So I finally bit the bullet and watched some of the Vampire stuff. First there was the premiere of The Vampire Diaries, available for complimentary viewing on an Air Canada flight. Then, I gave in and watched my mother’s latest obsession, Twilight. Last, HBO currently has the first season of True Blood on demand, and I sampled the pilot last night when I couldn’t sleep.
I realize that as a scholar I should probably read the books that these movies and TV series are based on, but I’m a grad student, stuck with plenty of reading for school, and I’ve already made my fiction selections to last me the summer, so we’ll stick with the audio-visual versions here.
I found Twilight somewhat entertaining, visually impressive, but the Mormon preachiness, the emphasis on abstinence, made my blood simmer if not boil.
True Blood has the HBO edginess, nudity and gore and profanity and all that fun stuff, but the premise seems a bit hard to swallow. It’s ambitious unique, playing on present day patterns of prejudice and political correctness, but the notion of Vampires “out of the coffin” and walking freely among us seems noble but unsustainable. How much mystery and intrigue can there be when the Vampires regularly introduce themselves as such? I suppose that’s the point. And I’ll admit I’m curious to keep watching, though thus far (meaning after one episode) the show seems a tad bit self-aware for my liking.
Perhaps it’s fitting that The Vampire Diaries, the undead celebration I watched first sucked me in the most. Maybe it’s because it airs on the CW, home to the enjoyable sinking ship known as Gossip Girl, but also, in its glory days as the WB, featured my favourite post-Beverly Hills 90210 teen dramas, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity,the first couple seasons of the The O.C., and the tour de force on both UPN and the CW known as Veronica Mars.
The Vampire Diaries has the murky creepiness of good horror mixed with compelling drama of prime-time teen soap operas. I attribute this to the skillful production of Kevin Williamson, the brains behind the Scream trilogy as well as I Know What You Did Last Summer, along with his piece de resistance, Dawson’s Creek.
While all three Vampire spectacles, even in their first outings, hint at a love triangle, The Vampire Diaries’ version seems at the onset to be the most gripping. Again, Williamson knows love triangles: his rotating Joey-Dawson-Jen into the mammoth Dawson-Joey-Pacey rivals the original 90210’s Brenda-Dylan-Kelly transitioning to Brandon-Kelly-Dylan which anchored that show for several seasons. So basically I have high hopes for The Vampire Diaries.
Also, I recognize that True Blood may not really be a “teen” drama, but Ivy League dropout and Oscar winner Anna Paquin seems to be a young person so that counts.
I will also admit that I never really got into Buffy the Vampire the Slayer, the TV series. I enjoyed the movie, a highly underrated film featuring a very attractive Kristy Swanson, 90210 veteran cool dude Dylan McKay aka Luke Perry, veteran Canadian actor Donald Sutherland and the troubled but talented Paul “Pee-wee Herman” Reubens. For some reason, Sarah Michelle Gellar, despite being Jewish, never really did it for me. Still, I’d be willing to give Buffy another taste, but not in the near future.
Last, sorry about the bad vampire puns. I just had to. If you don’t like it, bite me.