Having a strange feeling of deja vu? Well, that’s because we’ve done this before. However, despite a promising start, the first half of season five fell victim to the show’s ongoing issues with storyline development, their abundance of villains who no one cares about that don’t pose a tangible threat and their consistent lack of humor. With the return of the show just about upon us, myself and another Teen Wolf fan Bri have decided to once again reassess the series and try to pinpoint just what needs to change in order for the show to go back to it’s better era.
Reduce Newbies Screen time.
Let’s be totally and completely honest for a moment, who here remembered Hayden’s name (Liam’s love interest/new chimera) until I just said it? Who remembers Theo’s motives to trying to kill Scott? Do any of us remember what Liam’s personality was before they retconned it in season five and made him into a junkyard, pieced together Scrappy Do? We don’t. And it’s because the show has done very little to engage their audience with these new characters. Malia succeeds mainly due to Shelley Hennig’s charm and chemistry with the rest of the cast, and it’s nice to see her as the one consistently competent fighter, but there’s little intrigue in her standalone plots such as that with the Desert Wolf. Parish has wasted away any goodwill he had earned by monopolizing much of season five with his weird, steamy visions of Lydia, as the show goes out of it’s way to remind us that she’s 18 and this relationship isn’t at all creepy.
We don’t care about Liam and Hayden’s angst, we care even less about their “true love” romance because they’re tweens and in high school and that’s not even remotely plausible. I am more convinced by the reality of werewolves on the show than I am of the idea of these two being soulmates. –Ally
Remember When the Show Was Funny?
I’m having a bit of a hard time recalling this as well. Even when the first two season’s got dreary, we at the very least had Stiles as our comic relief, or Derek or Jackson who garnered laughs even if they weren’t played that way. Season three came and left and was very serious, but it was acceptable because it turned the shows comic relief into the character’s biggest threat. Now though, Stiles’s humor has turned into cynical sarcasm, Jackson and Derek are gone, Scott is no longer a dweebish teen and Mason and Liam’s dynamic seems more like a shadow of Scott and Stiles. Teen Wolf needs humor to succeed, poking fun at what they do as a series without ever making it a parody. In recent seasons the show has adopted a self-serious tone which doesn’t match how the series began and what it was trying to accomplish. -Ally
No One is Okay with Stiles and Scott Breaking Up
During the summer I wrote about how the show would greatly benefit by making Scott and Stiles and their relationship a bigger focal point than it had been in season four. Part of the fun of the series had always been these two and their dynamic, and Tyler Posey and Dylan O’Brien clearly have a strong chemistry that easily convinces viewers that they’ve been best friends their entire lives.
So, what does the show go and do?
The exact fucking opposite.
While there was some emotional impact in seeing the two buds so at odds, it was completely ruined when you realize just how contrived the writing was to get the characters to this point. Stiles lied about something he shouldn’t (and really, why on earth did he lie?), Scott believed Theo (despite his overall shadiness and the fact that he knows Stiles) and they fight. None of this makes sense with the characters we know, and none of it plays out well enough to justify it. – Ally
Ground It Back in Reality
Teen Wolf has lost sight of where it started–where Scott’s performance on the lacrosse field was given the same time and care as him managing his werewolf side, where family drama was just as important as introducing a new werewolf into town. It’s a common problem among supernatural shows, where the tendency towards making everything bigger, badder, and more monster-fied makes the writers lose track of the realistic heart of the show. Teen Wolf has made an attempt this season with the ill-advised dissolution of Scott and Stiles’s friendship, but they don’t give anything enough time. School problems, relationship drama, and family issues are vaguely touched on, but constantly take a back burner to things like the book about the dread doctors, or intense details about the chimera. -Bri
Tone Down the Villains
When did Beacon Hills become the newest hellmouth? Having three separate, nefarious villains for ten episodes is ridiculous and confusing. The writers can’t seem to handle their backstories or their impact on the plot–two out of three tend to drop out of the running for stupid reasons after awhile anyway. Seasons 1-3 featured villains that got the job done, imparting fear and discord wherever they went. The berserkers, Kate, Peter again, the dreaded “Benefactor,” the dread doctors, and Theo all spend so much time trying to prove how evil they are that they don’t actually make any moves. Simplify and streamline the evil, please. -Bri