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[personal profile] stillane
Things I love about Teen Wolf (or, why my summer vacation included a show on MTV set around a bunch of werewolves in high school):

Don't be fooled that this is going to be some well thought-out piece of eloquence. It's pretty much just ramble-y flailing and an overlong treatise on architecture. Also, there are spoilers going up through all aired eps, but nothing beyond them save for personal speculation. Also also, trigger warnings for canonical implied abuse of a minor.

Okay? Okay.

Teen Wolf seems to get compared frequently to Buffy, and there are definitely reasons why that's fitting, but it also reminds me in some ways of SGA. Probably the biggest is the fact that it knows that its protagonist is a doofus. The long, lingering shot of him falling asleep and toppling off a roof, followed by a plaintive, off-screen "Ow"... The classic, despairing "His username is 'Allison?'... His password is also 'Allison?'"... The show is aware of exactly how seriously it can't take itself, but it's also unapologetic when it intends to be serious. It's that odd, meta feeling that underlies the whole thing that maybe makes me like it best. They're not quite breaking the fourth wall, but they definitely like to flirt with it.

Other specific things that I enjoy:

1. The houses. As with a lot of things about this show, they put a hell of a lot more thought into this than you'd really expect.

- The McCalls live in a large, old house, the kind of place that they bought back before Scott turned out to be an only child. It’s a stretch to keep it on a single income, but they stay because it’s their home and Melissa is a damn good mom.

- Even the bones of the Hale house are solid and grand. It's less a home and more a homestead, built to hold and last through generations. It gives the impression that the Hales have been there a long time, and intended to be there much longer. They were the kind of people who stayed.

- The Argents stand out sharply in their new construction. It's got all the shiny upgrades that the modern, successful family looks for - the granite and stainless steel and tray ceilings - and none of the lived-in warmth of the others. It's exactly the kind of place that people who've moved often and anticipate doing it again would choose. Very nice, very tasteful, but ultimately replaceable. Allison's room is the direct contrast to all of this, with its progression from paint choices on the wall early on to carefully personalized decorations later. Allison is very tired of moving.

- Jackson's house is ultra-modern, Isaac's is the definition of blending in, and Boyd's has bars on the windows. I'm dying to see more of the Stilinski house. Every single living space on this show says something about the characters, and I love that.

(Side note: Why is everyone on this show - and TV in general, for that matter - an only child? Scott, Allison, Stiles, Lydia, Jackson, Isaac... You don't actually have to spend the money on other actors; just mention siblings offhand every now and then. Nobody has them unless it's for plot-furthering reasons. It's like family structuring via the Chekhov's gun method.)

2. The cast. They're... yeah, beyond adorable. They're like a big, snuggly pile of rainbows and goofiness. They have behind-the-scenes shots like this...

wolfy photobomb

derek isaac and juice

...and twitter battles about which of them is best suited for mpreg. No, really.

I sort of want to bop Jackson on the head most of the time, but Colton Haynes may be my favorite of all the actors. His twitter is full of his feelings about his character's need to apologize and his delight about cuddling bunnies. Plus, this:

colton and baby

While the polite line between fans and actors/PTBs often gets erased in this fandom - and sometimes stomped over squickily - they seem to all respond gracefully and without condescension. Even the peripheral cast is charming. They just seem like the kind of people that would be ridiculously fun to hang out with. I would invite them to a paleo party without a second thought.

3. The fact that no one on this show is the character they’re supposed to be, save for Scott.

- Derek... Oh, Derek. By the Laws of TV, he should be this angry, powerful cypher, and he just isn't. Instead he's desperate and surly and often achingly young. He wears the standard leather jacket of mysterious badasses everywhere, but he tucks his hands in the cuffs up to the knuckles; he wears sneakers, not boots.

Relatedly, I love everything about the Kate/Derek dynamic. They don't pretend that Kate isn't a sexual predator, and they don't pretend that Derek is immune to fear and shame. He consistently comes across as vulnerable in her presence. This is the last place on earth I'd expect a commentary on the psychology of abuse and abusers, and yet there it is.

The second season really emphasizes what deliberate choices they were making in the first, too. Derek's very clearly different, from the way he holds himself to the way he speaks. He has moments with both Scott and Stiles, though, where he drops the act and feels very Season One Derek. He's wearing the right outfit the right way, and definitely tripping on the power upgrade, but I think even he knows it's not real. There's an overcompensation aspect to it all that's really interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing where he takes this later on, when things go as horrifically wrong as they're inevitably going to.

- Stiles. Just, Stiles. He should be the plucky comic relief, and he is, but he's also the one that gets shit done. He's practical, and competent, and just plain good. He is my very favorite, hands down. I want to use italics for everything about him, basically. What's extra neat is that you can very clearly see his father's influence there. I freakin' adore the Sheriff all on his own, and their relationship on top of that, but the coolest part is that they really are written as father and son. Not just in their interactions with each other, but in the ways that Stiles is so like his dad.

(Side note 2: I used to have the wildest crush on Linden Ashby, no lie. Mortal Kombat is a given, yeah, but does anybody else remember Spy Game? It was on ABC for about 5 minutes back in the day, and he played this awesome ex-spy who specialized in turning anything into a weapon and had a huge thing for his rookie partner, Max. The plots were ridiculous and the whole thing was goofy as all hell, but it was fabulous. *sigh*

So yeah, it's my personal headcanon that Lorne and Max retired and settled down to raise Stiles. He even has her eyes.

allison_smith dylan_obrien

Stiles' honorary uncles are a Russian bar owner and a dude who was possibly born in a suit, which never seems weird until Scott mentions offhand that they both smell like a gun locker. And then it all hits the fan with the hunters and Sheriff Stilinski kicks everybody's ass with a paperclip and a ballpoint and Mrs. Stilinski turns out to be both alive and very, very good with explosives. I want that story so much.)

- Allison. Eeee! She caught me completely by surprise with how awesome she is. Again, she's competent and adaptable, and so damn much wiser than you'd expect. I have this instinctive negative reaction to characters having breakdowns and crises in the midst of external turmoil, mostly because I'm sitting there going, "No, seriously, worry about your feelings after you stop the zombie hordes, okay?" It's not that I don't like character development with bonus emoting - emote, my pretties! emote! - I just value practicality above pretty much all else. Allison strikes this fantastic balance between being implausibly controlled and an angsting wreck. She gets tried, she gets traumatized, but she also gets back up, picks up a goddamn weapon, and does what needs doing. I love her so much!

- Scott grew on me! Like a sweet, goofy fungus! I honestly didn't expect to like him very much, based on fic characterizations, but he's adorable. Yes, his priorities suck for... well, all of the first season, and yes, he's inclined to be unthinkingly self-centered in his worldview, but he's got potential. He's written as the stereotypical teenage boy character in a drama series; he only grates so drastically because everybody around him has already realized that they're in a thriller instead. They're gearing up for life and death while he's still prepping for high school soap operas. The world has switched genres on him, and by the second season he's figuring it out. I like where he's headed, at least.

- I went from thinking Lydia was just a little too Mean Girls to ever win me over to being surprisingly fond of her. I'm willing to be convinced on Jackson, but he's going to have to redeem himself a lot. Danny is <3 all the way, OMG. I want to see so much more of the new pack members, and kind of live in terror that Boyd is not long for this world. Even the characters I don't like, I really enjoy the opportunity to not like (Victoria Argent, I am looking at you - but only from a safe distance, and preferably while well armed).

- They get bonus points for also having possibly the most awesome veterinarian on TV. I want to fistbump them for that one.

I love the feeling that they're all growing into this complicated, epic future for themselves. Who knows if they'll get there, but I'm enjoying the heck out of this show right now for what it is.

Date: 2012-06-24 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I noticed the only-child-ness - It made me think of Buffy, actually: Buffy (sort of), Willow, Xander, Cordelia; all only children. It seems weird to me, maybe they thought it would be weirder to refer to siblings who were never in it? But, an older sib at college or something would be so easy to write in... IDK.

Those behind the scenes photos are so so cute! Yay, thanks for sharing. Derek's actor is such a goof! It makes me want gag reels.

Date: 2012-06-24 11:02 pm (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
You have seen this, yes? The Fistbump of Fail cracks me up every time. There's apparently also a video on the horizon of all of the boys sneaking around and scaring the daylights out of each other repeatedly. *g*

Those behind the scenes photos are so so cute!

I'm just so ridiculously charmed by them all. How can the entire darn cast be that adorable?

Date: 2012-06-24 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ahhaha! Oh, that was brilliant. I googled for Teen Wolf bloopers and only got things from the 80s film, I should not have given up so easily. Jackson is so pretty when he actually smiles! And Tyler P does not seem quite so much like a labrador when he's shouting 'mother FUCKER!'. I want to see Tyler H laugh again! You're right, they're ridiculously adorable.

Oh dear. It's a new level of fannishness when you start adoring the actors as well as the characters.

Date: 2012-06-25 03:09 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Seriously, though, when even the guys who play the villains are like this...

... what are you gonna do? *g*

Date: 2012-06-25 10:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did not read this, because though I'm not in this fandom, you never know what you'll end up doing. Is this show brand new? I see references to it popping up a lot lately but ya know, living in Korea, I don't exactly stay on top of the US TV schedule.

Date: 2012-06-25 09:57 pm (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Nope, not new, just new-to-me! It's a few episodes into its second season now, but the first season is only 12 eps long so it's easy to catch up. It's kind of like the bastard lovechild of Merlin and Supernatural, maybe? Except there's less talk of destiny, and I can watch it alone in the dark. Also, the PTBs are refreshingly big on trying not to be misogynistic, homophobic asshats. Lots of spooky mystery, star-crossed lovers, atmospheric wooded cinematography, and really terrible special effects. *g*

Date: 2012-06-27 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay, I'm so into this show right now it's not even funny. I haven't really been fannish for a while now, and this is bringing back all those crazy feelings. The show itself is pretty dumb, I think, but got better near the end of season one. Dare I say that the last two episodes were good TV? Besides, I'm staying for the characters, not necessarily the plot. STILES. :D

I hadn't even thought of looking up the actors on twitter, but you've convinced me to. And I love your thoughts in this.

Date: 2012-06-27 05:03 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hi! I missed you!

I haven't really been fannish for a while now, and this is bringing back all those crazy feelings.

I hear you! There are still shows that I watch the daylights out of, but the only other one that makes me want to do bad things to it is Sherlock (and frankly half the time writing for it intimidates the living hell out of me). TW, though... it's like the perfect crack for my fannish id. There's an ensemble! And they're all uniquely awesome! Everybody has lots of feelings! There is much peril! *g*

Dare I say that the last two episodes were good TV?

No, no, I was thinking it, too! Like, I finished last night's and realized I was legitimately clutching things and leaning forward. They've leveled up in quality somewhere in there. Even the special effects in the clip from next week's are kind of great. *blinks*

And the actors... They're doing that whole Q&A thing after the eps now, right? And I would normally just cherry-pick the neat quotes and gifs via fandom and keep a healthy barrier there, but I am all over these guys. They're just so darn lovely. (Although I've repeatedly been left with the terrifying suspicion that Scott McCall actually has a more nuanced and complex understanding of the TW universe than Tyler Posey does. Even that's just hilarious, though.)

And I love your thoughts in this.

Thanks! I want to babble about it so much, but it feels like that's all happening on Tumblr these days and that place makes me feel like my grandmother trying to program the VCR. (I am obsolete at 27. That's just sad.) If I ever figure out how to work one without breaking the internet, I might get more social. *g*

Date: 2012-07-02 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I missed you too!

You perfectly describe why I love this show so much, especially in how differently I love it in comparison to Sherlock. I think it's hard to be super fannish about Sherlock, if only because the post-episode frenzies are so short lived. We get a three episodes and then nothing for a year (or more) and it's tough for me to stay engaged in that kind of environment. The fiction coming out of that fandom is outstanding, and I continue to read it and love it, but I don't feel much of a connection with the fandom itself.

Teen Wolf gets me where SGA got me. Goofy, wannabe-drama, team show, basically, with some cringe-worthy plots but characters that grab on and won't let to. TBH, I think this show is doing better with their female characters (oh, SGA). I think I read somewhere that the creators are trying to make a world with no sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. I...don't know if I can get behind that 100%, if only because those things are such a part of my life and their absence sometimes becomes a thing, the elephant in the room. Like, they didn't add a COC until season two. In a show based in California. No, just no. But then, their treatment of Danny is so fucking refreshing and Allison is so kick-ass and lovely, and Lydia is slowly becoming someone we never expected. *sigh*

Honestly, after being in a few movie fandoms after SGA, having something to squee over weekly is making me so happy. Like Sherlock, closed-canon fandoms are tough since the decline in fannish activity and interest is basically all downhill.

No, no, I was thinking it, too! Like, I finished last night's and realized I was legitimately clutching things and leaning forward. They've leveled up in quality somewhere in there. Even the special effects in the clip from next week's are kind of great.

Oops, I actually haven't seen any episodes from season two! I was thinking of the last two episodes from season one, but my wording was a little off there, sorry. But hey, it's good to hear that the quality won't disappoint when I finally catch up (which better be soon because I want to watch next week's episode on Monday).

Well, I'm 26 and Tumbling my life away, haha. It's a bit weird at the beginning but you catch on pretty quickly. I don't think it can be denied that some fannish areas, specifically the artist communities, are much stronger there. The art coming out of tumblr is amazing, and makes joining worth it, imo. :D

/long comment is long

Date: 2012-07-25 12:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

i had three episodes on vcr for some reason when i was eight? i watched them over and over and desired all of the HUGE MOBILE PHONES and sassy dialogue. THIS IS MYSTERIOUS BECAUSE I LIVE IN AUSTRALIA AND I DON'T THINK IT WAS EVER SCREENED HERE.

(actually my half-sisters visited their dad when he lived in the usa pretty regularly around then, so mystery solved, i guess.)


also I trailed you through AO3 because dang if borges isn't perfect for derek and stiles and dang if i don't love what you did with them.

do you have tumblr? there's a whole teen wolf fandom blowing up over there, if you like gifs of tyler hoechlin's face.

Date: 2012-07-26 11:54 pm (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Oh. My. God. I didn't even think to check youtube. YOU WIN THE INTERNET. \o/

and desired all of the HUGE MOBILE PHONES and sassy dialogue

YES, THIS. I mean, the effects were terrible and the budget was obviously tiny, but damn did I not care. Watching that episode reminded me of all the awesome little asides that they fit in, and just how great the banter was. I'd honestly forgotten how much I loved it, and Lorne Cash in particular. There is nothing sadder than the realization that a show is so totally gone that you can't even rewatch it. :(

On the other hand, the world is a tiny and wonderful place, that two people on different continents can geek out over a show that aired for half a second, fifteen years ago. :)


RIGHT? Like, he gets his snark from Lorne, and his practicality from Max, and his inability to stay the hell out of trouble from both of them. I can't get over how he even looks like a blend of the two. And Lorne as Sheriff Stilinski isn't even a stretch, with their world weariness and core-deep decency. The scene in the youtube ep where he's empathizing with the robot and the line from TW about the difference between arson and murder, just... same person.

Crap. I'm going to end up writing this. There will be possibly three people on earth who have any clue what I'm talking about, and I can't rewatch the Spy Game canon for a refresher, but I want the Stilinski Spy Family Saga so much.

do you have tumblr?

I do (I'm stillaneforserious over there), although it has literally nothing on it yet. I live in perpetual fear that I'm going to break the internet every time I try out a new platform, so I've been really slow to do anything with it until I feel like I understand the etiquette of it. Who doesn't like gifs of Hoechlin's face, though? I think that may be a sign that they are a robot. I mean, even if he doesn't float your boat attraction-wise, he's just such a sweetheart.

Thanks so much for tracking me down, and for enjoying the story!

Date: 2012-07-27 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
youtube is the best thing, on occasion.

The scene in the youtube ep where he's empathizing with the robot and the line from TW about the difference between arson and murder, just... same person



no i'm not crying i've just got teen wolf in my eyes

i'm sorry but you're going to have to write it.

and i solemnly take on the responsibility of beta reader.

*chin hands*

I tumblr followed you! In case! I'm wehaveallgotknives but I'm such a prolific poster of so much random junk feel free to not clutter your dash.

thanks for being awesome!

Date: 2012-07-27 06:37 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Oh. OUCH. It's bad that Stiles' mom is gone in canon, but actually thinking of her as Max... Ow. Right in the feels. I will absolutely take you up on the beta reading, should this evil beast become reality. *g*

I anticipate my tumblr will be the equivalent of "Oo! Shiny thing! Shiny thing! Squirrel!" once it has real content, just to warn you. Given that it's me, the squirrel part might even include actual squirrels.

Date: 2012-07-31 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
my tumblr is all shiny things and strong batman opinions, benthopelagic fish and rather a lot of homestuck. (if you don't know what homestuck is, go ahead and tumblr saviour it for your own sanity. if you have an enquiring mind and a few weeks free, might i interest you in homestuck? it's like a game and also like a comic and will also eat you life.)


quite deeply upsetting, i think you'll find.

Date: 2012-07-25 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
also, i am watching that one on youtube and DEFS STILES' PARENTS YOU WERE RIGHT
(deleted comment)

Date: 2012-07-27 01:17 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hi! Welcome! Also, thank you so much for remembering the Merlin story!

until it somehow grabbed my brain and made me utterly crazy for it

The brain-grabbing addictive powers of Teen Wolf, man, they are legendary. It's like snarky, stealthily poignant heroin. I started out amused, and then moved on to interested, and that was great. Then the Stilinski Kitchen Table Incident happened and I just froze, because holy hell the show I thought I was watching should not have been able to do that, to just insert this ridiculously honest moment into an over-the-top story about teenagers with fangs. That was when I knew I was in trouble. *g*

I can't believe that Sheriff was Johnny Cage.

ONCE SEEN, IT CANNOT BE UNSEEN. Heh. I haven't caught any references yet in the show, but I'm dying for a "This is the part where you fall down" to be uttered somewhere in there. *g*
(deleted comment)

Date: 2012-07-27 06:30 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
NOOOOO! Please do not be stuck! I love your Merlin stories - I'm horrible about staying logged in on AO3, but some of those stealth-kudos are mine! - and would adore more stuff for TW from you. :)

I would love for him to KNOW because I think he'd back Stiles up any way he could

Yep. I go back and forth over the adults knowing in canon, largely because I have horrible fears that it will be the kiss of death for them. On the other hand, this show keeps surprising me by refusing to do what tv convention says has to happen at any given point, and I would kill to see it played out intelligently. We get around it with the Argents because they're... well, them, but I really want the conflict of the parents realizing their kids are both in danger and the only real experts with a chance of making anything better.

On the third hand, I just want Stiles and his dad to stop being miserable and hug each other a lot. (Hey, I didn't say it was a particularly intellectual hand.)

Date: 2012-07-27 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
YAY more TW fans and fic! :D And yes, omg the cast gives me so many feels. And the show, it is just too fun.

Date: 2012-07-27 06:18 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hee! I have totally joined the 'everyone should watch this!' conga line. The show is legitimately addictive, I haven't felt this warm and fuzzy about a fandom in a long time, and the cast is adorable. Like, I want to enjoy the show just because everyone involved is all so awesome; the fact that I genuinely like it for it's own self is just awesome. *g*

Date: 2012-07-27 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Totally agree to everything you said! The warm and fuzzy and awesomeness of the cast and crew is great, and it's so great that the show is, like, genuinely good! (a friend who writes for a media website was saying this second only to Game of Thrones for him in terms of good shows. And he could care less about hot, adorable, shirtless men ;)

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