What Did You Think of SyFy’s ‘Bitten’?

I’m very excited to introduce you to my first ever guest blogger itlookedeasyinthemovies. Like me, she loved Kelley Armstrong’s novel Bitten. She asked me what I thought about the television adaptation, but I haven’t seen it yet so I invited her here to discuss the first season with you.  Okay, enough from me. Here she is! ~Hayley

Hayley wasn’t able to weigh in yet on Kelly Armstrong’s novel Bitten being turned into a TV series by Syfy, so she volunteered all of you in her place (thanks Hayley!). Now that the series is over I’m mulling over my feelings on how it was handled and would love to hear how everyone else felt.

When I heard Bitten was being turned into a TV show I was tentatively ecstatic. I love the SyFy channel, I love Bitten, but we’ve all seen adaptations go horribly awry. I was prepared for True Blood style plot deviations and got them in spades, but I wasn’t prepared for the disappointing loss of character some of the key players suffered.

If you just hear the plot, Bitten has all the makings of a cliché teen novel. I picked it up one day for a quick read and was so impressed, It’s been on my “re-read when I need a pick-me-up” list since then. Although the idea of a heroine who is one of a kind that everybody wants has been done to death, the characters that Armstrong creates, and even more importantly the unique personal histories, family ties, and pack dynamics that tie them together make the story something above and beyond. Somehow this was lost in the transition to TV.11918

Let’s just ignore Peter and Logan, who we don’t see much in the novel, and move right along to Phillip and Nick. In an angsty werewolf world, these two characters are a breath of fresh air in the novel. Nick is happy-go-lucky and a follower through-and-through. Phillip is the nice guy who is always trusting and supportive even if he isn’t sure quite what is going on. In the TV series, we are left with a bitter Nick who is on his own path of vengeance and a Phillip who is clashing with our main character Elena and demanding answers at every turn. It’s like the loss of an oasis within the desert of werewolf angst and drama.

I can only guess the show’s creators had to make Phillip less likeable in order to explain why Elena is still stuck on Clayton Danvers, since they also made him far less “awww” and a lot more “what’s his problem?” Sure, Clay is savage and antisocial and we love that about him, but what about the moments throughout the book where he’s playful and happy to just be around Elena? In the book, it’s those moments that really sell what Clay and Elena have beyond her damaged view of the world. When you lose those moments, you lose their love story. Their relationship becomes what Elena justifies her flings with Clay as: sex and memories.

The show tries to redeem Clay at the end of the season but in order to show his softer side they end up vilifying the equally important character of Jeremy, pack alpha. Our cold-hearted pack leader (already established by the Logan plot-addition) isn’t the reliable father-figure of Armstrong’s novel and the family vibe that’s so important to Elena’s motivation disappears. I both want to throw my hands up and ask Elena what she’s doing, and I kind of don’t care all at the same time.

Despite all of this, of course I will be tuning in next season. I can only hope that we get to see a little bit more of the complexity and positive natures of the characters I want so badly to love. Am I being too harsh? What did you think?


6 thoughts on “What Did You Think of SyFy’s ‘Bitten’?”

  1. I tried to read Bitten but couldn’t get into it. I got perhaps 10 pages in (those pages took me days) and had to give up and return it to the library because I was just so bored. I usually love that kind of stuff but it just didn’t grab me.

    That being said, I’m not a fan of SyFi. Their stuff usually comes out cheap and stupid though they can sometimes be amusing in their stupidity and cheapness. Not amusing enough to hold my attention if there’s something better on another channel though. =T

    1. I loved Bitten but I had a similar experience with the second book Stolen. I’ve tried reading it a dozen times and never gotten past the prologue. One of these days maybe.

  2. First of all, none of the characters LOOKED like they described them in the book. Before I ever saw the show, that part dashed my hopes. Then, they completely over-sexualize Elena. Clay is NOTHING like the Clay I know and love. It’s like they completely disregarded his entire back story.None of the relationships were portrayed the right way, all of the characters were completely wrong. Elena was just so helpless and submissive! She was supposed to be the dominant one! Jeremy always put her in charge when she and Clay were on their own, and Clay ALWAYS deferred to her! SPOILER ALERT: She’s the one that’s supposed to become Alpha later on in the books! Sorry for my ineloquence, but this just makes me so angry. Bitten is in my top three favorite books, so this show was a huge disappointment.

    The show is HORRIBLE. I hate it and I can’t believe that Kelley Armstrong allowed this complete butchery of her wonderful story.

  3. It took a little time to get into the show. I was disappointed with Logan getting a different story line. I felt like his death in the book really sparked Elena’s drive to take out the non-pack wolves. I hated how all of that played out in the show as well.

    I want to like the change with Jeremy and Clay, and the reason Clay bit Elena in the first place. In a way, it made a bit more sense that Clay did it to save Elena from death, but I didn’t like how it took the spot light off of Jeremy. He was such a great guy in the book, and the show made him look more like an unforgivable douche. I also completely agree with the Clay issue. He was so sweet and loving in the book. In the show he just seemed unpredictable and short tempered. Of course, he was short tempered in the book, but the show made it…kind of compulsive I guess.

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