Vlad Tepes, shirtless

“Death Is Coming.” — Dracula: the Complete Season Finale.

Previously on Dracula: Come to Die.

This is a collective review of the last two episodes of Dracula, Four Roses and Let There Be Light.

This is a mess. One huge, out-of-control mess. It’s motivations, plot-lines, and characterisations all over the place, and the writers don’t even seem to be trying to clean up after themselves. It’s incoherent, it zigzags back and forth, things that are a huge deal, like Van Helsing breaking up with Dracula, sort of just happen on the side, while other stuff that, yes, we get already, are drawn out over and over, totally ad nauseam. It’s one thing for characters not to be able to make up their minds. It’s quite another for the narrative to screw the characters over ten times per episode. Continue reading →

NBC’s Dracula: Good Awful or Bad Awful?

This is a preview — you can find the actual episode reviews in the Dracula Season 1 tag.

You know the feeling. News about a new show comes out and you get all excited because it’s a character or genre or concept you like and you think, ‘Ooh, can’t wait until it airs!’

And then the trailers roll in, and the promo pics and videos, and the previews and the first looks; until you feel a little nauseated and suspiciously like you’re going to have a terrible case of déjà-vu when it actually airs. Most of the time, that’s not a bad thing. Sure, sometimes you spot something that you have an inkling you might find problematic, but you hope for the best. Sometimes, you like what you’re seeing even more. But then, sometimes, the more you learn about a show before it airs, the more your reason for a prospective viewing is to figure out if it’ll be too awful for you to keep watching after the pilot.

NBC’s new — and very inventive — retelling of the Dracula myth is such a case for me. I was enthusiastic about it when I first heard about it in May, and I put it on the voting list for the 2013/14 review season because I was looking forward to dealing with it here on the blog. But now it’s looking like, for me, Sleepy Hollow stole a lot of Dracula’s thunder in the Gothic/Horror genre. Sleepy Hollow is a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I enjoy that about it. While the characterisations are well done — and I blogged just earlier about the diversity on the show — they’re allowing themselves to have fun with tropes of the genre and with themselves. Dracula, I’m afraid, will take itself dreadfully seriously while exploiting every single cliché the construct of the literary vampire has to offer.

Continue reading →