Three days cooped up with this lot will leave you a barking lunaticWolfgang
is a 2018 monthly Slice of Life
dramedy web series created by former Geek & Sundry
vlogger Dael Kingsmill
and released on her YouTube
page, Monarchs Factory
. The show is not about classical musicians
as one might suppose, but instead focuses on three Australian inner city werewolves
on the three days they transform during the full moon. What do they do in the hours between transforming into bloodthirsty beasts? Honestly? Not much. But that's kind of the fun.
The episodes for the series were released in real time, meaning there are three episodes corresponding to every full moon of 2018. All the episodes can be found here.
- Aborted Arc: Pres's nascent, text-message-based relationship with Mitch is discussed in some earlier episodes, then dropped entirely by the middle of the series.
- All There in the Manual: According to the Q&A video, there is no masquerade and werewolves are known about by society at large. The only hints to this in the series are that Pres mentions other kids' parents not wanting them to play with her after she infected Sesh, and William saying that his mother has "opinions" about werewolves, making him reluctant to "come out" about his condition.
- Arc Words: "Werewolf friends". The question that arises throughout the show: are they real friends who have lycanthropy in common, or do they just put up with each other out of necessity because they have to share a bunker three days a month?
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Sesh, Nix and Presley. Partly justified as they're all nicknames, but they're all based on the characters' real names.
- Bookends: The first episode starts with the gang moving into a new place, and in the last episode they have to leave because the neighbors finally filed a complaint about all the noise.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In episode 30, William is musing about all the things they can't do as werewolves, such as become astronauts, go on extended vacations, or give hickies to anyone.
Sesh: D'you ever wish you didn't get bit, William, y'know, so you could be the hickey-giving astronaut?
- Cabin Fever: They can't seem to go the whole three days without getting into a fight. They deliberately bring games and other activities into the bunker, but these have limits.
- In episode 7, Nix tapes a camera to the wall in the hopes of capturing the gang during mid-transformation. We don't see the results of this, but in episode 13 Pres mentions watching herself transform, indicating he was successful.
- In episode 35, Nix mentions "Claire de Lune" being on William's mix tape. In the finale, they play the song as an outro.
- Caught on Tape: Nix wants to record them transforming, not so much for proof, but to see what it's like.
- Childhood Friends: Presley and Sesh
- Cliffhanger: Episode 13 ends with Pres and Sesh realizing that Nix hasn't arrived at the bunker before moonrise, meaning they have to lock him out.
- Conversational Troping: Happens often; in particular, they like to discuss werewolf tropes and try to figure out if they apply in-universe.
- Defcon Five: Discussed and employed in episode 3:
Pres: (sarcastically) The door's open, so we're at Defcon 1.
Sesh: Stop making it sound like I'm overreacting. 1 would be likely nuclear apocalypse. We're at Defcon 4.
Pres: My apologies. (same tone) The door's open, so we're at Defcon 4.
- Evolving Credits: The title card at the end of each episode changes with the cast. Initially it has the original trio sitting on the couch, looking scraped up by their werewolf transformations. After Nix disappears, their face gets scratched out. After William appears, their picture is pasted over the previous one. Finally, when Nix reappears and they become a four-person ensemble, a new picture of all four of them on a couch is used.
- Fantastic Racism: There seems to be some societal stigma against werewolves, despite them being victims of circumstance with what amounts to a viral medical condition. In some sense this is justified, as they periodically engage in uncontrolled violent behavior and can spread the condition with a single bite, but as people it means they have to hide their condition and are responsible for locking themselves away during transformation, with no social support network to help them do so.
- Foreshadowing: In episode 3, Nix complains about being trapped indoors, saying he might like to try spending his transformation time in the wild. He disappears for a while mid-series, and eventually reveals he tried to relocate to a national park so that he could visit family between transformations.
- Full-Name Ultimatum: When she's annoyed, Sesh calls Pres "Presley X Jones", where X is a random incorrect middle name.
- Fun T-Shirt: William likes to wear werewolf-themed t-shirts, especially those that depict some activity the actual werewolves have engaged in, like eating pizza. Pres starts doing the same in solidarity. Nixon also gets into this, though it's later revealed at least some of his enthusiasm was an attempt to suck up to William.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: The full cast consists of two guys and two girls, though the four of them aren't all brought together until the last quarter of the episodes.
- A Glass in the Hand: When Pres finds out that William was sent by Nix, she snaps the pencil she's holding.
- Good News, Bad News: Used by Pres in the last episode: the good news is she got them all letter jackets as a Christmas gift. The bad news is, the landlord caught wind that something unusual was happening and they've been evicted.
- Genre Savvy: The setting is identical to the real world and has all the same werewolf media, but real werewolves also exist. As such, the gang are aware of werewolf-related tropes, and also the extent to which those tropes apply to their own situations.
- The Ghost: Pres at one point has a texting fling with someone named Mitch who never appears in the show.
- Gory Discretion Shot: In episode 39 the video feed cuts out just as William bites Nix, leaving only the audio. More generally, the show is arranged to depict only the werewolves' human activities and not what they get up to as wolves, with only cuts and bruises to indicate that violent things happened.
- Group Picture Ending: The final shot of the series is of the full cast howling (but still human) in their new jackets.
- Hard on Soft Science: Pres mentions that Nix, a civil engineering student, likes to make fun of Sesh, a liberal arts student.
- Healing Factor: They have less regenerative power than werewolves in other fictions, retaining injuries they gain while transformed. In the first episode Nix claims that only a silver bullet can kill them, though this isn't tested within the series.
- Hideous Hangover Cure: In episode 2 the trio all have terrible New Years hangovers, which Nix attempts to fix by mixing up a horrific concoction that makes them all sick. He also makes an obligatory "hair of the dog" pun.
- Hilarious Outtakes: There are two "Gang Goofs" episodes consisting of outtakes.
- If Jesus, Then Aliens: The gang reason that if werewolves exist, any other fantastical creature might even if they don't know about them. Pres uses this argument to justify her fear of The Babadook.
- Informed Attribute: Everyone describes the bunker as cramped, but as we only see part of the front room, we have to take their word for it.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Thus their monthly visits to the bunker.
- Land Down Under: While all the episodes take place in a bunker, you can still tell it's Australia due to all the Wolfgang's accents.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The camera sometimes breaks up with static, implying it's a real camera trained on the room, though there's no in-universe reason for there to be a camera there. The static is used to disguise scene cuts.
- Locked in a Room: Self-imposed, to stop any full moon related attacks.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: By the look of the couch and their various scrapes and scratches after the full moon, the Wolfgang aren't the type of werewolves that have control of their bodies during their transformations. Moreover, the one of the group who has the most damage tends to be the one who antagonized the others the previous day, indicating they're unconsciously acting out their aggressions while transformed.
- Mistaken for Murderer: Pres is worried this will happen to her after searching the internet for a soundproof bunker.
- My Beloved Smother: William's mother is overbearing in her worrying about his health. This is a reaction to his infection with lycanthropy, compounded by the fact he hasn't told her so it seems like random bad things have been happening every month.
- No Periods, Period: Averted. In episode 10 Pres and Sesh mention that their menstrual cycles have aligned with the lunar cycle, resulting in that time of the month squared.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The prime trio all go by nicknames based on their real given names or surnames: Pres from Presley, Sesh from Sasha, and Nix from Nixon. This is averted with William, who refuses to be called anything other than his full name.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: To start, they're Australian millennial werewolves. They have no control over their transformations, which occur on three consecutive nights around the full moon. Their condition seems to be transmitted only by biting (if there are any born werewolves, they don't know of them), and they're still infectious in human form, so they intentionally contain themselves during transformation time to reduce the risk of biting anyone.
- Painful Transformation: The werewolf transformation is this, though we don't see it. But apparently it's not as bad as the one in Hemlock Grove.
- Real Time: Each month there are three new episodes. One the day before the full moon, one the day of the full moon, and one after.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Being a Slice of Life show, this happens often. Some episodes consist of nothing else.
- Sick Episode: Episodes 28-30. Sesh has a cold in 28, which her immune system somehow amplifies before infecting everyone else. Pres and then William also fall sick in subsequent episodes.
- Squick: Pres is grossed out when Nix and Sesh discuss the mechanics of werewolf pregnancy, partly because she's the hypothetical mother of the conversation.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Both William and Nix return to the bunker in situations where they're not welcome, taking advantage of the fact that Sesh and Pres can't turn them away without feeling responsible for the resulting werewolve carnage.
- This Is My Side: In episode 12, Pres uses duct tape to separate the bunker into halves as a result of an argument between her and Sesh. She breaks the tape out again to show William her distrust while Sesh is out getting groceries.
- Title Drop: A subdued one in the finale. After giving a speech about how the different terms they've used for their group, like "pack", felt wrong, Pres gives out letter jackets for the four of them. These are embroidered with "Wolfgang", though no one says the name out loud.
- Trash the Set: The couch that is the frontpiece of every shot gradually accrues damage over the course of the show, before finally breaking in half for the finale.
- Two Girls and a Guy: They change the guy mid-show. However, he comes back later, making it two girls and two guys.
- Urban Fantasy: Nix even laments about being an "inner city werewolf"