'Teen Wolf' Review: Howling Good Fun
'Teen Wolf' Review: Howling Good Fun
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Let me just start out with a disclaimer: Teen Wolf is not art. We do not need to spend out hours dissecting the deeper meaning of its plots or studying the nuanced moves of its actors. No one will look back, in years to come, and point to Teen Wolf as the defining moment of our time.

But is that really what you want for your summertime TV? Of course not. You want fun, entertaining television that delivers on its promises. And that is exactly what you get with Teen Wolf.

Teen Wolf is the story of a boy, Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), whose stereotypical journey to manhood is somewhat sidetracked when he starts to turn into a wolf. Formerly a nobody nerd at his small-town high school, Scott's fate is forever altered when he follows his friend Stiles (Dylan O'Brien) into the dark woods one night. Scott is attacked by something out there in the dark -- something that causes deer to stampede before taking a bite out of our hero.

Once bitten, Scott's life instantly transforms into a teenage dream. He successfully flirts with the pretty new girl, Allison (Crystal Reed), and suddenly has the skills to become a star on Beacon Hills High School's all-important lacrosse team (Yes, they play lacrosse on Teen Wolf. I don't know why either.).

Ah, but it all comes at a price. As the wily Stiles (who is kind of awesome) quickly figures out, Scott has been bitten by a werewolf and is now cursed. The remainder of Teen Wolf's pilot deals with Scott coming to very basic terms with his new condition.

Cheesy and cliched as all this is, Teen Wolf works simply because it never pretends to be more than what it is: a romantic teenage horror story. We don't get a deeper, more nuanced story because there shouldn't be one. The cliches of the werewolf and teen romance genres are embraced instead of hidden. The end result is refreshingly honest and totally entertaining.

None of this is meant to imply that Teen Wolf isn't good. It's excellent, actually. The acting is solid, the writing moves along at just the right pace, and the tone successfully walks the fine line between dark foreboding and upbeat teenage optimism. All of this results in a compelling and fun mystery you'll want to revisit weekly.

One final warning: If you're looking for any sort of homage to the 1980s cheesefest that was the original Teen Wolf film, you may be disappointed. Sure, like his movie predecessor, Scott becomes a sports star with his new wolf abilities, but the similarities end there. The new Teen Wolf owes more to Twilight's Edward and Bella than it does to Michael J. Fox. But if you can avoid the '80s-cheese expectations, you can still have loads of fun.

Teen Wolf is not art. But it's fun, and sometimes that's even better on television.

Watch the first 8 minutes of Teen Wolf now!

Teen Wolf premieres Sunday, June 5 at 11pm and airs regularly starting Monday, June 6 at 10pm.

Are you excited for Teen Wolf? Did you see or like the original film? Or that sequel? What sorts of shows do you prefer in the summer? Leave a comment below!

(Image and video courtesy of MTV)