A full moon rises Friday as MTV reunites the cast of “Teen Wolf” to celebrate the show’s ninth anniversary.
Stars Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Holland Roden, Max and Charlie Carver, Shelly Henning, series creator Jeff Davis, among others, will appear on MTV’s YouTube channel at noon eastern time. The special will raise money for the First Responders First Charity.
“Hope to see you all there. It’s gonna be all your buddies, the whole pack is back,” Posey tweeted.
Tyler Hoechlin isn’t listed on the press release. He’s probably lifting weights for his new CW series “Superman & Lois.”
Keahu Kahuanui – dreamy gay icon Danny – is also not scheduled, probably because MTV still continues to do him and his fans dirty.
(Kahuanui recently revealed on Twitter that no one bothered to contact him to tell him he was dropped from the series after the third season. He had to figure it out on his own.)
Still, “Teen Wolf” is easily MTV’s best scripted series – and, OK, that is damning with faint praise. But “Teen Wolf” ran for six seasons and 100 episodes from 2011-2017. That’s quite an accomplishment on a network with the attention span of a goldfish on Adderall.
Let’s jump in the Wayback Machine and check out the pilot to see how well the show aged and what drew viewers in for so long.
Airing June 5, 2011, “Wolf Moon” opened with a shirtless Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), merely the first of 3.7 billion such shirtless shots to air across the series. “Teen Wolf” practically invented gaybait, teasing viewers and delivering so little.
But never mind torsos, we need to talk about Posey’s hair: He looks as if he ticked off someone in makeup, so they gave him a shag cut with a mop of bangs. It might be the most unattractive look of this century. It’s fixed in subsequent seasons, but it sure is a distraction here.
Scott is surprised by his best pal, Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O’Brien), who is hanging upside down off the rafters of the McCall manse, breathless with exciting news.
Two joggers found half a body in the woods.
Naturally, they have to go find the other half.
It’s only when they get to the Beacon Hills Preserve that Scott wonders which half they are looking for. And what if the killer is still out there?
Scott has big plans for the new school year – he’s going to get off the bench for the lacrosse team, despite his severe asthma. Stiles is amused.
The two get separated. As Scott tries to find his way out of the forest, he’s practically mowed down by a herd of deer on the move. This isn’t the bear scene from “The Revenant,” but it’s really terrifying in its own right as Scott tries to dodge all the deer racing past him. And give an Emmy to whoever decided the inhaler needed its own slo-mo closeup as it flies out of Scott’s hand.
As Scott uses the light of his cellphone to search for the inhaler, he uncovers the top half of a woman’s body – yay? Frightened, he takes a tumble down what seems like three hills. As he climbs back up, something behind him growls.
The creature attacks him, but Scott manages to escape. Only later does Scott pull up his shirt and find a bleeding wound on his torso where the creature bit him.
The next morning, at Beacon Hills High School, Scott crosses paths with lacrosse captain and alleged tough guy Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes).
Stiles doesn’t believe Scott’s story about being bitten – mainly because California doesn’t have any wolves.
In his first period, Scott reacts in pain to the ring of a cellphone – coming outside the building. He’s able to listen to the phone conversation of the new student, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed). Allison joins the class and takes a seat behind him.
Scott is instantly smitten. Allison is intrigued.
They’re reading Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” in class. Wait. Was Scott bitten by a giant cockroach? Nah. That show would be on Syfy.
At lacrosse practice, the great Coach Bobby Finstock (Orny Adams) – just Coach – gives Scott the action he wants. He puts him in the goalie net. He figures the easy shots will help build the guys’ confidence.
“What about me?” Scott wonders.
“Try not to take one to the face,” Coach says.
In six seasons, Coach never changed. He gave everyone a hard time, just because he could.
Scott is showing speed to rival the Flash. He blocks shot after shot, ticking off Jackson.
Later, as they walk through the woods, Scott tells Stiles about the changes he’s experiencing – he can even smell the gum in Stiles’ pocket.
Wait a minute. Stiles has heard of this kind of infection before.
“Lycanthropy!” Stiles guesses. “You’re a werewolf.”
That seemed … easy. Stiles isn’t even being serious.
Here’s your proof – a mysterious stranger (Tyler Hoechlin), looking all hot ‘n’ broody. He orders the two off his property, then tosses the inhaler back at Scott.
Stiles can’t believe they just saw the Derek Hale. “His family burned in a fire ten years ago.” And so the seeds of a bromance are planted, one that exists to this day more in fans’ minds than onscreen.
Allison rolls up to the animal clinic where Scott works with a dog that she hit with her car. Scott diagnoses a broken leg and puts a splint on the animal because he’s seen the vet do it a million times and this show can’t afford to pay any more actors.
“I freaked out like a total girl,” Allison says.
The two bicker over who would be more of a girl in a crisis in one of the weirdest bits of alleged romantic bantering ever put to the small screen. Scott pulls an eyelash from Allison’s cheek.
Scott goes to bed happy and wakes up in the dirt … in the forest.
Don’t you hate when that happens?
Some beast chases him through the fog, but Scott escapes.
At school, Jackson confronts Scott at his locker in this now classic moment:
“Where are you getting your juice?”
Scott, confused, finally replies, “My mom does all the grocery shopping.”
At lacrosse practice, Scott so impresses Coach – though you can never tell with him – he makes the first line.
Stiles is worried. An autopsy showed that body was covered in animal hairs.
He spends the night researching lycanthropy, and has one conclusion the next day for his pal.
“You’re cursed, Scott.”
He can’t go to the big party because of the full moon, Stiles warns. His bloodlust will be at its peak.
Scott loses his temper and knocks over a chair. Later, Stiles sees it has three slash marks on its back …
At the big party, Scott and Allison dance close. Lydia (Holland Roden) checks out Scott as she makes out with Jackson. Derek Hale watches as well. Who invited him to a high school party? Guess with those cheekbones, he can get in anywhere.
Scott is overcome, as Stiles predicted, bloodlust, and he makes his excuses and runs out of the party.
Allison, dejected, watches him drive away. Well, he was her ride.
Wait. Look who’s here being all charming and helpful. Derek, who introduces himself as Scott’s friend …
At home, under the influence of a full moon, Scott changes: His fingernails grow. His eyes light up a bright yellow. He sprouts fangs and some wicked sideburns.
Stiles manages to tell him that Derek is the one who bit him and killed that girl, and he gave Allison a ride home.
That really spikes Scott’s bloodlust. He races out of his home and into the woods.
Stiles, however, discovers that Allison is safe at home. So Derek really is a wonderful Uber driver?
In the woods, Scott spies Allison’s jacket hanging from a branch. “She’s safe from you,” Derek taunts him.
The two roll in the dirt.
Derek is aware of others in the woods. “Run,” he warns Scott.
Too late. An arrow pins Scott’s arm to a tree. Armed men advance on Scott.
Derek to the rescue. He knocks out a couple of the men and frees Scott. They run off into the night.
Scott demands to know who those men were.
Hunters, Derek tells him, who have been hunting them for centuries.
“The bite is a gift,” Derek says, and you’re going to hear that line a lot over six seasons. “We’re brothers now.”
Allison wants answers at school the next day. Scott convinces her to give him a second chance as she walks to her father’s car for a ride home.
Scott turns away from her, smells something and turns back.
Allison’s father … is the chief hunter who almost killed him last night.
And Chris Argent (JR Bourne) flashes his pearly whites – a smile or a warning of aggression?
And so ends the first episode of “Teen Wolf.”
It’s an hour that moves briskly, sets up its premise, teases a few mysteries, gets a few scares in despite the low budget, and presents an appealing, if inexperienced cast. You can see why viewers came back.
How it managed to last six seasons?
There are no answers for that.