Review: Bitten

Elena’s a werewolf, but would prefer not to be.  Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 5.50.58 AMIn the Bitten universe, transforming is a matter of choice, and not tied to the cycle of the moon; however, it is a compulsion, and if left unfulfilled for too long, it will assert itself whether the wolf in question wants it or not.

This happens in the first scene, as Elena has to stop a love making session with her boyfriend, Philip, a successful ad man (advertising has joined the ranks of doctor and lawyer in the field of ‘cliched jobs for successful people in fiction’), and run away to a secluded alley where she strips down and wolfs out.

During a panel at Fan Expo 2013, the cast talked a lot about the show’s ‘sexiness’, (and star Laura Vandervoort was talking about it at Toronto ComicCon).  I suppose it’s true by normal TV standards; but in a world with True Blood and Spartacus, Bitten‘s ‘naked from behind’ shots are fairly tame.  The sexuality in the series has a soap-opera or ‘women’s movie’ kind of feel; one that emphasizes sensuality over eroticism.

By day, Elena’s an art photographer who hasn’t been discovered, and yet she’s inexplicably able to support herself.  We come to find out that she’s Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 5.50.32 AMa foster child whose only semblance of a family is a wolf pack in upstate New York; a wolf pack that she wants nothing to do with.  The wolf pack, of course, feels differently, and when a ‘mutt’ (some kind of unruly werewolf) kills a woman, they call on Elena to come back to help find him (since she’s the best tracker).

But Elena’s reticence to return is not based solely on her aversion to being a werewolf; there’s also the matter of her former lover, Clay.

Bitten is a well-produced series.  The acting is good, the scenery (especially Stone Haven) is beautiful, and the werewolf transformation effects are clean and believable (CG on top of human actors).  The cast is all good looking in that soap-opera sort of way (hmm, I compared this to soap-operas twice now).

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 5.51.16 AMThe plot hasn’t grabbed me yet, though.  Anyone familiar with the ‘supernaturals in the real world’ genre will have seen this basic setup many times before.  It’s executed well, so if you’re a fan of this kind of show you’ll probably like it a lot; but it doesn’t have a defining characteristic that sets it apart from the others (unless you count the partial nudity).