Teen Wolf Season 2 finale: Taking things to the next level

Despite improvements, the Werewolf makeup is still kind of silly (Tyler Hoechlin)

I think Teen Wolf may be the perfect summer show.  It’s frothy enough that I don’t really have to think about anything that’s going on, and yet well-produced enough that I’m not super embarrassed to admit that I watch a show called Teen Wolf (ok, maybe I’m still slightly embarrassed).  The first season really surprised me with the way it got under my skin (there were points where I was legitimately scared – because I’m a wimpy scaredy cat – of Uncle Werewolf) but I was still leaving room for the sophomore slump.  This second season was by no means perfect, but it was smarter than the average second season of any show, let alone a teen supernatural drama. Continue reading

Teen Wolf – The Baddies of Season 2

Poor Scott (Tyler Posey). All he wants to do is be sweet with his girlfriend Allison (Crystal Reed) but there are too many bad guys (mythical and otherwise) out to get him.

Poor werewolf Scott.  He’s got so many new enemies this season.  Last year it was all about finding the Alpha in order to kill him and get rid of his curse.  But all of those dreams were dashed when Derek decided to kill Uncle Peter himself and take over the Alpha’s red eyes.  (I’m hopeful that the show won’t keep coming up with spells or myths to cure Scott of being a werewolf.  He’s a werewolf, show; leave it be.)  Anyway, now that Derek is the Alpha, Scott is refusing to be a part of his pack (which is growing; more on that in a minute) and on top of that he has to deal with the fact that Alison’s dad knows he’s a werewolf and is hiding it from her mother and grandfather and that doesn’t even get into what the hell is going on with Lydia and Jackson.  Here’s a little breakdown on what Scott is up against.

Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) with the two newest members of his pack, Isaac (Daniel Sharman) and Erica (Gage Golightly). Man those two throw out some attitude.

#1 Derek & his pack of Teen Wolves.  I think that the fact that Derek is choosing the loners to turn is kind of sweet.  The way he sees it, turning into a werewolf is a positive thing most of the time.  It’s something that they can learn to control and use to their benefits.  And from the outside, it looks like getting turned hasn’t been so bad – Isaac got rid of his abusive father (well, technically he didn’t kill his father, the squicky lizard thing did, but still), Erica got rid of her epilepsy and frizzy hair and Boyd seems to have broken out of his shell and isn’t eating lunch alone (which, why was he eating lunch alone?  He seemed cool enough).

Can we all agree that the new credits are awesome?

The separation between them is really weird because even though Derek’s the Alpha, he clearly needs Scott and even though Scott doesn’t want to be a part of the pack, doesn’t know nearly enough about being a werewolf to survive on his own.  I get that Scott  doesn’t agree with Derek’s methods in creating his pack, seeing the bite as more of a curse than a blessing, but despite the fact that they are on opposite sides on this issue, I’m hopeful that the line between them is starting to blur as other foes become more prominent.   Continue reading

Random Musings on Summer TV: The Bachelorette, Bunheads, Girls & Veep

I haven't watched a single Teen Wolf episode yet this season. This is totally unacceptable.

Ahhh, summer TV.  So much to love and yet it all feels so much less important than the regular season, doesn’t it?  I’m super behind on my Teen Wolf watching which is extremely disappointing (however I’m flying to Portland this weekend and you better believe I’ll be watching it on the plane), I am still trying to catch up on Game of Thrones (I need to concentrate so much when I watch GoT that I tend to save episodes until I have a good chunk of uninterrupted time to watch), and FX is rerunning all 4 seasons of Sons of Anarchy and despite the fact that I have seen them all at least twice on Netflix, I’m watching again.  But, there have been a few surprises already this summer which makes me very hopeful. Continue reading

TV News: Little Blips

Oh Happy Day!

ABC Family has renewed Make It or Break It!  Music to my ears. [Vulture]

Coming off this summer’s Teen Wolf success, MTV is hoping to capture some more scripted magic in a bottle. [THR]

Up All Night just got a little more awesome with the addition of Blythe Danner.  [TVLine]

Check out songs from Glee’s 3rd season premiere.  [TVSquad]

The Highs and Lows of Summer 2011 TV

This has been one of the busier summers TV wise in recent memory.  There were a ton of new shows premiering on cable and a lot of them actually weren’t bad.  For the most part, the shows kept things light and easy, but every once in a while they really surprised me with their craft.  While gearing up for the fall premieres has me all sorts of excited, I don’t want to forget how much I’ve enjoyed what was on TV this summer either.  (For the purpose of this article, I am only including shows that premiered between June 1 and September 1).  A common theme among the shows I loved this summer is a feeling of surprise.  Either a new show that I wasn’t expecting to like or an old show that had some new tricks up its sleeve.  There were a few disappointments (while still one of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance was missing a certain something for me this year) but overall, the summer TV schedule was a pleasure to watch. Continue reading

Teen Wolf Season Finale: Burn, Alpha, Burn!

Scott howls to get some attention.

I have been pleasantly surprised by MTV’s Teen Wolf.  It was a completely unexpected bright spot in the summer schedule this year.  The penultimate episode last week set the finale in motion by letting Allison in on Scott (and her family’s) werewolf secret and I’d read that there were going to be some satisfying deaths, but I wasn’t sure how satisfying things would turn out.

I really loved the way this moment with Allison was filmed.

After revealing himself as a werewolf to Allison, Scott was able to escape.  Stiles offers up himself in exchange for Lydia’s life and Alpha lets him call Jackson to let him know where she is.  Allison basically collapses out of the bus and her father is there to catch her but she is completely devastated.  As is Scott.  I really like how the opening scene was shot – with the muffled background and music.  Jackson runs Lydia back to the school while Stiles drives Alpha somewhere (he informs Stiles that if Lydia lives, she’ll become a werewolf and go nuts on the full moon.  ”Well, actually considering she’s a woman, twice a month” – sexism is alive and well.  Even in the werewolf community). Continue reading

Teen Wolf: Everyone tries to be brave (and also, apparently werewolves can unhinge their jaws)

I'm not ready to lose Lydia (Holland Roden) yet, she was just starting to become more than a mean girl.

I cannot believe that this is the penultimate episode of Teen Wolf’s first season.  It has just FLOWN by.  In my opinion, the best penultimate episodes are the ones that dangle all the carrots.  They set up big things for the finale (big fights or hookups), they answer a few questions that lead to more questions and they put all of the characters just on the cusp of something more.  Teen Wolf did a pretty good job of doing all that, plus it totally gave me the heebie jeebies (I blame Aunt Werewolf Hunter Kate). Continue reading

Teen Wolf: Scott has Jackson’s back, Derek has Scott’s back, but who has Derek’s back?

Let's just start here, shall we? (Tyler Hoechlin)

After all of the confusion I felt last week, I was really hopeful that things on Teen Wolf would be cleared up last night, but I can’t really say that they were.  I’m still feeling lost as to how and why Uncle Werewolf is Alpha, I am extremely unsure about what happened that made Derek go over to his side, and Jackson completely flip flopped between threatening to do nasty things to Allison to get Scott to “give him” werewolf and being scared out of his mind when the opportunity actually presented itself.  More than anything, this episode felt like a whole lot of set up without a lot of firm action in any direction.  In the end, I still feel lost (maybe even more so than last week) and wasn’t exactly riveted by the action of the episode.

Pretty soon, Lydia is going to be the only "innocent" in the bunch. (Holland Roden & Crystal Reed)

I appreciate Teen Wolf’s commitment to not going over board with the exposition, but there seemed to be a lot of holes in the action between last week and this week.  No, I didn’t need to see the lacrosse team win the game that sent them to state, but it would have been nice to see how Uncle Werewolf won Derek over and got him back on his side.  It would have been great to see why U.W. just let Stiles go or when Scott figured out that U.W. was Alpha or get a clearer flashback to the Hale house fire that appears to have started U.W. down this path.  But instead, we sort of jumped into the middle of things and were left to extrapolate a lot of meaning on our own without very distinct clues.  The clues we did get seemed to come courtesy of Alpha digging his nails into Scott’s neck, sharing visions of Alpha’s previous kills (including Derek’s sister) and the fire that left him scarred and in a coma.  It’s a really economical way to tell the story, but I’m still not entirely clear on what was being explained so maybe it’s a little too economical.

Here’s a breakdown of where things stand as I understand them: Continue reading

Teen Wolf: Alpha reveals himself and I end up confused

Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) scares off a few dogs to start this episode off on an exciting pace (which it did not really keep, but that's ok).

After last week’s creepy episode of Teen Wolf, I was hoping that this week would give me a bit of a breather.  I was both right and wrong on that count.  Right because at least Scott was done being a complete asshole to Stiles and wrong because it seems Jackson has taken up that mantle.  This episode was actually a pretty big one considering that I’m pretty sure we learned who Alpha was, Scott made some inroads back to Allison’s heart, Stiles and Derek had some male bonding time and Jackson was an ass.  That’s a lot to squeeze into an episode that also feels mostly like setup for what’s to come.  The episode started off with a lot of energy and I loved that, but it definitely lost me towards the end.  The information was flying fast and furious, but I’m not sure the delivery method made a whole lot of sense.  I’m still sort of trying to figure out exactly what went on. Continue reading