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Teen Wolf: Season 2 (2012)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 5/21/2013

All Ratings out of
Extras: 1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 6/6/2013

A few years ago, if you had told me that one of the best horror-based shows on television was on MTV, I would have asked to have your urine tested. I realize that the network (and all of its various branches) have gotten away from programming anything which is related to music and turned towards shows, mostly reality, some scripted. But, to imagine that any of these programs would have been of any quality seemed unfathomable. Especially a show based on a lame movie from the 80s. But, somehow, Teen Wolf defied the odds, and delivered a show which, while presenting the sort of teen antics one would expect from a show like this, also pushed the envelope. So, while Supernatural overstayed its welcome and The Vampire Diaries became redundant, Teen Wolf was sinking its teeth into the horror crowd.

(Spoiler Alert: It's impossible to discuss Season Two of Teen Wolf without divulging details from Season One, so if you're new to the show, read with caution.) Season One of Teen Wolf saw Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) attempt to come to grips with the fact that he had become a werewolf, but still had to put up a front for his mother, Melissa (Melissa Ponzio), and deal with high school. With the help of his best friend, Stiles (Dylan O'Brien), Scott dealt with the supernatural happenings in the small town of Beacon Hill. Scott also found romance in the form of Allison Argent (Crystal Reed), but was shocked to learn that she came from a family of werewolf hunters.

Season One certainly ended with some cliffhangers. Scott was working on pulling away from the influence of Alpha wolf Derek (Tyler Hoechlin). Local snob/jock Jackson (Colton Haynes) convinced Derek to bite him so that Jackson could have superpowers, and thus, everything. Jackson's girlfriend and the object of Stiles' affection Lydia (Holland Roden), was attacked and bitten by a werewolf. Allison was reeling from the death of her cousin. As Season Two opens, these storylines are further explored. Jackson's quest for power doesn't work as he planned, and he becomes something much worse than a werewolf. Similarly, Lydia's bite doesn't have the expected effect, as it's more mental than physical. As Scott has turned away from him, Derek goes about creating a new pack. Allison's grandfather, Gerard (Michael Hogan), arrives for the funeral, and instead of being a soft old man, he's revealed to be the most ruthless werewolf hunter of all. As all of this plays out, Scott learns that there is danger at every turn.

Again, given the source material and the involvement of MTV, this show shouldn't work, but it does. The main reason that it works is that it doesn't hold back. Have you ever watched a show which was on its way to being cancelled and you got the feeling that show's writers threw caution to the wind and simply turned out the craziest things which they could? That's how both seasons of Teen Wolf have felt, especially Season Two. The second season unveils the "Kanima", a lizard creature which is much more interesting than the villain from The Amazing Spider-Man (and actually comes across as more similar to The Lizard from the Spider-Man comics). This creature can paralyze its victims and then kill them. Even for a show which airs on cable at 10pm, these murders are often quite violent. The show also pushes the envelope with the Gerard character. Although he feels that he is doing good, he is very cruel and I have to say that I was surprised that he was able to continue hurting everyone in sight the way that he did. The stories here certainly contain some interesting twists, but it's really the show's attitude which makes it interesting.

Having said that, Teen Wolf isn't perfect. While the show is going for broke, it's also biting off more than it can chew. In short, the series has introduced a lot of characters and it feels as if it has trouble finding things for them to do. While the "Kanima" and Gerard storylines drove the season, others felt hollow. I get the feeling that the writers don't know what to do with Derek, and thus, he only seems to show up when convenient. The idea that he would create his own pack makes sense, but the resulting werewolves, especially Erica (Gage Golightly), were annoying. The same feels true for Lydia. Her subplot sort of fizzled out in Season Two. On the bright side, the writers appear to grasp that Stiles is the heart and soul of the show and he gets plenty of screen-time.

As it's on MTV, Teen Wolf clearly does things to appeal to a younger demographic, such as acting as a jukebox and allowing the show to steer away from the action to romance at times. And, as odd as it may sound, I'm still not crazy about the Scott and Allison, the two main characters. Those issues aside, Teen Wolf still has enough tenacity and sheer bravado to keep viewers coming back to see what will happen next.

Teen Wolf: Season 2 is determined to make us interested in lacrosse on DVD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The three-DVD set contains all 12 episodes of the show's second season. The show is letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer has been enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, showing only trace amounts of grain and no defects from the source materials. This is a dark show, but the action is always visible here and the colors look fine. The only thing keeping this from rivaling HD broadcast quality is that the image is somewhat soft here, which compromises the amount of detail. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are nicely done and show good separation. The surround sound effects become noticeable during the action scenes and the musical cues provide some subwoofer effects. There are some nice moments during attack sequences where the stereo and surround effects really add to the experience.

The Teen Wolf: Season 2 DVD set contains several extras. Disc 1 has an AUDIO COMMENTARY on the episode "Omega" from Executive Producer Jeff Davis and Writer Christian Taylor. "Teen Wolf Season 2 at Paleyfest 2012" (19 minutes) features a Q & A panel with Davis and the primary cast who discuss the themes and storylines from the second season. Disc 2 brings us an AUDIO COMMENTARY on "Raving" from Davis and Taylor. "Teen Wolf CGI Reel" (3 minutes) offers side-by-side comparisons for various scenes showing early work on the CG monsters. "Fight Choreography Reel" (4 minutes) shows the actors rehearsing action scenes. Disc 3 brings us another Davis and Taylor COMMENTARY for "Battlefield". The DVD contains eight ALTERNATE, DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES which run about 8 minutes. The first one offers a nice shocking moment, but otherwise, there is nothing new here. "Alternate Stiles Takes" (5 minutes) has more of actor Dylan O'Brien being goofy. We get a 3-minute GAG REEL. "Shirtless Montage 2.0" (2 minutes) is still not aimed at me. "Teen Wolves: Meet the New Pack" (5 minutes) offers some behind-the-scenes footage and actor interviews, as it profiles the new characters introduced in Season Two.

Review by Mike Long. Copyright 2013.