Stars: Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Dylan O’Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, Colton Haynes, Linden Ashby, JR Bourne
Jeff Davis
Russell Mulcahy
MTV, airs Monday nights
June 5, 2011

Whether you found 1985’s feature film TEEN WOLF, starring Michael J. Fox in makeup that looked more simian than lupine when he wolfed out, adorable or incredibly annoying, just forget the whole thing when it comes to MTV’s TEEN WOLF. The two share a title, the basic concept of a teenaged male werewolf and presumably a lot of legal agreements. That’s it.

MTV’s TEEN WOLF fits somewhere in tone between t VAMPIRE DIARIES and the great granddaddy of most contemporary horror/comedy, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.  Yes, some people are making BUFFY comparisons. Yes, both shows are about teens in high school dealing with horror. No, they are not remotely similar in other ways.

TEEN WOLF is deliberately a little funnier than VAMPIRE DIARIES, but it has that show’s sense of teen angst, and the AMERICAN WEREWOLF likeness starts with the creature design. Ah, yes, good news on that front, too – we get an honest-to-evilness werewolf.

Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) is hoping to make first string on his high school lacrosse team and intrigued by gorgeous new girl Allison Argent (Crystal Reed). Then he and best bud Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), who happens to be the son of town sheriff Stilinsky (Linden Ashby), decide to go investigate a reported murder in the woods, where half a corpse has been found. Stiles is hauled off by his dad, who is leading a search party. Since Stiles doesn’t tell on Scott, Scott is left alone in the woods, where he finds the other half of the corpse – and then is set upon by a horrendous beast, which is in turn chased off by a group of mysterious men.

Writer/executive producer Jeff Davis does a great job of moving things along. By the end of the first episode, both Scott and Stiles know that Scott has been bitten by a werewolf and what that means, Scott has become involved with Allison, Scott is approached by fellow werewolf Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) with survival advice and we learn of at least one formidable problem that faces the lycanthropes.

Russell Mulcahy of the original HIGHLANDER movie fame, has directed the first episode with a lot of legitimate, effective horror flourishes and allows the actors to be charming and naturalistic. Posey is a find, immediately likable and empathy-inviting, and O’Brien is a good foil, playing the laugh lines right without hitting them too hard.

By the end of the episode, we feel that we know the characters as people and we want to know what will happen next. This gets TEEN WOLF off to a strong start. The second episode airs tonight in its regular Monday night time slot.


Click on link: Exclusive Interview with TEEN WOLF executive producer JEFF DAVIS – Part 1

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