Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

November 12, 2013 - 2:48 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

From the beginning of NBC’s new Dracula series, a question kept creeping up behind me: Hasn’t Jonathan Rhys Meyers already played this role?

As King Henry VIII, Rhys Meyers charmed, seduced, hunted and murdered his way across the lavish but ultimately depressing The Tudors. His Henry was a man who had it all, always wanted more, was never satisfied, and morphed into an engorged serial killer with a crown.

As Alexander Grayson/Dracula, Rhys Meyers charms, seduces, hunts and murders his way across London. Only, this London is a couple of centuries forward from Henry, Gothic and grimy as we think of the 1890s, full of villains and devoid of heroes. Henry VIII would have fit right in, and in the person of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, he does.

NBC’s Dracula is not a re-creation of Bram Stoker’s classic. It shares some character names along with an English setting, but the writers have twisted enough of the story so that no one really can guess where it will go. To give some sense of the twists if you haven’t seen it, Dracula is posing as an American industrial power, Alexander Grayson, engaging in as many hostile corporate takeovers as hostile blood transfusions. He personifies predatory capitalism. Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann) not only is not hunting Dracula here, he revived the vampire 10 years before the story begins and is working in league with him to destroy a common enemy. They have patiently built an industrial empire and moved it to London just to fight that enemy, the Order of the Dragon. That common enemy made Drac a vampire, and framed Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula on the very crime that made him the “impaler,” so they’re evil. But they fight vampires, who are more evil. Dracula may drink blood but he has a moral compass. It’s mostly broken, but it does guide how he treats love interest Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw). This Dracula is a student of Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and to some extent P. T. Barnum and the great magicians. He is interesting to watch, and seems poised to kill any character on screen with him at any moment. Van Helsing is working on a way to help Dracula walk in the sunlight and evidently has a plan to kill off his vampire ally once their common enemy is defeated. But as that common enemy is a secret and very powerful global organization akin to the Templars or the Freemasons, defeating them could take a few seasons. Drac runs on blood, while his enemy runs on oil. When you consider the fact that Dracula and Van Helsing are both evil, and their enemy’s evil is what created and united them, well, you have a revenge story that can go just about anywhere. Nobody likes anybody else and poor Mina is stuck between all of them. She should move to New York and forget them all.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Who cares?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sleepy Hollow is fun and had a couple of great digs at current high taxes (Ichabod reading over the donut store receipt while riding along in the police cruiser: "10% tax on baked goods?! We had a revolution over 3%!")

But already it's losing that charm by complaining about chemicals in city water as the reason people buy bottled water. ("What have you people done to your environment in this century?")

Sleepy Hollow's greatest flaw is its amazingly bad theology. If you're going to base a story on the Bible, don't distort it so badly. We're dealing with witches, reincarnation, headless horsemen (who is in actuality Death), time displacement, blood mingling with Death, Specially Anointed sisters and communication with purgatory-dwelling long-dead wives. Better to invent a completely new plot, suspend belief and enjoy the ride.

The second flaw is equally wearying: every week mankind is going to become extinct if our heroes don't solve some quirky 18th century riddle. It's as tiring as Doctor Who.

And my wife wonders when Ichabod will decide to change out of the 1776 clothing he was buried in and don some newer togs. Should be rags by now.

Dracula is just another vampire show -- violent, and as Bryan pointed out, I'm having a hard time deciding who the good guy is. Everyone's no good or helpless bystanders.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
After watching its preferred politicians at work, Hollywood decides to make bloodsuckers heroic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sleepy Hollow lost me in the beginning when the cops tried to stop the headless horseman by shooting him in the heart. What was this supposed to accomplish, exactly?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Come on! Cops always shoot first, knowing there's no consequence.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you can get past the storyline on Dracula - for example, that big oil is the source of all evil - the production values are really good.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I haven't seen any of them yet, but judging by your article I guess I should choose Dracula. In spite of saying Sleepy Hollow is the stronger horse you've only managed to write one paragraph about it while dedicating the rest of your article to Dracula, so it appears you've found the latter far more interesting in spite of it apparently being an anti-capitalist metaphor.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Tried watching this Dracula show on Hulu did not think much of it. Sleepy Hollow on the other hand does entertain, even if the twisting of historical facts and religious ideas are enough drive one crazy. It would be easy for the show to drift into well just plain silliness but so far it has not.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sleepy Hollow is a good description of the show's plot but it's hard to resist Tim Mison (Ichabod Crane) and Nicole Beharie (Abbie Mills). Some of the dialog is clever and the show is watchable despite the unfathonable story line. I haven't seen Dracula and follow only a few TV shows. I must praise Tom Selleck's top cop show, Blue Bloods, for a great cast and first rate family-centered stories.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've seen so many Dracula movies and TV shows over the decades that I am about all draced out. Doesn't anyone in Hollywood ever have a new idea?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hanging on till Da Vinci's Demons returns.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All