Wednesday, July 13, 2011

TV Showdown: TEEN WOLF and NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING

teen wolf versus chloe king

This summer two teen-centric series premiered on television: Teen Wolf, which is a remake of a movie I've never seen; and The Nine Lives of Chloe King, which is based on a book and has a very long title.

Both shows are cheesy but good for some "lite" entertainment. But which one is better? Compare and contrast time, kids! Behold, I give you this spreadsheet that took me way longer to put together than if I'd just written a paragraph:




.
Protagonists
.
Teen WolfNine Lives of Chloe King (hereafter known as NLoCK)
.
Scott McCallPersonality: doofusChloe KingPersonality: bubbly
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Age: 16Age: 16
.
Extracurricular activities: lacrosseExtracurricular activities: trying on clothes
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Job: vet assistantJob: clerk in 2nd-hand clothing boutique
.
Favorite superhero reference: The HulkFavorite superhero reference: none
.
Parents: Mom crazy busy; dad mysteriously absentParents: Adopted; mom crazy busy, dad mysteriously absent
.
Happy he got superpowers because: he can now play lacrosseHappy she got superpowers because: she's attractive to the men-folk
.
Sad he got superpowers because: he's even more of weirdo now than he was before.Sad she got superpowers because: she can't hang with her friends constantly
.
Best Friends
.
Teen WolfNLoCK
.
StilesPersonality: adorkableAmyPersonality: Sassy bitch
.
Brings to the table: a car, research skills, brains, comic reliefBrings to the table: a car, the cold hard truth
.
Worried about: being eatenWorried about: losing her bestie
.
Jealousy meter: lowJealousy meter: high
.
PaulPersonality: lost puppy
.
Brings to the table: superhero knowledge, emotional support for Amy
.
Worried about: not being a sidekick
.
Jealousy meter: medium
.
Love Interests
.
Teen WolfNLoCK
.
AllisonAttractive because: She's new at school, so has no idea what an idiot Scott isBrianAttractive because: Is in college
.
Sexual aggression meter: highSexual aggression meter: just this side of gay best friend
.
Romeo and Juliet element: dad is a werewolf hunterRomeo and Juliet element: dad heads organization trying to wipe out people like Chloe
.
Convenient plot device: soothes the savage beastConvenient plot device: has a car
.
Special Powers
.
Teen WolfNLoCK
.
Better visioncheckBetter visionoh heck yes
.
Strongerdouble-checkStrongeryes
.
FastercheckFasteryup
.
Super hearingcheckSuper hearingyes
.
Shape shiftingcheckShape shiftinghas yet to grow a tail and whiskers
.
EmpathicnoEmpathicyes
.
ImmortalnoImmortalkinda; has 9 lives instead of 1
.
Miscellaneous Plot Elements
.
Teen WolfNLoCK
.
SenseiDerek, lives in crappy house and is grumpySenseiValentina, lives in kick-ass apartment and is super-understanding
.
LocationNorCalLocationSan Francisco
.
Things this teenager does that teenagers would never doAccept punishment gracefullyThings this teenager does that teenagers would never doDinner party with friends every Wednesday
.
Pressure to conform?An alpha will kill him unless he joins a packPressure to conform?Chloe must train to become leader of the Mai, an ancient race of cat people.
.
School AntagonistJackson, captain of the lacrosse teamSchool AntagonistAlek's girlfriend
.
Superhero AntagonistThe werewolf huntersSuperhero AntagonistAn evil organization dedicated to wiping out the Mai
.
Uses powers for personal gain?Uses super strength and speed in lacrosseUses powers for personal gain?Listens to friends' conversations when they think she can't hear

As you can see, these shows are pretty similar, but NLoCK is more feel-goody and lighter on the dramaz. I would also say Teen Wolf is slightly better-written than NLoCK.

What interests me about both shows is how both kids seem to have sexuality tied to their supernatural abilities. This is especially true for Chloe, who starts attracting boys the way a Coyote Ugly waitress attracts barflies as soon as she turns sixteen--and comes into her Mai abilities on the same day. Coincidence? I don't think so. Scott also magically starts dating only after he's been bitten by a werewolf.

Both shows are ├╝ber-silly and great for a light brain break. And while I do think Teen Wolf is better-scripted and -produced, there's something about NLoCK that keeps me from hating it, despite the fact that I start grinding my teeth every time I see Chloe's Pier1-sponsored bedroom or her and her mom have a ridiculous heart-to-heart. It's still better than The Vampire Diaries, anyway.

Is anyone else enjoying these shows despite themselves?


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