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For the past few years network television has been obsessed with making shows based on the classics. The crime show Elementary was based on Sherlock Holmes and Hannibal on Silence of the Lambs but each of these shows have something that distinguishes it from the original tale. Dracula, though, seems to be suffering an identity crisis. The writers can’t figure out if they want to stick to the original story or add a sci-fi/steampunk subplot. In this season of re-imagined television, I don’t see anything special about it.
Dracula is played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers who adds some sex appeal to history (i.e. The Tudors). Dracula disguises himself as an American industrialist named Alexander Grayson, set in Victorian London in 1896. He has a very Jay Gatsby air about him as he throws lavish parties but no one knows exactly who he is. In the beginning, he exhibits a self-sustaining light bulb, which angers the petroleum players in the crowd. We later find out that he is doing all this because those petroleum players are members of the Order of the Dragon (which was a real thing), a group that had him killed and his wife burned at the stake in his past life. We also get introduced to Mina Murray (played by Jessica De Gouw) who is a reincarnation of his wife but is sadly taken by another fellow. Between wanting to kill the members and wanting his wife back, I’m not sure where this show stands.
The show has its fair share of blood sucking and violence but there’s nothing to draw me in either. They have Van Helsing, a vampire hunter and Dracula’s enemy in the original story, working with Dracula. The show has plenty of drama yet it fails to make the plot interesting. Bram Stoker’s classic character has already been formulated for television many, many times and unless the show’s writers can find an interesting twist, Dracula won’t be capturing my attention.
You can find Dracula, Fridays 10pm on NBC.