Review: Bitten

Review: Bitten

I had to really think about what I was going to say about Bitten. Anyone who has known me for longer than 30 minutes knows I’m a rabid fan of Kelley Armstrong‘s Otherworld series, which is what Bitten is based off of. Loosely, anyway.

All right, let’s see if I can keep my love for the books out of the review for the show, shall we?

I was insanely excited when I heard Bitten was not only picked up, but by Canada. Ginger Snaps, a B-movie produced by a Canadian company, is my favorite movie. I’ll admit I might have jumped to conclusions with that little bit of information. However, I wasn’t too disappointed when it came to visuals.

The transformations in Bitten are fantastic. They’re smooth and pretty; it also helps there’s so few full wolf transformations that this one is also a novelty. They kept with the wolves being larger than normal wolves, too, which was nice. I really did half expect them to use actual wolves for the post transformation. It really would have been easier than the computer generated ones. As cheesy as the wolves look as CG, it’s still preferable to any alternative.

Sometimes a set or location can be a character unto itself. While it’s not necessarily true with Stonehaven, the home location of the Pack, it’s still nice to see what I’ve been imagining for years. The set designers managed to come fantastically close to how I’ve always imagined Stonehaven to look. While watching the most recent episode, I felt like I was back writing my fanfiction. The mansion looked amazing.

The characters themselves, on the other hand…

I never expect adapted-from-book characters to be completely faithful representations. However, when you’re working with a series that is 13 installments long, there are certain things people will be looking for.

Elena was the best casting choice. Of course, that was going to be a given, seeing as she is the main character. I’m okay with the casting for Clay. Physically he looks fine, but there are certain things–like his accent–that are missing and make the character feel empty.

I should probably say something about Antonio. Sad. That is what I have to say about the casting of Antonio. All they got right was that he’s short.

Nick is my soft spot. I love Nick. I think they cast someone with too much of a baby face into the role and they played his sexuality a little too far out there. I’m not against the representation itself, it’s just not the Nick I know. Book!Nick isn’t overly picky about his bed partners, sure, and the idea of him sleeping with men wasn’t really touched on too much, but a threesome with a couple doesn’t strike me as Nick-like; especially when that’s his introduction in the show. He’s supposed to be the spoiled, rich, heart-of-gold Frat boy type, not the cute-but-clueless, sex-yes-please, not-in-bed-and-naked-so-now-an-idiot type.

However, even with Nick being my favorite, the casting choice I was most disappointed in was Jeremy. During the Great Johnny Depp Being Casted as Tonto hate-on, all I really had to say was I hope they picked the best they could for the role. Why do I bring that up? Because I’m going to sound like one of those haters. Jeremy, in the books, is half Japanese/half White. While not important to the novels’ plots, this fact is very important to the character background. Casting a bulky white dude with a Paul Bunyon beard is just wrong. They’re closing doors on so many possibilities by ignoring this detail.

My biggest gripes really are in the details. The series so far is, overall, pretty good. Will I continue to watch it? Yes, I will. The transformations are well done enough and my curiosity of how they’ll deviate from the source material are enough to keep me watching for now. Even if I didn’t know the source material, I would probably keep watching just for the transformations.

Of course, now the show has made me want to re-read the series!

Review Score
Show vs. Source
The show should be considered an entity of its own. Viewable by non-Otherworld fans, but somewhat disappointing for those dedicated to the books.
Non-Character Elements
Settings were very close to book descriptions. There were times I felt like I was back reading the books.
Elena was well cast, but the others were disappointing. Some very much so.
Some of the best I’ve seen; especially for a TV show.
Average score from all categories.