Vampire Television

by Larissa Ione

Ah, vampire TV.

I've been drooling over those rascally little TV vamps since I first watched reruns of the very first gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. Of course, the show was made in a time of strict FCC regulations and easily shocked viewers, so by today's standards, the show is pretty tame. Still, it was groundbreaking, and it fed my need for more.

"More" came in the form of Forever Knight. *shivers* What a sexy freaking series!
Okay, yeah, it was still tame when compared to today's shows, but...yum. It definitely "fed" my need for vampire drama.

But...with Forever Knight, we really saw the first of the brooding vamps, the guys who have done bad things and now want to atone for their actions. Maybe they want to be cured, mortal again. (Bleh...leave me a vamp!)

So anyway, good old Nick Knight has his human companion who knows his secret and is trying to help him atone for past sins and become human again. So it wasn't perfect, but it was still a great show.

And, like so many good shows, it was canceled too soon. But fear not, because we soon had Kindred: The Embraced. Okay, now we're talking. More sex, more danger, more grit than we've seen before! And some of these vampires actually liked being vamps. Cool!

The problem? It was canceled quickly. But I loved the show! For it's time, it was edgy...watching it now, I kind of laugh, because it is SO Aaron Spelling, and I can't help but think, Melrose with vamps.

Still, I think it was my favorite of the vampire series until...

Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. Oh, yeah. Sexy, funny, gory, and scary, these shows were entertaining and fun. The writing was smart, and the episodes were some of the first I remember that changed drastically in tone from one to the next. You could watch an episode that was absolutely hilarious, but the following week would bring utter seriousness and horror.


So, naturally, the shows were canceled. We had a dry spell for a while, but then came Moonlight. Now, I'll admit...I didn't really like this show. I watched every episode before it's premature cancellation, but after Buffy and Angel, this show was just too smooth for me. I missed the spark and edge I got used to. I know this show has enthusiastic fans, but I admit, I'm not one of them.

And now we have the current crop of Vampire TV shows: True Blood and Vampire Diaries.

I LOVE True Blood. Finally, a show on cable that allows for as much violence, sex, and grit as the writers can put into it. As a fan of gritty realism in books and movies, this show really works for me.

But I'm not sure that Vampire Diaries does work for me. I'm watching it, giving it a chance, but it just hasn't grabbed me yet. What about you? Is it working for you? What is your favorite vampire series? I've heard of Blood Ties, but because it aired in Canada instead of the U.S., I missed out. I'm thinking of buying the DVD's though!


To buy Dark Shadows on DVD: Amazon Link
To buy Forever Knight on DVD: Amazon Link
To buy Kindred: The Embraced on DVD: Amazon Link
To buy Moonlight on DVD: Amazon Link
To buy True Blood on DVD: Amazon Link
To buy Blood Ties on DVD: Amazon Link

Photos courtesy of, CBS, and The CW.


Larissa Ione is the New York Times bestselling author of the Demonica series, which is full of those yummy, dark vampires. For more information, visit her at


  1. Kathy Crouch aka sinoo7 from twitterMonday, September 28, 2009 9:22:00 AM

    Vampire Diaries has yet to grab me as well. I keep watching and hoping that it will just click for me at some point but I think the show is too vague. It lacks depth for us o care about the characters. Even the main ones are left in this sort or voyeuristic type shroud. I don't feel like I am experiencing their world as they do. The only thing I do like is Stephen's wicked brother Damon.Trust me to love the bad guy. :)

  2. Ooh, Kathy, the wicked brother is my favorite too! He's the only interesting one! *g*

    Glad to know I'm not alone! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I LOVE True Blood. LOVE.

    I'm so glad it's on HBO, because otherwise it would be:


    So, naturally, the shows were canceled.'

  4. What you said, Julia! And what's so awful about cancellation these days is that they rarely allow for a satisfying close to the series. One day the show is just...gone. :(

  5. Hi Larissa :)
    So far my reaction to Vampire Diaries is ... meh.
    After True Blood this is tame drivel.
    And I, like you, LOVE True Blood.
    I've watched the Blood Ties series, and they were fantastic. They kept to the novels closely. (Tanya Huff) But I knew it wouldn't last for long. They put it on ... Lifetime ?! Heh!
    I am very thankful that there is an HBO and a Showtime to put on great shows. I'm looking forward to the upcoming series based on George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire & Ice.
    There are so many great series that can be made into amazing shows, don't you think?
    Thanks for sharing,
    All the best,

  6. Dark Shadows was just the beginning for me at the knee of my Great Aunt Helen! Oh so very many years ago. No, no, no vampires during the daylight. Cannot get into Vampire Diaries; although, the bad boy does tug at the skirt tails! The cancellation of Kindred was a blow, but wasn't the star involved in a motorcylce accident? True Blood has them all beat hands down. Now we just wait to see what TPTB do with Anita Blake.

  7. Vampire Diaries is probably the worst show on the TV atm, I cannot understand why it's rating are so high. Perhaps teenage girls will watch any old dripple, so long as it involves vampires - these days?! Who knows.

    Buffy was awesome -- although it's time had come, was still upsetting when it ended.

    Blood Ties -- Booo hooo I can't believe that got cancelled after it's first season. That show had real potential.

    Ahh -- thanks Larissa. Now going to have to dig around amazon, to see if I can find some of those on dvd. Winter is drawing in, and I've never seen Dark Shadows or Kindred.

  8. Hey Larissa - I've watched 2 eps of Vampire Diaries and it's like Dawson's Creek...with Vampires - brought to us by Kevin Williamson who also gave us Dawson's Creek! So we see where it comes from - good looking young actors with lots of angst - but lacking in humour and edge - aside from brother Damon who is the best thing on the show. Fun post! But I think because of Twilight - Vampire Diaries is going to be a hit with the young crowd. It seems that Vampire culture does very well with teens!

  9. I probably wouldn't be interested in The Vampire Diaries at all if I hadn't been obsessed with Damon--er, the books since I was 16 (and we won't talk about how long ago that's been).

    But since I love the story so much, I'm going to keep watching just to see where they go with it...unless they make me so mad I give up, which is always a possibility.

  10. Add me to the ladies who love Damon. I don't love Vampire Diaries, but I enjoy watching it DVR'ed. I certainly don't think it's the worst show on, and nowhere near the worst show on the CW. Melrose Place reboot, anyone? Thank-God-it-was-cancelled TBL?

    True Blood is love. I can watch each episode over and over again, which is a good thing because HBO loves to rerun each episode 20,000 times.

    I have been more of a fan of vamps in books and movies than on TV. I credit Anne Rice with the type of vampire we see today, vamps who do more than kill indiscriminately. Without Louis, there would be no Angel, Stefan, Edward, or Bill, and our vampire bad boys (even my beloved Eric) would be less human.

    Anyway, it's always nice to know that I'm not the only one who continues to flove vampires and can't imagine ever getting tired of them.

  11. Ooh,I loved Dark Shadows. And the OLD Dracula movie. But I was truly a Buffy fan. LOVED it. Charmed and Buffy were my two fav shows going for a long time. And I'll admit to not having seen True Blood or Vamp Diaries yet.
    I'm one of those that watches a little on tv, then goes and seeks out a book that will satisfy my urge for grit and gore, lol.

  12. I used to watch Dark Shadows when I was a kid and thus started my love of vampires. It's intriguing how many differen kinds there are. I'm reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series now and loving it.

  13. Moonlight was great.

    True Blood is awesome. Well worth the price of HBO for the few weeks it's on. I loved the books and that's what got me hooked on the show even though it doesn't follow the books exclusively.

    Vampire Diaries is new to me. I've been watching the show and liking it so so. I haven't read the books. I'm finding it like Roswell, such that it's all about teen angst. The supernatural part is cool but not over done. It's very sweet.

    And, yes, I'm like Larissa, I like the sex, the thrill of danger, so I would LOVE to see the Demonica series as a series on TV. I would also kill to see J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series as a HBO series, because Prime-time could NOT handle those books. :) But I read that the movie rights have been purchased for that series so maybe all hope isn't lost!

    Great topic!

  14. Okay, I admit I did love Moonlight. But then I'm not quite as into violence as some of the true bloodthirsty fans out there. *grin* Though as a child, my favorite horror flick was definitely Dracula.

    Even though I was pretty young, I do remember loving Dark Shadows. And on Buffy, my favorite vamp was hands-down Spike.

    Vampire Diaries isn't doing it for me, and I lost track of True Blood *ducks head* and now have to order the first season from Netflix just to catch up! Yikes!

    With Vampire Diaries, my first comment to hubby was, "Wait a minute, this guy's over a hundred years old and he's lusting after high-schoolers? Isn't that just a little creepy?" *laughs* Obviously, I have yet to see or read Twilight. But seriously, why can't vamps be passionately drawn to a woman with more on her mind than Homecoming? Sheesh.

    Give me a vamp who lusts after a woman of substance, a woman who is smart, driven, and over thirty and we'll talk. *heh-heh*

    Thanks for the glimpse into the Vampire world. Your book looks tasty!

    --Chiron O'Keefe
    The Write Soul:

  15. Great post Larissa! I'm woefully behind the times in TV vamps (and mostly every other area). The few episodes of Moonlight I caught, it seemed to be trying too hard to generate some heat between the reporter and the main character, and it fell flat.
    Dark Shadows was fun while it lasted, probably partly because the nuns at catholic school hated it, and it was a secret rebellion!
    I'll have to catch up on the others (sigh). I am years behind.
    Any episodes on Hulu?

  16. Great post Larissa! Don't think you missed any of the TV series, next movies? LOL

    Just FYI:

    Kindred was cancelled not because of ratings but because the actor playing the yummy lead vamp died in a motorcycle accident between season one ending but before taping for season two started.

    Blood Ties did air in the US on Lifetime...wrong channel for that series.

  17. Wow--I leave for a few hours for a doctor appt and shopping, and the comments pop! :)

    Oh, how I love you ladies! We can totally bond over vampire television and hot guys!

    Blood Ties was on Lifetime??? No wonder I missed it! I don't think I had Lifetime for a long time. Now it's one of my favorite channels -- I love Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva! ;)

  18. Blood Ties was on Lifetime, and I think you can still view the episodes on their website. I no longer watch Lifetime because of the way they treated the fans of the show.

    For the previous poster who wanted to see a vampire lusting after a woman of substance who is over thirty, Blood Ties is your show.

    Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, played by smokin' hot Kyle Schmid, loved being a vampire and made no excuses for it. Vicki Nelson, played by Christina Cox, is a tough, independent and smart private investigator who becomes involved in his life. Together, they take on the supernatural to save the world and each other. Mike Celucci, played by Dylan Neal completes the love triangle as Vicki's former partner and ex-lover.

    It is sexy, dramatic and at times comedic. I highly recommend it.

  19. Blood Ties was on lifetime and it broke our hearts when they refused to bring it back. I agree with the other ladies if you want to see a vampire lusting over a woman of substance over 30, Blood Ties is your show. And as Lindyb said Henry Fitroy was played by smokin' hot Kyle Schmid. He can make any woman, regardless of age, go weak in the knees. The chemistry between the main characters in this show was fantastic. The first season is already out on DVD and the second season will be released on October 6. You really HAVE to see this show. It was funny, camp and dramatic when it had to be.

  20. I liked Moonlight. I bought the DVD. I remember when Mark Frankel from Kindred dying. I loved him from when he was on Young Catherine. I watched Blood Ties, too, but didn't love it.

    Love True Blood, but don't have HBO so I have to wait until season 2 is out on DVD.

    Of course I have all the Buffy and Angels.

    I'm another who can't get into Vampire Diaries, but I didn't get into Twilight, either.

  21. I liked Moonlight and I like Vampire Diaries. However, Both were/are missing something. I enjoy the good/bad between the brothers on Vampire Diaries. There are parts of the show that bother me also though. I'm interested to see where the story line goes, I do think it's a bit slow moving. I DVR it.

  22. Hubby and I started Blood Ties this weekend.

    It's awesome! Henry is sexy! :)

    Thanks for the suggestion. :)


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