The Return of Teen Wolf

TW: Spoilers and mentions of death

My siblings and I sat glued to the television on certain nights in the years between 2011-2017, watching a group of mismatched high school students with supernatural abilities fight their way through impending doom and still manage to graduate on time.

“Teen Wolf,” the MTV series, will return as a movie in 2022, following a new storyline that requires the heroes of Beacon Hills to band together against a terrifying evil that has emerged. 

The announcement was made on Sept. 24 with a video showing flashes of Stiles Stilinski’s iconic Jeep, a wolf howling and tweets from fans asking for the show to be brought back immediately. Producers have not announced who will be coming back from the original cast. 

In honor of this, I wanted to share my fond memories and hopes for this new series, which may or may not include some hot takes. I want to say that this show held valuable lessons and meant a lot to me as someone in middle school during the beginning of its run, but that would not be true. 

For those who did not watch, or have not finished watching “Teen Wolf,” Scott McCall becomes a teenage werewolf in Beacon Hills, California after being bitten during a night out following a mystery case with his best human friend, Stiles Stilinski. Derek Hale, almost a town legend and orphan from a terrible fire, teaches Scott how to navigate his lycanthropy. New girl Allison Argent moves to town, whose family is full of historical vampire hunters, and befriends Queen Bee Lydia Martin before dating Scott McCall. 

Later, those who join this friend group/pack of sorts include Malia Tate, Isaac Lahey, Kira Yukimura, Liam Dunbar and a few others; all had intricate and interweaving storylines. 

My siblings and I connected on this show. We watched Scott stumble through dating Allison and learn that her family sought to fight anyone with lycanthropy. We witnessed Lydia complete an incredible character arc from mean girl to genius and Malia’s entrance into the human world. 

Throughout the series, the chemistry within the friend group was electric. Progressively, it was no longer just Stiles and Scott against the darkness that threatened their town; it became the unlikely Argent family, Derek, Kira and so many others fighting together. 

I will never forget, as many other fans remember all too well, is the demise of Allison. From my point of view, Allison represented the entrance of the audience into the story. The tale of Scott McCall and his pack begins with Allison’s arrival in Beacon Hills. She falls in and out of love with Scott and later into love with Isaac. But as she faces her demise, she tells Scott that she is facing death in the arms of her first love and that it does not hurt. 

At the time, I mourned the character with injustice at the front of my mind. My main thought centered around how unfair it was for her to leave the show’s plot. Now, I see it as the naturalness of life. Allison’s death, as sudden and dramatic as it was, maintained an untimely nature, in the heat of a fight for Stiles’ mind to be restored. 

This is what drew me into the show time and time again, the idea that people were able to band together despite whatever test in school the next day or old family history. People could recognize being a part of something bigger than themselves for the common good, at least in this story.

Some things were not as easy to watch. 

Scott had a panic attack in the first season. In the midst of facing a mystery evil, losing his girlfriend and having to take a test, he runs to the locker room and thinks that he is changing into a werewolf. Stiles follows him and assures him it is just a panic attack from the stress. 

After becoming a Banshee, a creature that screams at any sign of death, Lydia shows the second she knows what Allison’s fate is. We see her crouched over in a tunnel howling at the knowledge that she just lost her best friend forever. 

Stiles has to confront the possibility of having the same disease that took his mother while he is actually being possessed by a vengeful spirit. The story explores the possibility of Stiles having this illness rather than being possessed. We witness Stiles grieve his mother all over again and even mourn his life so far. 

As time progressed since the time that I first watched the show, it was not easy to watch the flop humor around serious topics, as referenced above. I hope that Jeff Davis will do better to demonstrate what was not found within the original series. 

For example, I would want to see more of Kira. Her character development felt incredibly rushed as she joined the show as a new student. Whereas Allison’s story includes scenes outside of her relationship with Scott frequently, Kira is rarely seen without Scott by her side. Kira, in my opinion, unfortunately almost existed just as a new love interest for Scott.  While at the time of watching, I felt the haste in Kira trying to catch up with everything that had happened and trying to fit into the group dynamic, but there was no gravity of what her story was and what drove her. Now, I can see that her character served as another driving force to the bigger picture. 

I hope that the movie shows the more mature versions of the alumni of Beacon Hills High; ones who, even with their supernatural abilities, had to go to college orientations and move past high school. What I am looking for in the upcoming movie is the organic growth of the characters I loved so much, without weird plotholes.  

All that being said, I want to say that I am excited about the movie and have started rewatching the show. I am positive that I missed some very large or problematic things that occurred within the airing of the series. 

I wish I could say that this show held a remarkable coming of age story with teens who consistently made the right choices by the end of the episode or season, or that the lessons within this show are ones that I could take with me throughout life –– it would not be the truth. 

“Teen Wolf” was everything that sappy teen dramas are supposed to be: dramatic, funny, heartbreaking and a little weird. I cannot wait to watch the movie with my siblings the same way we watched the series before. 

 

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