I’ll be the first one to admit that I was completely skeptical about MTV releasing a darker and serious television series based off one of my favorite comedies from the 80’s, Teen Wolf. But after giving the show a chance when it first aired last summer, I was pleasantly surprise to find it a a well-made series that had just the right amount of teen and supernatural drama, one that’s far better than the phenomenon that helped bring it about. While it does have moments that feel a bit Twilight-ish at times, substituting vampires for werewolves, those who enjoy high school drama with their monsters should enjoy taking a bite in the twelve episodes collected in Teen Wolf: The Complete Season One on DVD.
Things kick off with Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), the typical unnoticed teen in high school. So to get some attention, he tries out for the lacrosse team while also trying to score a date with one of the cutest girls at school, Allison (Crystal Reed). Things seem to be going well in both areas until his weird best friend Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) talks him into going in the woods one night to help his sheriff father search for a dead body. While searching, they come across the body and are attacked by a wolf-like monster that takes a bit into Scott. After barely escaping and making it to school the next day, Scott starts noticing little by little that he’s turning into a werewolf and will need all the help he can get from Stiles – as well as fellow werewolf Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) – to control his inner beast while trying to survive high school, werewolf hunters and other werewolves out to get him.
The show does come off as sort of a “Twilight: The Series”, but Teen Wolf really surprised me with its great stories and well-acted teen characters. And while he looks more like a Mr. Hyde-like monster than a werewolf during his transformation, it can be pretty scary when Scott can’t control himself or feels himself slipping away to the monster inside him.
It would’ve been nice if this had made it to Blu-ray, but the twelve episodes presented here, spread across three DVDs, still look and sound pretty good. The picture comes in as clean as 480p can allow, giving just enough to detail to creep you out whenever a werewolf appears and the 5.1 surround sound making sure that every blood curdling scream and lonely howl is heard with crystal clarity.
The extras here are just as thrilling as the show, as things start off with an extended version of season finale episode “Code Breakers”. I believe this is just the extra long finale that aired when it first came out, but MTV had to trim some small stuff later to make it fit during reruns. There’s about 20 minutes of “Deleted, Alternate and Extended Scenes” that lets viewers see what kind neat stuff didn’t make the cut. A crazy “Gag Reel” shows the cast having fun while filming, while those who enjoy seeing half naked guys will enjoy the “Shirtless Montage” that puts together a clip show of the male characters being shirtless throughout the series.
“Following The Pack: Meet the cast of Teen Wolf” gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how the cast came together for the show, as “Love Bites!” goes into all of the romantic parts featured throughout the season. The last of the features are “Teen Wolf: Working the Red Carpet”, which shows off some of the premiere party for the show while talking to some of the cast about the experience, and some audio commentary by some of the cast and crew on select episodes.
Forgetting reality TV trash for substance, MTV has a hit with their update of the 80s comedy-horror classic Teen Wolf, whose successful debut is now collected on the three-disc Teen Wolf: The Complete Season One. Don’t let the similarities to the Twilight Saga scare you away, as anyone who enjoys teen drama and supernatural action will find plenty to sink their claws into as it features well-written stories along with actors who portray teens believably. If you’re looking for something different to watch, or just want to catch up on the story before season two begins in June, give this rebooted Teen Wolf an honest look, as you’re bound to have a howling good time doing so.