Because our society simply can’t process its psychological demons without turning them into sexy monsters, we’ve spent the past couple of years working out our various icky issues with gay rights and how hard it is to find a good man who only wants to love and protect you unconditionally without ever inserting his penis into you via Twilight and shows like True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and The Super-Duper Preteen Girl And Menopausal Mom Shirtless Dracula Hour. But alas,our cold love affair with the eternally young, brooding, and desexualized can only last so long before it gives way to the inevitable desire to get hairy, brutish man meat in your face, as seen in the dawning of a new “golden age of male chest hair”—and its de facto, no-one-actually-says-that sobriquet “heavage” (i.e. man cleavage, which no one says either)—recently trumpeted in the Wall Street Journal. After all, even Twilight: New Moon knew enough to include approximately 45 gloriously silent minutes of Taylor Lautner’s chest dripping with water, as though a low-pressure system were permanently hovering just above his clavicle.
It’s really no surprise, then, to see Hollywood once again setting the trend by doing things as safely and predictably as possible with a new wave of projects featuring the anti-vampire—namely, werewolves. Over the past few months we’ve remained cautiously optimistic that Benicio Del Toro’s The Wolfman won’t be a complete debacle, we’ve bayed mournfully at MTV’s updated Teen Wolf—which promises to replace everything goofily loveable about the original (Stiles, that fat guy who actually ate during basketball games, the “Wolf Dance”) with extra doses of turgid romance and cryptozoology lectures—and those who breezed through Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels already know that this season of True Blood will feature a biker werewolf gang, just in case anyone was planning to take that show seriously on any level.
Now comes the news that Fox is developing a new drama called Howl, described as an “epic family saga about warring families of werewolves in a small Alaskan town.” And because every silly monster project needs a ponderous subtext, it’s being pitched by writer Joshua Miller as a mirror of “the changes that are going on in the country, and ‘metamorphosis and constant change is the basis of werewolf mythology… Howl is about the psychology of living with change.’” In other words, it’s a way to process the confusing epochal shifts of the Obama Age by having hairy shirtless dudes bite and scratch each other, and it’s just one part of what will apparently prove to be 2010: The Year We Make Contact With Sexy Werewolves. Everybody got their "hair" puns ready?