Television Review: Bitten

After catching up on some of my Netflix series I decided to check out Bitten as it keeps popping up on Netflix as something I might like. But Netflix can be wrong and so I was a bit wary when I started the series. I’ve watched three episodes, my usual requirement to adequately determine if I do or do not like a show (versus whether or not I like the pilot). My initial reaction, as brought on by the very first scene and many thereafter is: That’s a lotta nekked. And the boys are not afraid to show their butts. (Their very nice nekked butts.)

bitten-castWhile not as gory as True Blood’s vampire and werewolf series, nor as sexually explicit, Bitten definitely dances on the edges of overly sexualized characters as substitute for plot. However, as the series progresses and the characters become a bit more fleshed out (or clothed out?) it gets more and more interesting. 

SyFy’s Summary

Based on the Women of the Otherworld novels by #1 NY Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong, Bitten is an emotionally charged supernatural thriller starring Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted) as Elena Michaels, the lone female werewolf in existence. Desperate to escape both a world she never wanted to be part of and the man who turned her into a werewolf, Elena has abandoned her pack and taken refuge in a new city. There, she works as a photographer and hides her werewolf existence from her new boyfriend. When bodies start turning up in her pack’s backyard, Elena finds herself back at Stonehaven, the werewolves’ ancestral domain. Torn between two worlds and two loves, she quickly realizes that – when push comes to shove – she’ll stop at nothing to defend her pack.

Laura Vandervoot plays her character smart and grounded, and she is what saves this show from being overly campy. Thought I admit to laughing at the show on a number of times in the pilot especially. I really like Elena’s relationship with her boyfriend Phillips. They seem to trust and take of one another on a day to day capacity that isn’t just about danger saving, and Phillip genuinely cares about her for her whole well being not just her sexy side. I hope they last, but I’ve a feeling it might not. Especially with Elena’s incredibly sexy (and hairy) ex-boyfriend back in the picture. 

The human’s change into wolf is painful for them, and painful for the viewer to watch. The graphics are just not that great. All of the wolves are glaringly CGI. But when there is no CGI to mess it up, the cinematography is excellent, with the use of light and shadows to aid in the story telling. The mythology is a bit vague and not as well narrated as it could have been done. Also, I like all the different characters and how the “cousins” interact with one another. Just like any dysfunctional family.

But I do like seeing a female lead in a werewolf show and I’m willing to continue to give the show a chance. Seeing as there are now two seasons, other people must have agreed with my assessment. I definitely see potential for the cast to grow and for the story about the “Mutt” to unfold over the series. It also makes me want to see if I can find the books, usually characters are better developed on the pages of a book, though not always. Poignant at times, a little cheesy in others, Bitten is a decent supernatural series with potential for stronger plot and deeper character development. 

Also, nice butts on both genders. 

Read another review here

Audio Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Unabridged)

I recently read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams in audiobook form narrated by Stephen Fry. The audiobook is 5 hours and 51 minutes long and I listened to it via Audible. 

hitchhiker's guide

Summary via Audible

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”) and a galaxy full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

For some reason I thought I had read this book some years ago before the movie came out, but as I listened to the story unfold, the mysteries of the universe weave themselves in circles and found out why bringing a towel along on a hitchhiking adventure is a good idea, I realized I remembered nothing. Either I never read the book, or it was so long ago that I completely forgotten it, or memorizing Bar Exam information and pushed it out of my brain. 

What I loved about this book was that all the random pieces of information meant something. It all came together beautifully, and as things fell into place and little universal wonderings revealed, I came to understand why this book is such a cult classic piece of geek history. Arthur Dent is the perfect eyes through which to view the unexpected. His character is so rather bland that the rest of the crew are unusual and beautiful spinning planets around him as center. And I loved the author’s explanation for why pens disappear, it really all makes sense now. 

Stephen Fry did an amazing job as narrator. He was excellent at creating different voices, accents, and cadences to give depth to the characters. It was easy to tell the characters apart by the voices he created even before the narration indicated who was speaking. A couple of his voices sounded similar, but for the most part they were easy to tell apart. 

I also found myself lulled asleep on occasion by the soothing familiarity of a well written story. On nights when I couldn’t get to sleep because I dreaded getting up the next day just to work and study some more, I would play The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and fall asleep smiling at some of the more ridiculous parts of the story. This meant going back in the morning and finding the part where I fell asleep (and honestly the only thing I hate about audiobooks is that this is not easy to do), but it was worth it. 

If you haven’t picked up this classic book or have thought about re-reading it, I recommend letting Stephen Fry tell you the tale in this audiobook version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

Whedon: The Biography – It’s a Thing

A journalist and friend of Whedon’s has written his biography. While I generally prefer autobiographies, for being slightly more intimate, and humorous ones at that, I will admit I’m intrigued. I’ve been a fan of Whedon’s work for a while, though not always in agreement with everything he does. Everyone has flaws, even our heroes.

A biography about the man should be interesting, perhaps a view into how his mind works and what his close friends think about him. Hopefully it’s as funny as the scripts he writes. Check out the forward by Nathan Fillion:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/popcandy/2014/08/01/joss-whedon-nathan-fillion/13454323/

Bar Exam Break 3: A Monster in the Room

While I study, I doodle on a scrap piece of paper. Usually this is while ruminating on a piece of information and hoping it sinks in upon rumination. For example, The Blockburger Test. A test for determining a lesser included nature of different offenses which relate to an implied acquittal of a charged crime and whether or not Double Jeopardy has attached. Yah, that test.

My doodles are usually full of flowers, blocks of shapes, and occasionally a psychopathic looking cat. Would you believe the cat came out of the doodle of two swirls hooked together by a V?

Doodles

 

Then I decided to draw a present for myself, for being such a studious person. A present to myself, that became a monster. Because this is what studying for the bar looks like: a present monster.

A Present Monster