Monday, 28 October 2013

"Dracula" NBC TV series Episode 1

Don't you love a bit of steampunk?
Sorely missing from US network television. Remember CBS's "The Wild Wild West" (1965)? Yes, we have had steampunk movies with horror fiction connections ("Van Helsing", "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" - triumphs of art direction and production design but hated by critics). Yes, this new retelling of the Bram Stoker novel is all over the shop, but so what?
We have had myriad silly retellings of  "Dracula" (from Dracula's Dog to "Blacula"). Just sit back and enjoy the ride. I think the "LA Times" critic nailed it.
It looks great, as is a prerequisite for steampunk opuses. The Prague locales are sumptuous. The lush budget shows on screen. It comes up with some wild connections (a Jack the Ripper cover up, a cartel of energy industrialists battling Dracula and Jonathan Hawker as his PR man). The casting of Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors") is perfect.
A few times during the show I did find myself saying: "What the ....?" (e.g. the light bulb bit) or "Where is this going?"
But just sit back and enjoy it. It's network TV that is not a crap sitcom, police, reality/talent/cooking shows.

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