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5 Shows like Bitten: Friday Night Bites

James Thomas itcherThanks to the likes of Underworld and Twilight, the way people see classic movie monsters like werewolves has become stylized to the point that the devil does actually wear Prada and vampires study Krav Maga. Being hairy and ferocious, stalking prey in the forest and snatching toddlers from their cribs is not enough to make a monster these days. TV shows like ‘Bitten’ prove that beasts must have as much style and sex appeal as bite. If you’re like me and enjoy werewolves that are as interesting and appealing as they are carnivorous, check out ‘Wolf Lake’, ‘Hemlock Grove’, and ‘Lost Girl.’ ~ James Thomas

Sexy Beast

‘Bitten’ is one of those shows that saw everything wrong with the Stephanie Myers’ series and managed to improve on it by introducing werewolves that were more like wild bloodthirsty hunters with sex appeal, and less like quadrupedal teddy bears.

The show follows a woman named Elena Michaels who is a member of the most exclusive boys club in the supernatural world. She is the only known female lycanthrope. The show’s mythology  reveals that the only werewolves are men and no woman has ever survived the bite.

The tension in the show comes from Elena and her wolf pack doing the things that wolf packs do best – dominating, mating, and eviscerating. Consequently, I enjoyed watching as people made the foolish mistake of getting between Elena and her mate (or her meals).


Shows Similar to ‘Bitten’…

‘Wolf Lake’ (CBS, 2001-2002)

My favorite aspect of a werewolf story is its ambiguity and the mystery of who exactly is sprouting fur and gnawing on the unhappy folks of whatever little village the big beast happens to be tormenting. ‘Wolf Lake’, similar to TV shows like ‘Bitten’, plays with this concept in a way that puts the power of the mystery in the hands of the lycanthropes.

The monsters must fight to keep themselves hidden to ensure their survival. The good wolves of Wolf Lake are just trying to live their lives and occasionally pick off sheep and people stupid enough to stray from the herd.

Also, this show plays up the primal sex appeal that is a part of series similar to ‘Bitten’. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this show’s beastly predators. 

Similarity Match: 95%
Like ‘Bitten’, ‘Wolf Lake’ deals with a town where a large number of folks prefer to spend their nights nude while eating their meat rare, however in this series the stakes are much higher in terms of keeping the truth hidden.

‘Hemlock Grove’ (Netflix, 2013-2015)

If any show ever seemed to take pleasure on gripping your suspension of disbelief and treating it like Batman’s parents, then it would definitely be ‘Hemlock Grove’. I thought it was really refreshing to get the whole “will they eat me, won’t they eat me” drama out of the way as it gets so taxing in other TV shows like ‘Bitten’. In ‘Hemlock Grove’, the morality of the person is an indication of the nature of the beast. 

The show follows a werewolf and vampire as they try and sort out a murder-mystery that threatens to tear apart their town and thus, limit their food supply. 

Similarity Match: 90%
‘Hemlock Grove’ deals with a town with a history of monsters, but unlike ‘Bitten’ this show’s beasties have a wit as dry as sand paper and a tendency to philosophize like Frenchmen in the early 20th century.

‘Lost Girl’ (Showcase, 2010-2015)

I think that if you want to make a monster more appealing, it’s good to start with some solid raw material – that’s what ‘Lost Girl’ does with mythology. The succubus is a creature that would die without her sex appeal and yes, every succubus is a female.

Lost Girl’s protagonist, as a succubus, makes her way through life by preying on those who let their nether regions do their thinking for them. That’s right, Bo, the succubus, feeds on the erotic energy of humans and her bisexuality means she has a very accommodating palate.

Consequently, there are no characters lacking sex appeal in this show, be they human or fae, which is the term the show uses to refer to all the hidden supernatural species that feed on humans like cows, and who have developed a shadow government to make sure the beef never notices the slaughter house.

Similarity Match: 80%
Unlike ‘Bitten’, ‘Lost Girl’ has a whole zoo full of strange monsters looking to gnaw off a face or two, but it does establish the idea of the werewolf as sex symbol bar none.


If You Like ‘Bitten’, You Will Like…

‘Bitten’ has managed to turn the curse of the werewolf into something sexy and make the strength it confers more desirable.

These next two shows, however, modernize the werewolf myth but keep the tragedy of the beast intact. The first series sees a wolf trying to rehabilitate itself through group therapy and the second features a man on quest to end his curse.

‘Being Human’ (BBC Three, 2008-2013)

I found that this British original is an alternative take on all the juicy sexual tension and alienation that I found in TV series like ‘Bitten’. The show dealt with a whole gang of monsters attempting to reintroduce themselves into society using bags of blood, ghost charms, and reinforced, werewolf-proof metal cells (for those pesky nights when the moon was high and full).

This show deals with the question of how terrible it is to be a monster and I think it does a great job at making the whole ordeal feel less attractive than Hollywood. Of course, this means that there is no advantage to the enhanced strength and the sense of superiority that comes with being a lycanthrope.

For the most part, I just felt sorry for the shows main werewolf George Sands even though his accent was charming.

The werewolves of ‘Being Human’ see their existence as more of a curse than the supernatural equivalent of steroids and an aphrodisiac as in ‘Bitten’, and consequently, they tend to spiral rather than thrive.

‘Werewolf’ (FOX, 1987-1989)

I watched this show when I was very young because my parents were awesome and I was clever enough to know werewolves were fictional. I think the series ‘Werewolf’ was like nothing else on television at the time, with a protagonist who occasionally ate people and an antagonist that was some sort of magical blend of a fisherman and a serial killer.

One of my favorite features of this show was that it was meant to be terrifying. These were not large, cute and cuddly dogs; they were rabid hirsute psychopaths with hair triggers and more teeth than a saw blade.

The story is focused on a kid named Eric who meets a canine on his way home from school and receives a love bite that makes his evenings, and relationship with law enforcement, a bit problematic. My favorite part of the show was the fact that the change was brought on by the presence of a bloody pentagram on the center of his hand.

In this show, the action is not centralized on a connected pack of creatures who reminded all comers why wolves are apex predators in a group. These wolves often wander from each other and try to avoid turning the odd civilian into an hors d’oeuvre.


Releasing the Beast

These shows explore the essence of people whose inner beast is either an amazing blessing or the curse that alienates them from the whole world.

What do you think life would be like if you let your inner animal run wild?

Let me know in the comments down below.

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