TV Report Card | 'Teen Wolf' Season 3 Review

Overview: The first half of the third season of “Teen Wolf” was a perfect example of what not to do with a supernatural based series; too many characters to count, a convoluted mythology that stretched the brain cell continuum and a pace that moved so quickly that it felt like viewers were in a slow motion. A season so rife with error, this isn’t the first reference you will find to it on Eclectic Pop.

Storyline Direction:
This season shed its first season image with abandon. Gone is the quirky, darkly comic, supernatural thriller. “Teen Wolf” is now an uber serious battle between good and evil, where everyone is a supernatural creature with their species’ future at stake. Where is the humanity? Where is the romantic conflict? The teenage awkwardness that was so endearing in the first season is now a figment of the past.

Scott is moody and angst-ridden over being, according to the show’s new mythos; the greatest Alpha wolf there ever has been or will be. His best friend Stiles, who is the smartest person on the show, is his sidekick. The problem with this recipe is that Scott comes across so sub-par that it stretches all credulity that Stiles would have to be taking orders from him.

That aside, a slew of new characters were added to the show, a pair of twins who morph into the same body (seriously?) and a teacher who wasn’t what she seemed. Oh and Derick’s sister was discovered. Because we were all hoping that character could be explored, insert sarcasm. 

Derick was all over the place and an episode dedicated to his backstory fell flat. All of this amongst the backdrop of some of the most bloody disgusting, special effects that cable has ever seen. There wasn’t even any purpose for it. It was disgusting for gross out’s sake. Continued...

Production Caliber: The filming moved to California this season and you wouldn’t have known it, except for the familiar, studio back-lot hotel, being showcased for an entire episode. The show felt claustrophobic as the cinematography could’ve been shot in black and white and had, more in terms of a color palette. The transformations were also overused, with constant shots of toenails spurting out, sometimes less is more.

Performance Quality: Dylan O’Brien stole the show, shining in every scene he was in. Not to be discounted as simply, “the comedic relief”, O’Brien had some phenomenal dramatic scenes, using just his eyes to great effect. He has become the show’s breakout star and this season exemplified why. He should be the star of the show.

Holland Roden also had a marvelous year on the show as Lydia, managing to be humorous, with her sharp comedic timing while, maintaining a scream queen edge. O’Brien and Roden also brought the chemistry as their characters finally shared their highly anticipated first kiss.

Linden Ashby (Sheriff Stilinkski) and Melissa Ponzio (Melissa McCall, Scott’s mom) elevated their roles as parental units. Their performances enhanced the characterization of both Stiles and Scott. Haley Webb as the mysterious teacher, Miss Blake, took a while to find her groove but when she did, she served up a fun turn that kept viewers on their toes.

Musical Score: “Teen Wolf” holds the honor for having the worst musical score on TV. The electro-dance needs to stop. I kept expecting Stiles or Scott mid-battle to look up and see DeadMau5 in a DJ booth mixing beats and scratching the turntables. Not a great image to project at that moment.

Overall Grade: C, a terrible season that’s only saving grace was Dylan O’Brien and Holland Roden with their respective turns as Stiles and Lydia. Everything else was devoid of any entertainment value, offering a crowded cast of characters that are all so “special” it made the landscape of the show feel the exact opposite.

They burned through story so quickly it was hard to tell one had existed in the first place. There is something to be said for savoring the stories you have crafted. Hopefully, they learn some lessons for the second half of this season.

[Image by MTV]

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