"Maybe you caught a rabbit or something."
"And did what?"
"No, you stopped to bake it in a little werewolf oven."
-Scott and Stiles. S1, E3 "Pack Mentality"
Here's the thing, though. I love this show. Occasionally (and by occasionally, I mean several times per episode) I catch myself thinking "Why the hell am I watching this?" and then I get a glimpse of Dylan O'Brien's adorable face, or the hint of a somewhat decent plot on the horizon and I'm hooked once more. With last night's premier of the twenty-four-episode Season Three, I found myself practically stapled to the couch, terrified that Isaac (my current favorite teen-wolf) was going to get murdered in the hospital, or Derek was going to have shaved off his five o'clock shadow between the seasons. Now we have twin werewolves that can somehow combine into one giant MEGABEAST (!), a questionably blind alpha werewolf with a sexy and probably fake accent, a veterinarian with somewhat suspicious motivations, and more man-muscle than you can shake a stick at. All this, packed into 41 minutes of programming interspersed with an obscene amount of commercials.
Let's be honest, though: we are dealing with MTV, so I wasn't expecting 53 minutes of quality programming. This isn't HBO. (Also, where the heck did the phrase "more ___ than you can shake a stick at" even come from? Seriously, English. Get your shit together. You make zero sense.)
Here's the deal, for those of you who haven't seen or heard of the show (you lucky, lucky few): Teen Wolf is based VERY loosely off the 1980s movie of the same name featuring Michael J. Fox. Our main character is a boy named Scott McCall, a high-school nobody who's unlucky enough to get bitten by a werewolf one night when he's out sticking his nose where it shouldn't be. He goes from zero to hero overnight because of his new fancy physique and winning lacrosse skills, but his new affliction comes with it's own slew of problems. It turns out that the girl he's madly in love with (after two whole episodes) is the youngest member of a family of werewolf hunters who've been killing supernatural shit since 1800s France. Not only that, there's another werewolf in town--Derek Hale--who can't seem to decide whether he wants Scott in his pack or would rather just spend the rest of his life stalking, threatening and assaulting various high-school students.
There's a whole cast of additional players (many of whom lack any sort of character development, but that's OK--they're not main characters and probably won't make it to the end of the season anyway) including Jackson Whittemore, the high-school's resident meat-headed asshole; Lydia Martin, Stiles' long-time crush but also, unfortunately, kind of a bitch; Allison Argent, Scott's supernatural-hunting girlfriend (who, coincidentally also tried to shoot him with a crossbow in last season's finale and has apparently been completely forgiven); Derek's motley werewolf pack, consisting of Boyd, Erica, and Isaac; and Derek's psycho uncle Peter Hale. Seriously. The sooner someone kills him dead, the better, in my opinion.
There's a lot going on here that I really like, honestly. Isaac's character, for example, is not only acted pretty well by Daniel Sharman, he's also one of the few characters with an interesting backstory, and the developing friendship between him and Scott is leaving me very on-edge about how Scott and Stiles' friendship might change over the course of this season. Stiles, as pretty much the lone innocent human bystander at this point, is really beginning to struggle with his purpose in the midst of all this werewolf hullabaloo. I adore both Stiles and Isaac, so I'm not entirely sure who to root for here. Maybe we should just get rid of Scott, seeing as how he's a ridiculously boring, one-dimensional character, played by Tyler Posey who might be pretty damn adorable on occasion but is still, at the end of the day, a terrible actor.
Sorry, Bro. The truth hurts.
So what's the point of all this? I guess it's that I'm not embarrassed for liking a show that doesn't provide much in the way of intellectual stimulation. There's questionable race politics going on (something I might touch on at a later date) and an AWFUL lot of male objectification, but I still love it. I'm a sucker for Derek's tortured past, Stiles' nerdy loyalty, Isaac's abusive-father back-story, Scott's sweet smile, and even occasionally Lydia's unfortunate tendency to get left out of everything. When it really comes down to it, Teen Wolf is a show that puts a smile on my face for 41 minutes, and maybe that's what TV is supposed to do. Should you check it out? Sure.
But only if you can ignore a veritable pit of plot holes and a lot of high-school dramatics.
Also, I can't be the only one who thinks Sheriff Stilinski and Mrs. McCall should just get married already. Sheesh.