BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The premiere episode of Bitten

Well, "Bitten", based on Kelley Armstrong's book of the same name has now premiered in both Canada and the US. Mild spoilers ahead so stop now if you don't want to know!

If you watched, what did you think? Despite some unnecessary changes and questionable casting, I liked it. The episode stayed pretty true to the book but by no means covered the whole book. It was a little slow though and I hope they don't try to drag out the book for all thirteen episodes that have been ordered. I'm curious to see, if the show continues, whether it follows the other books or goes it's own way. The sneak peek of the episodes seem to cover the entire first book and to be fairly true to the book. Still, how are they going to stretch a 436 page book out to 13 hours?

I am not happy with the changes made to Jeremy and Clay. Jeremy is half-Asian, which affects both his looks and his werewolf abilities (I'd clarify but that's a spoiler) while Clay is from the deep South of the US, is proud of his southern drawl, and described as drop-dead gorgeous with blonde curls. The actor who plays Clay, Greyston Holt, did a decent job as Clay, better than I thought based on the first scene we saw him in but no southern accent, not drop-dead gorgeous, not blonde and no curls. I would sooooo have loved Charlie Hunnam as Clay! Still, Holt did a credible job and maybe the mutts will find other things to tease him about now that he's lost his accent and curls. Jeremy's changes though are more problematic. Why change his heritage, looks, and abilities? By dropping his Asian heritage, that's exactly what they've done. Also, while I'm not sure of the actor's age, he looks to old to be Jeremy. But Bryk did a god job and his personality seems unchanged so far. Still, it leaves the pack very white except for Logan. Oh Logan, I like you just as much or more in the show as in the book. How long will we have you I wonder?

There are other changes but so far they don't seem to affect the story so I'll reserve judgement for now on those. As I said, the episode was a little slow, lots of exposition and little action. It was mostly laying the groundwork as premieres do but for someone not familiar with the book it might have been too slow. Oh, and the werewolves! Ugly, cheesy, obviously fake. No effort whatsoever was put into making them move or look like real wolves. Why didn't they just hire some dogs? The wolves in Kelley's books can pass as very big dogs if they need to appear in public. But those animatrons, or maybe they were CGI, whatever they were, they were awful. So, so bad. I really hope the special effects improve as the season goes on.

Overall, I liked the show. It's true enough to the book to make me happy, the acting was good, most of the changes (Elena's job, her looks, Logan living in Toronto, etc) are tolerable even if unnecessary, and I loved seeing the story on the screen. I'll be back next week to watch more which means I'll have to catch my episodes of "Castle" via my cable company's On Demand service. I hate when series I want to watch are scheduled against each other. :(

Want to know more about "Bitten", the tv show? Go to Syfy.
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Find out more about the books at Kelley Armstrong's site.

What did you think of the show? What did you love? hate? Will you watch again?

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  1. It's been kind of interesting watching everyone's reactions to it. I don't have tv so haven't seen it but still enjoying hearing what everyone thinks. I'd miss the Southern drawl on Clay for sure. It's so him! Glad it still overall worked for ya!

  2. First response: not bad. Not a glowing endorsement, but it's a pilot. I can't think of a pilot episode that I have loved.

    I went into this knowing that it would not follow the books. If I watched this with the books in mind, I'd hate it. None of the actors remotely resemble the characters as I see them. (Please note that caveat.) Elena is supposed to be the girl next door, instead she looks like she's running off to a modeling gig. As a model, not the photographer. Clay is supposed to be model gorgeous, instead he looks like a poster child for an aging grunge fan. Jeremy....*sigh* you get the point.

    So I'm taking this as it's own entity. And I'll give it half a season, just like any other new show with a decent premise. I was not blown away by the first show. It's sort of slow. It's like it's trying to have the gravitas of Haven with the glitz and pseudo-sexualization of a teen drama. The wolves looked like Claymation meets CGI.

    I won't comment yet on the acting. Here's my reasoning: Ever go back and watch the first season of a show you've loved for years? Been appalled at how stiff and forced everything seems? It's because it's all still new to the actors. For now, everyone is more growly than they need to be. If they're still doing that 10 shows down, I'll be disappointed. For now, I'll say that I like the story line. It's paralleling the book well enough for me to say it's a good story, and changing enough that I don't feel like I've been reading spoilers.

  3. I'll be watching it tomorrow - since I haven't read the series yet, I'll keep an open mind :)

  4. I missed it! I haven't read the books so I can't make a comparison but your observations and comparisons are helpful. I checked Hulu and they said I can only watch it online... off to do just that.

  5. I've not read Bitten yet. Actually I think I've only read the last three (maybe four) books of the series. But I know the characters from those books. I liked what I saw, but couldn't compare. I'm looking forward to seeing it all unravel for us. :)

  6. I think the show has promise. This episode was a little slow, but the book picks up when Elena arrives in Bear Valley, which is where this episode ends. I do miss Clayton's accent, but so far, that is really my only true disappointment. I will be continuing to watch.

  7. I haven't read the series or seen the episode so far, but changing a character's racial background sounds like typical Hollywood whitewashing. It makes me sad; I prefer diversity in my books and movies (where historically appropriate, of course.)

  8. Watched BITTEN on SPACE (Canada) last weekend. I have read and reviewed the entire WOTO series and found the first instalment of the TV followed the storyline fairly close.The story doesn't really begin until Elena returns to Stone Haven. But like many others, I am disappointed in the casting especially the character of Clay-when I saw the actor who portrays Phillip (Elena's current boyfriend) I immediately thought he would have made a better Clay. Clay is supposed to be the epitome of a male model but I didn't see that with the actor portraying Clay.

    As for the quality of the acting-the actors portraying Clay and Jeremy felt stilted; off; and I had a difficult time connecting with them. Perhaps as the series goes forward, their acting talent will improve or at the very least, they will relax into their roles.


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