TV'S FIRST FEMALE WEREWOLF LEAD STEALS THE SHOW, BUT WILL SHE BE BACK?
Premiering as an original Space network production on January 13, the story follows Elena Michaels (played by Laura Vandevoort of Instant Star), a werewolf who has left her pack to attempt a “normal” city-life in Toronto, Ontario. Things become complicated, however, when she is asked to return in order to help her pack track down serial-killing “muts” who seem to be targeting them. The show also airs on Syfy.
Although the supernatural has been becoming increasingly popular with record-breaking viewerships for shows such as True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries, the female werewolf is a character of a much more rare variety, hardly seen in the lead role aside from the rare film - notably Ginger Snaps in 2000. In a recent interview Vandevoort took some time to reflect upon her position as the only Lady Wolf lead in mainstream pop culture, stating:
“I’m very proud of the show for that alone… But honestly I don’t know why it’s like that. We’ve all grown up with the male werewolf… perhaps it’s hard for audiences to accept a female playing this strong and dominant werewolf. I don’t know why it hans’t come up until now but I’m glad that things are changing and that it’s accepted” (zap2it.com 2014).
Clearly, this fresh angle allows the show to stand out from similar shows such as Lost Girl and Being Human, but will it be enough?
We’ve all experienced the disappointment of losing our favorite TV shows, and we all know ratings and viewership has a lot to do with the decision to cut a series loose. While there has been official no word yet on the fate of Bitten, it has garnered mostly positive reviews, with adoring fans turning to comment pages hoping for a renew. Critics have had more mixed reactions. The Philadelphia Inquirer has referred to the show as a “sexy, diverting drama”, so that although it may be limited by its tight budget, it remains “smoothe” with “solid performances” (Tirade Derakhshani). Meanwhile, the Boston Herald argues that the show moves far too slowly, giving it a C grade (Mark Perigard).
Of course, adaptation can be tricky. People tend to get attached to the original work, however, Armstrong has been good enough to address such concerns on her tumblr page. She expresses her own excitement about the show and explains “There’s enough of a demand that I’ve never felt I could refuse to sell the rights”. Whether this demand has manifested into dedicated viewership that will keep the show going is yet to be seen, but there is certainly reason to tune in and check out TV’s first Female Wolf lead.
The season finale is set to air Monday, April 7th.