A “Teen Wolf” Roundtable – Part 3
The writers of The Geekiary are back with another interesting Teen Wolf Roundtable discussion. We asked you to submit your own questions, and you did. This time we will be answering those questions, along with who we think is going to die. You all must be familiar with the members by now:
Let’s start with the questions you submitted.
Question from Mim: I know you guys mentioned Sterek as being an active part in the fandom (and a few of you are shippers) but how do you feel about the fact that Sterek is shipped so heavily despite barely any screentime between the two characters? Also, what are some other favorite pairings of yours and why?
Kerry: Before I started watching Teen Wolf, literally everything I knew about it was what I saw on my tumblr dash. I genuinely thought that the show was about gay werewolves. No joke. I really thought Stiles and Derek were the main couple and I thought that was super cool of MTV. Then my sister had to explain that no, they’re not the main couple; they’re not even the main characters. I was so confused.
So I began watching Teen Wolf through the Sterek lens. I couldn’t see these characters any other way.
I think they’re shipped so heavily because a) they’re both hot white guys b) they’re opposites c) they apparently annoy/hate but begrudgingly respect one another. This is the prime formula for shipping. The lack of screentime between the two during 3B has only revved up the shipping, I feel. People are now expecting some epic Star Wars-esque “I love you.” “I know.” moment between the two and frankly, I am as well at this point. But I highly doubt they will ever be canon, though I do think they have a better shot than Destiel. Good luck with that, Supernatural fans.
My favorite pairings are Sterek (surprise!) and Kira and Scott. I adore the two of them and find them so refreshing and healthy and awesome together. They not only genuinely like one another, they enjoy spending time together and aren’t afraid of being open and honest. I love that and I actively want more of that.
Sarah: Great question, Mim! Sterek has become its own little subsection of the Teen Wolf fandom. To date, the pairing has over 21,000 fanworks on AO3. As for my feelings on the pairing, I believe people are entitled to ship what they want to ship and really, fangirls don’t need much encouragement when they want to ship a new pairing. The Sterek fandom really exploded when Jeff Davis said that he might be persuaded to make the pairing canon. Will they ever become canon? I don’t think so, but the possibility is so very appealing because in the few times they’ve been together on screen, they are so very entertaining to watch.
Right now, other pairings I have like are Scott/Allison, Scott/Kira, Boyd/Erica, Lydia/Allison, and Lydia/Cora. I don’t really tend to pair Derek or Stiles with anyone else (the Sterek is strong in this one). The majority of stories I’ve written for the show have been for Sterek, but in the past year or so, I’ve tried to branch out and try new pairings. My habit with shows has been to find my one OTP and pay no attention to the rest. But that can get boring really fast, thus my trying out new things. Because of school and having so much freakin’ fun writing for The Geekiary, I haven’t had much time to indulge in a good old fashioned scribble-fest or read anything that wasn’t about general psychology or anatomy and physiology. As for why I ship those pairings, Scallison was just a super cute pairing and I’m a sucker for forbidden romance. Scott and Kira are showing some potential, and I like that it seems to be a slow burn, in terms of development. Boyd and Erica will always be the romance that never got to be, and existing outside the show in fanworks everywhere. Lydia and Allison are just so amazing and gorgeous together that I’d be crazy not to ship them, and Lydia and Cora are another perfect example of fans not really needing a lot of encouragement to ship two people together. These two only had two scenes (?), but their snarking back and forth and their opposite natures made me go, “Yes please! Sign me up!”
Undie: There are a lot of reasons that Sterek is super popular, like Kerry said, you put two hot white guys in close proximity and people will ship them. And I agree with Sarah, the fact that Jeff said he could be persuaded definitely increased the popularity. It was a lot of different factors that combined to make Sterek the phenomenon that it is and it’s actually super fascinating.
First thing – Stiles and Derek might not interact as much as other popular slash ships (and they have had less screen time together in Season 3) but Teen Wolf hasn’t had that many episodes and in Season 1 and 2 (which is when the majority of people started shipping Sterek) Stiles had about as much screen time with Derek as he did with Lydia. Then there’s the fact that in two of the best episodes from Season 1 (“Magic Bullet” and “Wolf’s Bane”) Stiles and Derek spend a lot of time together. Their interactions were memorable because they were funny and quotable and Stiles brought out a funnier, more likable side of Derek. And remember that in Season 1 Stiles and Derek were the only characters (out of the core six) that did not have a romantic relationship. People like to pair the spares. Also, Dylan O’Brien and Tyler Hoechlin have fantastic on-screen chemistry.
Outside of the actual show – Teen Wolf relied heavily on social media involvement for publicity, which involved direct interaction with the fandom. Sterek was popular in the fandom – for the reasons stated above. So they talked about it. A lot. Which was kind of a new thing for slash fans. Then the TVGuide Boat Video featuring Dylan and Hoechlin was released (whoever is responsible for that – thank you!) and EW.com made the unfortunate mistake of shunning the ship from its summer ships poll and the whole thing just blew up! Sterek got a lot of mainstream media attention, and it didn’t involve making fun of shippers or calling them perverts, which was nice. More people were exposed to the idea and as a result more people shipped it.
As for my ships – Mim, are you trying to get us into trouble? I’m not sure there is a way to answer this that isn’t going to upset someone, but I’m going to answer it anyway because I LOVE talking about my ships but still. – I ship a lot and I mean Teen Wolf is one of the most shippable shows on TV. Basically every pairing has some canon basis so it’s a free for all. I ship Stiles/Derek because I really like it when bantering assholes fall in love. I ship Lydia/Cora for the same reason, with the added bonus of ladies. My guilty pleasure ship is Stiles/Allison. I LOVE Allison/Scott/Isaac as a polyamorous relationship but at the moment my Teen Wolf OTP is definitely Scott/Lydia.
Farid: I agree with the others. There really isn’t a definitive reason to ship characters. You ship them because you want to. There is not right or wrong. Fans know that Derek and Stiles haven’t had much screentime together but the scenes they have shared shows the amazing chemistry between the characters and the actors. These scenes are memorable and as Undie said, quotable. So, of course the shippers grabbed them and the whole Sterek phenomenon was created. The online fandom is very active for the show and that introduces Sterek to more people. So much so that people do begin to think that Derek and Stiles are actually a couple on the show. I feel fans like to ship characters because they want them to be together because of the chemistry they share. Fans wants something other than the normal ‘of course the main lead actor and actress are going to hookup’ or the whole Romeo and Juliet thing they get to see in almost every other show. People want some sort of a change and Teen Wolf seems to be a platform that might just give it to them. Maybe that’s why it’s shipped so heavily.
As for my own favorite pairing go, I’m a fan of Scallison. I just feel those two are endgame no matter what the show does. However, I wouldn’t mind Scott and Lydia being played out. Those two do have a connection. Sterek is always there. You can’t escape it if you watch Teen Wolf. I also ship Derek with ‘Happiness’. I ship Danny with anyone who is actually honest with him. I’m also behind shipping Lydia with ‘Independence’. Especially after the Teen Wolf Facebook post where they treated her like a prize for Stiles to win.
Question from Kat: Hey guys! I’ve got a question: I’ve kind of noticed that a lot of the romances in Teen Wolf are often really direct and quick. None have any slow-build qualities. How do you feel about the romances in Teen Wolf and do you think any of them are actually realistic depictions of romance?
Kerry: I’m usually totally indifferent to the romances on Teen Wolf because a) I get super uncomfortable watching teenagers (even fake ones) act all sexy with one another on TV and b) I’m more interested in the horror subplots on the show. In fact, I found Allison and Scott’s relationship in the first two seasons to be unbearable: it was boring and generic. Jackson and Lydia’s was like something out of a 1980s high school film and I ended up rooting just for Danny to find love. I am pleased that he has someone but I think he can do better.
The only romance I’ve found to be even semi-realistic is Kira and Scott’s. They’re both awkward, cute, shy, and genuinely interested in one another. The way they smile at one another and are both just happy to be around one another and what the other has to say is so refreshing. Unlike the other romantic couples on this show, Kira and Scott seem to be friends first, which is incredibly healthy for teenagers on TV.
Sarah: I think a lot of that has to do with the format of the show. We only get about twelve to thirteen episodes a season, so the storylines tend to get condensed, resulting in a rushed feeling. With Scott and Allison, I think they were trying so hard to sell this “forbidden romance/young love” cliché and there were times where I just wanted to strangle Scott, saying, “OMG, dude! You just met this chick and have been able to function perfectly well without her up until this point! What has changed?” Scott has matured some, and I love how his and Kira’s romance has been slowly developing and I hope they continue that. Instant gratification is so boring, and I actually prefer a slow burn. I don’t really get Isaac/Allison, and I think the writers are trying a little too hard in 3B to sell it to the viewers. People are more than entitled to ship them together, but it’s just not my cuppa tea.
I never dated in high school, so I can’t comment on how realistic they are, but the romances are the aspect of the show that interest me the least. I called total shenanigans on Lydia’s rendezvouses with Aiden in conveniently empty classrooms and conveniently empty hallways. I knew a guy in high school that got caught having sex with his girlfriend in the auditorium, and they were both expelled. I think those scenes were just “oooh, steamy makeout time” plot devices, and I don’t believe for a second that Aiden has any actual feelings for Lydia. Derek’s “romance” with Jennifer/Julia was out of character for him and just seemed to be another plot device used to torture the hell out of Derek. The only canon romance that I actually liked and enjoyed was Scott/Allison (despite their faults), but I am really liking where they’re going with Scott/Kira. It’s really hard to get into any of the romances when the plot seems to dominate the action
Undie: Oh Kat, I don’t know what to say. I mean Jeff, he’s got certain skills to be sure but writing romance is not one of them. He relies heavily on clichés and not in a good way – because as a romance fan I know clichés, when used well, can be marvelous. And like you said, he doesn’t spend any time on it so it’s clearly not his bag of chips. I agree with Sarah though, a lot of that does have to do with Teen Wolf’s fast pace. Everything happens so much. Slow development is not really a thing on this show.
The closest we have to a slow build romance is Stiles and Lydia – but their relationship is ‘hit and miss’. Season 1 was a total cliché. Season 2 was really problematic. Season 3 was better but mainly because they stopped writing it like a romance. So yeah, romance is just not their thing. That’s okay. I don’t watch the show for the romance. I’m not entirely sure why I watch the show, I think it has something to do with Hoechlin’s abs, but I know it’s not the romance (that’s why I read fan fiction).
As for whether or not it’s believable, I guess it depends on your experiences. I mean it’s always love at first sight for teenagers, and it tends to be all or nothing, much like Scott and Allison. So I guess that kind of ridiculous intensity is somewhat realistic. I think if I were younger I might be able to relate better to the romantic relationships on the show? But probably not, I’m a belligerent sexual tension kind of girl and the only relationship that even hints at that is Allison/Isaac, which is just kind of meh!
Farid: Having twelve episodes a season just doesn’t leave enough room for romantic developments that can be considered realistic. So, of course everything had to be rushed. Teen Wolf needed to show the hot cast make out with each other. Really funny how the forbidden love thing was kind of a selling point for the show and then it ended in Season 2, which was just a few months in the actual shows timeline. I don’t watch the show for the romance elements. Don’t know if it’s Jeff writing style or not, but I can’t seem to make sense of why the characters would hook up with each other the way they do: Lydia and Aiden, Danny and Ethan, even Scott being unable to function without Allison, and the most recent Stiles and Malia thing. Kira and Scott’s relationship was more comfortable for me. They didn’t jump on each other the moment they met and that was something refreshing to see on my screen.
Question: Much has been made about the potential “major character death” at the end of this season. Who do you think is going to die?
Kerry: Originally, my money was on Stiles, not so much for a storyline reason but because I think Dylan O’Brien’s career is really starting to take off and he probably wants to commit himself to a film career. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he was tired of Teen Wolf so when 3B started, I assumed we’d be saying goodbye to Stiles.
A part of me is still suspecting this just because evil!Stiles cannot survive and I’m not feeling were-Stiles at all. But honestly, at this point, I suspect our victim will be Allison if only because she has disappeared this season. She’s been pushed way to the background and if anything, there’s been subtle hints from Chris about a parent taking down a child (that could refer to the Sheriff and Stiles but…). What’s more, Allison hasn’t added anything of any weight to the storyline right now so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we were going to lose her.
Undie: Okay I’m going to start by saying I’m not entirely convinced they are going to kill any of the core five – at least not for good (do they have the guts?). But if they are, probably going to be Derek and that’s just not something I am willing to accept. I am so far in denial that if they try to kill him I will chain myself to the door of the writer’s room until they agree to bring him back. You think I’m joking, I’m not. Jeff, watch out, I’m coming.
But in all seriousness I’m super annoyed with the way they have been playing this up. If they kill someone, then it happens. There’s nothing I can do about it, except stop watching, which is a possibility. Of course if they don’t kill someone I will march on MTV because someone is going explain why they thought it was a good idea to exploit their audience’s emotions as a cheap marketing ploy. Anyway I’m placing bets on Derek.
Sarah: If I was a betting woman, I would put my money on either Allison or Derek. They can’t kill Scott, as he is the star, and I think I saw some rumors on Tumblr that said Lydia was going to really come into the forefront in Season 4. I think it would be really, really interesting story-wise if they killed off Stiles, but he is such a fan favorite that I don’t think Davis has the balls to actually do it. Now with Allison and Derek…Allison had a really awesome moment with her dad at the end of 3A where she changed their code to protecting those who can’t protect themselves and asking her dad to teach her more, and I was really looking forward to seeing them continue with that. But so far in 3B she hasn’t really done much. I’m not a fan of this developing “relationship” with Isaac, and I wished they had done more with her ‘hallucinating her dead aunt’ like they did with her mother in 3A. I want to see them develop the hunter side of Allison more, and with the inclusion of that mysterious old woman we may get that. Plus I just really don’t want another woman to be killed off this show! That would be beyond lame!
Now with Derek…I may be crucified for saying this, but of the five main characters, he’s the one I would miss the least. No offense to Tyler Hoechlin, he’s done a great job with what little he’s been given, which is where the issue lies. I have more questions than answers when it comes to this character, and Davis doesn’t seem intent on answering any of them. I mean, we don’t even know how old this guy really is. Derek is so underdeveloped as a character, and his entire story arc for 3A and 3B reeks of being prepped as a sacrificial lamb. He had some pow wow with his mom and effectively handed over the reins of protecting Beacon Hills to Scott. If this were Star Wars, Scott is Luke Skywalker and Derek is Old Ben Kenobi. If I’m right, I see his death going down as sacrificing himself to save Stiles from Chris Argent, who seems Dean Winchester-intent on putting a bullet in that boy’s brain.
With as much emphasis that the marketing department and everyone in interviews have put on “a hero will fall”, someone has to die. There’s no way around it. Otherwise, the criticisms 3A received will seem insignificant compared to the poop storm that will rain down on this show because like Undie said, someone will have some ‘splaining to do on why they thought it was a good idea to manipulate their fanbase like this.
This lady’s bet: Derek.
Farid: None of the core main character will die. It’s Teen Wolf. Their definition of death can be different from what we think. This isn’t The Walking Dead, or Spartacus, or Game of Thrones. It’s an MTV show. The fans are too invested in the characters. The only character who I think will die is Isaac. He’s been lying the hospital bed and hasn’t done anything of importance in 3B except show feelings for Allison. Jeff and the show wouldn’t risk killing off Scott, Stiles, Allison, Lydia or even Derek. Who knows what might happen to the fans if they kill these characters off. Yes, they promoted the season with the ‘main character death’ thing but in all fairness that was never going to happen as far as Teen Wolf is concerned.
Which is your favorite ship and why? Who do you think will die in Teen Wolf Season 3B? Feel free to answer in the comments and to send your own questions our way.
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies. He reviews shows such as Gotham and Teen Wolf.
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