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"Dracula" reimagining lacks imagination

By Lombardo David
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The network television response to the success of cable network dramas has been to create limited series like "Hannibal" and "The Following," which have been realized with varying degrees of success.

"Hannibal" is the best of this crop, with All-Star caliber actors, a coherent storyline, self-contained episodes and unique content, which is especially impressive considering it is a remake. "The Following" is the worst of this model, with plot twists just for plot twists sake, over-the-top acting masquerading as dramatic performances, characters without rational motives and a general lack of substance.

The 10-episode first season of "Dracula" seems destined to be closer to the latter, based on its campy characters, inane plot and milk toast supporting characters. Problems for the show start and end with its titular character, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who is unconvincing as an American, as a suave character and as vampire with a thirst for blood. Oddly, Meyers is convincing as a believer in alternative energy, which is the least compelling part about the series.








Dracula and sidekick

Set in the late 19th Century, the show pits Dracula against a vague cult that is trying to control the world and hasn't been too kind toward vampires. In order to fight back against the generic cult, which is invested heavily in oil, Dracula is advancing alternative energy to wrestle power away from them. Sounds intriguing, right???? (Correct answer: No)

But wait, there is more! A mysterious love between Dracula and Mina Murray, who is played generally with a vacant stare by Jessica De Gouw. She is probably the reincarnation of a previous love interest, so season mystery solved!

Want more? Well the show also features familiar characters like Van Helsing, except for the sake of throwing a curveball at the audience, he is teamed up with Dracula!

Other elements of the show include a token minority with Nonso Anozie, as Dracula's sidekick, a horny blonde chick played by the television's version of Keira Knightley, also known as Victoria Smurfit, a reporter who couldn't be more boring and a cast of villainous old white guys, including the guy who messed with Edith on "Downton Abbey."

These parts add up to almost nothing, demonstrated by the fact nothing from this show stuck with me and it all feels like a bad dream.

At least with a premium cable channel the holes of "Dracula" could be hidden by gratuitous violence, cursing and sex. NBC's attempt to deliver on all these fronts yields corny slow motion fight scenes and campy erotica that isn't sexy or hot.

It's too bad "Dracula" couldn't have taken its cues from "Hannibal," which took known characters and expanded them in a new universe. The Dracula portrayed by Meyers has nothing to do with the classic Dracula, so he might as well be a reimagined Bill Compton.

If you've got a craving for notorious supernatural characters check out the British series "Being Human," where we followed a vampire, ghost and werewolf living together. It's a fresh, funny and compelling story that is available on Netflix.

Follow @poozer87 on Twitter.

 
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