Teen Wolf is an American television series developed by Jeff Davis for MTV. It is loosely based on the 1985 film of the same name, and stars Tyler Posey as a teenager named Scott McCall, who is bitten by a werewolf and must cope with how it affects his life and the lives of those closest to him, and Dylan O’Brien as “Stiles” Stilinski, Scott’s best friend.
Teen Wolf premiered on June 5, 2011, following the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. On July 24, 2014, MTV renewed Teen Wolf for a split fifth season of 20 episodes, which premiered on June 29, 2015. On July 9, 2015, Teen Wolf was renewed for a sixth season. The series has received generally positive reviews from critics and is a fan favorite on social media.
The television series is a remake of the 80’s movie named the same and is completely different from it. The 80’s version is more comedian-like while the remake version of it is more edgy and sexier.
The series revolves around social outcast Scott McCall, a high school student living in the town of Beacon Hills. Scott’s life drastically changes when he is bitten by a werewolf the night before sophomore year, becoming one himself. He must henceforth learn to balance his problematic new identity with his day-to-day teenage life. Several characters are instrumental to his struggle: Stiles Stilinski, his human best friend; Allison Argent, his first love interest who comes from a family of werewolf hunters; Lydia Martin, a banshee and Allison’s best friend; and Derek Hale, a mysterious werewolf with a dark past. Along the way, he encounters characters who shape him into a stronger werewolf and better person: Jackson, an adopted high school jock; Malia Tate, a werecoyote; Kira Yukimura, a Japanese fox spirit; and Jordan Parrish, a hellhound, as well as various other teenagers in Beacon Hills, such as Liam, Mason and Hayden.
Teen Wolf premiered on June 5, 2011, following the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. The second season premiered on June 3, 2012 after 2012 MTV Movie Awards. On July 12, 2012, Teen Wolf was renewed for a third season, which includes 24 episodes and the production location was moved to Los Angeles, California. The third season premiered on June 3, 2013 at 10 pm, giving the series a new high on ratings. A fourth season premiered on June 23, 2014. On July 24, 2014, MTV renewed Teen Wolf for a fifth season of 20 episodes, which will be split into two parts, and has premiered on June 29, 2015. On July 9, 2015, Teen Wolf was renewed for a sixth season. Showrunner Jeff Davis confirmed that Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, and Dylan Sprayberry will be reprising their roles as Scott McCall, “Stiles” Stilinski, and Liam Dunbar respectively.
Differences and Similarities from the Movie
The original film is about a typical awkward team sports playing teenager named Scott dealing with high school and life as a werewolf. In both versions, Scott reaps the benefits of werewolf stardom, achieving confidence and acceptance from his peers with his newly discovered powers and has a close friend named Stiles. Also what the series takes from the movie that spawned it, is people know the basic idea of what Hollywood considers to be a werewolf.
There are significant differences between the film and TV series. MTV’s version is a drama/comedy with a darker tone while the 1985 film was a comedy. The humor in the new series is a darker humor but pays tribute to the original feel of the movie. In promos before airing, the producers said they were influenced by Joss Whedon’s high school drama series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whedon’s central premise was: “High school as a horror movie. And so the metaphor became the central concept behind Buffy, and that’s how I sold it.” The writers have confirmed they have no intention to include vampires but other creatures may be considered. There is also a surprising amount of violence and horrific images in the new series, this includes a dead body that has been torn in half, scenes of people being burned alive, as well as multiple fight scenes that result in deaths or grievous wounds and hallucinations of torture.
In this series, Scott plays lacrosse instead of basketball. In the original, Scott inherits the werewolf trait from his father, who hid his lycanthropy from his son in the hopes that it would skip a generation, while the Scott on MTV’s show gets bitten by a werewolf in the woods. In the series Scott’s parents are divorced and his mother has custody of Scott. The new Stiles wears T-shirts featuring the Beatles and the Royal Air Force roundel symbol, while the original Stiles favored shirts that included highly-offensive phrases. Another difference is that in the original everyone knew Scott was a wolf; in the new one it’s a secret.
Critical Reception and Ratings
The series has generated a generally positive response from professional critics, with some praising it as better quality when compared to other shows by MTV. According to Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the show holds an average score of 61 out of 100, which indicates “Generally favorable reviews”, based on fourteen reviews. Metacritic also lists the show as the second-highest rated MTV series by professional critics behind Awkward. Linda Stasi, a writer from the New York Post, awarded the series’ premiere a perfect score, stating, “Not only is it really well thought out, but the good-looking kids in the show can actually act.” Verne Gay from Newsday also reserved high praise for the show, calling it a “winner and best of all, fun.” David Hinckley of New York Daily News commented favorably on the series, ending his review with “Werewolves, pretty girls, dumb bullies and lacrosse. What more, really, could you ask of high school?”
Some critics had a less positive reaction toward the first episode. Troy Patterson from Slate gave it a mixed review, referring to it as “light and passably witty supernatural drama.” James Poniewozik from Time magazine also had mixed feelings towards the show, saying, “The pilot isn’t bad, exactly—it’s well-paced if a little dour in spots and there’s some decent CW-esque banter—but it’s pretty much entirely what I would have expected from any supernatural teen drama”.
Following the first season finale in August 2011, Ian Grey of indieWire gave the series a positive review and Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity named it the third best new show of the summer. BuddyTV ranked Teen Wolf #4 on its list of 2011’s best new TV shows.
The series’ premiere attracted a total of 2.17 million viewers. After airing its third episode, Teen Wolf was reported to be heading into its fourth week with tremendous momentum following a 23% increase among persons 12–34, with a 1.6 in the demo. With double digit percentage gains among total viewers and key demos, Teen Wolf was the #1 show in its timeslot with women 12–34. The first season finale attained a series high in persons 12–34 (1.9) and 2.1 million viewers overall, as well as being first in its timeslot among teens and females 12–34.