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‘Interview with the Vampire’ (2022) has consumed my brain

I realize I am a little late to the punch with my discovery of the “Interview with the Vampire” TV show, but I cannot restrain myself from reviewing it. This show is incredible, and while I only finished the series this week, I am already in agony waiting for season two.

For context, I am unfamiliar with both the 1994 movie and the original “Vampire Chronicles” book series, so my thoughts on the show are not tethered to any other opinions about the story.

The show follows a narrative format. Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) is a vampire who, in the year 2022, has decided to tell his story to an aged journalist, Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). The majority of the first season is a period piece, spanning the 1910s to the early 1940s, occasionally intercut with conversations between Louis and Daniel. These often either clarify possible contradictions in the story or allow Louis to better illustrate his emotional state.

The story Louis tells is a wild one. He speaks of sex and murder and racism and so much blood, but at the center of it all is the most toxic gay relationship television has ever seen. Louis, a Black man born and raised in New Orleans around the turn of the 20th century, was turned into a vampire by a sexy, manipulative, unhinged Frenchman named Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid). Lestat is a terrible person, and even worse for Louis, but their relationship is too fascinating to look away from.

Their horrible complex love, in combination with their dueling vampiric codes of ethics and Louis’ less than pleasant transition into being a vampire creates a storyline that really is just a highbrow soap opera. Characters are awful and violent to each other and make terrible mistakes. People die, constantly, some of whom get dramatically brought back to life. The only thing keeping “Interview with the Vampire” from reaching such levels of trash television is the fantastic writing and acting on the show.

I have no idea if the book series on which this show is based is written well or how closely one follows the other, but the writing in “Interview with the Vampire” (2022) is great. It is a dialogue-heavy show full of archetype-defying characters, all of whom are intellectual and boisterous, but also all born in completely different generations. To keep the realism of the world, it is crucial that the characters have distinct manners of speaking—and they absolutely do. Also, I reiterate the soap opera problem: this is a show oozing with melodrama and petty squabbles that never turns into ridiculous daytime television. The writers are largely to thank for this.

The actors in “Interview with the Vampire” also deserve a lot of credit for their on-screen chemistry. Conversations between Louis, Lestat and their “daughter,” Claudia or between Louis and Daniel are 95% of the show. Such depictions of romantic relationships and relationships with stark power dynamics can only rely so much on good writing. The characters need to believably fit together. Lestat and Louis particularly carry so much of the show on their relationship and at no point do they fail to live up to the writing.

“Interview with the Vampire” just has so much going for it. It is a well-made show with an exciting expansive story, complicated ever-changing characters (none of whom get undeserved lame redemption arcs) and vampires! Vampires are basically always awesome. The humor and interesting historical exploration in “Interview with the Vampire” are also worth noting as major attributes of the show.

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