Every week that we write about a vampire show, we have to avoid the constant temptation to use the word “suck.” NBC’s “Dracula” makes that word easy to avoid by not being a necessarily terrible show; it’s at least different than every other one on TV in that there is no brooding, nothing too lewd for network TV, and also no assemblage of werewolves getting in the way. It actually feels more like “Downton Abbey” at times than a supernatural drama.
After watching the second episode of the season tonight, we actually have to say that this could be a better show if Alexander Grayson was not a vampire. There could instead be an interesting tale about an American in London with an invention, and his attempts to try and take down an institution and show a literal new light to the world. The idea of a vampire working in the electricity business just feels a little too on the nose.
So in this episode, we saw Dracula become somewhat threatening, somewhat seductive, and also show that he is accepting of people of all sexual orientations … though he is willing to rat them out about it if it furthers his own interest. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is completely commanding in some of these scenes, as we get an opportunity to see some of the negotiating skills that a guy who has been around for this long really has. He’s a shrewd man, and he would practically be perfect on “Shark Tank.”
The truth of the matter here is if you take out the vampires, “Dracula” really is a slightly more insecure version of “Downton Abbey” that is engaging as a period drama, but it needs to open up the layers of some of its characters. There is some potential here, and given the structure that has been set up, it will likely get better each week. This was a step up from the premiere, but we caution you in the future that if you are watching this to see a ton of people get fang marks in their necks, you are probably going to be disappointed. This does not feel like that kind of show, and it’s probably a good thing that it separates itself. Grade: C+.
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