So NBC’s Dracula completed its first season this past Friday. That was quick. Doesn’t it seem like the show only debuted yesterday?
Well yeah, it only had 10 episodes for its first season. It is still not known if the show will be renewed for a second season as NBC is reportedly still thinking it over. Supposedly, there were some issues with the ratings, but those picked up during the last couple of episodes, so there may be hope.
But until then, I’m going to give my thoughts on this season and whether I’ll be tuning in for Season 2, if there will be one.
Overall, I felt Dracula was all right. I thought the acting was pretty much good overall, the costumes and set design was amazing, and the storyline was OK. I was uneasy when the show premiered because I was concerned that Dracula was going to be a soapbox to preach against Big Oil. Fortunately, that did not happen and the Big Oil topic became secondary. Instead, what we got was Dracula trying to walk in the sunlight so he could get revenge on the Order of the Dragon with Van Helsing, whom he was surprisingly in cahoots with.
I grew to like this new take on the Dracula-Van Helsing rivalry. Obviously they despised each other, but both needed each other in order to fight the Order of the Dragon, which had ruined them in two very different ways. I liked how this tale had Dracula as a member of the Order, only to be cursed to be a vampire by them. However, I wished we had seen more of Dracula’s life from before he was turned into the vampire. We kept seeing the same images over and over of Van Helsing’s family ruthlessly being killed by the Order, yet not enough of Dracula suffering from them. I get it that the angle was mostly on Van Helsing as he aimed for revenge, but it got tiresome and painful to see the scene where his son is forced from him and into the burning house. I wished we had seen more of Dracula with his wife, Ilona, who was killed by the Order, because that was what he was focused on, second to getting revenge from the Order.
I found Mina to be likable in this version, though maybe a little naive. Harker had good reasons to be suspicious of what was going on between her and Alexander Grayson. Lucy here reminded me a lot of the one in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1994 film, particularly when she, ahem, measured Harker’s pants. I wonder if having her being in love with Mina was a nod to the hinted lesbianism between the two in Coppola’s movie.
Harker is someone to like and cheer on. Yes, he was a douche for downplaying Mina’s interest in medicine, but given he’s the good guy in this story, there’s a reason to cheer for him. I was so mad at him when he joined the Order, but luckily, he realized that was a bad idea during the final episode. I’m glad he and Van Helsing are going to team up to destroy Grayson. Harker knows he has been causing chaos in his life and wants to ruin him, and Van Helsing is done with Dracula. It will be interesting to see what this duo does to ruin Grayson.
Before the show aired, Jonathan Rhys Meyers warned that Dracula was not a good guy here, and that is true. His Dracula is the unlikable villain that you strangely want to see succeed. Really, him making Lucy a monster because she hurt his reincarnated wife was him being a tool. Yeah, Dracula made Lucy a vampire in Bram Stoker’s classic, but ugh! Oh yeah, his creepy obsession with Mina was not romantic at all. I’d like to see what will happen when Mina realizes Grayson is a vampire. It won’t be easy for her to cope, now since the two of them have finally had sex. It’s like her attraction to him has been sealed. And will Grayson want to make her a vampire, even though he thinks it will be an abomination? Or will Mina ask to be one?
So yeah, overall I thought it was good. Not stellar, but not bad either. There were some episodes that dragged a little. I felt some of the sex was put in for the gratuity rather than to tell a story. The costumes are mostly good, but the makeup on the women was so not Victorian, especially Lucy’s eyebrows and Mina’s lipstick. The acting is fine, though I’m not impressed with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Yes, the guy is sex personified, but based on The Tudors and The Mortal Instruments, I can’t help but think that he does the same acting over and over. Sigh!
If the shows is renewed for a second season, I’ll tune in. I’m not too worried about this show jumping the shark because if it does, it won’t be as painful because I wouldn’t call this show great. It’s good, just not great. But it is entertaining, pure and simple, and that’s enough.