11:30 am EDT, August 14, 2013

Everything I know about ‘Teen Wolf’ I learned from Tumblr

Teen Wolf is one of the many shows I still haven’t gotten around to watching. But that’s okay, because Tumblr has taught me everything I need to know! Right?

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Tumblr is a strange and magical land with feels and extreme emotions and beautiful GIF sets and it cannot possibly be explained in anything but an epic run-on sentence okay.

#random #Tumblr #personal #don’t judge me

I love Tumblr. Venturing there mostly for Hypable-related business, I navigate my way through its fantastical and colourful spaces using fandom tags, which sometimes takes me to blogs. I love the hashtags, especially when it’s practically a whole post, randomly split up by #’s.

As someone who uses Tumblr to research fandoms, one of the best (and maybe worst) things about the community is its overlaps. SuperWhoLock, I’m looking at you.

Any Tumblr user will tell you that it’s almost impossible not to be spoiled about other shows when reading about your own, simply because there’s a strong tradition for comparing ships, characters, and story development.

But luckily for us who haven’t watched all the shows that are discussed, without the context, the wild GIF sets, rants about random characters with interchangeable names, and quotes that appear on our dash are usually taken ridiculously out of context. Let me show you what I mean.

‘Teen Wolf’ according to Tumblr

One of these days, I’ll actually sit down and watch Teen Wolf. Until that time, I’m pretty sure I know exactly what the show is about, and you know what? I’m not sure I want that illusion shattered.

(Before we begin, I have a small confession to make: if this article was going to be 100% unedited, I would have been calling Stiles “Derek” and Derek “Sterek” throughout. That’s honestly what I thought their names were, but was corrected by a Teen Wolf fan and thought I best change it to avoid too much confusion.)

It’s a show about teenage werewolves (duh)

Ten Wolf werewolf Derek

This is literally everything I know about the show with 100% certainty: Teen Wolf is a show about werewolves who go to high school. It’s written and created by Jeff Davis, for MTV. It is a remake of the Michael J. Fox movie from the ’80s, also titled Teen Wolf.

The name of the show is misleading. It suggests a much simpler, happy-go-lucky show than this actually is, and as the Not Another Teen Wolf podcast girls can attest to, there’s plenty of depth to be found in the storylines and characters. It’s dark, and only getting darker. People die. This is a good show.

Let’s move on to what I think I know.

Stiles is the cute and innocent one

Teen Wolf Stiles 1

I only put this on the list because I have an inkling of an idea that it’s actually not true. But if not for an offhand comment one of my Teen Wolf fan friends once made to me, I never would have guessed.

Look at that smile! Those big eyes! Dylan O’Brien is a cutie. The only other reference I have for him is the dude he played on New Girl, so that’s kind of what I imagine him to be like on Teen Wolf.

So if my half-suspicion is right and Stiles turns out to be the Pacey of this show, I’m going to be super confused.

Derek is the alpha of their werewolf pack

Teen Wolf Sterek meme (yowza)

So from all the pictures I’ve seen, I think only the males are werewolves? And Derek is kind of like a Spike/Damon-type character, supposedly all badass but then he’s on the good side really.

He looks much, much older than the rest of them, so I’m going to guess that he comes to town as a teacher, or maybe a dropout student returning to school. Because yes! They go to high school! Look at me and my knowledge.

Whoever is alpha of the pack at the beginning, Stiles or Scott, challenges him and loses. Derek becomes alpha of the pack. Luckily, he’s got more heart than he wants to let on, and this actually turns out okay.

Stiles and Derek are in love

I know, this is a bit of a Tumblr trope – Sterek, Destiel, Merthur, Johnlock, SwanQueen, I’m fairly certain none of these are canon (maybe, some would argue, because none of their shows’ writers are brave enough).

But you know what? I haven’t seen the show. I have seen the epic stare-offs and longing looks. Stiles and Derek are in love, according to Tumblr. And according to me, based on the selection of pictures and GIFs I’ve been exposed to.

(There’s also some girl named Allison, who I think dates one of them, but I don’t really know what’s up with that. They both date other people, but isn’t that always the way?)

Who the hell is this dude?

Teen Wolf Tyler Posey season 1 Teen Wolf Tyler Posey season 2

I’m sorry. Don’t judge me for my ignorance. I know the actor’s name is Tyler Posey. However, I don’t know who he plays (Scott? Isaac?), or what his role is on the show.

Except, again, a hunch tells me he’s actually the lead character, which if it’s true, is going to be very embarrassing.

Maybe this is the nature of shipping – Sterek is just more cult, hence these are the characters I see more often. I have to assume they’re more important.

Also, those two pictures above? I totally thought it was two different actors until I googled his name. That’s one drastic haircut change.

This girl plays Stiles’ sister

Teen Wolf red haired girl

I mean, she’s got to, right? Look at that face. She’s super cute, in exactly the same way as Dylan O’Brien. So this is my guess, purely based on casting.

I’m not even going to guess her name though, because I’m confused – sometimes her name is Holland, sometimes it’s Lydia? I’m not sure if one of those names is the actress’ name, or if there are just two female characters on the show who look a hell of a lot alike.

The students and teachers are the same age (!?)

Teen Wolf cast

All I see are screen shots and GIFs. Maybe their acting helps set the students apart from the teachers, but looking at the picture above I honestly couldn’t tell you who was what.

And… wait is that Snooki? This isn’t a very accurate full cast picture at all, is it? Damn it, Google.

My point still stands though. Doesn’t Bianca Lawson play a teacher? This is actually the case on most teen dramas set in high school though; young-looking actors are cast to play teachers (unless they’re the old wise mentor guy ala Coach Whitey in One Tree Hill), and the students themselves are played by actors in their 20s. But when you’re actually watching the show, I guess you don’t notice that as much.

The plot of ‘Teen Wolf,’ according to me

So that’s it. That’s all I know about Teen Wolf. But I think that’s plenty to go on, for me to work out the plot of the series. Don’t you?

Ultimately, I imagine Teen Wolf kind of like a supernatural version of One Tree Hill, or like a The Vampire Diaries with slightly less schizophrenic romance arcs (like, I don’t think every single Teen Wolf character has dated almost every single other Teen Wolf character? The ships seem pretty clear-cut to me, anyway).

Stiles and his friends live in a normal little town, doing their normal high school drama thing, and then boom! Werewolves.

In the first episode, Stiles finds out he’s a werewolf (either it’s a hereditary thing, or he’s bitten), and enlists his friends to help cover it up. But then, they begin turning into werewolves too. And people die – I’m going to guess that the werewolf gang accidentally kill people when they turn, and have to work together to learn to control their abilities.

But a few of them go rogue, wanting to give in to their supernatural side, and it becomes a fight to control the rebel members of the pack. The members of the pack are Stiles, Scott, Isaac, and whoever Colton Haynes plays. And if I’m wrong and there are girl werewolves too, I’m gonna say that Allison and Lydia are also in the pack, because their names are the only ones I know.

Derek arrives as a stranger in town a few episodes into the first season (he seems like an outsider to the group), and sparks fly between him and Stiles – probably intended by the writers as a will they/won’t they friendship, but interpreted by fans as something that could turn romantic in nature. UST is to Tumblr what sunlight is to plants, after all.

The key struggle in the series is for dominance of the pack. There must be some external threat too, but I have no idea what it is – is it going to be the town council, like in The Vampire Diaries? The government, like in Heroes? Another pack from the next town over? Also, is the werewolf gene hereditary? Are their parents werewolves, too?

There’s a lot I still don’t know, and everything I think I know is probably only 25% accurate. But you know what? Tumblr has succeeded in making me intrigued, and I can’t wait to find out what the show is really like.

Turn to page 2 for a (badly drawn) comic explaining ‘Teen Wolf’ as I imagine it to be. Enjoy.

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