A Werewolf Blog in Brooklyn

The Classic Werewolf Cliche

September 8, 2013
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Clichés are classic there is no doubt about that. Every time you hear one it’s a bit like de-ja-vu, you know you’ve heard or seen it played out before and you know what to expect and yet, you still wait it out.

This is the theme of episode 3 in Teen Wolf. It starts with a lovely opening night scene of two little kids in a wood trying to capture fire flys. The music is uplifting and cheery, and the boy child is called of all things – Billy. This seems to me like classic story telling. Right up until the big bad (were)wolf starts chasing the kids through the woods.

I think to myself, has Teen Wolf finally redeemed itself? Could I actually be enjoying this episode?

The answer may shock you that it is yes on both accounts. Especially when the fireflys swarm the werewolf and the kids manage to escape.

Of course there are parts of Teen wolf that still bug me. Scott still comes across as a bimbo. Lydia appears to constantly be emotionally tortured – finding a dead body, forming a prescription drug addiction to help her cope with life. Bad cgi and the fake running scene of Derek and Scott, lets just move our arms on the spot and pretend the scenery is moving…yawn…

But all in all this episode is pretty good. It opens up an interesting mystery that brings together werewolves, humans, our heroes, the unsuspecting police and even the Argent family.

This episode works because it has a fairly logical flow to it.

I also like that Alison has stopped being a passive girl and has turned into a character worth paying attention to again and not because of her romance with Scott. Because of what she offers as a person to the story line.

The woods feature heavily in this episode and for once, I think that makes sense. Woods in story telling are often filled with danger, mystery and evil things. Seems like the perfect spot for a couple of psychotic werewolves to rampage and terrorise a couple of gay teens about to go on a make-out fest.

Don’t they know the rules of horror story telling – if you have sex and your not a virgin, you die! (Thanks Scream)

The clichés are laid on heavily but they help the viewer plot an obvious path through the story line on offer.

As Scott saves one teen girl from being werewolf souffle, he emplores her “You need to get out of here, you need to get out of the woods, you need to get out of here as fast as you can!” before running off and leaving said teenager alone, again. Thanks Teen Wolf for the lack of escape assistance!

I’m pretty sure there’s a rule in the horror movie genre of using drugs means your just putting your name on the kill me first list, too.

Stiles delivers as always. When Lydia says “I’m supposed to call you before I call 911?” and stiles replies “YES!” it slams home the horror movie cliché of logic and characters and what people normally do in the horror situation in movies – hint, its the opposite to what Lydia, very realistically does.

Even having Stiles mention the classic horror movie The Shining in this episode shows how much it is playing on trying to go for that cliché effect.

Comedy is clever once again, between Derek and Issac when Issac wants to talk to Derek about dating his sister. This car scene is perfectly delivered. And even the scene between Mr Argent and Scott in the same car park with the gun, is fun.

Dear god Teen Wolf, how did you suddenly come good? I really need to find out who wrote this episode!

The thing is, it gets better, the hunting and trapping scene with Mr Argent talking and the cut scenes with Alison is very well put together, along with actual wolf information and facts.

The clichés are laden and once you notice them you start noticing them a lot.

The classic group shot as the wolf pack and hunter walk up to the edge of the park reserve, is expected, as one team working together – (hunted and hunted) to eliminate the bad rogue werewolves and save Beacon Hills from more death and mayhem.

The attempt to stylize the fight scenes, is a bit over done, but I can see this improving.

I like Issac but as a werewolf, there needs a bit of work done on him because he’s a bit to thin and weak looking. Maybe the wardrobe department could layer him up in clothes to give him an effect of bulk and buff, that both Scott and Derek have.

Of course, Teen Wolf wouldn’t be Teen Wolf if it didn’t have multiple story lines going. The teens turning up dead in this episode, is a story line that is actually not werewolf related, as opposed to the wolf pack hunting the rogue werewolves. But what Teen Wolf does manage to do cleverly in this episode is make the story lines intertwine as our wolf pack thinks the two events are related. And it the misdirection, or misinformation and assumption of our intrepid heroes, makes sense! That’s why it works!

A big moment for me in this episode was the scene where Derek has to sacrifice himself at the rouge werewolves claws. As they slash away, madly at him and he gets chopped down to size (cliché)! I find myself feeling for Derek, but this is what it means to be the alpha werewolf, you are the one who has to do what others will not or can not.
Finally, does this mean Teen Wolf are addressing that?
This could be a reason to respect this werewolf!!

This episode of Teen Wolf makes me think that the first two episodes of Season 3, were a waste of time and that somehow, this episode should have been the season opener.

It showcases all manner of strength in the writing and scenery and storylines of its characters. And it’s “Werewolf centric”!! Huzzah!

Finally, a real reason to watch this show again, because it seems to be about werewolves!

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True Dominance

March 16, 2010
2 Comments

Werewolves have changed over time, but some habits, just don’t stop and go out of style, no matter what decade or century you’re in.

Werewolves are known for their fighting ability. The reputation of our breed, is ingrained with this skill set. Of course, there are different reasons for fighting. I’m not a fan of fighting. I figure there’s always a dumb excuse that can be supposedly used to justify fighting. I mean most of the time, the reasons given seem lame.

In the bad old days of werewolves being not so out in the open and the packs being extremely large, before they were hunted down heavily in their homelands, fighting was done as a means, of sorts, of survival – There were dominance fights.

There still are dominance fights, in today’s werewolf culture. But there is a big difference between them now.

Dominance fights in the old day, were considered any physical attack from any fellow werewolf on the leading Alpha of a pack. The challenger could be any wolf. Not even necessarily a pack wolf. They always fought in their animal form. This kind of fighting involved the caveman like, fight-to-the-death mentality. Yes it’s very thunderdome-esque starting with it’s too contenders and ending in one wolf’s death.

True dominance.

This type of fighting was done to prove a point. To ram home a message. To protect position of leadership and ultimately pack. To take out leaders thought to be unworthy and to regroup with a new mentality, under new leadership. To take over. To gain control, to assert one’s self within the pack and greater wolf community, so as to be revered.

Fights these days, are somewhat different.
They’re still held, and they’re still called dominance fights. But they’re about as far from different from our ancestors version of “survivor’s” than ours as you can get.

Today’s wolves, use dominance fights to attempt to get their way when most other options for whatever they are after, fail. Dominance fights, only happen between Alpha werewolves. They are publicized between packs of the warring wolves so it is made clear, what is being challenged. There’s always a tone of blood shed at these fights. But no longer do these warring wolves fight to the death. Not unless they really want to rain down hell on them self or their pack.

See, we can respect that we’re a rare breed, likely to die out. But we can’t respect each other enough to just deal with things in a normal, non violent way. Seriously makes me shake my head in wonder.

Dominance fights these days, have rules.
In the old days, there were no rules, it just came down to who was the best and the most alive at the end of it all.

I’m not sure exactly how many rules there are regarding today’s version of dominance fights, but I know there are a few key rules that every fighter obeys.

1. If any Alpha wolf, leading or not, of pack, is challenged to a dominance fight, they must accept. To not accept, is an automatic sign of weakness and if you’re a leader, you don’t want that. It just gives other wolves the wrong idea about green lighting your pack for target practice. Leading Pack Alpha’s can choose a representative for themself if they want.

But I don’t know any Alpha let alone leading Alpha, that would ever do that. I’ve never heard of one of them chickening out. They just don’t. If you’re a badass, well, you know you’re a badass and why the hell wouldn’t you prove it if provoked?

2. No Shape shifting
Fights are fought, in human form, in an underground, often secret and constantly moving, location around one of the pack’s hoods. No shape shifting is allowed. It’s considered cheating. Werewolves are ego-maniacs. They love to see how much damage they can do to each other and who can take the most, in their human skin, before it becomes too much.

3. Any Alpha who loses a dominance fight, submits to the winner’s decree, whatever that might be. Guess it’s the reason behind whatever the fight was started for in the first place.

Strangely enough, werewolves follow these rules quite thoroughly. Like they are actually respected, unlike say the opponent in the fight.

Weird wolves.

4. It’s not a fight to the death. One werewolf must concede defeat. Which in itself is a harder task than getting through the physicality of the fight to do. Egos – Alpha egos clashing.

You’ll find the only time a werewolf fights to kill, is because it is under attack. Not a sanctioned, controllable fight. Or it’s lost every single sense of control.

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