Even though I didn’t finish Kelley Armstrong’s “Bitten” when I first read it, I was still excited about its television adaptation. I support authors from London, Ontario, and I enjoyed her “Darkest Powers” trilogy. I just started reading “Bitten” again, and so far I’m really impressed by Armstrong’s writing and Elena Michaels as a character. The show, on the other hand, while decent, is still rocky. Elena is a strong character, and the cinematography is well done. Unfortunately, while Elena’s pack wants her to return, her boyfriend, Phillip Adams (Paul Greene), has no problem repressing her. Still, the use of werewolves effectively represents the repression of two characters, both male and female.
Leader of the Pack
Elena only transforms twice within the first hour of “Bitten”. She kills during both times she’s a wolf. The first time, it’s a woman we meet earlier at a bar. Other than the brief rejection by, there’s no clear indication of who she is, or why Elena killed her. The cinematography’s well done in this scene, especially with the juxtaposition of a bunny, then the woman, falling to the ground. The second time, Elena fights off a coyote to protect her therapist, and fellow werewolf, Logan (Michael Xavier). He then tells her that is why she needs to return, and I agree. She’s clearly a powerful character, and she’s got more opportunities to come. Earlier, Elena’s called the strongest one, and it’s cool that she’s the only existing female werewolf in “Bitten”. The special effects during her first transformation clearly indicate how she’s feeling. Since there are secondary perspectives also presented in “Bitten”, the cinematography makes up for the lack of her single perspective; a treat found in the novel. Elena’s got potential to be part of the growing independent heroines in the entertainment world.
“No one else needs to see this”
Now onto the frustrating aspect. Phillip doesn’t have a clue that he’s dating a werewolf (so far). Regardless, his attempt to control her is irritating. He’s unhappy when she has to leave during her transformation, because they were in the middle of having sex. I’d like to add this is the very first scene of “Bitten”, and hearing Elena say she’d “make it up to [him]” when she returned was disappointing to hear. I hoped she would be more assertive in the show, and luckily she is. Her boyfriend’s treatment of her is disappointing, among the portrayal and introduction of some of the show’s women. Hopefully, she’ll stand up to him later on.
It’s a good thing I started reading “Bitten” again, since I noticed a reference to Elena’s life as a foster child. If you haven’t picked up the novel, she explains how she proved her strength while in foster care. So far, I’m impressed with “Bitten”, especially the powerful Elena. The representation of women overall could improve, but Elena’s not the only werewolf acting on her instincts. The last scene shows her colleague, Nick (Steve Lund) attacking his lover while transformed. Either way, the first bite is sharp, but could sink deeper.