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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wolf Pack is an intense werewolf drama with a lot of violence and gore and a persistent sense of peril. People are regularly shown being attacked, and in the pilot episode there's a close-up of a man having his faced stomped in by a deer running from a forest fire. That same fire creates a lot of destruction and seems to have evil properties of its own. A teen girl talks about renting a motel room and "f--king" a guy. Teens are shown wearing provocative clothing and dancing at a rave. A man asks someone how old he is and he responds, "Don't worry, not like high school or anything" before they're shown heavily making out and the man reaches into the teen's pants. There's regular use of profanity including "f--k," "s--t," "stupid," "Christ sake," "God damnit." One of the teens has parents who fight often because of her dad's drinking problem. Teens are depicted as valuing their friends and family during very difficult times, and the cast is diverse racially and characters are show who are LGBTQ+, dealing with mental health issues, and have learning differences.
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What's the Story?
In WOLF PACK, four teenagers who are dealing with their own inner demons find themselves drawn together under a full moon with burgeoning new abilities and the looming threat of actual demons spawned by an enormous wildfire. What evil lies within the mysterious flames and how can the foursome stop it?
Is It Any Good?
Despite being deeply influenced by shows that came before, the latest offering in the teen supernatural genre still takes a stab at a fresh take. With the signature gloss of Riverdale and the dark overtones of Stranger Things, Wolf Pack strives to find a unique balance between camp and creep. The four featured teens are well-crafted characters, ranging from a female lead traumatized by acne scars (they disappointingly resolve for good in the pilot episode) to a boy living with nearly crippling anxiety. Sadly, most of the adult characters are jarringly one dimensional in contrast -- often overly negative or even verbally abusive. There's the usual werewolf storyline of being bitten and experiencing a transformation, but the emphasis on the sibling-like "wolf pack" instinct and the mystical properties of the wildfire are angles interesting enough to make audiences stick around for a few episodes. Where the series stumbles is in the noticeable absence of any biting, Buffy-esque humor to balance out its intensity (despite Sara Michelle Gellar herself playing the lead arson investigator). Many viewers will inevitably find themselves fatigued and losing interest as a result.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about dysfunctional family relationships and discuss why writers so often turn to them for good material, both for drama and comedy. What is it about the relationships in Wolf Pack that's compelling?
What type of diversity is present in this show? Why is representation important and why are stereotypes dangerous in media?
What impression does this series give about death? How are characters' deaths dealt with? Is this show's violence more or less gratuitous than that in other shows or movies you've seen? Do you think modern allowances for violence in the media have desensitized viewers?
- Premiere date: January 26, 2023
- Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rodrigo Santoro, Armani Jackson, Bella Shepard
- Network: Paramount+
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 25, 2023
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