by Chris Lovato
“I just want to be normal.”
In a world populated by shows like The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, and Being Human, SyFy continues their foray into one of the more up-and-coming traditions of supernatural shows: werewolves. This time, they’re drawing off of Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series and bringing the world Bitten.
Set in the modern day, Bitten explores the life of Elena Michaels, who seems like she has it all: a wonderful boyfriend, Peter, a successful career as a fashion photographer, and amazing friends. There’s just one problem: Elena’s not like the other girls. In fact, she hides being a werewolf from almost everyone she knows, save her “cousin”/therapist, Logan. While she struggles to suppress her natural instinct to change, other wolves “run” in packs, voluntarily changing once a week to ensure that they don’t risk accidentally changing in front of others when the urge to change becomes too much to bear. While she recognizes her “difference,” she shuns everything having to do with it, even going so far as to distance herself from the pack that took her in after her parents died. Things change, however, when a “mutt” (a wolf that doesn’t run with a pack) starts killing people in Stonehaven, her family’s home, and Jeremy, the pack leader, calls everyone home to deal with it.
Like many shows in the last 2 years, Bitten draws off of a largely non-mainstream cast. Laura Vandervoort, Supergirl from The WB’s Smallville, plays Elena, and like many other protagonists in her position, struggles to keep her “normal” life separate from her supernatural one. Paul Greene, of Wicked Wicked Games, is Philip McAdams, Elena’s philanthropic and oblivious boyfriend. Greyston Holt (Fox’s Alcatraz), Greg Byrk (XIII: The TV Series), and Steve Lund (Haven) are Clayton and Jeremy Danvers, and Nick Sorrentino, members of Elena’s family and fellow pack members, and Michael Xavier (The Best Years) rounds out the cast as Logan.
The contrast in scenery is stark between downtown Toronto, where Elena resides in a beautifully decorated apartment, and Stonehaven, set in the woods of Pennsyvania (yet also filmed in Toronto) keeps the scenery from getting stale. A lot of the computer generated effects leave something to be desired, but Bitten does a wonderful job with the werewolf transformations (one does have to consider that the transformations don’t seem that painful because these people are used to changing).
Bitten is a bit of a refresher while the mainstream supernatural shows awake from their winter hiatus slumber, and it’s definitely something to keep you entertained for 45 minutes.
Catch Bitten, Mondays at 8/7 pm. Central on SyFy.
Check out more fantasy/horror TV and book reviews in our Fantasy and Fangs section.