Teen Wolf is an American television series that currently airs on MTV, and in re-runs on TeenNick. It is based on the 1985 film of the same name. The series premiered on June 5, 2011, following the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. The series follows Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), a high school student and social outcast who is bitten by a werewolf while looking for a dead girl in the woods. Scott attempts to maintain a normal life, keeping the fact of his being a werewolf secret from everyone, with the exception of his best friend “Stiles” Stilinski (Dylan O’Brien), who helps him through the changes in his life and body, and another mysterious werewolf, Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin). The second season premiered on June 3, 2012 after 2012 MTV Movie Awards. On July 12th, 2012, Teen Wolf was renewed for a 3rd season which will include 24 episodes.
The series received a generally positive response from critics, earning a score of 61 out of 100 on review site Metacritic. The show’s premiere drew in a total of 2.18 million viewers. The show has been renewed for a second season. In the UK and Ireland, it airs on Sky Living (one of the few series produced for MTV not to be shown on MTV UK), in Australia on Fox8, in Asia on BeTV, in India and Pakistan on Animax and in Canada on MuchMusic.
The series revolves around social outcast Scott McCall, a young lacrosse-playing student at Beacon Hills High. His life drastically changes when he is bitten by a werewolf one night, making him a werewolf as well. With the help of his best friend, Stiles, his girlfriend, Allison, and the mysterious werewolf, Derek, he is forced to learn to balance his newfound identity among the many dangers that it presents with his teenage life. He must keep his loved ones safe and balance the relationships and secrets he shares with each person around him. The theme of “finding your place” is a prevalent undertone that is mirrored by the pack mentality of werewolves.
Development & Production
In June 2009, MTV announced that they would be adapting Teen Wolf into a new television series “with a greater emphasis on romance, horror and werewolf mythology”. This is the second television adaptation of the film. An animated version aired on CBS from 1986–87. Australian director Russell Mulcahy directed the pilot presentation and serves as executive producer and in-house director. MTV’s Teen Wolf became a re-imagining of the Michael J. Fox film from 1985 with the creator and executive producer, Jeff Davis developing a darker, sexier and edgier version than the original. Davis’ desire was to make a thriller with comedic overtones with a tone more similar to that of the The Lost Boys. Once the show was a go, Davis lined up Mulcahy, who added the horror to the project. According to Davis, it all started with an idea to do a homage to Stand by Me, in the beginning, where the kids go out and search for a body in the woods and it’s not quite what they expect. On the werewolf look they went for something a little more Pan’s Labyrinth. Guillermo Del Toro’s creatures were an inspiration, describing them as beautiful, elegant and scary, at the same time.
Casting announcements were all announced in December 2010, with the main cast being, Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Tyler Hoechlin, Dylan O’Brien, Holland Roden and Colton Haynes. Posey was cast as the lead Scott McCall, a dorky high-school student who after being bitten by a werewolf, starts to notice changes in himself, Reed playing Allison Argent, a sweet new girl at school who is immediately attracted to Scott, Hoechlin playing Derek Hale, a handsome local boy who in fact is a vicious and predatory werewolf, O’Brien playing Stiles, Scott’s best friend and the show’s comic relief, Roden playing Lydia Martin, Jackson Whittemore’s popular and controlling girlfriend, and Haynes playing Jackson Whittemore, Scott’s lacrosse teammate and rival.
Production on twelve episodes began in October 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. MTV released a sneak peek of the first eight minutes of the pilot on their website, on May 31, 2011. Teen Wolf episodes are composed by music composer Dino Meneghin. In June 2012, the series received conditional approval for a California film and TV tax credit. At Comic-Con 2012, the cast confirmed that the show had been renewed for a longer third season, comprising of twenty four episodes.
The series has generated a generally positive response from professional critics, with some praising it as better quality when compared to other shows by MTV. According to Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the show holds an average score of 61 out of 100, which indicates “Generally favorable reviews”, based on fourteen reviews. Metacritic also lists the show as the second-highest rated MTV series by professional critics behind Awkward. Linda Stasi, a writer from the New York Post, awarded the series’ premiere a perfect score, stating, “Not only is it really well thought out, but the good-looking kids in the show can actually act.” Verne Gay from Newsday also reserved high praise for the show, calling it a “winner and best of all, fun.” David Hinckley of New York Daily News commented favorably on the series, ending his review with “Werewolves, pretty girls, dumb bullies and lacrosse. What more, really, could you ask of high school?”
Some critics had a less positive reaction toward the first episode. Troy Patterson from Slate gave it a mixed review, referring to it as “light and passably witty supernatural drama.”James Poniewozik from Time magazine also had mixed feelings towards the show, saying, “The pilot isn’t bad, exactly—it’s well-paced if a little dour in spots and there’s some decent CW-esque banter—but it’s pretty much entirely what I would have expected from any supernatural teen drama”.
Following the first season finale in August 2011, Ian Grey of indieWire gave the series a positive reviewand Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity named it the third best new show of the summer. BuddyTV ranked Teen Wolf #4 on its list of 2011′s best new TV shows.