SO. I have managed to watch the entire first series and first two episodes of the second series, because this show is really entertaining, as it turns out. It's not brilliant, but it is exactly the combination of RIDICULOUS and cute and not-too-fluffy-not-too-angsty plus almost well-written enough (see also: Merlin) that I found myself wanting to watch more. It helped that I was sick in bed all of yesterday.
Things that I love:
1. Predictably: STILES IS THE MOST ADORABLE. Oh, man. I kind of love how imperfect he is, in every way. He is not always the most noble of characters. I mean, the 'Scott' bowl is just everything that needs to be said there. But it works, so well. And in his own way he is courageous and strong and smart and funny, and yes, marry me now, Stiles. I love his physical comedy and his deeper moments. I love his snarkiness. I am still not entirely seeing why everyone ships Stiles and Derek? Not totally? (I am the girl who ships friends before enemies, and needs to see a little more of the "I trust and respect you" scenes between characters before she will adore a dynamic. Meanwhile, in the most recent episode, we were heading that way. So.) I sorta want to ship them anyway.
2. Scott/Allison and Allison in general. Okay, there are moments when I am there going "this amount of mush is kind of sickening", but there is no denying that Scott and Allison are such a sweet couple, and I am sold on their love. Plus, Allison is all kinds of awesome. I think I'd be shipping Scott/Stiles if it wasn't for Allison, and I'd also probably OT3, if I was that fan. Basically, Allison is excellent enough that I don't want to ignore or discredit her, and a huge part of what makes Scott the lovable dork he is is his affection for her.
3. The plotting isn't nearly as terrible as I thought it would be. It's actually really quite good. It reminded me of Veronica Mars in its level of foregrounding. I appreciated the fact it seemed like the writers always knew what they were doing in the first series, and the second feels like it's shaping up to be the same.
4. I like how layered and real Jackson is, for an antagonist. He's given complex motivations and understandings, and I like that. He's not just a one-dimensional asshole. He's a multi-dimensional asshole. I also think the guy playing him is probably the best younger actor of the show. Similarly, Lydia has had many shining moments and I am curious to see what will happen with her.
5. Danny! Every time Danny is there on screen I am one giant splitting grin. I am not always entirely in love with how Danny is used in the show, though I think it's always pretty self-acknowledged, and he rolls with it well enough, but I love Danny. I love Danny as a character construction and as a person. I can't decide if I'd be happy with way, way more Danny, or whether he's perfect as is, because there can be too much of a good thing. But, yes. Danny!
6. I like Derek too, for the record. I like that I don't know if I should trust him. I like how handsy he is with everyone. I find I want more of Derek, a lot. I still can't decide if he's really, really hot or really unfortunate-looking, in the face.
7. The level of female gaze. What? I am shallow. Yeah, sometimes I think it's overdone, but, ech, I'm so used to the many and varied shows that have male gazes, including the 'feminist' Buffy, that I appreciate a good dose of man-candy. (ETA: The inverted commas here are not intended to imply sarcasm, more the fact that Buffy is widely regarded as feminist.)
Things that I think need a little work:
1. The guy who plays Scott could shout less. I think he's perfect casting apart from his whole "I WILL SHOUT TO CONVEY MY EMOTION" acting style. This is also my problem with early-Merlin Colin Morgan. But Morgan also has the micro-expressions and ability to tear your heart out with a look, whereas this guy does not. He's not a bad actor? He's just not a great actor, yet.
2. On Scott: I really appreciate the moments when he's smart and pro-active and not a total dunce. I'd like more of those. It's not that I don't want him to never make mistakes, it's more that I want him to have good reasons behind his mistakes --- more than 'he's a teenaged boy', because I am just that unforgiving.
3. I feel like the transitions from overarching plot to high school day plot are sometimes really badly handled. Like, one second it's all epic, dramatic music and DUN DUN DUN, WEREWOLFINESS AFOOT and then suddenly we're in a corridor, watching someone at their locker. It can be really jarring.
4. Which leads into the fact it's like literally only been two months that have gone by, in the narrative. I feel like this is either super excellent, or really dangerous. In stories, we expect a lot of development, and well-constructed development takes time. They could be cutting themselves off at the knees if everything keeps moving at such a slow pace.
5. There is no five. That's actually it. This show is nowhere near as bad as it could have been, which is crazily refreshing. Once again, it's not High Drama, but it's not trying to be.