Tag Archives: Bitten Television Series

Bitten Is Back…Should We Care? GUEST POST

GUEST POST – teachergirl73

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After reviewing the first season of Bitten last year, the television show based on the novel and characters created by Kelley Armstrong, I tried to keep an open mind to the inevitable changes that would come with the show’s re-interpretation of the story. The show’s writers killed off Antonio Sorrentino, who was Jeremy the Pack Alpha’s best friend and father to Nick, while choosing to keep Logan, one of the younger Pack members, alive. Both of these events are completely opposite to what happened in the book. Antonio is still alive in the series (to the best of my knowledge) and Logan, whose death in the novel was not only tragic and shocking to the Pack but more importantly it was a key catalyst for the war between the Mutts and the Pack.

Bitten-poster-Space-season-2-2015At the end of Season 1, the audience was left with a clear idea of how Season 2 would begin as Elena Michaels found the severed head of her former boyfriend, Philip, in her bed. Since Elena, had just come to terms with her wolf side and her tumultuous relationship with Clay, her mate, the grisly discovery of Philip’s remains pushed her over the edge. As Philip became one of the last casualties of the war between the Mutts and the Pack, this new twist in the story is bound to impact the reunion of Clay and Elena. We are also left wondering what will happen to Logan’s pregnant human girlfriend has she gets kidnapped by Jeremy Danver’s sadistic father Malcolm, the mastermind behind the Mutt attack on the Pack. As alpha, Jeremy is left cleaning up the mess left over from the Mutt attack at his family home Stonehaven, along with taking care of what is left of his Pack in the aftermath. For the most part, I thought the show improved over the course of the first season, and I found myself enjoying the story for what it was.

bitten-posterSo what do I think now that I’ve watched the first two episodes of Season 2? Honestly, I don’t know. There seems to be something missing in the chemistry between the Pack members, especially between Clay and Elena. The season begins with her seeking vengeance for Philip’s murder. Elena already felt guilty for turning Philip’s life upside down, but the responsibility that she now feels for his death is clearly taking its toll on her. In the novel, Elena chooses Clay when he is taken by the Mutts near the end of the first book. It becomes very clear that he is what she wants and that although they will never have a “fairytale” romance, Elena couldn’t deny that Clay was her mate any longer. In the novel, Elena felt badly because Philip got caught in the crossfire but he went on to live without her. In the show, she chooses Clay because she realizes that he bit her to save her being killed by Jeremy (a MAJOR deviation in story line from the novel) and that he took all the years of abuse from her because he was being loyal to his alpha.

The complication of Philip’s murder is not helping Clay and Elena’s relationship. Now, Greyston Holt, who plays Clay Danvers, might be the best part of the show for me, as he is beautiful to look at and one of the better performers on the show. Steve Lund, who plays Nick Sorrentino, is also quite gorgeous and suprisingly, I’ve found his performances to be much better than I expected. In the novel, Nick is fun and immature whereas in the show, they have matured Nick since the death of his father, and that has been interesting to watch.

The problem that I’m having is that I don’t think the show is being true to the relationships in the book. Character development was what I found to be the weakness in Season 1, so I guess it’s not that surprising this problem has carried over into the second season. The relationship between Clay and Elena is complicated, but ultimately, it is clear that they are meant to be together in the books. Yet, as I watch these characters who are supposed to be mates for life, it still feels like there’s something missing. As for the Pack, there’s no sense of “family” connecting its members. Jeremy still seems to feel the need to rule with a heavy hand to get everyone to do what he wants but that’s just not how the Pack operates in the novel. The Pack are a family, living together throughout the good times and bad, and that is something that the show’s writers need to work on if they want to project the same image.

A new problem for the Pack this season comes in the form of some new supernatural characters who also originate from Armstrong’s “Women of the Otherworld” series. These characters show the wolves that they aren’t the only creatures hiding in plain sight of the humans. My biggest concern with the introduction of these new characters is that the show’s writers already have enough “balls in the air” so to speak and I have little confidence that they can handle the addition of any more characters.

I will keep watching Season 2, if only to appease my curiosity, but if the show doesn’t improve the interaction between its characters making them more real and believable, I’m not sure there will be a Season 3 to watch.

Watch it Saturdays at 9e 10p or online at www.space.ca

 

 

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Bitten – The TV Series, Episode 8

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GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

This episode opens with the realization that Jeremy has been poisoned as Elena and him realize that the knife used to stab him had been dipped in a toxin.  Elena goes in search of the mutts to find out what poison was used on Jeremy, while Clay makes a plan to question Zachary Cain who is locked up in the cage. ep8Nick has left Stonehaven to begin the business of erasing his father’s existence in the human world and to reassure the other Pack families that Jeremy is still in control, despite the losses that they have faced. We also see Nick begin to assert himself as someone to be taken more seriously, rather than the rich playboy that we have seen up to this point.

Back at Stonehaven, Clay offers Cain the opportunity to join the pack even though he was involved in Pete and Antonio’s murders. Clay reveals how he became a werewolf to Cain, how he was bitten as a child and saved by Jeremy, as a way of inviting him to the pack and offering him connections and stability instead of a life of living on the run in isolation.

bitten-episode-1x07-sylvie-philipIn Toronto, an interesting development occurs as Philip and his ex-girlfriend are looking at the wolf footage of Elena and Logan running in a downtown park at night. The video captured Elena’s clothing piled on the ground with a pendant clearly visible. Philip is clearly disturbed by this, as he recognizes it as a necklace that he had given to Elena. Conveniently, Philip’s ex-girlfriend takes this moment to start to ask questions about the strength of his relationship with Elena. Later on, Philip calls Elena and begins to question her about the time that she spends with Logan. Elena clearly finds the conversation strange, but given that she is desperately searching for whatever poisoned Jeremy, she can’t give him much time.

Elena tracks down Cain’s girlfriend at the diner, and discovers that Amber knows all about the werewolves and that she wants to be like Elena. Elena tries to explain to Amber that being a werewolf is the last thing she would want, when Leblanc and Marsten walk into the diner. Meanwhile, back at Stonehaven, the sheriff shows up and asks Clay to come down to the police station for questioning about the murder of a local man. Clay had been seen arguing with the man just prior to his disappearance.

In the novel, we see how unnerved Elena really is by Leblanc because he is a serial killer who preys on women. Elena knows all about his previous crimes because she found his scrapbook which contained mementoes taken from his victims. Despite her fear, she manages to exhibit her dominance over him, leaving him with a broken wrist. In the show, Leblanc still leaves with a broken wrist, but we don’t really get to see how much he frightens Elena and in the book this fear is important foreshadowing of events to come.

Elena returns to Stonehaven with the name of the poison and is able to save Jeremy. When Clay returns from being questioned by the police, Elena and him argue after he finds out that she had a meeting with Leblanc and Marsten on her own. Elena is still reeling from the knowledge that Cain has been protecting his girlfriend all along, not the other mutts, and that despite Amber’s desire to become a werewolf, Cain refused to bite her for fear of her dying. Elena demands to know why Clay never cared enough about her to want to protect her from the risks of being bitten? Then, to throw some more salt into the wound, Elena declares that what Cain and Amber have is real love and that clearly that is not what her and Clay shared.

Clay’s response to Elena’s accusations is to get down to the business of breaking Cain. It is during this scene that there is a very significant departure from the novel. In the book, we learn that when Clay is in ‘enforcer’ mode, his techniques were “completely methodical, showing no emotion at all.”1. Yet in this episode, Clay and Cain have a very emotional moment where they talk about the fantasy of settling down and having kids, creating a family with the women that they love which was something that neither man had considered before. After, finishing off Cain, Clay makes it clear to Elena that what they share is definitely “the real thing”, and regardless of how they got there, it is now up to Elena to decide whether or not she can accept it.

As I watch each new episode, I find myself more and more curious about what the writers have chosen to keep from the original storyline and what new twists they decide to add. Ultimately, I do believe that show’s plotline is staying true to the struggles that Clay and Elena face with their relationship, even if the show’s writers use different obstacles to create the angst. I’m also very interested in what the show has planned for Philip, now that they have set him on a very different path from the one he follows in the book.

1. Armstrong, K., Bitten.  (Toronto: Plume, a division of The Penguin Group, 2003), p.224

Bitten – The TV Series, Episode 7

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GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

This episode is definitely a turning point for the TV series Bitten. The writers for the show have completely changed the framework of the story as they eliminated another Pack member this week, one who in the book survives far beyond the first novel. For the die-hard fans of the novel, I think that the divergence from the original story that takes place in this episode might be just too much for them to handle.

DSIn this episode, the Pack are contacted by Daniel Santos again, requesting a meet in neutral territory to discuss territorial rights. As the Pack prepares to meet, Clay and Elena go to the agreed upon meeting site to check it out. While there, they realize that they aren’t the only werewolves there, as Zachary Cain tries to ambush them. This is all a ploy to keep Clay and Elena away from the real threat. Jeremy and Antonio are ambushed on the road by Cain’s girlfriend, Thomas LeBlanc and Daniel Santos. Santos uses Cain’s girlfriend as bait to lure Jeremy and Antonio out of the car at the scene of an accident.  Suddenly, Jeremy and Antonio find themselves in the middle of a knife fight with two mutts. Both men are badly injured, however, Antonio’s injuries prove fatal. This is just one example from this episode of how the show has completely deviated from the book.

bitten-episode-1x06-loganAnother significant change to the storyline is that Logan’s girlfriend is pregnant, and they are forced to start to deal with all the implications that go along with it. Logan begins to make promises that he knows he won’t be able to keep, like that he will never leave her. When Elena calls Logan to tell him about the death of Antonio, Logan ignores the call. Eventually, Jeremy gets through to Logan, but he makes no mention of the baby to Jeremy. Logan cannot avoid the Pack forever, so it will be interesting to see how long he can manage to stay put in Toronto with his pregnant girlfriend before someone comes looking for him.

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The final example of how the show’s writers are striking out on their own, is back in Toronto, Philip seeks out help from a techy ex-girlfriend. He asks her to help him locate video footage of two wolves running and hunting in a downtown Toronto park. He wants to track down the person who shot the film so that he can purchase the rights for an ad campaign that he is working on. It is clear that Philip’s ex-girlfriend wants him back, but he rejects her advances as he tries to explain that he in a relationship with Elena.  What Philip doesn’t realize is that the film footage is of Elena and Logan running.  He has unknowingly put himself in danger by pursuing the video and ironically, it would be Elena’s job in the Pack to deal with Philip. If you recall, back in Episode 1, the event that caused Elena to leave the Pack was her personal decision to kill a man trying to “out” the werewolves to the human world. Her decision to kill was based on the fact that it was her responsibility to ensure that information never became public. How will Elena and the Pack deal with this new development?

Spring Forward – A Talent for Underestimation

For those of you who regularly follow this blog you may have noticed that I seem to accidentally overextend myself from time to time. I cannot tell you the number of times my husband has told me “DO LESS!” As simple a concept as that may seem I am still trying to master it. Annually I put together a book of sorts for my son’s hockey team and somehow the March deadline sneaks up on me, even though this is the third year in a row that I have done it! Regardless of my time management challenges it was my intention to diversify somewhat in 2014 and feature posts and opinions other than those of yours truly and I figured that there is no time like the present in which to do so.

I have been lucky enough to find some truly talented contributors some of whom who have already posted this past winter and some of whom you can look forward to in the coming weeks. I will detail for you below a sampling of the treats we can expect to be reading about.

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Bitten (Television Series) – Based on the critically acclaimed series of novels from Kelley Armstrong. Set in Toronto and upper New York State, BITTEN follows the adventures of 28-year-old Elena Michaels, the world’s only female werewolf. An orphan, Elena thought she finally found her “happily ever after” with her new love Clayton, until her life changed forever. With one small bite, the normal life she craved was taken away and she was left to survive life with the Pack.

orwellDown and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell  – This unusual fictional account – in good part autobiographical – narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. The Parisian episode is fascinating for its expose of the kitchens of posh French restaurants, where the narrator works at the bottom of the culinary echelon as dishwasher, or plongeur. In London, while waiting for a job, he experiences the world of tramps, street people, and free lodging houses. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.

NANonofficial Asset by William Sewell –Peyton Stone never quit his day job. But it’s his other profession that might just get him killed. 

Islamabad. Baghdad. Shanghai. Kazakhstan, Kabul. Langley. For Peyton Stone, that’s a work commute. But his is no normal job. On the surface he’s a world-renowned security expert. But his real occupation is serving as a “nonofficial asset,” a contractor working for the CIA when the government needs complete deniability. While advancing American interests globally, Stone discovers that those interests can exact a steep personal price. And when his business partner is murdered in a Shanghai hotel, ominous ghosts from his past return and he’s drawn deeper into the covert maze, on the hunt for a stolen nuclear weapon and the rogue Iranian admiral hell-bent on using it. In Nonofficial Asset his skills, training, tactics, mettle, and allegiance to family and country are all pushed to the limit as he races to prevent nuclear catastrophe.

Bitten – The TV Series, Episodes 5-6

GUEST POST – teachergirl73

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We finally get to see how Clay and Elena first met and fell in love in Episode 5. The writers stayed fairly close to Kelley Armstrong’s original story, with just a few minor discrepancies.  I thought that they did a good job of setting the scene that shows Clay’s desperate plan to keep Elena. Upon Elena and Clay’s arrival at Stonehaven to meet Clay’s family for the first time, Jeremy makes it very clear to Clay that he can’t possibly continue his relationship with Elena. Jeremy’s directive seems very cold and harsh, but this is how the Pack has survived over the centuries. The Pack rules state women are not allowed to have lasting relationships with any members of the Pack, for fear of revealing the existence of werewolves to the human world. This was just too big of a secret to try to hide from humans on a day-to-day basis, as already demonstrated by Elena’s struggle to live in Toronto with Philip. All male children were taken from their mothers at a very young age so that no one could discover the truth. Prior to Elena being bitten, no female werewolf had ever survived the change, so when Clay makes the reckless and desperate choice to change and appear in Jeremy’s study in his wolf form, Elena just thinks he’s a very large dog. She had no idea that her life was about to change forever.

In the book, Clay is banished from Stonehaven for more than a year, while Elena learned how to deal with her new circumstances. The show deviates from the original story again, instead of having Jeremy nurse Elena through the early days of her transition, Clay is also present. In the episode, Clay continually restated that Elena was a survivor and that she will survive this.

The novel does an excellent job of explaining how difficult this process was for Elena, and how Clay’s actions are never really forgiven. This is part of the back story between the two characters that I think the show is going to have a difficult time communicating. In the first few episodes, it is made very clear that Elena has no time for Clay, but what is unfortunately not really shown yet to viewers is that when Elena returns to Stonehaven, she is very conflicted by her feelings for Clay. As mentioned in my early post, we discover her struggle mostly through her inner monologue which is missing.

One character that was introduced in earlier episode, Daniel Santos, makes an interesting return. We first met Daniel when he paid  a visit to Logan in Toronto, to say that he wanted to reach out to the Pack. Daniel’s family once belonged to the Pack but after a failed attempt to oust Jeremy as alpha years before, they were kicked out of the family. In the book, there is more back story on Daniel which better explains his obsession with defeating Clay and making Elena his “mate”. At this point in the show, Daniel is offering to work with the Pack to help bring an end to the mutt problem in Bear Valley. In exchange, Daniel wants to return to the Pack.

Another new character in this episode is Victor Olsen, who is a convicted pedophile who has been released back into the community. One of the first people he encounters on the outside is Zachary Cain, who we know to be one of the mutts threatening the Pack. He offers Olsen a chance to seek revenge on his victims by going after Elena Michaels. I have to admit when I first saw this scene, I didn’t really understand where they were going with it.  In the novel, the first time the Pack meet the “new” mutts are through the various attacks in Bear Valley.  It isn’t until Episode 6, that it becomes clear that there is another connection between the Pack and Olsen.

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In Episode 6, the show deviates completely from the original. For die-hard fans of the novel, this episode might be too much to handle because the show’s storyline has truly become its own. If, however, I hadn’t read the book, this episode would certainly fill in some missing blanks.

Elena has returned to Toronto and her human life. She feels that her commitment to the Pack is complete, and as a result, she asked Jeremy not to call her back to Stonehaven.  All seems to be going swimmingly well, except for the fact that Daniel Santos makes another appearance, this time at the wedding of Philip’s sister. We get to see more clearly in this episode Elena’s distaste for Daniel, and we also get to see a little more of his darker side.  The show did a good job of casting, as I find Daniel to be very creepy, but it’s hard to say how much of that feeling is based on the actor’s performance or because I have prior knowledge of the character.

Another big departure from the original story is the connection between Olsen and Elena. In a conversation with Philip, Elena reveals that she was abused as a child at the hands of Olsen, who was a neighbour of one of her foster families. Elena’s testimony helped to get Olsen convicted. So now, it becomes a little bit clearer as to how Olsen will be a new threat in episodes to come.  In the book, Elena is a survivor of sexual abuse, but not from Olsen, the abuse came from her foster families and was mostly insinuated rather than told explicitly. Eventually, Elena learns to defend herself, and works very hard to leave her experiences in the foster system behind. Elena’s awful childhood is one of the reasons that Clay recognizes her as a fellow survivor.

The most shocking new development in the show is the discovery that Logan’s girlfriend is pregnant. Given that in the book, Logan is long gone by this point, it is going to be very interesting to see where the show goes with this new development. Will Logan be faced with the heartbreaking choice to tear his new-born child from the arms of the woman he loves, never to see her again? Or will he try to live in the human world? What will Jeremy have to say about this new development?

I guess that I’ll have to keep watching to find out!

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