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just enough to make us dangerous
Teen Wolf - reaction. 
26th-Aug-2012 08:54 pm
Not SPN icon
I've watched all the episodes and now I have some thoughts about it all I want to write them down.

Um... not exactly positive, so if you're looking for squee it might be best to move on. (and seriously this is purely personal. I completely appreciate we all see and experience TV differently. Yay for that! And also seriously, move on if you adore this show because my moaning is going to be boring as all hell).

I decided to watch Teen Wolf mainly because of the explosion in fandom over it. I was curious and I figured if SPN fans are going nuts over it I could be missing something I could be going nuts over. Because, let's face it...it's fun to go nuts over something. Man, I've enjoyed going nuts (and being nutty!) about Supernatural for 6 years now. I was very ready to jump on a new fandom band wagon.

Sadly, that band wagon isn't going to be for me. I say sadly because a shiny new fandom would be fun and I can see that the Show itself embraces the fandom and encourages participation - even that kind of participation. I think that's awesome and no doubt lots of fun will be had by all.

But you really have to love a show, connect with the characters and be taken for a ride with its story to engage in a fandom I think. (Though I love a lot of shows and am not fannish about them).

I did watch all 24 episodes willingly though so I can't discount that there is something there. Something that kept be coming back for more. Mostly those things were:

* Stiles

* Stiles and his dad

* Werewolves (and the genre)

* Scott's mum, Melissa

* Stiles

Dylan O'Brien's performance of Stiles is completely endearing. I thought he outshone his co-stars on so many levels and I'd love to see this young performer have a great career. The mix of humor and sincerity was spot on and he bought much needed levity to the Show. He's cute too. :) He's gets mentioned twice because if I watch any more of this show it will be just to watch him. And also because I did like his friendship with Scott. You totally know I'm a complete sucker for the bromance!

Of all the relationships I thought Stiles and his Dad to be the most interesting and compelling. Unlike a lot of the stuff going on it was subtly handled (for the most part) and I loved the emerging guilt that Stile's felt toward his dad. That hallucination scene (in um...ep 2.9 I think) - when his Dad was blaming him for everything, was heartbreaking. Namely because of Dylan's performance. He does teary, puppy dog eyes very well.

As soon as the word alpha was mentioned I started to get excited. I discovered a bit of a love for werewolf fic (shut up! the knotting has nothing to do with it. Sheesh) so I thought a show about werewolves could actually be interesting. The power dynamics between alphas, betas and omegas could be fun. The notion of packs and loyalty could make for some great story lines. Sadly, this never really played out as pack dynamics never really seemed to be a focus. Or, if it was, not to the point where I was satisfied. Though where it ended I suspect there might be more about that next season.

And I really liked Scott's mum. Nicely performed and a good contrast to all the emotional, angsty teenagers. (Um... I mentioned age being a factor didn't I? *g*)

Oh and I liked Danny and the coach. The coach was zany enough to add a fun element.

Er... now for the bits that make it enough for me to not really like the show. (and yeah I totally get that this show isn't supposed to appeal to my demographic but I'm going to whinge anyway...)

Not since Sooky in True Blood have I been so put off a show because of a character. Allison has that effect on me in this show - so much so that toward the end I had to skip through any scene she was in. I'd like to put a finger on what it is about her but I'm suspecting it's a purely personal reaction. For me it was the constant emotion, the tears, the doubt, the struggle and the try hard BAMF stuff that turned me away. It's very likely the actress and not the character because on paper I'm sure a female character like this would appeal to me. I liked the idea of her - having to grow up and accept responsibility yada yada but I'm not sure why in doing that she had to lose all her compassion.

I would like to think that she discovered that she could become a leader and hunter and not lose her compassion the way Kate and her mum did. They were two other characters that grated on me to the point of cringing when they came on (and seriously it has nothing to do with them being female. It had everything to do with them being extremely unlikeable). I am aware that as I skipped a lot of her chatty, emotional scenes I may have missed some of that character building. But to be honest, I just didn't care.

And there, essentially, is the crunch. None of the characters (aside from those mentioned above) made me care.

Lydia was interesting in that she's super smart pretending to be dumb (I'm not sure if they ever really explored the reasons why, because THAT would have been interesting). As I was skipping Allison scenes I was also skipping Allison and Lydia scenes so maybe this was explored more), but she just became annoying.

Jackson had so much potential to be an interesting, ultimately sympathetic character but, idk, it all became too plastic and stupid for my liking. They touched on interesting moments (others actually caring about what happened to him, losing control of his life, his background etc.) but that whole kanima story line was so messy for me. And he was just too much of a spoilt brat for me to connect with or even like. Even his buff bod wasn't enough to win me over (though definitely eye candy!)

I didn't mind Scott that much but I think the actor was being stretched beyond his abilities. I'm not sure if it was the material he had to work with or just inexperience but I was never sold on him. Maybe because he had to perform along side Dylan it showed up more. I do think he matured quite well into season 2 and there's definitely potential for more growth. I'd like to see him quietly slip into a leader role without major angst - which I think where it is all heading. And the whole Allison/Scott relationship was just too agonising for me to be interested in. (Oh I sound like such a spoilt sport without a romantic bone in my bod! Hee... not true. I love a good romance. Stile's pining over Lydia totally moved me...*g*).

Derek. *sigh* I'm going to blame the material for this character as well. I seriously think I am missing something here but other than having some him hurt all the time (and pulling growly faces) what was the point of him exactly? I think he's there as a confused werewolf or something. A character looking for somewhere to belong - he's not strong enough to be an Alpha so maybe he's an omega or perhaps needs to be lead (maybe by Scott?). Perhaps I missed some vital story telling on him. Another buff bod though. The eye candy certainly helped maintain a bit of interest.

The grandfather was completely unlikeable (I know that was the point but his growing relationship with Allison irked me beyond belief). Allison's dad was one of the most layered characters and I appreciated that, though I never felt sure about how I should be feeling about him.

The thing is I'm not sure if it's meant to be cheesy (without the humour) or whether it's just..um...bad. It's melodrama (hmmm, my idea of melodrama anyway) and therefore a certain amount of OTT stuff is to be expected but I never felt entirely comfortable about the universe they were presenting. It either needed to be more stylized (taking on a comic book style) or be more genuine. Or something.

I'm really really good at hand waving plot holes (hello, Supernatural fan here), so that didn't bother me too much but we are presented with the relentless saga of teenage love and angst and them trying to find a place their in the world that it all just became...tedious.

And that's why I expect my age, to a certain extent, plays into my reaction to the show. I'm not particularly interested in all that. OR it might well be that I have a teenager and I'm living with all the angst so I don't need to see it on my TV screen also! *g*

It intrigues me that Derek/Stiles is a ship, especially as they hardly share the screen together. But hey! Since when has that ever held fans back. I do love that Dylan and Tyler seem to have A LOT of chemistry between them. If I ever read fic it will probably of the RPF variety. (or hurt!Stiles, protective, possessive!Scott. That might well appeal..;D)

*phew* for someome who didn't exactly like it I sure had a lot to say. /o\

On a completely different note, I finished Season 2 of Spartacus and loved it! Maybe not as strong as S1 but still damn good. Now there's a show that has some interesting women in it. That ending! *GUH*

Also, is it October yet?!
(Deleted comment)
27th-Aug-2012 09:55 am (UTC)
I think you actually hit it on the head re Allison - I think it might just be the look of her (which is awful I know but I suppose that happens to many viewers of TV and film actors...). I must say I didn't mind her so much in the beginning but her story line started to bug me...so yeah. Just one of those unfortunate things.

And wow - that's Dylan's first role? That's amazing. What a find then. I reckon he has a bright future. I can see him in those comedy type films like, um, The Hangover or something like that. It's very likely that I will watch S3 purely for him and probably those other characters I like. And Allison might just grow on me. :)

27th-Aug-2012 10:01 am (UTC)
I gotta say I enjoy writing about TV and even though I can objectively look at this show (as opposed to being completely subjective when I look at SPN) I did enjoy thinking about what was making it work for me and what wasn't.

There were times I would like to have seen it poke more fun at itself - be a bit lighter or something, but I suspect that's the nature of the angst side of it all. I often felt confused which way I was supposed to take it. And Jackson is a great example. I fluctuated between feeling sorry for him and wanting to give him a huge slap about the head.

It's likely I'll watch next season - mainly because Stiles is SO watchable but I will also be interested to see where it goes.

And MY GOD! It feels like FOREVER since SPN has been on. I'm dying here!

26th-Aug-2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. However disliking an actor/actress for whatever reason can certainly affect one's enjoyment. I'm that way Kirsten Dunst, she just bugs the shit out of me.

For me, I watch TW for the cheeky fun, werewolf elements, & shallow prettiness. Also my muse is attracted to fandoms that are flawed - they're more fun to play with in regards to writing and reading.

Where a show like GoT, that I'm thoroughly fannish over I have zero interest to read or write. I just want to enjoy the show as it is.

Personally I like Allison, or at least I did through most of S1 & 2 (exception filling in the holes of her grief over her mom a character I disliked passionately before she died and then everything with her grandfather) then at the end of S2 the hand-holding with Scott at the end was over the top and irked me!! Still I want to read TW & have had several plot bunnies to write in the fandom.

I do want more back story on just about everybody. I'm hoping S3 will deliver in this regard since they have 24 episodes to work with.

The rps side, I'm not there - yet! Only because I'm trying to avoid it, but yeah.
27th-Aug-2012 10:08 am (UTC)
I think it's the "cheeky fun" that I missed - I know it was there (Stiles gave us a lot of that I think) but some of the angst seemed to swallow a lot of that up (for me).

And that's really interesting about being drawn to shows that are flawed (hee...maybe why SPN has such a big fan base *g*). I think tackling something as solid as GoT would be hard - so I totally see you point. I think it's great when a show drives fans to write and produce stuff. Bringing out creatively can only ever be awesome.

Oooh - they are making 24 eps next season? Is that because of its popularity? Good for them. Maybe they might really be able to make it meaty. I will definitely take more of an interest if some of the writing (:kof: and acting) improves.

Hee - the rps interests me simply because of gorgeous pics like your icon! That footage blows me away. Dylan saying "ship, get it" cracks me up. I love that they are totally aware of what's going on in fandom.

26th-Aug-2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
I agree that Teen Wolf embraces its fandom in a way I've never seen other shows do. And I have yet to see anyone start watching the show without immediately singling out the character of Stiles or the actor so no surprise there either. I actually have much this same situation with the show Lost Girl (though on the whole I like its entire cast more than I do the cast of Teen Wolf). The best friend character there is just terrific -- I'm still watching the second season almost entirely because of her because the stories themselves are not grabbing me at all.

Unfortunately for me I really don't give a damn about werewolves. Also while I quite like Allison's character and find the things she's been given to do in the show interesting, I have found Lydia boring since the start. I don't think even a relationship with Stiles would help. The fact that she was often paired with Jackson was just death because I've always found him boring as well. There's not enough shades of nuance in that character.

Maybe because he had to perform along side Dylan it showed up more.

That's an interesting thought. I actually thought Scott started to develop more this season and maybe that's just experience, but it's probably that + being stuck in the hero role. It was the same problem on Smallville where Lex Luthor was far more interesting than Clark Kent. In fact just about everyone was. Luckily on Teen Wolf the character won't be as locked in, but yeah, having a really charismatic actor in the role would have helped.

I had no patience for Derek in S1 either, but I think they started to do more with him in S2 so that his whole subplot was more bearable. And given that they know what the fandom wants, I suspect they may start writing more to that ship which would likely be useful for his character.

I liked the way these competing groups started making and breaking alliances from episode to episode so that it was never predictable where things were going to go. But I agree with you that the show could use more humor. And yeah, I just can't see myself becoming fannish about the show. I was just pleased that in S2 I actually had the desire to watch it since I find there's few shows that can sustain my interest through even a first season.
27th-Aug-2012 10:30 am (UTC)
Stiles and Scott's friendship was something that immediately made me think.. yeah, this is a show I could enjoy. Of course then all the other characters were introduced and I realised I had to follow their stories as well and for the most part I just wasn't as interested in them.

I actually thought Scott started to develop more this season.

Yes - very much. I think he's going to be much more interesting in the future - well, he should be. I thought his performances were getting better also, but he just doesn't have that um, "special something", that Dylan O'Brien has.

I was just pleased that in S2 I actually had the desire to watch it since I find there's few shows that can sustain my interest through even a first season.

It surprised me how much I did want to watch S2 even after being irked by quite a few of the characters in S1. There's a lot there that I could like, I'd just like to see it be a bit more clever or something. Idk - I think of it in the same way I get drawn to some fan fiction. Sometimes I can look past the bad writing and cliches if there's enough other elements that I really like.

I'll probably check out S3, but I can't see myself ever being fannish about it.

27th-Aug-2012 02:42 am (UTC)
I mean I can't say for sure, but I do think it will be hard for me to ever care about a teenager-based show. I'm...just not a teen anymore, and I don't miss it!
27th-Aug-2012 10:35 am (UTC)
Oh man - I don't miss being a teenager either (and I certainly won't miss living with one!). I don't might clever, thoughtful teen shows (or rather, teenagers in shows) but I get tired of seeing that same old stereotypes presented time and again.
27th-Aug-2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
One reason I fell in love with Alias is that Jen Garner is about my age and one reason I love SPN is Dean is nearly exactly my age as well. It makes me wonder what kinds of shows I'll find to watch after I age out of all TV brackets!!
28th-Aug-2012 08:25 am (UTC)
Oh I do like Jen Garner...

It makes me wonder what kinds of shows I'll find to watch after I age out of all TV brackets!!

Heh - yes well, the older age bracket is certainly not as well represented as the younger one. Though, for me, I still feel like I'm in my late 20s, early 30s so I still totally identify with that age bracket (though the fact that I love Ellen and Jody in SPN might well have something with them being in their 40's...;D)

28th-Aug-2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
Well by the time SPN ends Sam and Dean will be in their 50s, so... :)
27th-Aug-2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, even a show you don't care about you have more to say on than I ever will on any show. *iz impressed* ;D

I like watching Teen Wolf. Even though there are things irritating me. But I seem to have the ability to blanc that out and just focus on what I like. *g*

So, yeah, time for October, so you don't have to waste your time on shows anymore that can't satisfy you. ;)

28th-Aug-2012 12:00 pm (UTC)
Hey honey!

Hee! You know me... I like to waffle on!

This show had a strange effect on me. I really REALLY wanted to like it. It has so many elements that I like in a show (namely the bromance!), but there's so much I didn't like and by writing all this down it helped me try and figure out what it was.

For the most part I enjoyed watching it, but I just can't see that it will be something I could be fannish about.

Not that I really need a new fandom...SPN is enough! :D
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