MTV's raunchy new teen comedy is better than 'Teen Wolf'
Perhaps it's just my way of celebrating my last year in the network's core demographic, but I feel like I've been watching more MTV this summer than any time since college.
That isn't really saying all that much.
Mostly, in fact, it just means that against my better judgment, I've continued to watch "Teen Wolf" long past when any reasonable person would have thrown his hands in the air and stepped away.
In early interviews, series creator Jeff Davis promised that there would eventually be plenty of humor. On the assumption that he meant "intentional humor," that's a vow that hasn't come true. "Teen Wolf" remains leaden and mopey and I'm not sure that leading man Tyler Posey has more than one facial expression. Amazingly, we're seven episodes in and the main character hasn't fully wolfed out and, in fact, we've seen only the bare minimum of footage involving fully transformed werewolves (and what we've seen hasn't exactly been a tantalizing advertisement for more). There have been a lot of glowing eyes, growing claws and hormonal glowering. So much glowering. All anybody does on "Teen Wolf" is glower, with the possible exception of female leads Holland Roden and Crystal Reed, who flirt winningly and sometimes cry.
And yet "Teen Wolf" has exhibited a decent ability to deliver a vaguely suspenseful set piece, even if they're mostly generated by an aggressive and overbearing musical score. And nobody's played lacrosse for weeks, though there was some werewolf bowling a couple episodes ago.
It's still a bad show.
It still shouldn't be called "Teen Wolf."
But the danger of the summer months is that I commit to shows like this and then I find it hard to shake them, even if I'm not enjoying them.
The result of watching an hour of "Teen Wolf" each week -- other than the laundry I get folded or the Emmy photo galleries I was able to build -- is that I've tragically become able to identify at least one Teen Mom and I've seen the same one or two ads for "Awkward" over and over and over again, enough to get good and predisposed to dislike MTV's new 11 p.m. comedy.
The purpose of this introduction is two-fold: The first was to note that "Teen Wolf" hasn't gotten better and the second was to set the conditions under which I watched two episodes of "Awkward" and found myself pleasantly amused. If you can exactly reproduce those circumstances, you too could find yourself chuckling at this proudly lewd and rude and big-hearted comedy. If not? Your results may vary.
Full review after the break...