It’s April, and instead of watching good shows like the last season of Justified or Daredevil, I’m forced to take on the second season of Bitten on SyFy because I want to make sure that all you readers get the gist of what happens on this show so you don’t have to watch it yourself. If you followed any of my reviews of Bitten‘s first season last year on The Liberal Dead, you might recall that I started hate-watching this show: it wasn’t good, and it was trying too hard to be a True Blood clone that couldn’t capitalize on the things that made that show interesting to watch (nudity, elevated violence) because of its network limitations. Will season 2 be the same?
“Bad Blood” starts directly after the events of season 1’s admittedly bloody finale; more specifically, it’s three days later. Jeremy Danvers and his Danvers werewolf clan are in the process of tracking down Malcolm Danvers, Jeremy’s father and the leader of an attack that was meant to unseat Jeremy from power. Back in season 1, he’d been collecting mutts – not full-blood werewolves – to use against the Danvers, but now he’s on the run with Logan’s wife Rachel. He was also one of the reasons Elena’s boyfriend was decapitated, so there’s that titular bad blood there too.
The episode moves quite fast, which was a huge flaw in last season. Bitten took way too many episodes to set up its major premise, stacking the back half of the season with chaotic moments while the first half stagnated in sex scenes and some poor acting. Despite jumping right into the action, “Bad Blood” doesn’t rectify many of those problems – Clay is still a beefcake showing little emotion, and Logan is entirely one-dimensional now that Rachel’s gone because his only motivation is to get her back.
Character development is all over the board here, too. Elena is still guilt-ridden over losing her boyfriend, so much so that she has sex with Clay before the first ten minutes of the show are up. Bitten relies too much on its sexual exploits and good-looking actors for its own good, and in “Bad Blood,” there are two moments of unnecessary bedroom frolicking clearly included to rope in a bunch of girl viewers attracted to the shirtless dudes basically catering to the women’s every need. Elena in general is often a frustrating part of Bitten, but now that the love triangle has been decapitated, the show can focus on the weird and somewhat abusive relationship she has with Clay.
At least “Bad Blood” jumps through the storyline fast, adding a cross-country journey as the team follows Malcolm. Bitten‘s second season will incorporate witches, and a few of them make an appearance right away. Elena and Clay are confronted by a few humans that appear to be under the power of a witch’s spell, and though they make quick work of them, it’s nice to see the show branching off in new directions rather than continue the “werewolves as serial killers” idea it had originally – the werewolf aspect of the show is confusingly the weakest, because the characters rarely ever transform into their beastly alter-egos.
At the same time, the episode seems to indicate that the witches are crazy powerful; they take out a whole complex of werewolves without even presenting themselves, and they have the ability to manipulate people in a variety of ways. This is a dangerous game Bitten‘s playing – I get they wanted to make the witches interesting immediately, but at the same time they run the risk of making them seem too powerful. “Bad Blood” spends so much time tracking Malcolm down, too, that it doesn’t leave any room to develop the witches in this episode. They’re on the fringe, and that doesn’t help to explain their presence or why they’re so interested in the werewolves.
That I’m not worried about, because Bitten has the whole season to figure out the course of this arc. But the continual problems that affect the show are still present here, perhaps more than ever: wooden acting, characters motivated by one task, and particularly poor writing. With that said, “Bad Blood” does seem to be moving in a more interesting direction with the new witch stuff. It’s just ironic that the werewolf aspect of Bitten is almost nowhere to be found in this season premiere.
- Witch storyline adds more flavor to a show that desperately needs a new arc
- Fast pacing is a change from last season
- Malcolm may begin to work with the Danvers clan
- Male butts, and a quick glimpse of Laura Vandevoort’s
- Acting is still not that great, especially from Greyston Holt as Clay
- Sex scenes are mostly included to woo a female audience
- Poor dialogue writing
- Character motivations are all over the place, mostly limited to one motive
- Witches feel overpowered, a problem the show will have to deal with if the werewolves ever face off with them