Five Reasons You’ll Get ‘Bitten’ By SyFy New Supernatural Series
Beautiful, Brutal and Unabashed: Why SyFy’s Bitten is Not Your Average Werewolf Story
SyFy has welcomed a new series to the board in 2014, a fantasy and drama laced show known as Bitten. Based on the successful ‘Otherworld’ novels by Kelley Armstrong – who incidentally now also serves as a writer for the show – and written/executively produced by Daegan Fryklind, Bitten is edgy, sexy and sultry. It’s the story of a strong, savvy, beautiful girl trying to establish a new life that is far, far away from three main things: her old life, her ‘family’ and – above all – her true identity, as the only known woman to have turned werewolf and lived to tell about it. But when a rogue werewolf (called a ‘mutt’) arrives in town and begins wreaking deadly havoc, old wounds are reopened and former flames are rekindled as Elena is called home to help her pack take it down. Here are the top five things about this sexy, supernatural drama that we reckon might just cause you want to get seriously – and deliciously – Bitten, too.
1. It Sets a Cracking Pace
Beautiful, raw and visceral from the outset, Bitten literally doesn’t waste a second in its quest to draw you in. From the opening scene – as we’re drawn up a hallway, where clothes lie roughly shed across the floor: I’ll let your imagination determine what happens next – it feels like a show that is very clear in its identity and intentions as to the experience it intends to give the viewer. For my part, my exact feelings in those first few moments as I sat and watched were literally ‘Oh. OH. Wow, you’re really going there right now? WOW.’
But far from just using it as shock value to get an audience in, it’s not actually a pace or feeling that wanes or lessens with each episode. So don’t expect to get comfortable at all, because the plot moves very quickly as far as introducing new characters (literally, you meet pretty much all of the core characters before you’re even half way through the episode). And don’t expect that you’ll have a moment to get bored, either. Aside from that pace, though, the other great thing about the show is how in every episode, juicy, little plot morsels are constantly being dropped for you to consider, in a way that means you will still be thinking about it for a good while after that last credit has rolled.
2. There is A Banquet of Badass Characters
One of the great things about Bitten is the fact that it has such a strong, empowered female lead in Elena (ably played by Laura Vandervoort of Smallville fame). Despite the fact that she is ridiculously beautiful (let’s face it: that’s a characteristic that almost always adds to viewer enjoyment of a show) she also demonstrates from the outset that she’s not just another pretty face. Elena is a contender, and very much holds her own, with strength and tenacity, in an otherwise very male dominated cast. And for me – I think maybe like lots of women – I like a woman who holds her own in such an environment, because it gives her a character depth and stops her from being that annoying piece of girl eye candy always in need of rescuing. The other area of strength for her is that while often she’s been the one doing the rescuing and taking care of business, and demonstrates that she’s an equal to the men around her, Elena also loses none of her femininity, which gives her a great balance.
Speaking of the men, the male cast of this show truly is a sight to behold. On so many levels. I mean I really do not know how they could have managed to find such a stunning cohort of good-looking lads to fill these roles. Steve Lund as a the wantonly charismatic Nick; Paul Green as Elena’s loving but still-in-the-dark fiancée Philip; Michael Xavier as the gorgeous but enigmatic doctor Logan; and Greyston Holt as the smouldering perfection that is Clay (seriously, prepare yourself for that one, because WOW): there really are so many to choose from.
But like Elena, the great thing here is that they are all so interesting and have interesting back stories in and of themselves: stories that mean while you’ll greatly enjoy watching them on-screen, you’ll also been given heaps of reasons to keep wanting to know more about each of them.
3. Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad…Wolves?
Every great story needs a great villain. But what’s great about Bitten is the fact that they’ve done two things with the bad guy element of this story. The first is that evil presence has been written really well into the story line, in a way that means whoever that big bad is, they don’t even have to be on-screen to have a game changing presence.
The other clever thing they did is that they’ve made it so you can’t actually pinpoint the exact physical nature of that evil. Is it one bad guy? Is it an army of them? It really is so hard to tell at this point, and like so many other elements of this show, it’s that kind of plot potential that gives it an edge: anything could happen, and it’s that promise of unpredictability that I think will really make you want to come back each week. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to help yourself!
4. It’s Got A Strong Creative Foundation
Not that it’s a particularly new thing to do when a TV show or movie comes out that’s based on a book, but it’s a really encouraging thing to see that the author of the original novel is a part of this project in something more than merely a creative consultant capacity. Having Kelley Armstrong on board as an actual screenwriter for the show as well will undoubtedly lend a real authenticity to the script: something that only ever helps when a book is adapted for the screen. It will also give fans of the novels a lot more confidence in tuning in to the show, in the knowledge that there’s a greater chance of the story they love having justice done to it because the original creator is part of the show’s week to week creation.
5. Once Bitten, But Never Shy
Bitten is a show that is totally unapologetic in its willingness to take you to a confronting place, straight off the bat. It’s not reluctant to drop heavy hints and clues on a regular basis, either: a hesitation that many shows often demonstrate in their early days, when they’re conscious of how much to give an audience as far as the plot goes, for fear that they’ll let their story peak too soon. The writers here, though, know that they have a meaty story to tell – one strengthened by legend and that oft-examined werewolf concept of pack politics, so often seen before in shows like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries – and they trust their ability to keep that story interesting every week. It’s a show written with a certain level of confidence, and as prospective viewers, that can give us confidence too, to at least give the show a go for ourselves.
So Is It Worth The Watch?
If you’re willing to be a bit shocked each week, and you’re a fan of supernatural story lines founded in myth and legend, then yes: this show will tick heaps of boxes for you. Week to week it will perpetually leave you with something to mull over or speculate upon. And if I’m being purely superficial, it is just a gorgeous cast with massive amounts of smouldering inter-character chemistry that are so engaging and enjoyable to watch. But that being said, if all you turn up for each week is the eye candy, then I really do think you’ll miss out on the true strength of this show, which ultimately lies in the raw, sultry and intriguing script and story line which collectively have so much going for them. So do yourself a favour people and give yourself a chance to get Bitten – you won’t regret it.
Bitten airs Saturdays on the Space Channel at 9e 6p
Mondays on SyFy at 8/7c