Bitten: Season 1 (2014)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres: Prime-Time Drama, Supernatural Drama, TV Horror, TV Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Werewolf Film
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Movie Connections:
> Bitten: Season 1 (2014)
> Bitten: Season 2 (2015)
> Bitten: Season 3 (2016)

7.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: February 22, 2017
In the last five years or so, our classic horror movies have been enjoying a new-found popularity with a collection of TV shows. Vampires and zombies have done particularly well for themselves, so it was only a matter of time before werewolves got their spot in the moonlight.

Up in Toronto, photographer Elena Michaels is madly in love with her fiance, Phillip. Still, her perfect world is only a fragile attempt to escape a most violent past. You see, Elena is a werewolf, and a member of the North American pack. She wants nothing to do with the pack, or being a werewolf at all for that matter, but there's some strict politics in place for the lycanthrope world. Werewolves not in the pack are considered "mutts" and, in the name of the species' secrecy, are not allowed to set up a permanent home or hunt humans. It's the pack's duty to police these mutts and keep them in line. With this in mind, it's a necessary evil for Elena to keep her pack status, even though she has no intention of returning to the violent life of a werewolf nor to the fellow pack member who turned her, her ex-fiance Clayton. With this in mind, she's understandably not happy when the Alpha of the pack, Jeremy Danvers, calls her to return to upstate New York. You see, there's a newly-turned mutt that's killing humans and trying to frame the murders on the pack and Elena is the best tracker in their ranks. While she's obligated to make an appearance and help in their mission, she makes it clear she's going to be returning to Toronto as soon as the murderous wolf is found. It soon becomes apparent that this is not a lone wolf however, but a concentrated effort to tear the pack's authority down to the foundation.

Now, I haven't read the Otherworld novel franchise by Kelley Armstrong that this show is based on, so I can't comment on how accurate of an adaptation it is. What I can say is that the show has a really strong story behind it. There's a lot going on in this world, and I was fully invested in both the politics of werewolf life and this conspiracy to bring down the pack. While there's some small hiccups here and there, the characters carry the series very nicely. As people are being introduced through the first two or three episodes, they seemed to be a a nice little collection of stock characters. However, as the season wore on, it quickly became obvious that they were anything but. All of these characters are extremely well fleshed out, and even the secondary villains had subplots that brought them some very refreshing depth. All the sex in the plot was a nice addition too, even if it is a cable show and the nudity was nixed.

While I enjoyed the show as a whole, I can't say I was fully satisfied with it. You see, for a werewolf show, there was very little werewolfing going on. These guys seemed very reluctant to actually transform and pretty much all the physical confrontations consist of fist fights. Yes, fist fights. It's a show about a pack of werewolves going to war with a makeshift group of rogue werewolves and yet, all the fangs and claws are eschewed in favor of humans putting up their dukes. Hell, I'm pretty sure more than a handful the episodes don't even feature a wolf at all. I'm not sure how anyone could have thought this was a good decision. Plus, the writing falls apart when it comes to the finer details. There are plot holes aplenty and two characters arguing a particular point may find themselves continuing their debate a few episodes later, except holding the opposite opinions. Shame too, because the overall plot line is actually pretty engaging. Plus, the wolves and transformations actually looked really good. The series goes the "transform into actual wolves" route, and the CGI they used was so much better than you expect from Syfy's usual offerings.

Fortunately, acting was decently solid throughout the season. In the starring role of Elana, Laura Vandervoort garnered no complaints. While I had a lot of problems with her entitled whining, I certainly can't place that blame on the actress. Likewise with Greyston Holt's Clayton. His brooding had certainly gotten old halfway through, but Holt handled the role of a pack enforcer beginning to struggle with years of violence beautifully. Also, it was nice seeing Greg Bryk return to the werewolf fold four years after Red: Werewolf Hunter, on the other side of the lines this time. Again though, the villain side is where the cast really shone. Pascal Langdale and Noah Danby were both phenomenal in their roles.

It's not a bad show so far, but it didn't exactly scratch the werewolf itch. It had a great concept behind it, it just didn't have the fangs to follow up. 6.5/10.
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