i don’t want to live in a world where i’m not allowed to enjoy both Shakespeare and Ke$ha.
Wake up in the mornin’ feel quite Hamlet-y
Grab my skull, I’m out the door, I’m gonna act real shitty
Before I leave, overthink if I’m on the right track
Cuz if I kill my uncle tonight, he ain’t comin back
It’s weird that I’m a hairless, talking ape with custom crystals suspended in front of my eyes so I can see, and I live with a tiny panther who just accepts me as a part of the world around him and attempts to interact with me despite the fact that he doesn’t understand my language and I don’t understand his
I do approximately no drugs
I have three of those panthers and also a miniature wolf, and I am connected right now to the entire rest of the world via electric telepathy.
I’ve seen this before, but I couldn’t put it into words: Teen Wolf is a show of deliberate superficiality, of an intense underestimation of its audience; where the scenes that matter, the scenes that have all the effort and thought put into them, are those meant to stimulate the senses or the emotions without actually engaging intellectually: characters slowly walking in the darkness with spooky music playing the background, cheap deaths, deformed monsters, manpain, any scene meant to bring a tear to your eye, dramatic reveals, “cool” action scenes, sexual titillation and so many other examples.
Teen Wolf is all frosting and no actual cake underneath. And normally I wouldn’t rag about this, because it’s a very elitist thing to expect all media to have intellectually-engaging content. Eating a spoonful of frosting is perfectly fine if that’s what you like.
The problem is that Teen Wolf pretends to be different. It’s dishonest in its presentation. It carefully arranges scenes in teasers and trailers to show itself as far deeper than it actually is. Teen Wolf is a soap opera with supernatural horror elements, and it’s not even socially progressive (though it likes to pretend it is). Even within the show, ominous plot threads are hinted at and then either discarded or solved in insultingly simplistic ways (and I have yet to see fan speculation that was less interesting than what the show actually presented), and never a plot thread is resolved without at least another hook thrown in to keep the audience perpetually hooked, despite the lackluster resolutions.
The emotional scenes are exploitative. They are not meant to further character development (as they are often quickly forgotten once their purpose has been fulfilled) and they certainly have little to no connection to the plot.
The plots are presented as complex, but they are in fact insultingly simple. There is always a single sentence that sums every season’s plot up, and the rest is decoration. These superfluous plot threads, designed to provide artificial complexity (and hook the audience with empty promises) are often discarded as the show throws yet more ominous plots at the viewer, trusting them to forget the disappointing resolution they just witnessed.
Teen Wolf masters the art of making filler not feel like filler. A good 50% of the episodes in each 12-episode arc is made up of events that seem dramatic and crucial, but will never be addressed again, and will leave no lasting impact on the show. And that percentage I just gave is, I fear, quite generous.
The show runner’s faults are numerous, and are likely responsible for the many problems with the show, but the greatest fault of all is the show runner’s obsessive enamourment with his own ideas. Actors leave and their characters are recycled. The archetypes are maintained, the originally-envisaged storylines are delayed but always find their way back to the show. And it is here that we find the source of the disingenuity, of the deceit, of the false presentation: the show runner is far too proud of himself to acknowledge his problems. And thus, they will never be fixed.
That is the problem with Teen Wolf: It believes itself to be worth far more than it actually is.
Beautifully said. I agree. And I don’t feel like that’s how it was in season one. I feel like the showrunner had a leveled head. He kept his plots simple and you knew they were simple. The biggest question of that season was ‘who’s the alpha’ and it was solved in a simple but believable way. And then you see him move away from that structure in season two, by throwing two separate villains at you, and the way he solved Matt’s involvement was mind boggling and insulting. Then there was season three, where he threw two even more distinct and separate villains at you.
I think the problem with the way the show is told is that it’s hard not to notice how unprogressive it is. Especially with the show runner boasting about how progressive his show is. In season three, it’s hard not to notice that the only villains who died were the females. When a show is presented to you, it makes you a promise. It says ‘this is what i’m about, if that interests you, stick around’. Breaking bad, for example, was about seeing how much shit a man that our society views as a good man can do before he truly becomes a villain in the eyes of the audience. It was about watching what we perceive to be good men become villains and what we perceive to be throw away men become heroes. They held up that promise in my opinion. and in my opinion, that is one of the main structures a show needs to be truly good.
Teen wolf made us a promise too. It was supposed to be a teenage show about werewolves and season one fit nicely into that. It wasn’t too serious, it wasn’t too dark. But more importantly, it wasn’t too complex for Jeff Davis to be able to pull off. The problem now is that Jeff Davis wants to pull off more complex and intricate story telling but he’s still writing like he did in season one. The acting has stepped up immensely, and Jeff Davis hasn’t improved. He changed the promise of the show, but he hasn’t changed how he writes the show, and that’s causing him major problems story telling wise. The Showrunner is the weakest part of the show in my opinion.
God there’s some great additional analysis in the reblogs of this post.
I wanted to throw in a thought about the difference between season 1 and the rest of the seasons we’ve had since, too, and it speaks to the greater problems the show has had since season 1, as well. All of the conflict in season 1 — ALL of it — was inextricably entwined with the characters themselves. Scott was struggling with his new nature, what it meant for him, how it involved him in the Hale and Argent family drama, the ways in which Peter was trying to exert control over him, his relationship with Allison and what her family’s history meant for him. Derek was dealing with losses both recent and historic, his own extremely personal role in what happened to his family, the reappearance of his own personal demon in the form of Kate, and eventually with the reality of having to kill the man who was (at that time) literally his only surviving family. Allison was dealing with the revelation of what her family did and who they were, what that meant for her and for her relationship with Scott, essentially the realignment of her whole world, and being plunged into a supernatural world just like Scott. Even the characters who were less central to that particular storyline, like Stiles, had a lot to deal with, and all of that conflict hinged on their relationships with the other characters. Like, learning that the supernatural is real doesn’t necessarily have to change your life if you’re not supernatural yourself. A character like Stiles could in theory just walk away from all of it. But he doesn’t because Scott is his brother. Chris is invested in everything not just because of his job because of his daughter. Jackson is motivated by his own insecurities, Peter by revenge, they all have goals and needs that are both integral and personal and that’s what the entire season is built around.
Later seasons not only neglect to give us character moments at all, they don’t really invest our characters in the conflict at all. Season 2 you start to see the dynamic break down, although our characters are still invested because they’re trying to save Lydia and Jackson (and later to save everyone else from Jackson), and some of the conflict is still personal for them because it’s Gerard and Victoria, but you start to see the direction the show is headed with Matt, who comes out of left field and has a backstory convoluted enough that a lot of viewers thought he was a literal ghost hellbent on revenge for his actual death. Our heroes mostly clash with him because they’re trying to save the town, yes, but also just because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time (at the Sheriff’s station, figuring out it was Matt).
In 3A it all falls apart. Our sources of conflict are the Darach and the Alphas, who none of our characters even know; none of the conflicts presented really have anything to do with our actual characters, and not only does the plot start driving what the characters do, instead of the other way around, but the characters we actually care about are basically just caught in a meat grinder between these two opposing forces. The Alphas actually want Scott, sort of, maybe, but they’re relentless in their pursuit of Derek, and even after the resolution of that entire storyline I still have no idea why, whether they genuinely wanted him or if it was supposed to be a distraction or intimidation tactic, because mostly it seemed like an excuse for Derek to get tortured some more. Like really a lot. The Darach wants her revenge, and she kills a lot of bystanders to get it, but she also needlessly involves the local pack, going far beyond just working to get Derek on her side (again for reasons that make no sense within the plot) but also actively making enemies of Scott and his friends by threatening members of the pack and taking their parents for sacrifices. A lot of what happens in 3A makes no sense because literally the only reasons the villains act as they do is so that the main characters of this show will still have a reason to be on the show. Otherwise they’d be pushed entirely aside while Jeff chased down the obscure-plot rabbit hole after his shiny new characters (that nobody but him actually cares about).
The strength of 3B early on was that it brought a lot of that conflict back home, right to the kids’ doorsteps, and they were struggling with themselves and the consequences (oh my god consequences on Teen Wolf!) of what they did last season. They’ve made some problems more personal again, especially with Stiles (and in theory with Allison, but they’re either playing a long game there for another big reveal moment, or they’ve completely forgotten that she also has been having a darkness problem). I think they’ve actually done a great job with a lot of that, because this show’s weakness in these last few seasons has been completely abandoning character moments in favor of those BIG SCENES, that frosting as shadowknight brilliantly described it, and focusing the conflict on core characters is actually a winning strategy. But it’s faltered again as the show gets bogged down once more in big reveals and backstories we don’t care about, mythologies that are depicted as vast and complex while actually being shallow and nonsensical, random bombers and overacting bandage-faced mind monsters and fireflies. There are a lot of elements to this season that I think are really cool, but as shadowknight said, they fall apart because there’s no substance to them. They’re all frosting.
There’s a lot that’s made in fandom about “parallels” between seasons and in certain moments, but I’ve never seen the writers of this show as drawing any of those lines deliberately… there’s a difference between clever parallelism and stories and scenes that play similarly because you don’t have any new ideas. In season 1 it was “Who is the Alpha?!” (Which was a pretty decent mystery plot if you ask me, especially when they hit you with the reveal, and that ultimate confrontation was really visceral because the conflicts — between Kate and Derek and Scott, Allison and herself and her family’s expectations, Peter and his would-be murderer, Chris and his family, etc etc etc — were so personal.) In season 2 it was “who is the kanima?!” and season 3A was “who is the darach?!” and 3B started out with “who is the nogitsune?!” and is winding up with “who is going to die?!?!?!” That’s not a “parallel,” that’s what you call a one-trick pony. My guess is eventually they’re going to get a point where the question is going to be “who cares?” and I’m not sure that’s a riddle they’re ever going to solve when Jeff Davis is supposed to be the one providing the answers.
That’s a very on point analysis. Season one made you care about the characters, which is what I enjoyed most, but you’re absolutely right. It didn’t just make you care about the characters, the conflict came from the characters, which is A plus story telling. And this all ties into my problem with Jeff as a creator (and as someone pointed out, he only wrote three of the twelve episodes in season one). And someone else actually mentioned this after the last episode - Scott seems to be a bystander in his own life. Which is the entire problem with recent seasons. Since the conflict is no longer coming from the characters, the characters are always reacting to conflict, instead of pushing it.
And I feel like Jeff realizes that he’s fucking up - because it makes his characters look extremely passive, like bystanders in their own stories, because he’s constantly attempting to tie the cause of the conflicts to characters. Like the nogitsune is tied to the golden trio because their sacrifice unleashed it, the darach was tied to Derek who gave the nemeton enough power to heal Jennifer. But when he does it like that, we don’t get to see the characters make those mistakes that drive the conflict, because their mistakes are made when they’re reacting to other conflict that they didn’t cause. His writing is less of ‘all actions have consequences’ and more of ‘there was literally no other move for these characters to make’ tone to it. In season two, Derek created the kanima because he was an asshole who bit jackson, probably hoping he would die. His asshole move had a very clear consequence. Season three makes those consequences a lot more murky, and drags the conflict away from the characters.
But since jeff is so into having these more and more complex storylines, we don’t get any other actual conflicts that are character driven. We don’t see Isaac dealing with his intense anger issues, or dealing with living with a guy that terrifies him (or with the mccalls); we don’t get Isaac’s opinion on whether he has anyone now or not. We don’t get Scott dealing with the extra power that comes with being an alpha. We don’t even get his fear at possibly losing his best friend. We don’t get Allison dealing with the deaths she’s suffered, or dealing with moving on from scott. WE DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW SHE FEELS ABOUT ISAAC. We don’t get stiles’s emotions on the nogitsune line, or how he feels about his father being involved, or how he feels about scott being more powerful, or about derek playing beta now. We don’t even get conflict with lydia and her banshee powers. Every individual conflict he presents is always one note and episodic, and immediately forgotten the next episode. None of it is developed or grown over episodes. None of it comes to a head. He’s devoting so much time to these complex seasonal arcs that his characters are forced to remain stagnant, or their character development comes out of left field and makes no sense. And in season one, that wasn’t the problem.
this needs to be in every art history books in 10 years
that’s almost too cruel
I had to do this once with Privateer II: The Darkening. It gained a bit when he said “I bet you didn’t play it through, I bet somebody just told you how…” and I was able to smile gently and say “God, possibly, since I wrote the game.” And plainly the Deity was with me that day, as I happened to be carrying docs from my UK agent (who’d done the deal) that showed not only that I was the writer, but the five-figure sum I had been paid. …It was a happy day for me. Not so much for him. I’d never had a referent for the word “slink” for a full grown male before. As in “slink away in utter dejection.” I smiled for at least three days without stopping. And am smiling now… I had completely forgotten about this.
Reblogging because “I beat the game” is fantastic, but “I wrote the damn thing” is even better.
I’m not a gamer but I’ll always reblog these.
This person deserves the internet award.
WHICH UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WE’D RATHER SEE
Let’s also focus less on how Emma Watson’s taking parts in problematic films, which she seems to be doing largely because her managers tell her it’s the only way to make it past Harry Potter, and more on how James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill Jay whatsisface, and Cahnning Tatum made uncomfortable sex jokes and rape jokes around her until she was so uncomfortable she left halfway through filming This is the End- but by contract had to still be in the movie.
Let’s talk about how Evangeline Lilly signed onto the Hobbit movies on the condition that her character not be in a love triangle, and everyone involved rewrote the character so that she was, and she couldn’t leave. Let’s talk about how actresses are signed into films whose final products are the opposite of what they want to be a part of, and still wind up on-screen playing terrible, problematic, sexist roles, or even being sexually harassed and assaulted while on set. Let’s talk about the implications of an industry where women have no control over the part they play or the story they’re used to tell, and are forced to make difficult decisions about which producers and directors will and won’t completely screw them over.
You cannot buy electronics with food stamps. You cannot buy cigarettes with food stamps. You cannot buy pet food with food stamps. You cannot withdraw money with an EBT card (food stamps).
Do you know what else you can’t buy with food stamps? Shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, tinfoil, plastic sandwich bags, toothpaste, cleaning products, tampons, pads, over the counter medications (such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.), and anything else you can think of that you cannot physically ingest for nutritional purposes.
Do you know what you can buy with food stamps? Food.
Do you know what it’s like to scrounge for change to buy non-edible necessities, use a credit card and EBT card (food stamps) during the same transaction, and then have the person in line behind you judge you for buying the ingredients to make a birthday cake?
People who disseminate false information about food stamps have never had to use food stamps.
Re blogging for commentary mostly. How are people so ignorant? The ONLY thing you can buy w food stamps is fucking FOOD.
This isn’t ignorance. It is a paid-for media assault by the rich against the poor.
And you can’t buy prepared foods like rotisserie chickens or bakery items, you can only buy the ingredients to make foods.
"Let me tell you what’s happening to me. I’m on the PTA at my child’s school, the Secondary School of Journalism in Park Slope. I’m currently advocating on behalf of my child, and seventeen other children whose parents don’t speak English. These kids are from Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, everywhere. These kids have all done very well on their Regent’s exams— I’m talking 90/95th percentile. Very smart kids. They were on their way toward qualifying for an Advanced Regents government scholarship,that would give their parents badly needed money to help in their education. But the fine print of that scholarship says the children need three full years of a foreign language.
And the principal at the school FIRED the Spanish teacher. She is not hiring another foreign language teacher for an entire year, effectively disqualifying all these kids from that scholarship they need. When we try to talk with her about it, she acts like she doesn’t owe us an explanation. When we try to call the Board of Education, they tell us to put it in writing. They get us all excited. They have us think if we write a nice letter, and use good grammar, and use all the correct punctuation, something will happen. Meanwhile another year passes, and nothing. And the kids don’t get their scholarship. You know something like this would never happen at a nice Manhattan school like Stuyvesant.
We’ve got a new mayor and a new chancellor. So we aren’t blaming them. But they need to know how impossible they’ve made it to help our kids. Trying to get something fixed in these schools is like praying to some false God. You call and email hoping that God is listening, and nothing happens. Meanwhile the kids suffer. All these parents that I’m representing are good, simple people. They say: ‘Don’t worry Annette, God is going to fix it. God will make it right.’ I love them. And I love God. But I tell them: ‘God won’t fix it! We’ve got to fix it!’”
if you’re somewhere dark and scary and you think ‘this feels like the first five minutes of supernatural or a horror movie’ then start walking like a dinosaur for no apparent reason. because no-one in the first five minutes of supernatural or a horror movie would start walking like a dinosaur for no apparent reason.
The ultimate survive tip