Take Bridgetown’s fairy tale opulence and elaborate social rituals and the Hunger Games class-revolutionary theme, and toss in Dauntless’s samurai class in Divergent , adding a little Harry Potter boarding school shenanigans, and a little power Game endless power struggle, you might concoct something like Vampire Academy, based on Richelle Mead’s YA series, which hit the bestsellers near the height of the Twilight craze.
If this sounds like it’s going to be stuffed into a show, it’s because — for better or worse — it is. The scope of Vampire Academy is huge in some ways, covering everything from the everyday anxiety of a brokenhearted teen to a future church-state tug-of-war across the vampire realm with its breathless tug-of-war The rhythm actually forces the viewer to keep hitting the “next play” button. But the more complicated its lore, the more likely it is that the whole thing will crumble under its weight.
Bottom Line Easy to overeat, but less satisfying.
Air Date: September, Thursday 15 (Peacock)
Cast: Sisi Stringer, Daniela Nieves, Kieron Moore, André Dae Kim, J. August Richards, Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Rhian Blundell , Jonetta Kaiser , Andrew Reiner2014executive producer: Julie Plec , Margaret McIntyre, Emily Cummins, Don Murphy, Susan Montford, Deepak Naye, Gillian DeFrain
Its lore is really intricate. Oops, it started convoluted. Created by Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries) and Marguerite McIntyre (The Originals, Legacy ), Vampire Academy spreads out a tightly-separated territory between two different types of vampires. Made up of royalty and elites are Moroi, who avoid sunlight and drink blood (don’t kill), but otherwise behave more or less like old money men. Vows to protect them with their lives are a class of vampire-human hybrids known as vampires, who look and behave more like normal humans, but are more capable of fighting. Both live in fear of the Strigoi, these feral immortals more like the fast zombies of the army of the dead than Dhampirs or Moroi.
Against this backdrop, the kind but sheltered Morroy royals Lisa Dragomir (Daniela Nieve) and the loyal but outspoken Dhampir in training The deep friendship between Guardian Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer) is considered unusual, but it isn’t. taboo. But after an unimaginable tragedy twists their lives, the duo unknowingly finds themselves caught up in a larger conspiracy that has the potential to change everything about their society – as the beautiful set reflects Yes, the sets, which combine crumbling old-world glamour with trendy neon lighting, are currently caught in a tug of war between tradition and progress.
Mead’s book has been translated once to the screen – as a 2014 movie Vampire Academy , even though Zoey Deutch should be starring, ends up drowning in its own intricate backstory. This adaptation faces the same problems and fights back with speed and volume. Such a taboo romance could take up an entire season on other shows, blooming, withering, and blooming again in three or four episodes, while key characters and concepts are still being introduced halfway through a ten-episode season. (The first eight parts have been sent to the critics.)
. If you are not invested in watching the Queen (Pik Sen Lim) and her senior advisor (Victor Dashkov of J. August Richards) plan, maybe You’ll be fascinated by PG-15 romances, or thrilled by frequent battles with Strigoi invaders, or get caught up in Ross and Lisa Gradually realize the fact that nothing is right in their inherently unequal culture. Each chapter covers so much that most of them feel like they’re running longer than their 50 minutes, but you Never finish a complaining that nothing happened.
However, the advancing rhythm of Vampire Academy also prevents it from achieving a lot of depth. Without enough accumulation, developments that should land as major twists tend to be a breeze before we have time to fully deal with them. There isn’t enough breathing room, and the characters we’ve put in for hours may end up as perpetual motion machines rather than real people – although some actors are better than others in this regard, notably Stringer as the prickly Ross, Kieron Moore As her brooding (and often shirtless) coach/secret Dimitri and Andre Dakin as Lisa’s sad, sensitive love Christian.
At the same time, as fundamental problems piled up, the scalability that seemed so exciting at first began to look incomplete. The most prominent overarching theme of Vampire Academy is that its young characters are frustrated with a society that seems to resist truth and change, which is fine — and frustrating — even in its own right existential threat. But what is that society is ? Geographically, where is the field? When characters travel between their provinces, how far do they intend to travel? How big is the school our teenage characters go to? Where does everyone else live?
To be fair, some head-scratchers seem to be planting the seeds for future storylines – like what exactly Moroi intends to do with their Avatar: The power of The Last Airbender-esque elements goes beyond showing them off in flamboyant ceremonies. Overall, however, they lead to a universe that feels more fragile than it should be. The show seems to want the best of both worlds: transports you into its sprawling world of endlessly complex lore, while waving at the world’s essential details. There are worse problems for a series than a glut of storylines and ideas, and the glut of Vampire Academy tends to make for a delicious bash. It’s not always a completely satisfying one.