TV

Allison Argent is Important

ImageYou should be watching MTV’s Teen Wolf. Okay, a main character just died tragically, and people everywhere are probably going to stop. But still you should watch, because in the penultimate episode of the most psychologically draining season of any teen drama I’ve ever watched, Allison Argent was stabbed, and died in the arms of titular teen wolf Scott McCall. And though TV deaths always get me, this one was one of the worst. You’d have to understand a lot of the character’s backstories to get how depressing it actually was- hence why you should be watching- but part of the reason it got to most viewers including myself was because Allison Argent is really important. And not just in terms of Teen Wolf, but in terms of TV dramas across the board.

Most of the teenage dramas I’ve watched are directed at girls, but make the main male characters out to be the heroes. It’s no secret that the “chick-flick” genre is increasingly sexist, and this often translates over to TV; in season 2 of One Tree Hill, the audience is made to hate Haley when she leaves Nathan to pursue her music career, despite the fact that Nathan himself was arguably the biggest jerk on that show. You remember LC and Kristin’s feuding more than anything else that took place on The Hills. I barely watch The Vampire Diaries but I’m pretty sure Elena is supposed to a vampire and all we get is her making out with Damon and Stefan. And yeah, Ryan is my favorite character on The OC, but half the time it seems like he exists ONLY to save Marissa. It’s possible the “male lead” in teenage dramas has to do with gathering more male viewers, but regardless of the reason, these shows always seems to make the girls forgettable.

Teen Wolf is not absent of this, considering many of the deaths on the show have been female and most of the main characters are in fact male. But as a female character, Allison Argent was not forgettable. In the first season, Allison, played by the wonderful Crystal Reed, is introduced as the simple love interest to the werewolf, and its all very sweet until we find out that she is from a family of werewolf hunters and she finds out she’s dating one of them. ImageWith a few minor setbacks Allison manages to handle all this well, developing her own code and standing by her family while protecting her friends. Over the course of her three seasons, her mother and aunt are killed, she is pursued by a couple of creepy male characters, her best friend Lydia seemingly goes crazy, her father is almost sacrificed- and we find out her biggest fear is being seen by others as weak, as if she needs protection. As a seventeen-year-old and one of the two human teenagers on the show, Allison became one of the most relatable and impressive characters for viewers and future showrunners alike. She may have been brought in as just a love interest for Scott during season 1, but it’s her decision to break up with him season 2, and remains his friend throughout season 3 (and let’s be honest, without Allison’s bow and arrow skills, these werewolves would be nowhere). And in a show with themes of “the power of human love” that are reminiscent of Harry Potter, yes Allison died in our main male character’s arms, but it wasn’t about Scott- Allison died protecting Isaac, getting Stiles back, and saving Lydia. In her final episode she got to say goodbye to her father AND finally figured out how to defeat the Oni demons (like I said, you should probably just watch the show). Maybe some viewers were disappointed in her demise, and maybe it was only for three seasons, but Allison showed us that there can be, and should be, strong characters that young female viewers to look up to. We’ll miss you, Allison.

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TV

You Should Probably Give MTV’s Teen Wolf a Chance

I know what you’re thinking. Teen Wolf looks like the most ridiculous show you could have imagined. It has all the ingredients: supernatural creatures after the rise of Twilight and it’s a remake of a 80s movie that happens to be hosted by MTV. But hear me out when I say: it’s actually really good. I can’t deny that “cheesy teen TV” is one of my favorite genres. It took me about a month to fully catch up on eight seasons of One Tree Hill and I still refuse to watch the end of The OC‘s third season because Marissa can’t die! But I also can’t deny that when I first saw ads for Teen Wolf (you can’t escape them) I had absolutely zero interest. The concept is admittedly a bit ridiculous. A dorky 16 year old gets bitten by a werewolf, increasing his lacrosse skills as well as his stress level as he now essentially has to protect his town from evil. You feel like this tired tale has been done a million times before, and I get that. But this show is different. It’s scary, it’s funny, it’s honestly relatable, and it manages to do it all at once. Considering the fact that I’ve watched this week’s episode twice and am still hyped up about it, please listen to me when I say you really should be watching this show.

Most non-viewers seem to take issue with the acting and effects. And though its Monday night 10 PM time-slot on MTV may not give it away, I can assure you the cast does a good job working around the computer-generated monsters. Once you get past the fact that most of the cast were never actually “teens” during even the earliest episodes and the season 1 CGI will occasionally make you want to roll your eyes, you will actually start to care about these characters and the supernatural situations they find themselves in. I mean, its a werewolf wanting to commit suicide to save his friends outside of a haunted motel, and you’re weeping in front of your TV. And that’s what the cast has managed to do; take something seemingly ridiculous and make it interesting and believable. Best of the bunch is absolutely Dylan O’Brien, most recently seen in The Internship, who stars as sarcastic and heart breaking best-buddy Stiles.

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If I’m being honest, seeing random clips online of Stiles was the only reason I started to watch the show. I’m not just saying that because he’s cute (which he is), because more importantly he’s talented. Like the “have you cracking up one second and in tears the next, on the edge of your seat in disbelief that acting this good could be on a show called Teen Wolf” kind of talented. Dylan is actually really impressive to watch considering he’s just two years older than me, and is in general just the type of person you want to watch on TV all day and then be best friends with. Really, its scientific fact.

And don’t be turned away by the fact that all this seems to have been done before. First of all, there are no vampires (I feel like I need to point this out, because it’s all anybody ever asks me). There is no Edward Cullen vs. Jacob Black scenario here! Werewolves may seem boring at this point in pop-culture but the show manages to bring a lot of interesting mythology into each season; the South American murderer-killing Kanima, Celtic druids, Japanese kitsune. If the supernatural isn’t really your thing, thats fine too; episodes will pass without anyone actually “turning” into a wolf, and the latest season is more of a psychological thriller than anything relevant to the CW’s Supernatural. With the current tagline aptly being “Lose Your Mind,” I’m really just asking that people stop giving me weird looks when I mention this show before I start losing my mind. Teen Wolf is good. It’s not Breaking Bad, but give it a shot. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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