MTV’s new ‘Teen Wolf’ bites
June 6th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

MTV’s new ‘Teen Wolf’ bites

Waves of zombies and vampires have inundated pop culture in recent years, so it makes sense that werewolves could be the next big thing. (Some have already popped up on a few of those vampire-driven properties.)

MTV looks to be getting ahead of the curve… by turning to a franchise that’s more than 25 years old: “Teen Wolf.”

The new series focuses on a high school student named Scott who transforms into a werewolf and whose best friend is named Stiles. If you’re looking for any similarities beyond that between this show and the 1985 Michael J. Fox movie, you won’t find any.

Instead of basketball, Scott plays lacrosse. His rival is a teammate, not an opponent. Rather than working at a family-owned hardware store, he works at an animal clinic (of COURSE the guy turning into a werewolf works at an animal clinic). And sadly, there is not a single character named “Boof” anywhere to be seen.

The most drastic difference, though, is in how Scott becomes a werewolf in the first place. In the movie, it was hereditary. His father was a werewolf, and it struck Scott as he came of age, turning the entire story into a metaphor for teenage maturation and transformation. Plus, having family in the same situation offered a safe guide for the changes Scott was going through.

In the new MTV series, Scott’s family has nothing to do with it. He’s bitten out in the woods by another werewolf; basically, he’s the victim of an attack. Plus, Derek, the werewolf who bites Scott, knows that there are hunters trying to track down the werewolves (sorry, lycanthropes, because every teenager knows that word), so he’s effectively turned Scott’s life into one of continuous threats. And THAT’S Scott’s guide to this new world? How comforting!

There’s always room for a new show to grow, and in this one’s case, I hope it can, because the premiere was underwhelming at best.

The cast is filled with very pretty people who aren't very good actors. (I stopped counting how many times they came up with an excuse for Scott to be shirtless.) Every plot twist is telegraphed, and there is an annoying lack of attention to detail in the script. It’s California in August or September, but students wear winter coats and hats to watch lacrosse practice? It’s the first day of school, but a teacher’s lesson starts on page 133? (At least the book the class is starting on is Kafka’s “Metamorphosis.” One point for cleverness.)

All that being said, there’s a good chance this show will find an audience and maybe even lead the next big trend in pop culture monster-dom. And I don’t have a problem with MTV launching a werewolf show, per se, but why use the title "Teen Wolf"? The title holds no cache for younger audiences, which is who I assume MTV is targeting with this show, and this version comes off like a werewolf spin on “Twilight” or “The Vampire Diaries.”

If the hope was to lure in fans of the original movie - ahem, like myself - based purely on the title, it’s a bait-and-switch.

Ultimately, this series is a typical MTV show about high school students who struggle with high school things, wrapped around some fantastic plot device. And that’s fine. People who enjoy those shows will enjoy this one, too. But could you not sully my memories of what the title “Teen Wolf” means in the process?

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. i LOVE this show!

    i have never seen the original so i cannot compare...but i also dont really like old movies. i watch this religiously and i LOVE IT!!! i also love twilight and vampire diaries. yes, the acting could be a little better, but overal i think the story line is great and the men are yummy 🙂 i really hope this show continues!!

    August 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Name*Brian

    Can't believe scotts chick allison is going to get with that jackson guy what a hoe already don't wanna watch anymore why can't a chick stand by her man that's why your shows don't last.

    July 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. duane

    I disagree. Find the show far more watchable than Vampires Diaries, though that may have something to do with the plethora of vampires on tv lately. I ddnt think the actors were half bad eitha, n the scary bits were actually scary. Just please don't add vampires later on

    June 28, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Niko

    The alpha is scotts DAD

    June 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gah

    it definitely seems like they are targeting Twi-fans who will have nothing to do once the final 2 movies are finished.

    i'm not in that demographic

    June 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joshua Ludd

    MTV... just as out of touch as ever.

    June 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Yoyis

    don't you think this looks like Twilight ?

    June 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. debbiecakes7

    you spelled teenagers wrong lol

    June 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thread

    It isn't to say people can't like a cheesy 2-dimensional story but SCREW YOU MTV for taking a dump on another of my childhood memories. Empty stories with sqee-button concepts (stares at legions of Glitter!vamp fans) are like spaghetti-O's. We loved them as kids but when our tastes mature we realized we were taking in cardboard and calling it cocaine. Teen Wolf wasn't high art, it was campy schlock that in no way took itself seriously and we knew it as such. MTV, change the name, you really pulled a crap move with the intentional bait and switch.

    June 19, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. jq

    It's actually quite entertaining. I'm so sick of all the hater comments and criticizers of everything...especially if you haven't even seen it. As far as having better things to do than watch the don't, if you're bothering to comment here.

    June 19, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mexapino

    What ever happened to good old shows where regular humans entertained us?
    Why do we now have to be ware wolves, vampires or super human in order for us to find it appealing or entertaining.? I was channel surfing and ran across this "Teen wolf premiere". i was not impressed, i would call this new show a rip off of the Twilight franchise. The acting was mediocre but i guess that is no longer required as long as you have a "pretty face and body". I'm sure that just as in music, being able to actually "sing" is not a requisite, artists seem to find an audience and I'm sure this "new show" will find an audience composed of people who will settle for these types of shows.

    June 16, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Garry

    I actually liked it......

    June 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dekota

    i think it awesome if u dnt freak u hahaha

    June 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim Dandey

    So it sucks? Really!? What were you expecting...

    June 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hi!

    I liked when MTV's non-music programming consisted of shows like Aeon Flux and Daria. I even caught Real World and Road Rules every now and again. But this switch to nothing but reality TV and teeny bopper programming is just ridiculous. Yes I know I can turn to MTV Jams or MTV2 when I want to see music videos. But when you have the word "music" in your name, you'd think SOME of the programming would be about music. Maybe do a reality show following around a music act on tour on something. Come on!

    June 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  16. NeilSeattle

    I assume that's supposed to be 'cachet' for younger audiences. Sigh. Video may have killed the radio star, but un-proofread internet posts are slowly killing the English language.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  17. i like Teen Wolf

    wow some of you guys are IDIOTS! Teen Wolf is an AWESOME show get over yourselves

    June 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  18. kasey

    Could they do a publicity poster any closer to Twilight? Plus, these people are not attractive at all. The look scuzzy and geeky. Please, stop the madness. Get some originality.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Potential

    Buffy could dust these pretty geeks in a hot-minute.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mark McKee

    It's fun to watch the Star Wars generation getting old & crochety. You were still sucking on your fudgesicles when I remember thinking how MJ Foxs' Teen Wolf was sullying the memory of Michael Landon's "I Was a Teenage Werewolf". Time to start clipping your nose & ear hairs. Totally Rad!!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Adrian

    You know I really don't look at or like the teeny crap. I did however like this one .. I was watching the MTV Movie Awartds and watched it by chance, and it was good to me.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  22. justin edwards

    I actually enjoyed the premiere... its not bad... i have low expectations i guess as I love Vampire Diaries and a lot of shows most people call "fluff" or whatever. I will give the show a chance as I like anything supernatural...Im very easily pleased ** I LIKE SHINY THINGS* I guess its a consequence of being Generation X I will enjoy it and everyone else will continue to complain..I dont care, I will watch it

    June 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Mark Twain

    To Steve:

    "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in a San Francisco...." -Samuel Longhorn Clemens

    June 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Steve

    If you've been in the Bay Area in September you'll notice kids wearing hats and scarves. No traditional weather here

    June 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Jon R.

    The first Teen Wolf was nothing to have good memories about. In short, it sucked. This one is far better. I enjoyed it a lot, and I hope it succeeds. It's in the vein of Vampire Diaries, not that Twilight crap.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Rusty Trombone

    MTV is putting out one big "Turd Burger" after another.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Robert


    Show of hands for people that can remember when MTV played only music videos?

    June 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  28. J

    I think the writer of this article hasn't given this show a chance. Also, p133? A teacher, who wants to focus on a specific story on the first day of class, might actually direct students to go to a page that isn't page 1. In fact, many teachers create lesson plans that jump around a textbook and focus on on certain stories.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  29. zhac

    No thanks. I have better things to do.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  30. beenz

    MTV's new slogan: No music. Ever.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  31. C

    I was more than a little annoyed that MTV decided to take a giant steaming crap all over Teen Wolf with a lame Twilight-like version of one of my favorite 80s movies. I did give it a shot but after about 5 minutes the horrible acting and worse writting became to painful to try to watch and I changed it. Hopefully MTV puts this show to rest quickly so I can pretend Teen Wolf Too was the only thing to ruin the Teen Wolf name, lol.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  32. T3chsupport

    The M in MTV used to stand for Music.
    Now it stands for Meh.

    June 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  33. the punisher

    Once again MTV loses its way! Where is the MUSIC????? More crap!

    June 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  34. marc

    you totally had me until u had a little insult about "vampire diaries" that show is amazing........

    June 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Oscar the Grouch

    Serous faced block headed white kids...standard MTV show.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Greebo

    Wow, that photo is busted. Look at the guy on the right, why is his head so disproportionate? Oh well, order up! Your tripe is ready...

    June 6, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  37. Arny

    Maybe it depends on the font, but Metamorphosis isn't even 133 pages long.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  38. EricLr

    You're criticizing a show on MTV for having a pretty cast that can't act and dumb scripts?

    Hello, you must be new here...

    June 6, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  39. Dean

    The only good show MTV currently airs is Fantasy Factory. I still think that if MTV actually started airing music videos again, they would draw just as much viewership and give the younger generation a greater appreciation for today's music.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |

      You're assuming that MTV would play music with any value. Most of the radio friendly crap that's around for tennagers now is regurgitated pop crap that just steals from good music that came before it. I would prefer MTV to actually bring back music too, but it would never be done properly...stick with radio internet stations and seek out new bands that don't get the recognition they deserve.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Drop Zone

    Thanks MTV for messing something goo up once again. I, like the writer, remember and enjoyed the Teen Wolf movie, and now you ahve to mess it up like you did music television.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Where's the "LIKE" button??? This is so true and so very irritating. Can I get paid to create "new" series based on shows/movies I watched while growing up? I don't have any ideas, but I sure watched a lot of TV, so I'm sure something could be remade for a buck. =P

      June 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Dru

    Hard to imagine MTV produced another round of teeny bopper crap, because thats never happened before. Seriously, MTV has been a joke for the last 20 years with the only thing of merit I can remember watching was Beavis and Butthead.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • kim

      MTV has become famous for yet again...Turd Polishing.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      My MTV favorite was Sifl n Olly. I'm not sure though if stoner sock puppets was the peak of their creative programming, or the beginning of the end, cuz they went severely downhill from there.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Pat C.

    Ho Humm.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  43. SuperDuperMan

    So this show is pretty much teen mom but with wolves? Sounds badass

    June 6, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Greebo

      MTV USED to air some amazingly innovative stuff. Anyone remember Liquid Television? Pretty much the precursor to Adult Swim... Yeah, no one invests in innovation anymore, or when they do it's only after the intellectual property has sitting on the shelf for years collecting dust. Watch...they'll make a movie of The Max in about 5 years...

      June 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Saboth

      Teen Mom: every episode ever: Teen thinks baby is cute, lives with mom and dad, can't hold a job. BF says he'll be there forever, but splits after a week. Girl wants to go to the big dance, but can't find a babysitter. Girl cries: "this is harder than I thought".

      There, I just saved you hundreds of hours of watching TV. Well, since it is MTV, I just saved you about 25 hours of watching tv and 300 hours of watching commercials.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bishop Eddie Longs Koon Skin Cap

      This show is a real turd muncher.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ronald

      this is a horrible show!!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Warstar

      Greebo- one can only hope that The Maxx would ever hit the big would be amazing! Of course I am referring to the one MTV originally aired- the one released on home video was cut to shreads and some of the best dialogue taken out! Thank God for VCR's in those days- and being able to limitlessly record whatever you wanted off TV without having to somehow digitally hack it or point a camera at the for Teen Wolf? Teen Crap. Carry on.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |

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