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Television / Recaps PopWrapped | Television

Dracula's Pilot Delivers With Sex Appeal And High Victorian Fashion

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


10/26/2013 12:47 pm
PopWrapped | Television
Dracula's Pilot Delivers With Sex Appeal And High Victorian Fashion
Media Courtesy of

Dani Strehle

Content Editor

If there is one thing I’ve learned from my harrowing fascination with horror, it’s that the discovery of an ancient and elaborate casket in an underground catacomb should probably be avoided…at all costs. So, naturally, that is where Dracula begins its journey upon our television screens. The first no-name actor is made the sacrificial lamb and awakens the long-slumbering vampire. I want to start this by stating that I am going into this show with very high hopes. It contains a host of things that I love: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Dracula, the 1800s, and, oh yeah…Jonathan Rhys Meyers. But from the very first scene of a non-shriveled JRM, I was bummed. Bad hair, strange goatee, and an atrocious southern American accent are what we were presented with. Gone was the innate sex appeal that came across so potently while JRM was portraying the scandalous King Henry VIII in Showtime’s stunning series, The Tudors. JRM’s Dracula appears before us as a suave and wealthy American Industrialist living in England circa…1897…I think. I’m having trouble with the timeline. I found that I had the same issue whilst watching Bates Motel. It feels like they are trying to intertwine different eras, adding modern touches to a non-modern world and vice versa. It doesn’t flow very well. But anyway: on to the lavish ball! Because, of course there is a ball. Alexander Greyson is (supposed to be) charming, wealthy and brilliant. During this extravagant ball (after locking eyes with a woman who is clearly his lover from a past life), Greyson hands light bulbs to all of his guests. He then goes on some scientific spiel about harvesting energy from, like, thin air or something, and then proceeds to light up all of the wireless light bulbs and people freak out. But then somebody helping in this mad science experiment gets hurt down below and the bulbs lose their light. I imagine we’ll learn more about this later. Dracula moseys his way over to the eternal love of his life, and they both act like they don’t know each other. And maybe she really doesn’t know him, I’m not sure if we can tell yet. But he remembers her. And he remembers her fondly. However, Mina (Jessica De Gouw) is there with another man: her friend Jonathan Harker, played by the very cute Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Harker is a local reporter that Greyson’s man tells him could be very beneficial to his cause; leading Greyson to indirectly extend an offer to Harker for an exclusive interview. Which, obviously, Harker accepts. The interview goes fairly well, with Harker realizing pretty early on that he’s dealing with a psychopath looking to play God. But he keeps his cool and gets the job done. We shoot back over to Mina as see that she is the lone female in her medical class, with Professor Van Helsing presiding over the lecture. Yes, Van Helsing; notorious vampire/monster hunter. More on him later. Drac has encountered a man he is not fond of at his party. And so he beheads him. I do wonder why JRM is always inclined to portray men who have a special place in their hearts for beheadings, but I digress. The head is sent to The Counsel. Another thing I’m sure we’ll learn more about later. But from what I gather, they are emphatically anti-vampire. And so they know he’s definitely back to biting necks and taking names, and move on over to high-alert. Drac is getting busy with a widow at the opera. He certainly isn’t wasting any time! And I must say; it is pretty hot. This chick also happens to be a member of this mysterious counsel, so I have a feeling he’s got ulterior motives. Dracula is hanging out on the rooftops, stalking his beloved, when he is attacked by a man who introduced to him as a security guard while at the ball. This security guard is swiftly put out of his misery so that Dracula can go back to peeping. We see the blonde widow that Drac was putting the moves on training with some sharp blades in a dungeon. We see that she’s got a vampire trapped in an underground cage. They talk about some ominous stuff, the end is nigh blah blah. Finally, we see Van Helsing again. But, in a surprise twist of   fate, he is not there to kill Dracula. In fact, he and Dracula seem to be downright chummy. Count that as something I never saw coming. Drac is not happy with how Van Helsing is speaking to him. When Drac asks his old friend to “give me one good reason I shouldn’t peel you like a grape,” Van Helsing comes up with a pretty good excuse: he freed him from his rotting prison. The Counsel has been around for as long as Dracula has, we now discover. We find that Dracula’s hate-on for them stemmed from when they made him watch them burn his wife to death. Who also happens to be Mina, and whose firey dream jolts her from her slumber. So far, we know that Dracula, Van Helsing, and the members of The Counsel are several centuries old. What I’m not clear on, however, is whether Mina is also that old, or if she is the reincarnation of Dracula’s beloved. Hopefully, that will become clearer as the series progresses. And there you have it, PopWrappers. I’m not completely sold on the show yet; I’m going to need a few more episodes before I make my final verdict on the show. But so far, I’m bummed at JRM’s lack of sexy, love the sumptuous costumes and eroticism, and am confused as hell about exactly what era this is supposed to be set is. All in all, I say Dracula’s series premier was a solid 7. There is definite room for improvement, but it didn’t suck. Stay with me, readers, as I continue to recap Dracula throughout its Freshman Season. And be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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