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Top Five Vampire TV Shows Of All Time


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#1
ShadowDog

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With True Blood back and a couple more vamp shows beginning this fall, I thought it was a good time to rank the all time series in this subgenre.

Honorable Mentions: Dark Shadows (1991 version) and Forever Knight.

5) Buffy The Vampire Slayer: This wasn't strictly a "vampire series", which is why it's lower on the list than you might think. But there was enough hawt hawt vampire action on a weekly basis to satisfy most fans' blood lust. This show was the perfect combination of camp, comedy, and action.
Where they stupidly disagreed with Stoker: Garlic doesn't affect them and they blow up in a shower of dust when killed, they can't glamor people, but everything else is pretty close.

4) True Blood: If they'd cut out the gratuitous pornography this show would be number 1 with a bullet. Fortunately what we've seen of season 2 has been a lot better about this than season 1, which at times was one long porno briefly interrupted by dialogue or someone getting killed.
Where they stupidly disagreed with Stoker: They show up in mirrors, garlic doesn't bother them, crosses don't bother them, silver bothers them ... Jesus, if you're going to be that different why call them vampires?!?

3) Moonlight: This show struggled coming out of the gate and thus lost too many viewers to avoid cancellation after one season. Which sucks because it really found it's tone by mid season and would probably be a ratings powerhouse now if given a second season to grow an audience. As it was, the strong cast and improved writing make this a worthwhile pickup on DVD.
Where they stupidly disagreed with Stoker: A stake to the heart only paralyzes them, garlic doesn't bother them, they show up in mirrors, and they can't glamor people.

2) Blood Ties: If this had better production quality it'd probably have crossed over here to the US and still be on the air. But even given the Torchwood level video and SPFX quality, this show is the best combination of camp, comedy, and action since Buffy ended it's run. Vicki Nelson is a stone cold badass and Harry is the best (and best looking) vampire protag since Angel.
Where they stupidly disagreed with Stoker: They show up in mirrors, they can glamor people but only the weak minded, garlic doesn't bother them, everything else is pretty much the same.

1) Angel: There has never been a protag like Angel in any genre of television. Name another show where the hero can lock a dozen people in with two monsters so they can be slaughtered and have the fans coming back for more. Less campy than Buffy, this show had an edge no other vampire show has ever had (though True Blood is getting there). The series climaxed in it's 4th season in what might have been the best written single season on network TV ever, but the entire five year run is well worth watching if you're a fangbanger.
Where they stupidly disagreed with Stoker: Same as with Buffy.

#2
Undome Telcontar

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the hero can lock a dozen people in with two monsters so they can be slaughtered and have the fans coming back for more.


maybe people have just realised that anti-heroes are so much cooler?

#3
Tank

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5. Dark Shadows - Cheese without doubt. If you're too young to know any better, this show was a supernatural soap opera that had zero budget and centered on Barnabas Collins, vampire, ladies man, fountain of melodrama. I wouldn't call it a great must-see, but it's awesome in a Ed Wood sort of way.


4. The Kindred - Lasted only one season, and was based on the Masquerade RPG. FYI, little known fact that Underworld stole heavily from this show and the game, and the studio was sued. The Kindred was great because it tried to encapsulate various vampire legends by making them broken into clans. There was a clan to represent the regal, aristrocratic Dracula vampires; one for the animalistic savage vampires, one for Nosferatu rat eating vampires, one for those that wanted to be like the Lost Boys. It was really the first vampire universe that established an actual vampire society of sorts (aside from Anne Rice) an idea carried on in many other outlets. The series was mostly about the political struggles in said society. Plus it had Kelly Rutherford and Stacy Haiduk who fueled many a teen boner for me.


3. Dracula The Series-- this was a Saturday morning series meant for the pre-teen/teen audience and was about Dracula in the modern day, Van Helsing's descendant, and his rascally teenage relatives who weekly crossed with Dracula. It was silly, fun, but had some pretty cool effects for its day. Also had a young hot, teenage Mia Kirshner.


2. True Blood - probably the best current vampire series/movie. Clever writing, funny jokes, decent gore. And Shadowdog is clearly gay cause when was the last time you herd a guy complaining about a show having too much sex? I wasn't expecting to like it because I've never been a fan of the "public" vampire set-up, but this show approaches it from an interesting angle. The only problem I have is, vampires are supposed to be a civil rights parable here. Stepping in for african Americans or gays as the subject of prejudice. But the problem is-- their opposition claim vampires are monsters, and we do in fact see them do monstrous things frequently. Sort of shots the message in the foot. But the coolest opening credit sequence in the history of TV forgives all.


1. Forever Knight - my pick for the best vampire series ever. It ran for 3 years in the 90s as a part of CBS's "crime time" project. Back then CBS was crap and to boost their numbers they decided to make cheap hardboiled crime shows for the adult hour after primetime but before the news hoping the get numbers off a different demo. The shows were co-produced with cheap Canadian outfits that generally made first run syndication programs. The show was about Nick Knight, a detective that worked the night shift for the police, who happened to be a vampire. His only confidants were a crime lab scientist who was trying to help him find ways to beat vampirism, and his old lover, another vampire who owned a nightclub. He was also hounded on and off by the vampire who turned him. He and his partner (who was comic relief) solved murder cases as the A-story, and the b-story generally centered on flashbacks to a previous era that the case reminded Nick of. The show was great, but it was the early 90s so there are moments of cheese. The third season wasn't so hot because some suit decided to change the format and killed off almost all the main characters.

While mostly being a cult show, it the first to do many things. Possibly, it was the first TV show with a vampire detective (which is a common trope). It also was the first to have a "good" vampire as the lead-- he never killed people, (save for some criminals who deserved it and escaped the law-- which probably inspired Dexter maybe?) It's the fact that I like this show, that I didn't like Moonlight. Felt as if the latter were ripping it off too much.

Fun Forever Knight trivia: They had tried it as a show a few years previous and shot a pilot that took place in LA, and starred Rick Springfield. It wasn't picked up, but they showed the pilot as an MOW... I still have it on VHS! The first episode of actual show 3 years later used he same script and is nearly identical to the MOW save for all different actors and locations.

#4
Otanku

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gotta agree with Tank that Dark Shadows has to be in any top 5 vampire TV series. I never watched Angel so I have no opinion of it, so I might give it a go to see if I think Dexter's right about it being #1...

#5
Iceheart

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4) True Blood: If they'd cut out the gratuitous pornography this show would be number 1 with a bullet. Fortunately what we've seen of season 2 has been a lot better about this than season 1, which at times was one long porno briefly interrupted by dialogue or someone getting killed.


The book Living Dead in Dallas was like this, too... and then you hit about the halfway point. It's coming, just wait for it...

And Shadowdog is clearly gay cause when was the last time you herd a guy complaining about a show having too much sex?


Hahaha, my mom, roommate and I are like "there's SO much sex!!!", my dad is like "I thought you said there was a lot of sex in this show?" and my younger brother is like "Titties! I came in at the right time..."

Anyway, my list is pretty much the same as Dex's, mostly because I'm too young to really remember most of the others... although The Kindred sounds like it's worth checking out...

Edited by Iceheart, 06 July 2009 - 09:21 AM.


#6
Tank

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It's so-so. I think I like it more on a conceptual level. The production value's weren't that great. Lots of off-the-shelf morph software in use.

#7
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Tank mentioned the original Dark Shadows series, which reminded me of why the 1991 remake isn't higher on my list. When it came on I was living in a dorm and I used to watch the show in the common room with about 25 other college age people. When all LOVED the show when it first came out. The guys loved Joanna Going (as did I), and the ladies loved whoever played the vampire. The stuff with the nerd who became the vampire's bitch was all very funny. The action and romance was bad assed.

Then the series took a lame turn. Joanna's character went back in time (this was never explained) and the show really started to suck. We all lost interest and stopped watching it when it became obvious that the back in time arc wasn't just a one or two episode thing. It was ****ing retarded and we all (20-25 college age people, the core demo) bailed the **** out on watching the show. Soon after it was cancelled, and I think we were a small example of thousands of people our age bailing on the tardation.

This show could have been ****ing awesome but the writers got hit with the retard stick. :no:

And Shadowdog is clearly gay cause when was the last time you herd a guy complaining about a show having too much sex?


Oh I love pornagraphy. In fact, I'm a pornnoisseur. But much as I love it, I don't want it interrupting a cool assed show and bringing the pace down to a ****ing crawl. I mean, I love Futurama and watch it all the time even now but that doesn't mean I want two minute clips of Futurama interrupting True Blood either. If we want porn, we'll google it and it'd be a lot more hard core and a lot cooler than what they're going to show anyway. So what's the point? It's stupid and all it does is fill time so they don't have to have as much plot and well written dialogue. It reminds me of the complaints I used to read of the later seasons of Baywatch where they'd have what amounted to a three minute music video somewhere in every episode so they didn't have to spend as much time and money on writing and shooting (a video montage of a couple girls washing their boat can be shot in an hour where it might take six hours to shoot three minutes of dialogue). Not that Baywatch was ever any good, mind you, but when you're pulling time wasting **** just like Baywatch used to do that looks bad on your show. It's just filler and a way to bring in morons who want to watch soft porn without their wives and girlfriends getting pissed, that's all it is.

#8
Thomas Alan

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Angel:
The series climaxed in it's 4th season in what might have been the best written single season on network TV ever, but the entire five year run is well worth watching if you're a fangbanger.


Umm, the 4th season is the worst season the Buffyverse ever produced. So bad they needed a reset button to get the show back in order. They completely shat on Cordellia's impressive character growth in the first 3 seasons (and Buffy before that), set Connor onto unparralled hights of annoyingosity, and had a lame supervillain.

The only good part about it was Faith's little mini-arc.

#9
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We'll just have to disagree on that. I thought it was all pure genius. And there was no "reset", that's bull****. Season Five went where they always wanted it to go.

#10
Thomas Alan

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Well, Season Four's the only season set I don't own. So that should tell you something.

The reset may have been half-planned (getting them into Wolfram and Hart). But what they did to their characters leading towards it was not.

#11
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Where did you hear that?

#12
Thomas Alan

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Are you telling me they planned on writing out Connor and Cordy the whole time?

#13
Jason Solo

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Season 4 went south for me after the Cordelia reveal. Everything before had a really cool true apocalyptic feel, but they messed up with Cordy bad. And although I liked Jasmine, they made her WAY too influential on past events to the point it trivialized what happened in seasons 1-3, to me.

And its about time I checked out True Blood already.

#14
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Are you telling me they planned on writing out Connor and Cordy the whole time?


Conner yes, Cordy no. But when an actor who has given you seven years as the same character on two shows comes to you and says that she's done, she wants to spend time with her newborn baby, what are you supposed to do? Tell her no? It's a TV show, not a prison sentence. If an actor wants out, you let them out. (Ironically, the Anya actress went to Joss and told him the same thing at the beginning of Season 7 of Buffy. If there was a Season 8, she wanted out. She was tired of playing Anya. As it turned out though that was a moot point)

Season 4 went south for me after the Cordelia reveal. Everything before had a really cool true apocalyptic feel, but they messed up with Cordy bad. And although I liked Jasmine, they made her WAY too influential on past events to the point it trivialized what happened in seasons 1-3, to me.


It's funny because the exact same thing that alienated you made it so awesome for me. I LOVE that they tied it all together like that and gave more and extra meaning to all the events we'd seen up to that point. That made Jasmine even more of a total badass. It's like in Harry Potter, the explanations that tied everything together in books 6 and 7 of the series DID NOT trivialize the first five books, it made those books even stronger! So I feel the same way about what you're talking about from Season 4 of Angel. For me, anyway. :drool:

#15
Boba Sweat

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Posted Image

win

#16
ShadowDog

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:no: Just :no:

#17
monkeygirl

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Dark Shadows RULED.

#18
ShadowDog

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Yeah, but that was Duck Shadows he just posted about. :no:

#19
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DP

Edited by Kay, 08 July 2009 - 04:17 PM.


#20
Kay

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1) Angel: There has never been a protag like Angel in any genre of television. Name another show where the hero can lock a dozen people in with two monsters so they can be slaughtered and have the fans coming back for more.


Dark Shadows did this before Angel. Barnabas Collins came on the show in 1967 and started out as a villain - but he became so popular and so loved they turned him into the hero. And they do it all without having him gain/lose a soul. He walled up a priest Edgar Allan Poe style, killed a doctor, choked a relative to death, scared another relative (a little boy no less) nearly to death, not to mention many, many morally questionable decisions and actions... And people still loved him and rooted for him.

#21
monkeygirl

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Yeah, but that was Duck Shadows he just posted about

Yeahbbit, i'm not atlking to him!

people still loved him and rooted for him

That's because he had confidence. Chicks dig confidence.

I LOVED that show when they did the 1897/Angelique/Quentin thing.

#22
Gog

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I'm with Boba. A vegetarian vampire wins!

#23
Brando

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Twilight totally ripped off Count Duckula.

#24
Jason Solo

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Twilight would have to have actual vampires in it to actually rip off any previous material on vampires.

#25
Thomas Alan

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There's no such thing as "actual" vampires. Everyone makes up their own set of rules. Stoker's rules might be the touchstone for a vampire prototype (in our culture at least), but the range for a valid vampire is very elastic.