Ellen Gray: 'Teen Wolf': Getting a grip on new feelings
TEEN WOLF. 11 p.m. Sunday, MTV. Moves to 10 p.m. Mondays the following night. THE FIRST SIGN that MTV's newest scripted show is, as programming chief David Janollari puts it, "not your father's 'Teen Wolf' " is probably the brief sight of half a dead girl - the top half - illuminated by what looks to be the flashlight app from an iPhone.
TEEN WOLF. 11 p.m. Sunday, MTV. Moves to 10 p.m. Mondays the following night.
THE FIRST SIGN that MTV's newest scripted show is, as programming chief David Janollari puts it, "not your father's 'Teen Wolf' " is probably the brief sight of half a dead girl - the top half - illuminated by what looks to be the flashlight app from an iPhone.
Michael J. Fox never even got to text, much less stumble over dismembered bodies in the woods.
But compared to MTV's controversial remake of the British adolescent drama "Skins," its new "Teen Wolf," which premieres Sunday after "The 2011 MTV Movie Awards," is practically housebroken.
Owing more to the "Twilight" movies and the CW's "Vampire Diaries" than to its more cheerful '80s antecedent and yet retaining a certain lightness in tone, it stars Tyler Posey as Scott McCall, an asthmatic teen who's supposed to be a loser but is nevertheless pretty darn cute - not to mention ripped - even before a bad bite saddles him with a serious case of lycanthropy.
And I do mean serious: Fox's comical werewolf looked like a very short Chewbacca, but Posey's is meant to be more scary than hairy.
So forget about seeing a hirsute Scott slam-dunking a basketball before a cheering crowd. This werewolf plays lacrosse - the face mask helps protect his secret - and doesn't just have vastly improved reflexes: He can also hear cellphone conversations from a considerable distance.
Like Fox's werewolf, he has a best friend named Stiles (Dylan O'Brien), who sees opportunities in his buddy's metamorphosis that Scott doesn't immediately grasp. (Did I mention their English class is reading Kafka?)
Hyper-aware of Allison Argent (Crystal Reed), the new girl in school who looks to have some secrets of her own, Scott's mostly just another adolescent boy, trying to figure out his place in the world.
The screener I received was missing some scenes, but what I saw probably wouldn't be out of place on ABC Family - and might even be considered tame on the CW.
But then nothing on MTV could possibly be as scary as the mere thought of Snooki in Italy.
"While real kids may not actually turn into werewolves, we all know that young people know what it's like to discover new feelings that you can't control," Janollari told reporters last summer.
Mothers of teenage boys may not always be sure as Janollari is that they haven't actually turned into werewolves, but when it comes to the expression of out-of-control feelings, I'll take MTV's latest walk on the wild side over "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" any day.
Return to 'The Glades'
USA hasn't completely cornered the market on blue-sky procedurals.
Not with A&E's "The Glades" returning for its second season at 10 p.m. Sunday.
Matt Passmore's transplanted Chicago homicide detective, Jim Longworth, faces new cases in the Sunshine State and, naturally, new roadblocks in his burgeoning romance with not-quite-single mom Callie Cargill (Kiele Sanchez).
"The Glades" is never going to tell you who killed Rosie Larsen, but for anyone who's begun to tire of the "24"-like red herrings on AMC's "The Killing," it offers the promise of less frustration - and maybe a better night's sleep afterward. *
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