The Blood is the Life

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | 71 USERS: B
Meet Vlad the Impresario
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The show begins with the time-honored convention of intrepid adventurers – those fearless explorers, undaunted by either physical hardship or paranormal arcana – breaking into an underground tomb which is, of course, miraculously undisturbed despite being largely dust-free and filled with fresh air. The sarcophagus in the center of the tomb is covered in the type of exceedingly obvious runes that convey, with wordless clarity, how very be-fanged and bloodthirsty the contents within must be.

"How famished you must be," muses the cat with the accent, rather superfluously. The desiccated corpse to whom he is speaking does not, alas, open its mouth and emit a puff of dust in response. Understandable – the corpse jerky is pinned in place by several iron spikes. Accent Guy is all, "But where are my manners, O corpse jerky? May I offer you a light snack?" and promptly kills his avaricious co-grave robber. (Or is that grave co-robber?) As the nameless schmuck's blood runs out of his carotid artery, Accent Guy intones, "The blood is the life," which also happens to be the title of this pilot episode. I hope every episode is named after some clunky exposition!

Anyway, the blood plus a few judiciously pulled levers means that Dracula is up and bearing an uncanny, un-perforated resemblance to Jonathan Rhys Meyers in no time. He then rises out of a bathtub surrounded in candles, as it is apparently every vampire's fondest desire to place themselves in tableaux last seen on MTV in 1988.

A scene later, we have established three things: It is now 1896, Dracula has been keeping up with his core workouts and he is one sharp-dressed vampire. I have always wondered: Since vampires do not have reflections, do their clothes? Since their clothes are not also vampires? So do vampires have the disquieting experience of seeing an empty suit of clothing floating in the mirror? How would one adjust for fit? Or see if a particular color suited?

The answer is, of course, to hire an omnipotent, frighteningly capable butler. This particular version is named Renfield. He's been photographing Dracula's London guests for the wingding that Dracula is apparently throwing. (Another vampire question: Are parties their version of the Golden Corral buffet? Endless variety! All you can eat!) There's also a prototype ready for demonstration, and Renfield corrects Dracula's British pronunciation of the word "schedule," with Dracula favoring the elegant "SHED-yule" while Renfield reminds him that if he's going to masquerade as a rube Yankee, he needs to pronounce the word "SKED-yule." Renfield exposits, "From this day forward, you are an American industrialist." Dracula says, in an accent so broadly "American" as to veer into parody, "As American as God, Guns and bourbon. As SKED-yuled." "Very good, sir," Renfield rumbles. After he leaves, we find out that Dracula is now planning on introducing himself as Alexander Grayson. Hands up, all you Revenge viewers who just snickered a little at this choice in surnames.

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