Wednesday, February 8, 2023

‘Wolf Pack’ Review: A Supernatural Adaption Sure To Make You Howl

TELEVISIONPARAMOUNT‘Wolf Pack’ Review: A Supernatural Adaption Sure To Make You Howl

Vampires and Wolves may have had their heyday in the early to mid-2000s in pop culture with titles like Vampire Diaries, Twilight, and Teen Wolf, but Wolf Pack aims to reignite the nostalgia that captured teens around the world with a fresh take on the supernatural creatures.

I had the first chance to watch the first two episodes ahead of the premiere this Thursday. Going into the series, I was a bit apprehensive. With Jeff Davis attached, I knew it was going to deliver something interesting, but will it carry itself in a way that’s too similar to Teen Wolf that it loses its identity? After watching the episodes, I can confidently say that yes — while it’s a show about teenage wolves, it’s nothing at all like Teen Wolf.

Based on the Edo van Belkom novel series, Wolf Pack follows park ranger Garrett Briggs (Rodrigo Santoro), who stumbles upon a litter of wolves — including fraternal twins Harlan (Tyler Lawrence Gray) and Luna (Chloe Rose Robertson) — after a mysterious wildfire. It’s later revealed they aren’t just ordinary wolves. They become drawn to Everett and Blake, played by Armani Jackson and Bella Shepard, whose lives were also forever changed when a California wildfire awakens a terrifying supernatural creature.

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Many of the topics tackled in Teen Wolf done wrong — queer representation, ableism, mental health struggles — Wolf Pack handles more delicately. The series feels very Gen Z, and with the content of the novels lying somewhere between tween but not quite YA, that feels appropriate. But don’t take that as you not being the target demographic; there’s something for everyone built into this show. Including millennial “it girl” Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays Arson Investigator Kristin Ramsey.

Most of the cast attached, apart from Gellar and Santoro, is comprised of mostly fresh-faced, young, eager talent, and that shows in their performances. Particularly with Robertson and Gray, who breathe new life into the twin trope. While Harlan is more flirtatious and free-spirited, Luna is more bubbly and ethereal, desperate to find a pack of her own. Blake and Everett are a formidable duo of their own, with Blake as mostly an outcast, coming from a broken home where she spends a lot of time taking care of her younger brother with autism. Everett struggles with his mental health and living up to his parents’ expectations. A blended cast of misfits, it works, and it’s easy to see why Davis believes so strongly in the series.

However, if you’re looking for a faithful adaption of the novels, you may be slightly disappointed. It certainly takes pieces and parts that show they definitely inspired it, but it’s clear that Davis is seeking to make Wolf Pack into his next supernatural universe. All in all, Wolf Pack is an exciting, compelling take on a genre of teen television that is sure to make you howl.

Catch Wolf Pack when the series premieres exclusively on Paramount+ this Thursday, January 26, and make sure to stick around for our weekly episodic recaps!

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