"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

30 January 2014

Put a Stake In It, PLEASE

It’s over! It’s finally over! It’s over for good!
Wait, maybe not? Oh, Renfield save me…

Previously, I talked a bit about what prevented me from doing weekly recaps of Dracula, and it basically came down to how appalling the series became, and so quickly, both in terms of predictable tropes and character assassination.
Here’s the thing, though. I can move past the predictability and utter nonsense that was the plot of this series -- and only because I’ve become so jaded and cynical in my belief that no one cares about even trying to be original anymore; it’s all a facade, this trend of doing a ‘new twist’ on classics in an attempt to make something seem more 'original' than 'adaptation.' Except it’s not original when you simply borrow from other sources and mash things together. It’s like trying to fit puzzle pieces of different puzzles together and expecting a full picture. But I digress. I’ve become accustomed to this approach, so that part I can get over...ish.
What really astounds me (and confuses me on the part of people who actually seem to like the show) is how the creators of the show gave the audience a swath of characters who are all narcissistic, immature, bitchfacey douchewads with no ability to act like mature, responsible, compassionate adults for more than an episode. By the end of the series every single main character, with the possible exception of Renfield, is deplorable. There’s no one to root for, unless you enjoy rooting for self-involved sycophants and whiner babies.
(Granted, Dracula isn’t the only show with characters like this, but it is the most heavily populated…)

It's difficult to find vampires more narcissistic than The Originals family, but Dracula made ALL its characters as bad as they are...

These characters are taken from a novel wherein there is one wretched, narcissistic jerkface. Just one. And despite the fact that said novel is named for him, he’s not actually in the book a whole lot. This is where my righteous indignation over character assassination shades into outright fury. Not only did you do a mash-up of other stories to craft your plot for the season, rather than maintain any semblance of paying homage to the source material, you also managed to completely mangle every single main character. Not just mangle by giving them attributes and/or flaws and/or character arcs that have nothing to do with how they’re actually written, but turn them into genuinely dislikable people. All of them.
I’m just glad Qunicey was nowhere to be found in this show.
If the series does get renewed, it’ll be interesting to see how they move forward with these characters. And by ‘interesting’ I mean ‘good luck getting any of your audience to give a crap about anyone,’ because there’s a difference between having characters that are flawed and make bad choices, and just having a group of blundering assholes.

12 January 2014


So back in October, I intended to chronicle my MST3K-esque journey watching Dracula.
Unfortunately life (and NaNoWriMo) intervened for a little while, and while I do have recaps of episodes 2 and 3, by the time I got to episode 4, a disturbing trend emerged (and no, I'm not talking about the continued character assassination of every canonical individual, which is still happening). The trend became this:
Character A does something to or for Character B.
Character B turns into a whiny bitch about it.
Character A apologizes, makes amends, or turns into a whiny little bitch, too.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

Just sit and mope with me, Renfield. I'm too emo to do anything productive.

We're now just past episode 8, and this is still happening. More than global energy subplots involving mysterious sociopolitical/religious orders and tragic pasts, more than the hunt for Dracula (Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler, who we have to repeat all three titles every time we mention his name in case someone didn't know who he was) by a clandestine society of rich white guys who get a woman to do all their heavy duty fighting, more than the potentially emotionally engrossing story of young people exploring their feelings, desires, and sexuality in a healthy, honest way, the show has pretty much turned into a (really bad) soap opera with a vampire. And Dracula is pretty much the king of whiny, bitchy, tantrum-throwing moments.
It's really difficult to even feign interest in a series when every character is horrendously unlikable -- and not because they're wicked or evil or devious, but because they're selfish, whiny, assholes incapable of behaving like rational adults for more than a single episode arc. If I wanted to watch crappy daytime TV I'd watch crappy daytime TV. Don't try and feed me that swill on primetime network television and act like I'm supposed to think it's engaging.

Once you have sex with Mina, will you get rid of the ascot and ridiculous facial hair?

Aaaaaand that is why my next post is going to be dedicated to the complete opposite of Dracula: the utter magnificence that is Sherlock (whose main character is frequently a selfish, whiny, asshole... and yet you love him).

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