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Call them guilty pleasures, eyebleach, comfort TV… whatever they are, they’re those shows you’re not exactly proud to be watching. So… why are you?

Why Am I Watching: Teen Wolf

What Even Is This Show?

MTV’s Teen Wolf (2011-2017) chronicles the adventures of Scott McCall, a teen boy who gets turned into a werewolf, his friends (human and supernatural), lovers (human and supernatural), and enemies (human and mostly supernatural). This show burns through creatures and plot at a pace I’ve never seen before. Each season has three to four story arcs that combine the melodrama of high school with the actual drama of living in a town overrun by werewolves, werecoyotes, Druids, kitsune, serial killers, and pretty much everything in between except vampires.

There’s lots of lacrosse playing, school dances, PSAT taking, and most importantly, kissing, along with werewolf fights and Scooby-Doo or Buffy mysteries to be solved. And the 2010s soundtrack is pretty much everything I listened to in high school.

So Why Am I Watching This?

I consider myself to be a connoisseur of teen TV. I love The OC, Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale, etc. I also love supernatural genre TV like Supernaturals, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, etc. Teen Wolf seemed to be a gaping hole in my teen/supernatural TV lexicon, so it was a natural next step. Also, a few months ago I had an embarrassing, hilarious, and somewhat explicit dream about Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien. I don’t want to go into any further specifics here, but… that was also a catalyst.

Best Part?

Dylan O’Brien.

Most Cringeworthy Part?

All shows and movies have some sort of product placement. And this was especially prevalent in 2000s teen shows, whether they aired on The CW or MTV. But the product placement in Teen Wolf is so staggeringly obvious that I can’t help but cackle every time. When these shows aired, there would be a phone or product in a scene or two of the episode, and there would be a correlating commercial for that product.

Teen Wolf’s biggest corporate sponsors were clearly Toyota, Samsung, and AT&T. I can’t tell you the number of times the camera has lingered a little too long on a Toyota Corolla’s central console, and the “Collision Assist” feature even gets as a plot point. Or, if a character needs to take a photo of a dead body or footprints or something, you KNOW you’re going to get a full glam shot of a beautiful Samsung camera phone and a pristinely clear image. Shoutout to my friends who have been following my Teen Wolf product placement journey, and shoutout to Lydia’s blue Toyota Corolla.

Additionally, Scott, the titular Teen Wolf, is one of the most boring protagonists I’ve ever had to endure. He’s the main character but exudes absolutely zero Main Character energy. He gets better as the series goes on, but I’m way more interested in literally every single other character, good or bad, on the show.

Lastly, I know I mentioned this earlier, but there is so much fucking lacrosse in this show. I cannot stress how little I care about the fictional lacrosse playing on Teen Wolf. Let’s just get to the mysteries and the kissing, people!

Anything Redeeming?

Dylan O’Brien. There are a handful of Star Wars references, too. And honestly, the werewolf effects/prosthetics do get much better as the series moves along!

What Makes This Show Addictive?

The pacing of this show is borderline psychotic. Characters from previous seasons die or leave the show and no one mentions it; alternatively, once dead characters return in a different form seasons later. Each season has like, three to four different villains and plots. Some arcs are a little scary, so you might find you have to keep watching to get to a less scary episode so you can fall asleep… but that might just be my thing. Also, everyone is hot.

Will You Finish The Series?

Well, I’ve just started the fifth season, which is the second to last, and news broke recently that Teen Wolf would be getting a sequel movie on Paramount Plus. Plus, there are discussions of bringing back a spinoff show. I’ve come this far, and I’m a completionist, so yes. I will finish this series.

Erin Vail

Erin is the 2003 West Reading Elementary Geography Bee champion, a TV obsessive, and never not thinking about Buffalo sports.

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