'Teen Wolf': Much More Than Just Semi-Naked Teens
'Teen Wolf': Much More Than Just Semi-Naked Teens
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
A good show can survive on toned abs and melodrama alone. But a great show needs more. And Teen Wolf just might be a great show. Keep reading to learn why.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm a big fan of the readily visible, toned abs sported by every male member of the Teen Wolf cast. Eye candy is a wonderful thing! I also have a tendency to get drawn in by all that melodrama. After all, don't we all -- deep in our secret, teenage hearts -- want Scott and Alison to overcome the odds and make love work?

Still, I wouldn't bother with a show for melodrama and abs alone. A show needs more. And Teen Wolf delivers. Specifically, Teen Wolf delivers in two major areas: symbolism and humor.

Click here to check out our Teen Wolf season 2 premiere recap!

Symbolism and Stuff

In case you've never spent time thinking about the philosophy underlying the werewolf myth, here are the basics.

The werewolf represents the sexual animal hidden inside all of us. The unleashing of the werewolf is that dangerous sexual energy emerging in a public form. It's both incredibly attractive and wildly untamed. Sex, like the werewolf, means both power and danger.

In Teen Wolf, it is only the young and hot characters who wolf-out. Their urges come to the surface as the animal takes control. Sexuality -- usually semi-nudity and amusing make-out sessions (since this is a show aimed at impressionable young teens) -- follows.

The Hunters, of course, are members of an older generation. These men (and a few hardcore women) represent a puritanical, almost fanatical reaction to the sexuality of the werewolves. They keep to a "Code," which allows werewolves to live only if they repress their urges. Any werewolf who attacks and gives in to the animal nature must be eradicated.

It's as if religion had come to Beacon Hills, just as the town's teenagers are discovering their animal power. Teen Wolf season 2 looks ready to engage in the necessary battle between these two forces. Because they have to battle. Neither side can ever fully win. Neither side can lose. But the fighting never, ever stops.

That's the nature of the beast Teen Wolf has unleashed upon us all.

Make 'Em Laugh

As evidenced by the stratospheric popularity of things like Twilight, teenagers will follow deep, emotional and serious stories wherever they lead -- if there's enough sex appeal. That doesn't always work so well for us adults.

After the age of roughly 20, romance necessarily gets tinged with realism. Sometimes, romance sucks. It can be great, but there are always those little pitfalls. It's the pitfalls that make things interesting. That's because they are -- at least when looking back on them -- kind of hilarious.

Teen Wolf gets this. The humor of the show always goes hand-in-hand with the horror and the drama of it all. In the season 2 premiere, Scott and Alison engage in a passionate tryst, doomed to be separated by her parents. But it's not all sultry lovemaking. Instead, the two kids manage to knock over a lamp and tumble to the floor. And then Scott must flee -- naked -- through the window to avoid detection.

The show also has Stiles. Arguably the least-sexy and most-beloved member of the cast, Stiles walks a fine line between unsung hero and class clown. That boy who wrestled with a vending machine in the season 2 premiere is the same person who, last season, faced down the old Alpha despite having no defenses. Stiles is the guy who can -- with both honor and ridiculousness -- remain loyal to his dream girl, Lydia. Nothing but loyalty can explain sleeping on those hospital chairs.

Put Them Together, What Have You Got?

You don't have to look for deeper meaning in a show like Teen Wolf. Honestly, hot actors and melodrama are plenty for some. And that's OK!

But if you want more than just superficial summer fun, Teen Wolf is still the show for you.

(Images courtesy of MTV)