Of late, those of us who follow the Paranormal/Fantasy genre are being catered to pretty extensively. Writers and TV and movie producers are slapping together more fodder for our obsession with the lives and loves of various creatures of the night than we can shake a stake at (pun embarrassingly intended). The fact that much of it is shamefully predictable—the obvious work of copycats trying to jump on an apparently lucrative bandwagon—doesn’t temper this insatiable greed for sharp-toothed diamonds amid all this rough.
The genre flooding does take some of the fun out of it, of course; there isn’t much I’m reading/seeing that I haven’t read/seen before. Most of the time I’m saying to myself “wow, what an Anita Blake wannabe” or “okay, clearly that guy’s the Edward and the other one’s the Jacob”, possibly even “oh, no, he’s being so rude to her, they’re arguing constantly, wonder if they’ll end up being soul mates?” Sigh. If only that stopped me, but it doesn’t.
Which brings me to Teen Wolf. I told myself very firmly that I wasn’t interested, and proceeded to watch both the pilot and the following episode. In my defense, there is good stuff here! Tortured main character Scott is a little too pretty to be believable as a dork, but he does have good chemistry with best friend Stiles and that helps. Slight nods (including that name Stiles) to the show’s fun 80’s movie predecessor in cliche Mean Boy Jackson, who bullies and threatens Scott, and beautiful, bitchy Lydia, with her intense dedication to the line that divides “winners” and “losers” (two words she repeats way too much). Honestly, her superficiality would’ve felt more real if it was conveyed through actions and attitude instead of blatant dialogue. However, in fairness, she is created from the character Pamela from the original film, and all the winners/losers talk was the way Queen Bees expressed themselves back then. As the TV series is only loosely based on the movie, I assume that Lydia’s character will develop more subtlety as the show progresses.
MTV leaves the movie behind in order to add some comfortable metaphysical staples and give the show the currently required edge. Such as dark and lovely Allison, a somewhat mysterious yet likable new girl. Smart move—I don’t know how many ‘shippers would be inspired by a female romantic lead named “Boof”. Tucked into place for conflict are the local werewolf hunters (Vampire Diaries’ “Founders Council”, anyone?), one of whom is Allison’s father; and sexy-scary werewolf sire Derek, who lurks around smoldering at everyone and is possibly a murderer.
Clearly, MTV is sticking with the formula that the world now knows we like, and that probably means I”ll keep watching. At least until June 26th when True Blood returns, because naturally basic cable cannot compete with HBO.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll watch both.