Not since Ozzy Osbourne's heavy (metal) rotation Bark at the Moon video has MTV so immersed itself in the world of the werewolf.
Before that, MTV was Hungry Like The Wolf (courtesy of bubblegum band Duran Duran) — and, as the whole full-circle zeitgeist would have it, they hired the director of that nearly 30 year old music video to direct kids younger than that in their new series, Teen Wolf. Yep, Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, Razorback, Resident Evil 3), gets his hackles up for this one.
Mulcahy does bring a somewhat cinematic sensibility to the wild-side of the teenage blues, but let's hope he doesn't take credit for choosing the tunes. Being MTV and all, it certainly stands to reason there'd be musical montages, but do the covers have to be so abysmal? I nearly lost my mac-n-cheese lunch during a seduction scene dripping in velveeta and which was only exacerbated by an egregiously fey cover of The Smashing Pumpkins Tonight Tonight (by Passion Pit, which is — wait for it — the pits).
So, yeah. I hated most of the music. I also didn't like the CGI.
But there is good news. The dialogue (by Criminal Minds writer Jeff Davis), the direction (action man Mulcahy proves out), and the acting is all aces.
More scary than hairy, and putting brute above cute, this generation's teen wolf is played by Tyler Posey. In character as Scott, he's introduced quickly, hitting all the right beats to show within about four minutes that he is a nice-guy nerd who's working on his popularity points by playing lacrosse and doing shirtless pull-ups. He gets roped into a late night sneak-out by his best friend (Dylan O’Brien), who takes him to the woods to surreptitiously spy a dead body found by said bestie's dad, who just happens to be the local sheriff. As (bad) luck would have it, Scott finds himself lost in the woods… and found by a mad werewolf.
Cut to later on, and Scott's contending with his unprecedented malady. Adding to the drama is beauty Allison Argent (Crystal Reed) as the new girl with a mysterious past (yes, apparently even 16 year-olds have "mysterious pasts" these days), plus there is "the bully" and "the mentor" who are always at odds over Scott.
A hirsute hybrid of The Vampire Diaries (though a tad tamer) and Being Human (though a bit a less-droll), Teen Wolf shows promise as the pick of the litter in regard to supernatural shows debuting this summer. (And if you don’t like it, remember: HBO's True Blood returns this month!)