renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
This could also be titled, Why Does Renay Continue Watching Teen Wolf? A Question for the Ages

I never imagined back in 2011 when [tumblr.com profile] rozurashii convinced me to mainline the first season of Teen Wolf on Netflix that I would still be here, four seasons later, internally screaming over the premiere of a show about a bunch of teenage supernatural creatures and their human sidekicks. Last season ended with horrifically stereotypical character deaths, over the top melodramatic character deaths, and explosive character deaths. It rounded out all that cheery subject matter with a surprise reveal of who will ostensibly be the Big Bad of Season 4, and left me crying in a kind of hopeless amazement that these writers still have jobs. Never change, Jeff Davis. Never change.

Season 3 began with Derek kidnapped and tied up, so it stands to reason that they'd go a different direction with Season 4, except no! Derek Hale's lot in life is to be kidnapped, chained up, tortured, and/or objectified by evil villains. I can't wait to see how and under what circumstances they tie him up in Season 5.

teen wolf season 4 episode 1 stiles and lydia


"The Dark Moon" opens in Mexico and butters us up with the excellent combination of Lydia and Stiles sassing each other and gaining entrance to what turns out to be a night club with really excellent track lighting. As they're served shots on the house and stare at them dubiously, a burly guy calls them out. Teenagers never come to Mexico unless they planned to get hosed. Lydia ruins a perfectly good shot by dumping a bullet into it. Although I guess although Teen Wolf is wild enough to show a well-lit Mexican dance club where everyone is mostly clothed except for the predictable ripped shirtless dudes, they're not yet ready to take the chance to portray realistic underage drinking. The bullet, etched with the same symbol that gained Lydia and Stiles access to the club gets them fast tracked to the boss.

teen wolf season 4 episode 1 araya calavera


Originally, I was ridiculously excited about the introduction to another hunting family led by a woman. Back in reality, this meant that she got the worst dialogue and the worst character development, because Jeff Davis can't conceive of a villain that doesn't chew the scenery with zero subtlety. Instead of making her machinations look considered and logical in hindsight, they end up making the least sense possible. The shining light in the dark moments of the early parts of the episode were Lydia and Stiles. As usual Dylan O'Brien and Holland Roden hit their lines out of the park as they lead us in to the introduction of our favorite supernatural brat pack. Said pack are, of course, downstairs, waiting to cause a ruckus.

Before said ruckus, though, the show has to be sure to include a sexy, male-gaze dance scene between Malia and Kira that goes on entirely too long. If I can get up, get a drink, and come back and the dance scene is still happening, it's too much. This marks the beginning of one of the more annoying parts of the episode for me which I'm sure will continue throughout the season. Malia's past as a coyote doesn't translate to her having human emotions, but she sure can do some sexy girl on girl dancing. But sure, throw in some half naked guys in the background. WHEW, I WAS AFRAID THEY WOULDN'T FIX IT.

teen wolf season 4 episode 1 kira and malia


Can we really not have any hunters that aren't weird and damaged and into torturing teenagers, regardless of supernatural creature status? Can we move past this, Jeff Davis? CAN WE GROW AS PEOPLE AND WRITERS?? Nuance.

I know, I know, what show am I watching?

After torturing Scott, mentally scarring Lydia and Kira, beating the audience over the head with the surprising news that Scott is the Best Alpha Ever, which she should already know if she has this much power, she fills them in on the truth of the situation about Kate. Why was this so hard? Why all the overblown drama? Why couldn't they have simply communicated? Why the overwrought test? WHY CAN NO ONE ON THIS SHOW HAVE A FIVE MINUTE CONVERSATION?? Give me a nice group of logical hunters who follow the code and have generally good relations with the packs they develop connections with! Were they not curious that someone framed them? And then of course, the dramatic threat as foreshadowing: don't make yourself any little werewolves, Scott McCall!

Scott is totally going to be making some werewolves. It's foreshadowing for dummies. I will never stop dreaming of the show Teen Wolf could be; the Teen Wolf we all deserve.

After the elaborate explanation of backstory dropped via awkward flashback, Braeden comes back. I love Braeden, specifically because she's very rarely been on the show so they haven't had time to ruin her one way or another. I'm sure I'll be regretting getting attached later, but as soon as she arrived I couldn't help but bask. Four women! Two of them non-white! IS THIS REAL LIFE? Let me get a broom to sweep up this excess of crumbs.

teen wolf season 4 episode 1 braeden


One of my ongoing problems with Teen Wolf is that it's addicted to shiny new story lines. It never bothers to do any transitional work. When it tries to do transitional work it fails, because Davis does not know how to tell more than two stories at a time. He really should be writing films, because his talent does not lie in television long form stories without help. Teen Wolf's ongoing narrative identity is Flashbacks and Dull Exposition, the best examples of which include "Frayed" and "Visionary". By best, I of course mean "why am I still standing in front of this approaching fictional train that's headed straight for me?" "The Dark Moon" continues this tradition, drops all the open emotional threads from season three, and only manages to shoehorn those that are convenient in at awkward moments when they're switching locations.

Teen Wolf is destined to be the most emotional dissonant show on television because it buries all its best connective tissue under slapdash action adventure shenanigans. Its characters and their bonds to each other — ostensibly why so many of us keep coming back to be subjected to this torture — are left like roadkill as Davis whizzes through his story arcs. Additionally, canon shared at conventions and in interviews doesn't actually count as addressing ongoing plot and character developments. You need to include these things in your writing, Davis! On the show? The thing that advances the story since a majority of your fans can't go to conventions? Why are you wasting all the excellent work your actors are doing? I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

teen wolf season 4 episode 1 broken jeep :(


Stiles's jeep breaks in a convenient maneuver to take Scott and Braeden off by themselves and to showcase Malia's new ability to run off to attack things in the dark. Afterward, Malia assures Stiles she would never leave him behind, but would totally ditch Kira and Lydia, even though Kira runs into the desert night after her. Guess that sexy dance was just a fool's game, Kira. I expect that the show will keep conveniently using Malia's non-human past when it's humorous to make her a sociopathic were-coyote that doesn't understand human feelings. As a bonus, this will alienate her from having close female friendships while playing up her relationship with Stiles for later sexy times. I'll just be over here crying morosely in the corner.

teen wolf season 4 episode 1 malia


Scott and Braeden wander around some darkened ruins. As [tumblr.com profile] rozurashii said to me when we watched this section, "A lantern would have made so much more sense." But then how would we have terrifying jump scares, Rose?! HOW WOULD THEY BUILD SHALLOW SUSPENSE? During this whole scene, I fondly recalled the sheer terror brought forth by last season's psychological horror. When Teen Wolf tries to do legitimate horror, it's comical; they need to watch Grimm, stat. In the middle of a "terrifying" scene with a scary tomb monster, what scares it away is Scott McCall growling from the depths of his frustration that their monster of the week is so shallow and so easily defeated by a scared teenage werewolf. Okay, show. Okay.

teen wolf season 4 episode 1 bb derek


Although I'm on the fence about the idea that Jeff Davis is legitimately trawling through fandom looking for tropes to use and abuse with none of the fan affection behind him, I'm impressed that this team just keeps throwing shit at the wall like they do, and continue reaping success. I'm a little skeeved out they're absolutely going to go back and make it super explicit that Kate abused Derek, because wow, Teen Wolf handling underage sexual abuse. Mercy, Season 4 just dived right into the rape narrative, didn't it? FULL SPEED AHEAD.

What a show.

Additional Notes

  • Dear writers, your "Malia is a maladjusted member of the species" storyline would be way more believable if you didn't have her being excellent at modern dance and laughing at Kira over her lack of skills. Good work!

  • Scott and Kira continue to be the most adorable part of any given Teen Wolf episode because Kira is so awkward and she makes Scott awkward and I love her. They were my favorite part of this episode, even the over the top and unnecessary torture sequence placed strategically for maximum cheese.

  • I do not love that that Jeep was a more important character in this episode than Allison. I'm not over Allison. I'll never be over Allison. Every time this narrative devalues her, and I expect it will be a lot over the coming episodes, I'll continue to not be over Allison.

  • These kids are the worst at plans. I'm picturing other hunting groups meeting with the Calaveras, and them telling stories about how utterly inept this pack is. Tons of money for a bribe, but was surprised by the wolfsbane! That's the oldest trick in the book! Figured out how to get into our secret hideout via symbols, but couldn't deduce we hadn't taken Derek. Kids today, they say. Bad at research. Meanwhile, Melissa is plotting intricate grounding scenarios and running them by the sheriff via text message.

  • I'm glad to see that we will continue hanging around darkened vet clinics even with Deaton absent. Is the vet clinic the new magic shop?

Date: 2014-07-02 02:53 pm (UTC)
goodbyebird: Batman returns: Catwoman seen through a glass window. (TW let me tell you a thing)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
I am absolutely not going near the new season of Teen Wolf, but I'll be more than happy to read you throw rocks at it *g*

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