Syfy’s Bitten Needs a Little More Bite

BITTEN -- Season:1 -- Pictured: -- (Photo by: Matt Barnes/Syfy)

According to the lore of Bitten, women rarely, if ever, survive the bite of a werewolf. If they do make it, the pain of the first transition does them in. And yet, there’s Elena Michaels (Laura Vandervoot of Smallville and V), the lone, moody she-wolf who left her pack in order to live as a human – good luck with that.

How Elena became the first living female werewolf is a mystery to me. I’ve seen the first two episodes of the series and it hasn’t been revealed. I may never learn the full story because Bitten doesn’t have quite enough bite for me.

This 13-episode Syfy series is based on the “Women of the Otherworld” novels by Kelley Armstrong. Syfy sent the novel along with the screener, which surprised and delighted me. I enjoy reading books based on TV shows and vice versa but it’s a hefty volume, so I decided to watch before reading. Now, I think I should have done it the other way around because there’s a lot of unspoken backstory in the first two episodes which left me more than a little confused.

Basically, Elena is living in the city with her new, human boyfriend but things get weird when she nearly wolfs out during sex. She discusses the problem with her werewolf therapist and he says it’s her own fault. She has to “run” on a regular basis or things are going to get really hairy in the bedroom.

Meanwhile, another werewolf goes on a killing spree, dropping the bodies around the estate owned by Elena’s pack. She and the others are called home to deal with the problem and that’s when things get marginally more interesting.

Her pack is like a boy band. There’s the cute one (Steve Lund), the edgy one (Greyston Holt), the exotic one (Paulino Nunes), the smart one (Michael Xavier) and the older, serious one (Greg Bryk). They’re all very protective of Elena and they want her to stay “home” which doesn’t make sense to me since only two of them actually seems to live on the estate on a regular basis.

And so the struggle begins – the pack has to locate and stop the rogue wolf before the sheriff and the local hunters realize they have a werewolf family living next-door.

FYI: there is a lot (by my standard) of sex and nudity in the first episode – more than I expected for a show on Syfy. Keep that in mind in case you were planning on watching with your tween daughter.

Bitten has this slow-moving, European quality about it that reminds me of an old Gothic romance. Even though there’s a killer wolf and several hunting scenes, I didn’t find the series to be very menacing or suspenseful. Are they really going to spend the full 13 searching for this one wolf? If so, I imagine they’ll start padding every episode with generous flashbacks about Elena’s introduction to the pack. That could go either be very intriguing or very boring. So far, it’s barely holding my attention.

Should you give Bitten a try? If you like werewolf shows and Gothic romance, sure. It also has a little Vampire Diaries vibe about it which is funny since they both feature lead characters named Elena. And hey, it features six good-looking guys in protective mode – if you’re a paranormal loving fangirl, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Bitten premieres on January 13 at 10 on Syfy.

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