Teen Wolf and the story of an obsessive tv watcher

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 Sept 7th. I remember it clearly. I was participating in Pitmad on Twitter and I was stressed beyond belief. I needed to find a way to stop myself from obsessively checking my Twitter feed every minute or so, so a lovely friend, Barb, convinced me to watch one of her favorite shows, Teen Wolf. I’d heard of it of course, but shrugged it off as an angsty teen show which is pretty much my least favorite thing ever. Yeah….I was wrong. So, so wrong. I mean, yeah it is an angsty teen show, but it is so much more than that. And this is the story of how I became a rabid fan and watched six seasons of it just to finish in time to watch the season/series finale.

So, let’s break this down, shall we? The episodes are approximately 40 minutes. Each season had 10 episodes, except for those times where each season was broken into two parts at 10 episodes each. It doesn’t seem too hard to watch all of it in 3 weeks, but let me tell you, it was. I have a family (hubs and 2 kids). I have 2 jobs (writer and freelance writer). I have a house that routinely needs cleaning due to having 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 2 gerbils. So it’s not like I have unlimited time to sit on my butt and watch 5-6 episodes at a time. But I did anyway. I also propped my phone on the cabinet to watch episodes while I was doing dishes and propped it on my bed to watch episodes while folding laundry. I stayed up way, way past my bedtime. I never neglected my daughters, my husband or my paid work, but my writing…yeah that got sidelined. I’m not proud.

I’m not sure what about this show grabbed me so much (that’s a lie, I know) but no other show, except for Doctor Who, has consumed me the way Teen Wolf did. And it all boils down to Stiles. A goofy kid who is loyal to a fault. Sarcastic as all get out. A normal kid who thinks like an FBI profiler but is as clumsy as a toddler. And probably now my third favorite fictional character of all time. (The Mad Hatter and Leeloo are my top 2, btw.) I fell hard for his character, and he helped me get through some of the rougher patches of the show (it is by no means perfect), and his character arc is the one that had me the most emotional throughout the entire series.  Also, I am an unapologetic Stydia shipper (That’s Stiles and Lydia for those not in the the know).

Throughout the six seasons the characters grew from wimpy teens to young adults with the world on their shoulders, and despite a few missteps and trusting of the wrong people, they are capable of saving the world. It is an interesting take on the trope of “young savior” and probably among the better ones I’ve seen done. The core three (Scott, Stiles and Lydia) lose family and friends but come out stronger than even they could ever imagine, and they end up with a bigger, stronger family unit. A pack. They also end up with a purpose, a reason for why the things that they went through are not pointless. This is important storytelling because they went through a lot. A LOT.

Of the core three, the other most important relationship is that of these two, Scott and Stiles, the heart of the show. Best friends, brothers, and probably the two most unlikely heroes ever. Which is why it works. As they go through their trials, you root for them. As they make mistakes, you cringe for them. As they grow, you are proud of them. As a tv watcher, it is an intense experience. But one I’m glad I hitched a ride for.  Like I said before, the show wasn’t perfect. There were some plot holes, some misdirects that never panned out, some truly terrible bad guys (Dread Doctors anyone…..), but there was so much heart. And even though I was originally thinking that ending it on season 6a’s final episode would have been smart, since I was not a fan of the tone and story line of 6b, I have to admit, the series finale was fantastic.

And before I go, let me touch on the finale. (Here be spoilers. Turn away now if you’ve not watched the series finale yet.)

I was not a fan of 6b. I understand the timeliness of it, of how easy it is to spread hate and mistrust, which is probably why I didn’t like it. It feels too close to what our world is like right now (and I watch tv to avoid the real world), but how they handled the ending really made it worth the terror they were going through. As a huge fan of happily ever afters, I got it and thank god. I went into the finale fearing a death of a character and was so relieved that the director didn’t go that route. Instead a terrible person found redemption. And an even more terrible person got his just rewards. And happily ever afters abounded. Stydia was fully realized. Scott finally found a true mate in Malia. Argent and Melissa found each other. Love was in the air in Beacon Hills. But so was purpose. And for Scott to realize that his true purpose is to be a true leader and that he is capable of saving those who are just like him from the truly evil Monroe (seriously she is as bad as Umbridge) was a beautiful way to end the series.

Also, as a side note, watching Papa Stilinski kick wayward deputy butt was the coolest.

Also, also, I could keep going on, but this is already long winded. if you’re a fan, let me know in the comments 🙂

 

** All images are MTV.com promotional images

 

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