Like, I suspect, most gay men who watch MTV’s adolescent-oriented Teen Wolf, I tune in or download every week because of the shirtless boys.

Now before you get your panties in a twist, please note that all the actors playing adolescents in the show are, in fact, in their 20s. Not that I really give a shit since I think what gets my dick hard is really no one’s business but my own. But if you’re writing using a U.S.-owned blogging platform, one has to make such disclaimers, I guess.

So it’s obvious that all the young male actors were cast, at least partially, because of how hot they look without a shirt. It’s not hard to guess that the target demographic is young females and gay men of all ages. That sort of pandering is to be expected and I’m happy to be pandered to.

What I find unexpected is the show’s attempt to integrate a gay character — in this case, an equally hot actor who also looks good without a shirt and who plays the goalie for the school’s lacrosse team — into the show’s homosocial depiction of male camaraderie and rivalry.

In the screen grabs below, one of the main characters, Stiles, subtly blackmails the gay character, Danny, into using his hacking skills to find out the origin of an incriminating e-mail. Stiles recognizes Danny’s wide-eyed lust and busts Danny’s balls about it until he gives Stiles what he wants:

Stiles: “You swing for a different team but you still play ball, doncha Danny-boy?”

Danny: “You’re a horrible person.”

Stiles: “I know. It keeps me up at night.”

It’s a funny scene but it’s also refreshing to see a young straight character interact with a gay character about gay teen lust and not treat it any differently than if the character had been straight. You tease your bros about their girls and their guys, right?

You might think that’s an easy thing to grasp and to write but when was the last time you saw a show featuring teens that gave an example of how young, straight teen males maintain friendships with young gay teen males? The answer is: If he’s on your lacrosse team, you treat him like you treat any other dude on the lacrosse team.

It helps that, besides having killer pecs, all the young male leads have the acting chops to pull this off. Dylan O’Brien is on his way to becoming a fine character actor with sharp comic timing. Main Teen Wolf Tyler Posey convincingly embodies the confused, sweaty innocence of a young dude discovering how hot he is and his scenes with Crystal Reed as his character’s girlfriend really are wonderful. I loved the scene in the hallway in which he’s completely at a loss to understand why he’s just made Allison cry. Just the way he walks away sold the scene for me. And Colton Haynes as Jackson is really starting to have fun with his character’s more manipulative, evil side.

Unfortunately, the series is unevenly directed, not being able to decide on tone even within one single episode. It also seems to be plotted by several different people who can’t decide on the back stories or where they want the narrative to go in the first place. The women characters are also underwritten or clichéd, unlike the boys. It would be nice to believe that Teen Wolf would turn into some kind of Joss Whedon/Buffy-inspired supernatural epic with rich emotional depth to the characters but there doesn’t seem to be much ambition for that in evidence in the first season.

But I’ll keep watching, if only for the muscle.