There’s this ‘funny’ thing that happens in Teen Wolf fandom. I keep seeing it happen when people try to ‘explain’ why they prefer Derek over Scott. And usually they say it’s because he’s more ‘complex’, more ‘interesting’, or you know ‘deeper’.
And then I watch the actual show, and I wonder where they get that bit of nonsense.
Derek is fun enough, if you want a simple character who’s entire personality is based on angst. That’s it. He has no real depth. He has potential sure, but beyond the angst, there really is nothing about his character that sets him apart.
He kinda reminds me of Angel, BTVS S1 Angel that is. Mysterious/cryptic guy in the shadows with the deep and dark tragic past.
Which is ok, as far as characters go, but it doesn’t really do much if there isn’t anything else.
One of the things that made Angel a great character, is that from s2 on, around the time that David Boreanaz’ acting skills finally started improving, they built on to the character in ways to develop him beyond the angst. Only it wasn’t until Angel got his own series, that he truly came into his own and developed a personality beyond the angst.
Not by killing off even more people that he cared about, but by giving him quirks, character traits. By making him petty, by having him love music that sucks like Mandy, and giving him a terrible singing voice. By having him cook for his friends in the morning, and care about how his hair looks when he finally gets a chance to see his reflection. By having him jump into the wrong car during a dramatic chase…
Silly little things really. But they developed this one dimensional character into something more, something special. And I’m not even that much of an Angel fangirl. I by far prefer Spike. But despite my preference, I can recognize the character build up they gave to Angel, letting him be more than the mysterious brooder in the shadows who gave Buffy cryptic clues.
Same with Dean Winchester. If you look at the character’s history, he could be this dark broody character who angst about all the pain and suffering he’s been through all his life. But he’s more than that. He has hobbies, interests, we know what he does for fun, we know what a nerd he is. He has these quirky traits that develop him beyond the stereotype he could have been pushed into.
Derek though… what do we really know about Derek? That his family was killed. That he got his girlfriend killed as a teenager. That he was seduced by Kate, and she used him in some way that led to the Hales dying.
We know he’s from a rich family/pack, that he has money, and that he was a born wolf and can be violent.
But none of that tells us anything else about Derek beyond the angst. He has no personality beyond his manpain.
Sure he’s pretty, but pretty doesn’t equal a good character.
Compare that to Scott. We know he loves lacrosse, we know he loves Allison, we know his father abandoned him, that he used to suffer from ashtma. We know he’s never watched Star Wars, that he loves Stiles like a brother, that…
Scott has an actual personality, he isn’t defined by his angst. His pain is a part of him, but it’s not all he is.
Scott has improved with every single season. (unlike say Stiles who imo has remained stagnant from s1 on), he grows as a character, as he grows up.
Derek has … potential to be a good character. But so far, all he is is built primarily on Tyler Hoechlin’s looks and acting skills. And I personally kinda require more from a character than that.