I have talked about True Blood several times on my radio show, comparing the series to the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I am curious as to what season 7 holds considering how 6 ended. I am continuing the precedence I set on air.
One day while browsing the good ole Netflix (by the way, you can now stream your Netflix through your XBOX 360 silver account), I found a TV series titled “Bitten”. I read a werewolf book by Kelley Armstrong with the same title. Reading the blurb and it was the same as the book. It has Laura Vandervoort as Elena Michaels, the main character, so I figured I would give it a chance.
Now, first I will compare Laura to Elena physically. Elena is about 5’10” whereas Laura is 5’6”. Laura has a very good (busty) figure while Elena has more of an athletic build. I always think of a runner's body with that description. They both are blonde & beautiful, though, with much inner and physical strength. Perhaps Laura had an advantage in getting the role since she played Supergirl in the “Smallville” series. The fight training she had for that character probably helped her in fighting guys bigger than her and coming out on top (and yes, I know, that is staged fighting but there is still some work put into it). I just have to say that when I read the book I never pictured her as Elena. I’m not saying she did a bad job and I really can’t think of anyone to play her.
As usual, there are other changes from the book to the show. The overall plot is there – rouge werewolves (called mutts) get together to over throw the pack and they bite serial killers to change them to werewolves. Interesting concept of taking humans that already have no problems killing other humans and giving them the strength and hunting abilities of werewolves, what they will do? Of course, they go on killing sprees which is what the mutts want.
The differences between the book and the show are a bit glaring. One difference is that in the book Elena was molested by foster fathers and brothers, but that in the show for the purposes of drama they made her abuser one of the newly turned wolves. Of course, there were scenes of the cat and mouse that you would expect of a series trying to build up tensions. True, in a later book dealing with the pack one of Elena’s father’s does send her a letter asking for her forgiveness.
Another change made for the on screen conflict is that in the books Philip’s family absolutely adore Elena. On the show though, while his sisters are okay with Elena his mother is not won over. Elena of course has to win the mother over, which does happen.
In typical fashion of trying to make things more dramatic some of the deaths were changed. The two most glaring changes are Logan and Philip. In the book Logan does die but not in the show. And the season finale has the cliffhanger of Elena finding Philip’s head in her bed at the den for the pack while in the book only Philip and Elena’s relationship dies. That just isn’t so appealing though to most audiences.
With such a cliffhanger I was pleased to read on the internet that Scy-Fy picked it up for a second season. I am very happy to see a werewolf series on TV instead of another vampire or zombie series. The thing I am curious about is if the series is going to just follow the pack or if it will follow Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series bringing in the different type of characters: demons; sorceresses; and witches. These stories do entwine with each other by referencing other character names or events.
Now I need to change my complaining from the series to the books. I do like the books and Kelley Armstrong’s writing style. I own three of her books and I’m always on the lookout for more. My main gripe is with her mythos of the werewolves. First, how can the authority pack that is supposed to be the ruling body for the wolves be comprised of only seven wolves? That is barely a pack. It’s just a small clan that can’t be everywhere it needs to be in order to uphold it’s laws. To go with this train of thought, you were either born a pack member or if you were bitten you were a mutt. Elena seems to have been an exception because she was bitten by a pack member and she wasn’t expected to live (I’ll get to that in a bit). What kind of a society can you hope to have where the most common way to make one of your own is considered an outsider? Not sure if maybe they do talk about adopting a mutt but the main conflict in Bitten was that the mutts were tired of not being allowed to own property and not being able to set up stable roots anywhere. That is enough to make anyone want to get revenge. They do mention other families of importance but it seems like the ruling pack and then the next were like lords and ladies, important but not the king. I will admit to only having read 4 books and only 2 of them dealing with the pack so I might be missing out on some of the hierarchy. If that is true, then I apologize.
The other concept that I have major problems with is the concept that there can be no female werewolves. Elena is the only one and no one is completely sure why she survived the transformation. If they wanted to say that for the hereditary component the werewolf “gene” is on the “Y” chromosome then I might possibly buy that. I personally have always looked at it as a virus because of the attack component. Virus’ can be spread by bites, genes not so much. And I will accept that the transformation is going to be both physically and mentally difficult. But to completely exclude a gender by saying that the female body isn’t strong enough to handle the change just seems preposterous to me. If it were to have been stated that there were fewer female werewolves than male because of the physical trauma I could probably live with that although I know that in the matter of survival gender doesn’t play as much a factor as character. I can understand why the born wolves came from human mothers. The physical changes that the body undergoes during the moon cycle would be hard to protect a fetus and therefore is logical that a female wolf doesn’t carry a pup to term. Other books explore options to get around that and I am perfectly fine with that because it does recognize the problem. Now I do have to say, the last book I read was Frostbitten and there might be some changes coming.
Overall, I would recommend this series to anyone that wants a change from your vampire shows, dead shows, even crime shows (just how many shows can you have about crimes – it’s going to get repetitious). I would recommend it to anyone that likes werewolves specifically because it does give them something to watch. And of course, if you are a Laura Vandervoort fan you should watch it. I am excited to see the next season.