Holy Moses, I don’t remember when the last time was I did a TV show review! But I thought that you guys deserved to know about this show (if you didn’t already, of course). Also, just a quick note, this show may not be appropriate for young viewers.
Based on the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong (who also has written quite a few YA books), this is the story of Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf. Bitten four years ago, Elena left her pack about eight months ago after a falling-out. She’s made a new life for herself in Toronto as a photographer with a great boyfriend. But the past won’t leave Elena. When Jeremy, her pack leader, calls about murders happening in their town of Bear Valley by a rogue werewolf, Elena’s forced to go home and deal with the threat that is much bigger than she could have imagined… (Available instantly on Netflix.)
To give you a little background here, I have read the first two books in this series (which seems to make up season 1 and 2, from what I can tell). But honestly, I remember very little of either book. I had a few mental images of things that were going to happen and a few character names. That was it.
Ok. So I started watching this show and I’ll just say that the first two or three episodes aren’t the most gripping on the planet. We need a lot of set-up about werewolves and Elena’s past and the differences between her lives in Toronto and Stone Haven (which is the name of their mansion in Bear Valley). All the subterfuge and strife without an explanation got a little old after a while.
That said, there was something that kept me coming back to this show. Partly it was the characters (which I’ll get into more soon). But it was also partly the mystery. Someone is killing people in town and dumping their bodies near Stone Haven, making the reclusive pack suddenly persona non grata in town as everyone assumes the murderer is one of them. Only Elena and the pack know that’s not true, but finding the rogue wolf isn’t that easy.
There are a few surprises that happen pretty quickly too. And that was good for keeping my interest. Like I said, I barely remember these books. And what I did remember certainly didn’t happen in the very beginning of the book. So when I started getting to a few of the twists, well, that just made me want to watch another episode.
Another bonus of this show? These werewolves can’t be wearing clothes when they shift (which is at will), so we see a lot of shirtless men. And boy, do they look good.
Alright, let’s talk about these characters.
Let’s start with Elena, our main character (center, played by Laura Vandervoort). Elena is the kind of heroine I would hope for in this show. While she begins the show sort of meek because she’s trying to distance herself from Stone Haven and the pack, she eventually turns into a very strong, very capable woman. She has the attitude and the sass to handle all the men in the pack while also packing some seriously awesome clothes. God, what I wouldn’t do for her wardrobe. Kicking butt and wearing heels. It’s a nice counterpoint to all the males. It takes a few episodes, I feel, for Vandervoort to really sink into the role, but once she gets there, it’s beautiful.
Then there’s Jeremy Danvers, the pack alpha (blue button-down, played by Greg Bryk). Calm, mild-mannered Jeremy is a very capable leader. He’s soft-spoken, polite, and caring. Not exactly the qualities you’d expect for a werewolf alpha, but it makes the pack incredibly loyal to him. And it’s a great counterpoint to when he’s threatened. Come at him and his pack, and it’s Jekyll and Hyde. Suddenly he’s fierce, merciless, and deadly. Do not cross Jeremy. Bryk does a great job playing that dichotomy. (Wow, what did I do, study up on my SAT words today??)
And we certainly can’t talk about the boys without mentioning Clay Danvers (plaid, played by Greyston Holt). As Elena’s ex-fiance, Clay has a lot of inner turmoil to deal with when Elena returns. He’s dark, brooding, and dangerous. Other werewolves fear him because he’s basically a loose cannon and the one who does Jeremy’s dirty work. Holt does a nice job playing with that darkness inside Clay, though it does make him look about as emotional as a brick for the first half of the season. Brooding is probably not Holt’s strong suit, but cracking through that is magical.
Finally, we have Logan Jonsen (far left, played by Michael Xavier) and Nick Sorrentino (far right, played by Steve Lund). Also both members of the pack, Logan is more of a minor character than Nick, partly because of how Logan also keeps himself distant from the pack because of his job in Toronto. (He’s very close with Elena because of that.) Logan has his fair share of problems, though, and it’s really great to see how Xavier portrays them. But it’s Nick, of all the characters, who has stolen my heart. Lund is total eye-candy, and Nick is just that lovable guy who can make anyone smile. He’s charming, but he also has a soft side that will break your heart. Lund does an amazing job here. I want to know why he hasn’t landed bigger roles.
Basically, this show has lots of action, a bit of mystery, sweet characters, and some really despicable villains (if you like your villains dark and dangerous, which I do). I really enjoy this show, to the point where I’m watching 2-3 episodes a night because it’s so good.