright, well lit places for the daytime, other side of the story scenes. The show really does a great job mixing the werewolf story with Scott trying to be a normal teenager trying to get through high school, get a girlfriend and be on the lacrosse team.


DVD Note:

The DVD is also 'musically altered,' meaning some of the songs on the DVD release are different than those that played during the episodes when they aired. (I know why this happened when they got rights to for broadcast versions of stuff but didn't know about DVD releases, not sure why it happens now when DVDs are basically a given.) While I didn't see the episodes as they aired, the music now seems just great.

It also features an extended season finale!



(Thank you to ThinkJam for my copy of the DVDs.)

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