MTV’s “Teen Wolf” series premiered on June 5, 2011, based on the 1985 film of the same name. Developed by Jeff Davis, the show follows the adventures of Scott McCall, a high school student who gets bitten by a werewolf and becomes part of a world of supernatural creatures that coexist with humans in the town of Beacon Hills. The first episode, titled “Wolf Moon,” introduces us to the main characters, the central conflict, and the themes of identity, friendship, and survival that will shape the rest of the series.
The opening scene of “Wolf Moon” establishes the eerie and mysterious atmosphere of the show, as we see a young woman running through the woods at night, followed by an unseen predator. The camera zooms in on her face, showing her terror and desperation, before she is attacked and killed by a creature with glowing eyes and sharp fangs. This scene sets up the central conflict of the series, as we learn that werewolves exist in this world and that they are not necessarily friendly or peaceful. Moreover, it creates a sense of danger and tension that will pervade the rest of the episode and the series, as the characters try to navigate their way through a hidden world of secrets and threats.
The next scene introduces us to Scott McCall, played by Tyler Posey, a typical teenager who plays lacrosse, hangs out with his best friend Stiles Stilinski, played by Dylan O’Brien, and pines after his crush Allison Argent, played by Crystal Reed. Scott is shown to be a bit clumsy and awkward, but also determined and kind-hearted. However, his life takes a drastic turn when he decides to follow a strange animal into the woods, where he is bitten by a werewolf and passes out. This scene sets up the main plot of the episode and the series, as Scott discovers that he has been transformed into a werewolf and has to deal with the consequences of his new identity.
The rest of the episode depicts Scott’s struggles to understand and control his werewolf nature, as well as his interactions with the other characters who are involved in the supernatural world. We meet Derek Hale, played by Tyler Hoechlin, a brooding and mysterious werewolf who becomes both a mentor and a rival to Scott; we learn about the Argent family, who are hunters that target werewolves and other creatures; and we witness some of the high school drama and humor that balance the darker elements of the show. The pacing of the episode is fast but not rushed, allowing enough time for each character to establish their personality and their relationship with Scott.
One of the strengths of “Teen Wolf” as a series is its emphasis on character development and relationships, even amidst the supernatural action and suspense. In “Wolf Moon,” we see how Scott’s transformation affects his friendship with Stiles, who initially thinks that Scott has gone crazy or become a drug addict, but later becomes his confidant and helper. We also see how Scott’s attraction to Allison complicates his situation, as her father is a hunter and her own secrets and motives are revealed gradually throughout the series. Moreover, we witness how the other characters, such as Scott’s mother Melissa (played by Melissa Ponzio), his lacrosse coach Bobby Finstock (played by Orny Adams), and his schoolmate Lydia Martin (played by Holland Roden), react to the changes in Scott’s behavior and appearance, adding depth and nuance to the overall narrative.
Another strength of “Teen Wolf” is its blend of horror, comedy, and romance, creating a unique tone that appeals to a wide range of viewers. In “Wolf Moon,” we see some of the scary and gory elements of the show, as Scott transforms into a werewolf for the first time and has to resist his primal urges while fighting against another werewolf. We also see some of the funny and witty dialogues and situations, such as Stiles’ sarcastic remarks or Scott’s attempts to use his newfound agility and strength for mundane tasks. Finally, we see some of the romantic and dramatic moments, such as Scott and Allison’s tentative flirting and Derek’s brooding backstory that hints at a tragic past.
The production values of “Teen Wolf” are also impressive, with high-quality cinematography, special effects, and music that enhance the overall experience. The opening credits sequence, featuring an animated wolf morphing into different shapes and colors, sets the tone for the show’s visual and thematic motifs, while the soundtrack, composed by Dino Meneghin, adds to the suspense and emotion of each scene. The makeup and costume design, especially for the werewolf transformations, are both realistic and stylized, creating a unique look for each character and creature.