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Take a bite out of them
Who would've thought a TV series adaptation of an '80s comedy movie about a teenage werewolf who really kills it on the basketball court would be such a hit? But here we are. MTV's Teen Wolf, which premiered in 2011 and ran for six seasons, gives Scott McCall's (Tyler Posey) story a much darker spin — and I'm not just talking about ditching the basketball for lacrosse. Showrunner Jeff Davis took the teen-becomes-werewolf comedy and turned it into a bonafide teen drama with a major supernatural mythology and some unforgettable villains. It was such a hit, in fact, that the series, adapted by Jeff Davis, just got its own revival movie on Paramount+ called, efficiently, Teen Wolf: The Movie.
The series has all the mysteries and monsters you'd expect from a supernatural show, but the best part about it was always the human parts — the winning friendship between Scott and his non-werewolf best friend Stiles (Dylan O'Brien), the teen romances, and the parent-child relationships (there was nothing like a Stiles and Sheriff Stilinski hug). It's also a series that wasn't afraid to have fun or shy away from earnestness. If you're looking for more supernatural shows with that same attitude, below you'll find options of both the teen and adult variety, plus one superhero show for good measure.
It feels obvious to say but we'd have no Teen Wolf (the series) without Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the series). Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) in all of her slaying glory paved the way for ol' Scott McCall. The beloved WB/UPN series ran for seven seasons from 1997 to 2003 and not only delivered the hero we needed at the time, but really made the case for smart, fun supernatural teen dramas. Gellar's performance is iconic, but Buffy wouldn't survive Sunnydale (a literal Hellmouth!) without her gaggle of friends and allies, lovingly called the Scooby Gang, including Willow (Allison Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendon), and Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), to name a few. It's the chemistry between the whole ensemble that really makes it such a delight to revisit after all these years.
A werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost all get a house together — nope, it's not a joke. Okay, it's a little silly, but mostly it's the premise of supernatural drama Being Human. The dramedy, which aired for four seasons on Syfy from 2011 to 2104 (the original UK version ran from 2008 to 2013 and is streaming for free on Freevee), didn't shy away from the silliness, but it also, wisely, has a whole lot of heart. Josh (Sam Huntington), our reluctant werewolf, grapples with a lot of denial and self-esteem issues, at first only seeing himself as a monster. Vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer) has been around for 200 years and is fighting evil forces in order to live a semi-normal life. Sally (Meaghan Rath) has died under mysterious circumstances and is left to figure out her unfinished ghost business. Even as the show dives deeper into its own mythology, it's always grounded by the relationships and chemistry between our three main characters. In short: You might come for the supernatural story, but you'll stay for the relatable human emotion.
Teen Wolf worked so well mostly for two reasons: It knew how to have fun and the chemistry between Tyler Posey and Dylan O'Brien was unmatched. Sleepy Hollow, Fox's time-traveling take on the Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) character, was a blast for similar reasons. At least for the first three seasons, anyway. Seasons four and five? We don't know them. When George Washington's double agent Ichabod Crane goes up against one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse in 1781 (just go with me here!), he finds himself somehow waking up in 2013 Sleepy Hollow. He winds up working alongside local law enforcement officer Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) as the mysteries continue to pile up in town — much of them having to do with the fact that Ichabod landing at Abbie's door is no coincidence. The mythology of Sleepy Hollow is dense, but mostly in a fun, clever way, and the on-screen chemistry between Mison and Beharie jumps off the screen — they're great in these roles individually, but when the two are working together, the show really comes alive.
The best thing about long-running brothers-solving-supernatural-mysteries show Supernatural is that there are 327(!!) episodes. Okay, there are other good things about it, but come on, if you're a fan of fun spooky stuff that will occasionally tug on the ol' heartstrings, what's better than starting a show that you know you can wrap yourself up in for, let me say it again, 327 episodes. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as Dean and Sam Winchester, brothers who hunt demons, vampires, ghosts, and the like. There are overarching storylines that carry on throughout, but Supernatural also has a reliable monster-of-the-week format to it that makes for easy viewing. Settle in, baby, because it's about to get weird — for a long time!
For another well-known IP given the teen drama TV series treatment, try Nancy Drew. The teenage detective, who first appeared in literature back in 1930, gets CW-fied here — everybody is very good looking and also hooking up! — thanks to stalwarts of the genre Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (along with Noga Landau) and it's a win for everyone. Like her literary counterpart, Nancy (Kennedy McMann) is a recent high school grad with a penchant for solving mysteries who's grappling with the recent death of her mother. Sleuthing waits for no woman, grieving or not, and eventually Nancy and her gaggle of pals known as the Drew Crew, each with their own set of secrets, get drawn into some peculiar happenings in their small town of Horseshoe Bay. This adaptation is moody, broody, and given a supernatural twist, but it's also self-aware and knows how to play within its genre.
If you're looking for more youths handling supernatural situations but need less cheese (listen, I love cheese, cheese is not a knock, I just know some people are lactose intolerant), Lockwood & Co. is a fun, fresh take on the genre. Based on Jonathan Stroud's novels, this series immerses the audience in a world in which ghosts run rampant and psychic-powered teens are employed to hunt and capture them. The youths in question here are Lucy (Ruby Stokes), Anthony (Cameron Chapman), and George (Ali Hadji-Heshmati), three ghost-hunting teens who have set out on their own and find themselves dealing with a much bigger mystery than they bargained for. Unique characters, genuine scares, killer production design, and a sharp script! What more could you want from the supernatural youths, really?
As werewolf Derek Hale in Teen Wolf, Tyler Hoechlin nails the brooding, reluctant hero thing. In his current TV role, he's a hero who's anything but reluctant — he's Superman, baby. That guy is always willing to help out. Hoechlin nails the earnest hero, too. It certainly helps that the Lois to his Clark Kent, played by Elizabeth Tulloch, is great as well and together they have a chemistry that really sparks. It also doesn't hurt that in many ways Superman & Lois gives a fresh spin to the CW superhero show. Sure, there's a lot of superhero stuff there for fans of the genre, but Superman & Lois is at its best when it leans into its family drama framework. How the Kents function as a family unit — this series sees Clark and Lois raising two teen boys in Smallville — and how this very complicated marriage works is paid the same amount of attention as aliens coming to destroy the world (again) and the series is all the stronger for it.