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Dracula, the latest TV series to do something with the premier modern vampire story, has Dracula teaming up with Van Helsing to avenge himself on the Order Dracul, who killed both their families. Fortunately for Dracula, he has a loyal human confederate in Renfield; furthermore, his wife has reincarnated in med student Mina Murray, who is a student of the aforesaid Van Helsing. Jonathan Harker, a journalist, lusts after Mina from afar, and Lucy Westenra, her friend, is apparently [I'm unclear on this point] a secret kicker of vampire ass. Presenting as a U.S. industrialist with promises of cheap geothermal power, Dracula aims to upset the Order Dracul's oil-based wealth. Plot plot plot.

Like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Dracula takes some names and elements from a literary classic and then goes off in such a completely different direction that it really shouldn't have the same name as the original. That being said, I remain curious to see where this will go. Though I originally dismissed it as static costume drama, it does look lively enough to keep my interest for at least a few more eps. At least the acting proves more uniformly talented than that in Wonderland. Plus there is Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who is nice to look at as Dracula, except for the unfortunate pencil mustache.
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  • Defiance. SyFy. Humans and aliens try to coexist in future terraformed St. Louis. Actually all on Hulu right now for free!
  • Dracula. NBC. Vampires, reincarnation, elaborate dresses and British accents abound.
  • Sleepy Hollow. Fox. Ichabod Crane pulls a Rip Van Winkle and pursues supernatural criminals with modern detective partner, a WOC.
And already-running TV:
  • Colbert Report. Comedy Central. Colbert satirizes current events and is frequently funny about it.
  • Grimm. NBC. Supernatural procedural stupidity slogs on without character development.
  • Haven. SyFy. An Exceptional Woman investigates something rotten in the state of Maine.
  • Warehouse 13. SyFy. Fantasy MacGuffins cause wacky highjinks!
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...have some clause in his contracts that stipulates that, when he guest stars on a fantasy TV show, he has to be A) an exceptionally long-lived character and/or B) one that explicitly tells our protagonists that vampires are bullshit?

In Smallville's Thirst, he played Milton Fine/Brainiac, who fulfilled the B role.

In Supernatural's Shut Up, Dr. Phil, he played Don Stark, a witch with a greatly extended lifespan.

In Warehouse 13's The Living and the Dead, he played Professor Sutton/the Count of St. Germain, a 500-year-old charlatan who, he emphasized, was not a vampire. A + B!

I must say, though, that it's always a pleasure to see him guest star, especially when he plays a charming rogue, which he does with relish [mmmmmm, relish!] and playfulness.

Also he is hot.
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Apparently there's a [mini?] series coming up this fall on NBC called Dracula.  Based on the sluggish, exceptionally uninteresting preview, this adaptation shares a lot in common with the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula, including the concept of Dracula as a tragic, wronged individual, the characterization of Mina as the reincarnation of Dracula's dead wife, reliance on expensive set dressing and costumes and casting of a sexy actor from across the pond as the titular vampire. Wow, looks like a snooze.

What is it with the idea of Mina as Dracula's reincarnated wife? Where does it come from? To me, it appears to be a modern ploy to make Dracula less of a sicko rapist predator who just goes around collecting women and children and more of a Tragic Lover who has a flimsy pretext for stalking Mina. Whatever. The Reincarnated Lovers trope bores me to tears because it establishes intimacy between characters with no narrative work whatsoever; the author just claims, "Oh yeah, they knew each other in a past life!" and thinks that such an empty Insta-Relationship will actually be accepted by the audience.

It would truly be interesting to start off with a Fated/Reincarnated Lovers relationship that is eventually exposed as bullshit. The woman begins believing that her partner's status as her Reincarnated Lover means that he is her One True Love. However, she slowly realizes that they end up getting together in life after life because the partner is a manipulative asshole who repeatedly engineers the protagonist's dependence on him. He keeps her with him by using just enough niceness as intermittent reinforcement, but mostly by threatening and gaslighting her until she believes that their relationship represents True Romance As It Is Supposed To Be. The protagonist eventually figures out that just because things have happened this way before does not mean they must happen this way again and just because things have happened this way before does not mean that is the best way for them to go down. She goes off to live her own life, which of course the ex-partner can't stand, so he begins stalking and harassing the protagonist. He breaks into the protagonist's house and tries to rape her. She kills him, possibly with the help of her current partner. The story ends with the protagonist and her current partner watching out for the reincarnation of her ex so that they can insure intervention such that, this time, he doesn't grow up to be a total waste of a human being. To be clear, this is not about the protagonist gentling the beast with her virtue, but declaring that somehow she would like to give her ex-partner the opportunity to break the cycle of violence.

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Brian McGreevy on Vulture [for New York magazine] vomits forth a puerile lump of garbage with his opinion on popular portrayals of vampires in True Blood and the Twilight saga:

"Much has been made of the damage inflicted by the 'male gaze' in film, but what of the female gaze? It's taken the Romantic vampire and cut off his balls, leaving a pallid emo pansy with the gaseous pretentiousness of a perfume commercial. We are now left with the Castrati vampire: This is pornography for tweens, as well as a worrying reflection of our time."
Reading this screed, one can't help but think that McGreevy is just pissed that a vampire series written by a woman has become so popular. He seems to think that the Twilight saga is wretched just because it represents a young female character's point of view. I mean, God forbid that someone address a pillowy fantasy novel to the vast hordes of ravenous teenaged girls and young women who form the Twilight saga's primary audience! No no, books should be written by manly men only about manly male subjects, such as Romantic vampires with really big schlongs.

I never thought I'd be defending the virtues of the Twilight saga, a series that I find insidiously sexist and intensely problematic, but there it is. No, Mr. McGreevy, the sex of an author is not a legitimate subject for one of your irrelevant tangents about how biliously poxed with prejudice your brain happens to be. How the sex of an author informs his or her writing is indeed pertinent, but criticizing an author for being a certain sex just proves the source of the criticism [that's you, sir] to be a bloviating bigot.
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I didn't say it. Stephen Marche says it in Esquire. He thinks that the recent spate of popular vampires represents not, oh, say, dangerous sensuality or suave seductiveness or something, but the desire of straight women to get into bed with gay men. He provides no actual evidence for his claim, other than noting that True Blood's anti-vamp crowd ["God hates fangs!"] sounds a lot like the anti-gay crowd. In fact, not till the end of his blithering ramble does Marche reveal what may be his thesis:

And so vampires have appeared to help America process its newfound acceptance of what so many once thought strange or abnormal. Adam and Steve who live on your corner with their adorable little son and run a bakery? The transgendered man who gave birth to a healthy baby? The teenage girl who wishes that all boys could be vampires? All part of the luscious and terrifying magic of today's sexual revolution.

So a gay couple with a son and a business, as well as a transgendered pregnant man, are both grouped in the same "luscious and terrifying" category as vampires. The gay guys and the trans guy are, according to Marche, categorically similar to cold, dead killers. I think that says more about the author's misogyny, homophobia and transphobia than it does about the attraction that many young straight white teenaged girls feel toward recent vampiric characters. Ugh, what a bigot.
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In an interview with Nylon, Stephen Moyer, currently playing dead cheeseface vampire Bill in True Blood, expounds upon the appeal of vampire characters to a female audience:
The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a fucking killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you fucking work that? It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?… It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.
Let's look at his claims, shall we? First, Moyer thinks that he knows "a female point of view." He, as a man, now speaks for what women want. He, a white heterosexual male, has authority on what women want! We need no input from actual women to determine what those strange feminine creatures desire. Let the authoritative man tell us. He's an expert because he's not a vampire, but he plays one on TV.

Moyer believes that women desire "an old-fashioned gentleman...who is a fucking killer." Yes yes, polite murderers! They're really sexy! They hearken back, claims Moyer, to a "romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming." Yet what were men doing during this time? Crawling "out of the mud and [raping] their partners," as his character Bill does to Sookie in one scene apparently.

Have you got that? There was a time, in Moyer's dim, ahistorical, misogynist view of things, when men raped women, and women liked it. It was a "romantic" time, so lovey-dovey. Women didn't have to do anything so difficult as saying what they wanted. They could just count on men to screw them against their will...politely, though, and with manners.

Moyer may be talking about vampires as vectors of rape fantasies, which have nothing to do with real non-consensual sex and everything to do with the fantasizer forcing herself to let go and experience pleasure, something she may have a hard time doing outside of her head. I acknowledge that these fantasies of masterful, sweep-you-off-your feet sex partners exist. I acknowledge that these fantasies may be framed as non-consensual. I acknowledge that part of the allure of vampires as portrayed in True Blood and other modern media is their masterful, sweeping-off-feet tendencies. I do not dispute the existence of these things.

I do object, however, to Moyer's characterization of feminine desires. Whether he's referring to sweep-you-off-your-feet fantasies or not, he's doing so inaccurately and misogynistically. By calling rape "romantic" and claiming that "men were men," he's confusing an observation about vampire as sexual fantasy with some stupid essentialist drivel about masculine aggression, not to mention the misogynist bullshit idea about women secretly yearning to be raped. Therefore, instead of providing an insight into the popularity of the vampire figure [as other actors who have played vampires have demonstrated that they can do with intelligence and humor and WITHOUT misogyny], Moyer ends up providing insight into how much he loathes both men and women. I've just lost all respect for him. D:

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Well, I knew it would happen eventually: I am no longer drinking watching True Blood.

Details and spoilers ahoy for 2.7 and on. )


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So I just caught the first ep of season 2 of True Blood, thanks to the fastest download ever. Most of the plots are continuing from the first season in that people keep dying; Sookie continues to break up and make up with Bill, who keeps looking wounded and red-eyed most of the time; Sam keeps crushing on Sookie; Tara keeps love/hating her mom and getting closer to that creepy "social worker" Maryann; Sookie's dumb brother keeps pursuing the vamp-hating church; and Bill's vampire spawn Jessica keeps being petulant. The only one who's had a real change in status is Lafayette, who's being kept in a dungeon by Sheriff Highlights Eric for dealing vampire blood.

I find the multi-layered stories interesting and the characters fascinating, except for Sheriff Highlights. He can die and be replaced by someone who can convincingly play an law enforcer. I don't know where people get off thinking he's sexy because he's not.

Of course, after everything, I keep coming back for Stephen Moyer's portrayal of Bill Compton. I especially appreciate how he builds his acting on stillness and silence, but is able to generate expressive looks without devolving into sad puppy dog eyes. He lurks around looking bloodshot, haggard and cheese-colored most of the time, which is how I imagine your average vampire to look. I appreciate that the costumes and makeup people give him a scraggly, loose comb-over, a pale complexion and other traits that downplay his attractiveness. I approve.
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I rescind my earlier guarded compliments in favor of Moonlight, the canceled CBS  weepy vampire detective drama. In case you missed it, this show concerns Mick St. John, an undead PI who stalks and romances Beth, an Internet reporter that he rescued from his nutso [also undead] ex-wife 20 years ago. In every episode, Beth starts to cover a crime for her news organization; Mick pokes around and discovers vampires behind the scenes. Beth gets herself in distress; Mick saves the day, and the viewer's skull becomes dented with the falling anvils that are driving home the parallels between the murder du jour and Mick and Beth's relationship.

The tedium is lightened only by the moments in which Josef, Mick's slick, rich, mischievous friend, slides on scene and smirks around. As Josef, Jason Dohring, with his curling lips and casual air, seems to be the only person in all of Moonlight having fun with the hammy proceedings. He's like a dignified comic relief character. I found myself fast-forwarding to scenes in which Dohring was on screen.


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I've always thought that, if there were any more than, say, 10 vampires in the world, that they would form some sort of para-society, parasitic to, but somewhat independent of, human society. Vamp society, in my mind, would include an organization of power and some set of rules. Let's look at some vamp societies in recent TV shows: Read more... )
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I watched season 1 of True Blood yesterday and found it engrossing, entertaining, mordant, frothy, sly and lightweight. I enjoy the twitchy, brave, perky performance by Anna Paquin as Sookie and the dry, subdued performance by Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton. I especially appreciate his concentrated stillness and the way in which he projects an absence of movement appropriate to a non-living creature. He makes a wonderful foil for Sookie, instilled by Paquin with an almost fidgety sense of movement, brightness and sensitivity. Even though I have the most investment in Sookie and Bill, I'm curious about the rest of the characters and will probably follow their storylines whenever I get the chance to watch season 2 in one fell swoop.

That being said, the unrelenting amount of sex had me bouncing forward until such scenes were over. Every time anyone had sex, which was frequently, the story's forward momentum halted to linger on the characters flailing away. Then I had an epiphany about the reason that almost all sex scenes in modern media are so incredibly dull. Here's why. )
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Available online as an E-book. Looks like published conference proceedings covering Carmilla to BTVS. Super-chouette!

EDIT: This collection of rather short essays is at its best when covering modern vampires, although Hyun-Jung Lee's analysis of LeFanu's Carmilla as a threat to the very foundation of subjectivity is particularly good. In the section on vampires of today, one especially interesting essay by Elizabeth McCarthy addresses the importance of bodily mutilation inflicted by people on vampires to modern conceptions of the vampire legend. In another unusual essay, Pete Remington takes a look at Anne Rice's vampires and their relation to the experience of the depressive self. Five essays treat BTVS and Angel, mostly the sexually problematic characters of Angel and Spike, who both embody and undermine tropes of magnetic, violent, brooding, Byronic heroism. This is a varied collection with essays of uniformly high quality, although I do wish most of the pieces were longer, with more in-depth analysis.

Also possibly of interest: Monsters: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil, edited by Paul Yoder and Peter Kreuter, in the same series.

Also possibly of interest: The Monstrous Identity of Humanity, edited by Marlin Bates, by the same press.

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So I'm poking around on Amazon, looking for comprehensive reference books about vampires, and I realize the sheer number of books devoted to critical analyses of BTVS. In no particular order, here are the ones I found, excluding those that focus primarily on shows other than BTVS:Look -- a lors! )
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I can't tell whether this is a miniseries or an open-ended series, but HBO has True Blood starting in September.

Pros: Vampires, Anna Paquin, created by Alan Ball who did Six Feet Under.

Cons: Based on an incredibly boring paranormal romance, on cable which I don't think I have.

Truthfully, I would be more interested in a second season of Moonlight because it's so baaaaaaayud, but apparently someone put a fork in it because it's been cancelled.
modernwizard: (Default) recommends books and movies with vampires. May be good for finding a few non-romance vamp titles...
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Check it out. The first creature that appears in this commercial, the krasue, is a variant of the self-detaching, flying mananagal or penanggalen -- a southeast Asian type of vampiric creature -- that I've mentioned earlier. I love how dismissively the family reacts to the mythical beings. 
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Thinking the of ep of Moonlight in which vampires were pretending to be human [The Mortal Cure] and its inverse, B.C. [summarized here, in which humans take drugs to feel vampiric], I got to wondering... What if there was a synthetic drug for modern American vampires [as opposed to the many other kinds running around in my universe] that simulated the effects of being human: i.e., reduced strength and speed, reduced sensorium, reduced immune system, tolerance for daylight, garlic and major religious symbols? 
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Moonlight never fails to piss me off, yet I keep watching. Today's current source of annoyance, as I listen to grainy videos on, is El Doofus Grande Mick's job and motivations.

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Over on Moonlight, previously mentioned here, season 1, ep. 12, The Mortal Cure, summarized here,  El Doofus Grande, Mick, learns about a temporary antidote to vampirism. Developed during the French Revolution [?!], this herbal compound temporarily makes a vampire mortal if absorbed through an open wound. That's a neat plot device: temporary mortality. Too bad I didn't think of it.

Overall, Moonlight alternates between pissing me off and entertaining me. The overdetermined and shallow narration adds nothing and detracts a lot from the story. The characters aren't particularly deep. At the same time, the creators seem to have invested actual brainpower into vampires not only as supernaturals, but also as members of a subculture with its own hierarchy and rules.
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Raines, a series tragically canceled too soon, features the titular homicide detective, whose hook is that he imagines the victims whose cases he pursues. His evolving conceptions of them literalize his deductive process as he figures out their stories. For example, in Meet Juan Doe, the dead man starts off as a rotten corpse, but resembles a living human being as soon as Raines finds a driver's license and photo. In the end, it's always shown that Raines' ability to psychologize the victims and picture them as complete people, rather than dead bodies, helps him to solve the crimes and understand himself a bit more. Solid acting, dry humor, thoughtful show. Entire run can be watched on Hulu. [Filed under "vampires" because people come back from the dead.]

I really like Raines for a few reasons. 1) Because I talk to myself [and frequently talk back], any show with a character who does the same interests me, especially if the show portrays him as unusual, but also imaginative, intuitive and successful because of this trait. Raines frequently worries that he's going crazy, and everyone agrees that he's mentally disturbed, but they don't automatically demonize the way he talks to people in his head.

Incidentally, the show nails perfectly the ways in which seemingly independent imaginary characters talk to their creators. Raines' characters appear and disappear easily, changing clothes and hairstyle as quickly as a thought. Their forcefulness distracts him, not because he's literally hearing them [hallucinating], but because he's imagining so hard that he tunes out the outside world. The characters don't know any factual information that Raines doesn't know; at the same time, they often make astute observations about emotions or motivations that Raines has a hard time grasping himself. They're very Trickster-like.

2) In a manner unusual for a cop show, Raines focuses on the victims and gives them a voice. While many cop shows are about the mechanics of solving crimes [examples: any Law & Order, Bones, etc.], Raines is about as character-driven as a cop show can be. Most of the action occurs in Raines' head, and it consists of his perceptions changing about the victims as he learns more about them. While Raines seeks to learn how the victims were murdered, the show seems just as interested in why. With most cop shows, the victim's body is the beginning of the case investigation and the true meat of the show. With Raines, the victim's body represents the end of a life which the show seeks to delve into and reconstruct.

3) To the end of reconstructing lives, Raines enjoys subverting stereotypes. Again, in the example of Meet Juan Doe, Juan at first appears to be an illegal Mexican immigrant out to take the life of an anti-immigration city councilman who came to LA illegally himself. Turns out that Juan was coming to see his dad, the councilman, to show him his daughter-in-law and grandson. The councilman shot his son, thinking his son was an assassin. In the pilot, prostitute Sandy Boundreau is earning money to help her mom leave her abusive husband; plus she refuses to play along with a wife to entrap a husband into supposedly cheating. By refusing to accept that characters are as cliched and evil as they may initially appear, the show argues for optimism and, surprisingly for a cop show, a view of human nature as good.
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To capitalize on the great success of best-selling comic book The Crow a movie came out in 1994, followed by a bunch of subpar sequels and one season of a TV show, the subject of this review. The Crow: Stairway to Heaven follows the same general plot of the comic book, with Draven returning to avenge his and his girlfriend's death. After the show burns through this major plotline in the first two eps, it has no idea what to do with the angst-ridden avenger. I mean, if he's "put things right," as was his assignment, why is he continuing to hang around? DVD Verdict sums it up:

It's clear that the creators of the series didn't have a long-range plan for the show. The first two episodes cover the basic plot of the film, and then the series settles into a "freak of the week" groove, as Eric takes care of a new baddie in each episode.

Having never read or seen anything else of The Crow, I have to say that there's an interesting idea buried in the series. The Crow supposedly comes back to "set things right," which he interprets as killing his killers. At the same time, besides supernatural butt-kicking skills, he also has the much more fascinating power of reading emotions and memories from his surroundings and transferring these to other people, as when he sends all Jenko's victims' pain back on Jenko: "All their pain, all at once, all for you." 

This is truly cool, as it explores the tension in the Crow's nature. Killed because of violence, brought back because of violence and adept at dealing violence, he nevertheless illustrates all that is detrimental about violent solutions. Furthermore, in his painful power of empathy, the Crow illustrates an alternative means of dealing with suffering: putting the criminals in the mindsets of their victims.

In summary, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven represents a host of missed opportunities, further dragged down by thoroughly mediocre acting [with the exception of Katie Stuart as Sarah Mohr, a grungy skater girl who somehow is friends with the Crow] and too many electric guitars. [Filed under "vampires" because the Crow is undead, indestructible, funereal and out for blood.]
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I checked out ep 2 of season 1 of Moonlight this morning. After having previously slagged it as "treading in a well-worn path" and then later as a "tortured cliche," I am pleasantly surprised to find out that, despite being derivative and unoriginal, it's still solid. Writing's not particularly tight or quippy, and the crime plots are about as sophisticated as an ep of Witchblade, but there are a few glimmers of hope. 

1. The angstball vampire Mick has a snarkball friend played by Jason Dohring, who is so good at playing snarkballs, as we have seen with his role as Logan in Veronica Mars. The snarkball balances out the angstball.

2. There appears to be a sense of humor burbling somewhere in the show's veins. When Mick flashed back to the 1980s when he was killing cavalierly, Duran Duran's Hungry Like The Wolf played in pitch-perfect counterpoint.

3. Unlike Angel, who just sat around looking so unexpressive that I couldn't believe he was suffering, Mick actually has a moment in which he communicates his shame clearly. After being shot by silver bullets [poisonous to vampires in this universe], he crawls back to his pad and slurps desperately at a blood bag [which has an obvious congruence with a baby bottle, thus underlining his vulnerability in this scene]. While he's pushing fluids, suspicious reporter/mortal love interest comes by. Gasping in pain and hunger, Mick says, "Please don't look at me." He just sounded really wretched at that moment, which I appreciated. I like characters in states of humiliation.

Unfortunately, there is no place online to view past eps beside those illegally posted in segments [of crappy quality] on Daily Motion. The AOHell links don't work, and I am sad about that.

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I checked out the pilot of New Amsterdam just now. It concerns a 400-year-old immortal homicide detective who will die only when he finds his soulmate. Derivative but potentially interesting, right? Wrong. The actors have no chemistry or interest in their parts; the mysteries have no originality; the "quips" are stupid and bloodless, and the main character is incredibly dull for someone who supposedly has a death wish. I think he's supposed to be a lonely, suffering character, but he doesn't seem either lonely or suffering. He just seems bored, detached and incapable of human connection, living because that's all he knows how to do. Kill it! [Filed under "vampires" because it addresses immortality...BADLY.]

Oh look -- some eps of Moonlight on AOHell TV...
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So I checked in to Hulu to watch 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails, previously mentioned here. Instead of being a full TV miniseries, it was actually a collection of mini-eps, 3 to 5 minutes in length, that were originally posted on a Web site. It was something about a frenetic weirdo wearing a knit hat, despite the fact that he was in New Orleans, trying to pay back money he didn't have and bring information to his friend who communicated online with someone who was a prostitute, and his girlfriend was tweaking out from lack of drugs, and some vampire researcher's office got completely trashed, and, oh yeah, somehow we managed to wedge about 2 gruesome demises and 3 vampire sightings in per ep.
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Well, I wanted to watch the Moonlight premiere last week [about the tortured cliche vampire falling in love with a stereotype human woman], but I missed it. Maybe I'll catch it this week, although I see that Pushing Daisies, another show about a human/undead relationship, is premiering tonight, so I might want to catch that. Furthermore, season 3 of Supernatural begins this Thursday, but I don't know if I will be able to catch that, which is tragic, given my current VIOLENT crush on Jensen Ackles [who plays Dean]. many walking dead, so little time.
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Ultraviolet, a TV series from 1998. Contains vampires, naturally.
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More angst-ridden crime-solving goody-two-shoes vampires. Welcome to CBS' Moonlight, starting at the end of this month, treading in a well-worn path first hewn out by Forever Knight, followed by Angel. While curious, I have much better things to do with my puny mortal life than sit around and watch a new show when it first airs. I'll wait a while to see if it's anything of any substance that I can sink my teeth into.
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With sections on vampires, werewolves, demons, etc., Queer Horror [] appears to be a comprehensive overview of queer characters and themes in various media, well worth a long look when I have some time. Mmmm, queer vampires...

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So, while listening to This American Life's 1996 Halloween episode, I learned about the long-running TV show Dark Shadows [1965-1971], starring a vampire with a soul who lives in a creepy mansion and suffers time-traveling, werewolves, ghosts, et hoc genus omne, all while accompanied by production values so cheap that you can see the prop guy in some scenes. Yes, folks, years before supernatural soap operas had their mid-'90s boom, there was Dark Shadows, hammy, campy and funny. This may be interesting to check into and laugh at.



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