Wolf Like Me: A Magical Romantic Comedy with Bite

Wolf Like Me
Photo by: Mark Rogers/Peacock

Wolf Like Me is a wonderfully unique take on a classic horror mythos and it’s not getting nearly enough buzz. I hope to change that.  Get buzzing, because this show is amazing.

Had I not been signed up for Peacock in order to watch Olympic Figure Skating, I might have entirely missed this absolute gem of a show.  The only advertising I’ve encountered for Wolf Like Me has been on the Peacock app itself. If you own a television or your ad algorithm on social media decided to bless you with promotion for it, you may have known about it.  But for those of you who have been as equally in the dark as I’ve been, here’s the trailer:

While the title of the show and hints in the trailer should give away what the show is about pretty clearly, I’m going to give those who want to go in with only knowledge from the trailer a chance to back out now.  I mean, it’s pretty obvious, right? Right? 

But still.  They avoided saying it outright so if you want to respect that and let the reveal happen naturally, turn back now.

The following recommendation will contain a very obvious spoiler about the show’s premise. 

So anyway…

Yes, this is a werewolf show.  Obviously.  But it’s an incredibly different kind of werewolf show. 

The angle that this show chooses to tackle the genre from is genuinely unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.  I’m completely obsessed with it.  It’s like someone took the plot from a cheesy Christmas Romcom and dressed it up with horror-fantasy elements.  It’s sweet and sentimental, but bloody and occasionally a bit scary.  Somehow it works magnificently.  It doesn’t sound like it should work, but it does.  

Instead of focusing on the initial experience of becoming a werewolf, the story starts many years later.  The tale of how she became a werewolf sounds like it would fall into the traditional horror genre, but that’s not the story we’re telling here.  Mary has developed coping mechanisms to deal with it.  Those coping mechanisms, however, are unfulfilling.  They keep her away from people when she turns, but her life isn’t a very happy one.  The life she leads is lonely and she’s carrying a lot of baggage around with her as a result of both the sudden disruption to her life, and the way she’s chosen to deal with it.

Mary has even chosen a career that keeps her separated from society.  She’s an advice columnist and works from home (obviously set in a world where that hasn’t become the norm, like it has for many of us).  Her advice columns also act as a clever narrative tool throughout the series.  It’s through her advice column style narration that we get a peak into her own mind and the trauma she’s working through.  I absolutely love the choice to convey part of the story in this way.  It adds a magical quality to an already charming show.

Then we have Gary, a single father and widower who has heavy baggage weighing him down as well.  He’s trying his best to raise his daughter and navigate the heavy emotional toll that losing his wife has dealt them.  He’s trying, though. And despite his missteps, you can tell he’s giving his best efforts to do right by his daughter.  It makes him a wonderfully relatable character that’s easy to become attached to. 

Gary acts as an audience surrogate for the story.  We learn about Mary through him.  We experience his fear, his curiosity, and his loneliness.  His actions don’t always make sense to outsiders, as is demonstrated in an early scene where he basically tells a cab to “follow that car.”  He comes across as a creepy stalker in that moment and doesn’t bother to really explain himself.  But he’s just genuinely an awkward fellow dealing with a lot of complicated emotions.  He’s simply doing his best, and you can’t help but root for him. 

The dialogue is written in a delightfully snappy tone and delivered in a naturally comedic way by Josh Gad and Isla Fisher.  It’s a believable romance story, which isn’t something I say too often.  I’m usually incredibly picky about which romance stories I enjoy.  I tend to find myself turning to fanfic to fill in the gaps left by traditionally produced stories.  But not this time.  This time the show gave me exactly what I needed to feel satisfied with a love story.  These characters just click together like puzzle pieces and I adore them.

I was also impressed with the daughter, Emma, played by Ariel Donoghue.  Much like myself, Emma has an anxiety disorder.  As this is a mental health struggle I’m intimately familiar with, I can be somewhat critical about how it’s portrayed.  The way her panic attacks are written is very similar to how mine used to play out when I was younger.  

A lot of Emma’s emotions are also conveyed in quiet moments, with nothing but slight changes in her expression to inform us about what she’s going through.  One of the most pivotal moments of the show relies on her expression to convey the resolution, and somehow she delivers.  She keeps pace with the much more experienced actors, Gad and Fisher. 

I was so fascinated by her performance I decided to look up the actress, but I couldn’t find much information.  She’s been in a few other things before, but details about, for example, her age or acting training are not easy to find online.  If she chooses to keep acting, however, I can see her having an incredibly promising career.  I look forward to seeing where she goes from here.

There’s been some chatter about a second season for the show, but nothing confirmed so far.  It concludes in a somewhat open-ended way, where it could be left alone as is.  There’s a mysterious and magical quality to how the show concludes.  It’s satisfying.  That said, I definitely want more of this story, so if we’re blessed with additional seasons, I’m totally on board. 

In order for us to be blessed with a second, this needs to draw in viewers.  So in order to do that, you should go watch it now.  And then tell your friends.  This show doesn’t deserve to be underappreciated like In The Flesh.  That was also a revolutionary genre-bending show with a unique take on a horror mythos.  And that one had even more buzz than this has, and still got cancelled.  So let’s show this show the love it deserves, and maybe we’ll be blessed with more.

All six episodes of Wolf Like Me are available on the Peacock app in the United States and on Amazon Prime in Canada.  They’re only thirty minutes long, so the entire show is basically shorter than Avengers: Endgame.  You can watch this in one sitting. And if you get as hooked on it as I am, you probably will.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.


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