Dracula Premier Review: More Vampires?

 

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Did you watch Dracula last night? Well I didn’t. Let me explain. I set my DVR, I watched (most of) Grimm and then fell asleep with the TV on. I have a few people that can attest to this.  (Yes I am a party animal). So I watched it this morning. My thoughts? I wish I could have stayed awake and watched in real time.

I was somewhat leery about another vampire show/storyline.  True Blood is mostly getting it done in the vampire soft porn area, and The Vampire Diaries has a stronghold in the teenage love angst area so I was curious to what a show on NBC could offer.  After all NBC can’t step out of the basic cable lines like HBO or even a show on FX can do.  The last thing we need is another show that is afraid to step out of the safety zone so therefore just fades away (I feel like this will be the downfall of Grimm).  However maybe the late night slot will save Dracula.

Last nights premier started off with a bang.  The opening scene was amazing.  A coffin with a statue of a man in torture laying on the top and pictures of even more torture on the side is shown and then two explorers are seen apparently raiding the tomb.  Quickly one of the guys slits the other guys throat and allows the blood to pour into the mummified remains of Dracula’s mouth which makes it clear that one of the dudes knew what was up.  (Dude later turns out to be Van Helsing which is interesting to say the least.)

Dracula - Season 1

 

The mummy Dracula was really cool looking too.  I’m glad they went all the way with this and didn’t leave it to our imagination.  I’m also glad that they did this and it looked good.  It could have easily been comical instead of creepy/gross.

Dracula - Season 1

 

I really hope they keep this up.  Vampires should be scary.  Yes, they are sexy and intriguing, but also scary.   It’s nice for a change to have a vampire that isn’t sipping human blood out of a tumbler or drinking warmed synthetic blood, but someone who is hunting nightly.  Not to say this Dracula is purely evil– that would get old just as quick as a purely good character.  He is seeking vengeance and is trying to bring down bad guys that are even worse than himself.

My interest is piqued, but I am also concerned this is on NBC.  This doesn’t seem NBC’s regular cheesy comedy fair or it’s cop drama staple.  As long as they continue down the road they are on though I think they will have a winner.

Things I love:

  • Johnathan Rhys Myers– him in general, but also that he is leading this show.  He proved in The Tudors that he can pull of an insanely handsome and ruthless character.
  • That this vampire kills.  He’s not being eaten up by a conscience , but also seems to have a plan.
  • The base story– it’s set up with enough questions to make it interesting, but isn’t overly complicated
  • Van Helsing– I’m just glad they included this storyline
  • The clothing.  As a costumer I look at all these beautiful dresses and would love to recreate something

Things I doubt:

  • The whole– Hey look, that chick looks just like my dead wife– bit.  I’ve had enough of that with The Vampire Diaries with the whole Doppelganger crap.  I just don’t buy it.

Dracula - Season 1

  • Some of the dresses.  Most importantly the ones for the woman that works with the big bad.  She’s dressed and painted up like a high end hooker (and acts like one).  I just don’t find it period appropriate.
  • The out in public kisses on the lips.  Yeah also not period appropriate.  I’m not saying that the sex should get cut out, I’m just saying that in public that crap wouldn’t have flown.
  • Katie McGrath’s blonde hair.  She was an amazing Morgana and is just as beautiful as JRM, but the blonde looks weird.

Dracula - Season 1

 

Overall though I’m really excited and may have a cup of coffee in the future to be able to stay up and watch it Friday nights.  Or really hopefully it will be moved from the terrible Friday night slot.

True Blood, The Vampire Diaries or Twilight?

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OK so I read the Twilight series a few years ago and the 13 year old in me really liked them.  I read them all in about a week and then watched all the movies (at the matinee with all the other women that were really too old to be obsessed with this tween romance).  I liked the books, tolerated the movies, but knew deep down that this was a silly series.  Just the fact that Bella felt the need to dwell on the fact that she was so mature and kept trying to be turned before she became “old” was a constant reminder that this series was meant for high schoolers.

So when I saw previews for shows like “The Vampire Diaries” and “True Blood” I had no desire to add to my repertoire of cheesy vampire stories. However, about a year ago I made a deal with a friend that I would watch “The Vampire Diaries” if she gave “Doctor Who” a chance.  The result? I watched all of TVD in record time and she watched about a half of a season of DW before giving up (you’re missing out Kaila).

Then two weeks ago I was convinced by another friend that obsesses over “Game of Thrones” with me to try “True Blood.” Yeah. . .I watched the second episode of Season 6 last night.

My thoughts on all these series?

Seriously, is there a formula for vampire stories that I’m unaware of?  Insert one human that smells amazing, is beautiful, and slightly mentally or emotionally handicapped (come on Elena (Nina Dobrev) makes some seriously stupid decisions and Bella falls apart without a man), add one nice vampire, and one vampire that is bad on the surface, but good at heart, then a dash of werewolf to increase the amount of bare skin and sexual tension.  TA DA!

Obviously something keeps me watching.  Maybe it’s the lovely way Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) says Sookie (which makes up for the horrible name in the first place).  Or maybe it’s loveliness of the vampires themselves (OK the “Twilight” vampires aren’t as pretty as TVD or TB vampires, but all of them got something going on).  It is most definitely Alcide Herveaux.  I mean come on Joe Manganiello can do pretty much anything and as long as he’s shirtless I’m cool with it.  And Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) has carried “True Blood” in the episodes that consisted of some plot line that drug out too long (I can even over look all the witch crap just because it just meant more Lafayette).  Both Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) and Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R, McQueen) are great supporting brothers.  Jason is delightfully brave and stupid and Jeremy is strong and level headed when it’s most needed.

The Vampire Diaries has had an amazing group of supporting characters with Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis), Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Jenna (Sara Canning),  and so many more people have added a lot depth and spice to what could have been a fluff show. Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) snarkiness has definitely kept me coming back for more even though that meant I had to watch Bonnie (Kat Graham) or Elena running around messing up everything that Damon and Stefan (Paul Wesley) were trying to accomplish.  At least Sookie (Anna Paquin) seems to actually be able to handle herself and although she is a pretty big idiot a lot of times she’s not the whiny weak person that Elena is. There have been many times I wished that Caroline (Candice Accola) was the heroine in TVD instead of Elena. She can adapt and for the most part isn’t an idiot (at least not after she become a vampire). Twilight did have Alice and Jacob to help it out.  Some of the best chapters in the Twilight series were written from Jacob’s perspective.  He was so much more down to earth than Bella and thankfully had some sense. Bella though. . .well lets not talk about her too much, we might make her cry, blush or jump off a cliff.

So if you are 13 read/watch “Twilight”, revel in the teenage angst, ignore the poor writing, and know it’s OK (I won’t talk much more smack here since I have read them more than once—OK more than twice).  If you are looking for a more adult version of a vampire love story by all means check out “The Vampire Diaries.”  Wade through the first season (it really takes some effort early on), try to figure out how high school children get their hands on so much alcohol, also how they are actually passing high school considering the number of days they skip.  The character development is good (except for Bonnie) and even though Elena gets on my last nerve, Nina Dobrev is amazing as Katherine Pierce (it amazes me how I can love Katherine and hate Elena).  The show isn’t afraid to kill off popular characters which I think always helps keep a show new and fresh.

Now we come to True Blood.  I do think they mixed it up with the premise a little in that vampires are out in the open and are trying to “mainstream” within society.  I see this show as a pretty good show, but since it’s on HBO they throw in a soft-core porn scene anytime the plot slows down or every 20 minutes, whichever comes first.  They do a great job developing characters and plot development is pretty good (although I’m not super crazy with where things are going now with Bill or Sam), but it is not for people who don’t like crazy amounts of sex and violence.

I’m a little ashamed that I know so much about all of these series, but no so ashamed that I didn’t pay money to meet Ian Somerhaulder and get this embarrassing photo made at DragonCon last year:

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Haha I think I was one of the only women that day that didn’t feel him up (all I could think about was how much it must suck to get rubbed on my hundreds of crazy fans all day). The result though was this creepy photo.  Totally worth it.  No go off and enjoy some teenage angst or hot sexy vampire love and try to wipe the image of that photo away.

But first take my poll!