Let’s Overanalyze NBC’s New Dracula Trailer!


I’m going to start off by admitting that seriously analyzing a teaser trailer for a new television show is a fool’s errand. Two minutes and thirty seconds isn’t going to tell us much of anything about an entire season’s story arc, and depending on how the thing is edited, it may actually project a general tone that is absent from the final product.

Relationships between characters are touched upon for only the briefest of moments, like a bat’s wings brushing your cheek when you take an evening hike down into a gorge in your college days. No really, I hiked down into a gorge one night while the bats were hunting and one grazed my face when diving for a moth. Terrifying and creepy, if not just a little bit thrilling.

No, one can’t glean much of anything of substance from a show trailer apart from an overall sense of the production value. But it sure is fun to read into things sometimes, isn’t it? Join me after the jump and let’s do it together.


Awesome. And I don’t mean “awesome” as in, “That looks totally awesome!” I mean “awesome” as in, “Oh awesome, that was so out of left field yet somehow still stale and rehashed that I will have plenty to praise/mostly complain about.”

I think the easiest way for me to completely tear this thing open like the neck of some hapless virgin is to present a chronological bullet-pointed list of the major beats in the trailer, beginning with:

• Jonathan Rhys “Dead Eyes” Meyers:

Dracula - Season 1

Throw a stone down one of those empty voids and you’ll never hear it hit the bottom.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is really pretty. So there’s that. Unfortunately, pretty doesn’t equate to the enormous amounts of magnetism required of a part like Dracula. I could be being too hard on him, though. I’ve never really forgiven him for his thinly-veiled David Bowie in Velvet Goldmine, another part that required said magnetism.

• Renfield: Isn’t crazy. You’re crazy! Is Xaro Xhoan Daxos. I’m listening.

• Visual Shout Out to the Ballroom Scene in The Fearless Vampire Killers: +10 points for coming correct to the world of vampire aficionados, -10 points for making me think about Roman Polanski. And Sharon Tate, for that matter.

• “Alexander Grayson:” Does this mean he’s related to the family on Revenge? That would explain much. Wait, Revenge is on ABC. Strike that. But seriously, Alexander Grayson? I’m going to pretend that’s a reference to Mel Gibson’s character in My Babysitter’s a Vampire.

• Dracula is American: JRM’s accent already sounds terrible, though story-wise he is probably merely posing as an American, so it would make sense for his accent to be terrible. Convenient.

• Dracula is Nikola Tesla:


A dash of steampunk, nicely rounding out our collection of trends from 2010!

Goddammit JRM, stop playing David Bowie! But +50 points for giving me the urge to watch The Prestige for the hundred-millionth time.

• The Laugh at :40 Seconds: Schmacting at its finest. Again, Dracula himself is probably “acting,” but something tells me ol’ Drac would actually be quite a good performer. I don’t think I can buy it this time, Jonathan.

• Mina is Dracula’s Reincarnated Wife: This, again? I swear on everything that’s holy, I will never forgive you, Francis Ford Coppola.  I actually think book Dracula was more broken up (using that term loosely) over Lucy Westenra, and seduced/began converting Mina partly as revenge for our fearless heroes staking Lucy before she had a chance to mature into a full-fledged vamp. Who’d go for the stodgy, repressed Mina when you can have the vivacious Lucy? Blondes do have more fun.

• Van Helsing is Not American: I can’t tell if Thomas Kretschmann is going for Dutch or if he’s just rocking his own German accent, but either way, huzzah! He also looks more like a powerful badass than the crazy old professor from the book, which I can get behind. Incidentally, I think Anthony Hopkins delivered the most accurate portrayal of book Van Helsing ever, in spite of the derision heaped upon his performance. Ridiculously inconsistent is just the way he was written, folks.

• Ancient Brotherhood: Illuminati? Other vampires? Is Van Helsing a part of it? I’m just glad to see Ben Miles. Oh, and that girl who vows to destroy Grayson. With her excellent lovemaking skills, apparently.

• Refusal to Turn Mina Because He Loves Her So Much: Ugh. Seriously Coppola, it’s on. You’re the worst.

• From the Producers of Downton Abbey: I love the “from the producers of” tags on trailers. Producers produce a lot of stuff. Way to try to make this thing completely unrelated to Downton Abbey seem somehow related to Downton Abbey. Though I wouldn’t begrudge a ball-busting vampire dowager countess coming in and giving Dracula the business whenever he fouls something up.

• And the Director of The Tudors: The Tudors had some excellent historically-flavored sex scenes, and I do mean excellent. It’s absolutely tragic that this is airing on network television. Talk about muzzling the wolf.

• Fangs. Glorious, Glorious Fangs in Necks:


You’re going to get mostly windpipe there, Drac.

The vegetarian vampire is dead, long live his non-sparkling counterpart! Yes, let our vampire stories have some bite. Let us get back some of that danger, some of that seduction of evil, and dare I say it? Let us have blood. Rivers of Hammer Horror technicolor blood. Blood, blood, everywhere, and all the drops to drink.

Verdict: In spite of my snarkiness, I remain cautiously optimistic. Honestly, there’s no way I’m not watching this. I did my thesis on Dracula. But I’ve been burned before, so I’m not going to be counting any chickens.

See you in the fall, Dracula.

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  1. Gotta say this looks pretty uninspired. Well, it looks like it’s inspired by about a half-dozen movies and shows from the past twenty years — including Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, oddly enough. Can’t say it’s enough to get me interested.

    Oddly, I wrote a vampire-related thesis, too. Yours was probably much better, but I am always at least partially interested in how people are handling the monsters.

    Rhys-Meyers, for me, will always have a bit of street cred for Match Point. I do think he’s an easy actor to miscast, though.

  2. Is it bad that I’m hoping this puts the final nail in the coffin of the vampire genre, at least for a while? The last original vampire story I truly enjoyed was 30 Days of Night (and some of True Blood, the early seasons). The film and television landscape has been saturated to the point it’s becoming stale and overly formulaic (or downright copied). I know the genre is always going to be around, but when I catch wind of the “latest retelling” now, my reaction is 9/10 eye-roll and only 1/10 hope for something truly unique.

    1. Joy, I’m totally with you on 30 Days of Night and early True Blood. 30 Days of Night was like breath of fetid, bloody air. A modern vampire classic if ever there was one.

      David, my holding out hope for this is more for my own commitment to the genre, I’ll admit. It can’t end well when I already dislike the actor playing Dracula so much. I also give him some credit for Match Point, but even then I think the fact that he wasn’t terrible elevated the reception of his performance beyond what it deserved. If I’m being totally honest, there were moments he impressed me in The Tudors, especially as the older Henry, even though he was totally miscast in that role (you’re right about that as well).

      J5, if Gary Oldman were Dracula in this, even though he’s not as young and sexy, I would be all over it! He’s number 3 in my top 10 cinematic vampires, after all.

  3. “Love is his obsession”………oh eff me. This is going to hurt.

    Bossardet, it is really bad to wish for the death of a genre that has given us so much excellent entertainment and still can. What we need to wish for is the death of the romantic vampire. That shit is stale and done to death on top of being a horrifically boring premise. Bring on the demonic emissaries of Satan hungry for blood and damnation!

    You are a kinder person than I, Clemens. I actually avoided this trailer until you brought it up because I had a feeling it was going to be terrible. In that sense, I was not disappointed. I’m going to have to watch it anyways because Dracula, but I’m not looking forward to it.

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