Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Teen Wolf Just Yet

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The Teen Wolf fandom is having a bit of rough hiatus (thank goodness it’s almost over) and while Season 3A had some awesome moments it was overall fairly inconsistent. It’s hard to break the bond between fan and the object of desire but that doesn’t mean that sometimes it’s difficult to remember what made something worthy of our attention in the first place. That’s when we need to take a step back and remind ourselves of the things that made us fall in love.

Please note: I am not dismissing or ignoring the problems that Teen Wolf has – nor I am suggesting that we stop criticizing this show (criticism is a healthy part of fandom). I’m just hoping to remind people of the reasons this show is worthy of our criticism… most of the time anyway.

There are a lot of reasons to love Teen Wolf (there are quite a few reasons to dislike as well but let’s not go into that right now,) so I’m not going to attempt to list them all. This is just a few reasons I think we should be getting excited for Season 3B.

They’re Probably Over the Slow-Mo

I say ‘probably’ because we won’t have a definitive answer on this one until we’ve seen a number of new episodes. But considering the excessive use of slow-mo became a widely recognised joke by the end of 3A there’s a pretty good chance they will tone it down for the second half of the season. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit a slow mo (especially when it involves incredibly attractive people), but there’s a limit that 3A exceeded in Ep. 3. As fun as a it was to joke about, I’m looking forward to seeing some real-time character development in the upcoming episodes.

Scott and Melissa’s Relationship

How often do we see a healthy, respect-driven relationship 1501844_10151799326922742_1955904558_nbetween a single mother and her son? Not very often. Scott and Melissa McCall’s (Tyler Posey and Melissa Ponzio) relationship has been one of my favourite aspects of this show since Season 1, and it just keeps getting better. No matter what you thought about 3A, every time Scott and Melissa interacted was amazing. So as long as they keep giving us these two amazing people and their amazing familial relationship, there will be something worth tuning into Teen Wolf for.

Gratuitous Shirtless Men

1497771_10151799327402742_757000271_nAnyway that has seen even a passing reference to Teen Wolf is probably aware that this show likes it’s men hot and shirtless. Let’s face it, whether or not you agree with the blatant objectification of the male body (reversing the male gaze like a boss), the focus on astonishingly attractive men is one of the main reasons many people tuned into this MTV show in the first place. Whatever Teen Wolf becomes, it will always have semi-dressed sexy men for anyone that is so inclined to ogle, and that’s enough to keep the gifs coming at the very least.

Allison and Lydia’s Friendship

There are not enough genuine female friendships on 1425701_10151799327252742_1146235047_ntelevision – just look at the number of shows that don’t pass the Bechdel Test – so the relationship between Allison Argent (Crystal Reed) and Lydia Martin (Holland Roden) is refreshing. In fact, this friendship is one of the things that 3A actually did well. Allison and Lydia talk to each other, they hang out with each other and they are openly affectionate. This might not seem like much, but in a supernatural show with a predominantly male cast, it is a big deal.

Jeff Davis is Not a Gift… and That’s Okay

There comes a time in every fans like when they must accept the fact that the creator is not  god. Writers are not infallible and everything your fave showrunner touches does not turn to gold. This is not a bad thing, in fact, personally, I think it makes for a much more enjoyable fan experience. It means we can enjoy the good without having to ignore or accept the bad. Once we let go of the notion that the creator-god that can do no wrong it becomes much easier to criticise problematic aspects without hampering the appreciation of the parts we love.

The Cast is Completely Loveable

To be perfectly honest, at this stage I am so attached to this cast I would probably watch them read the dictionary without inflection for hours on end. Luckily I don’t have to because this cast is nothing if not entertaining. Not only are they incredibly beautiful and talented, they’re also fun, social media savvy, and they genuinely seem to love Teen Wolf and it’s fandom (which is not as common as you might think). Seriously even within a divisive fandom like Teen Wolf pretty much everyone agrees that this cast is impossible not to love.

It’s Still a Silly MTV Show About Teenage Werewolves

We spent so much time convincing everyone that Teen Wolf is so much better than it sounds that we forgot that the silliness is one of it’s most endearing features. Although it continually presents itself as darker and edgier with every new season, Teen Wolf will always remember where it came from. It’s still full of gratuitous shirtless men, ridiculous prosthetics, over-choreographed fight sequences, sappy dialogue, blatant homoeroticism, and an abundance of angry white men yelling dramatically at no one. I could wax lyrical forever about what makes Teen Wolf more than you expect but I will never forget that on top of it all it’s still a silly MTV show about teenage werewolves.

As I said above, I am not advocating for ignoring or dismissing problematic aspects – where’s the fun in that? – but I am hoping to see most of you ready and raring to both enjoy and criticise the upcoming episodes with me. Because while Teen Wolf definitely has it’s problems I think it’s still worthy of our time and effort.

all images copyright MTV

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.


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About the author

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.

Comments

  1. Great article! I think sometimes fandom gets so lost in its own head, that sometime it forgets the reason we started watching something in the first place. I loved your points about the relationships between Scott and Melissa and Allison and Lydia. I would add Papa Stilinski and Stiles to that list. It’s just so refreshing to see positive relationships between a parent and his/her child. The way Melissa interacts with Scott reminds me so much of the relationship I have with my own mom, who is also a nurse (haha), and I think that is one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much.

    Peace, Love, and Happiness to You…Sarah

    1. Thanks dude! I love the Stilinski’s – more than is probably healthy (I also really love Allison and Chris) – but I wanted to focus on the things that make TW stand out from the crowd ya know? And Melissa and Scott’s relationship is just so different to what we are used to seeing on television that it would probably be enough to keep me watching the show on it’s own. (Luckily I just generally love TW… even when it sucks).

  2. I will never give up on Teen Wolf! lol Great article. It’s so easy to get bogged down in fandom politics and drama and forget about the really great things that got us all hooked on Teen Wolf in the first place. Like you said, it’s a show on MTV about teenage werewolves. Embrace it and love it for what it is!

    I’m really excited to see some character development in 3b. Scott coming into his true alpha-ness (that’s totally a word!), Derek’s rebirth (which I’m hoping involved 4 legs and a tail), the relationship between Stiles and the Sheriff…the list goes on. I’m sure there will still be things that will illicit a collective groan of frustration from the fandom, but hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. And even if it doesn’t, we still have gratuitous shirtless men! 😉

  3. I really think we share a Teen Wolf brain because you really have nailed all the good and bad things about TW.

    Yeah, I was over the slo-mo the second time they showed it. Unfortunately I then had to sit for twenty-three more episodes filled with it.

    Other shows depicting awesome single parent relationships – Veronica Mars (father-daughter), Gilmore Girls (mother-daughter), Full House (father-daughters), Glee (father-son & mother-son), Buffy (mother-daughter, father like figure-daughter), Castle (father-daughter) Supernatural (mother-daughter, father like figure-sons, mother-son)
    So…thinking off the top of my head, the only mother-son relationships that can hold up to Scott & Melissa are Carole & Finn Hudson from Glee, and (surprisingly) Linda & Kevin Tran and Lisa & Ben Braeden on Supernatural. All the rest are either same sex parents to same sex children or dads to daughters. If you think about it, though, almost all the parents on TW love their children very much (even Jackson’s adoptive parents seemed loving and Lydia’s parents might hate each other, but obviously are for their daughter).

    As for shirtless hot dudes, yeah sign me up, especially as you really don’t see as much female nudity (of course that’s probably because they all mostly die off prior to stripping, so yay?)

    One of my biggest complaints about S1 & 2 were the lack of real friendship scenes between Lydia and Allison – they were mostly them informing the audience what was going on through their gossip, but it was in relation to the men in their lives (that also has to do with the tight 12 episodes of those seasons too, I will admit). This season, they are still doing it, but now with all the cards on the table, it feels like a more equal friendship.

    I’m very excited to see where JD is going – I’ve never bought into the he’s a gift nonsense, though I do respect him (to a certain extent) with the direction of his baby. The verging on queer-baiting can’t be laid all at his feet as I’m sure it wasn’t just him who decided to jump on the Sterek bandwagon to ride their show into high viewership, but he is the most visible and the one we look to for answers, so he gets all the blame. I a huge fan of Stiles and Derek, but I am hoping he’s going for the long con instead of the easy out and making them readily accessible now – they wouldn’t work out in the long run given their respective issues, so a slow but steady progression of their relationship as they grow closer is actually the best plan. Now, I understand the frustrations of the fandom, I do, but give him a little time. TW has backed themselves into the corner with the whole issue so the fall out (on either side) will be pretty big so we should all buckle up for a bumpy ride (I doubt HET viewers would’ve had such an issue with Stiles and Derek quietly becoming a couple if it hadn’t become such hot topic in the media over the past two years – a lot of the hate is reliant about how passionate the fandom is about their pairing. Which of course calls into question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, since the slash fans also really helped drive media interest in the show to begin with. It stopped being the silly show on MTV about werewolves (which it is) and became a hot button for LGBT rights (I highly doubt Danny’s character would’ve evolved into a regular in S2 & S3 without the discussion of m/m pairings, and DEFINITELY wouldn’t have figured into getting an Alpha boyfriend, regardless of his sexual orientation. He was background wallpaper, a nice touch, until this national attention focused on TW).

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