With little much else to do, due to Social Distancing and a self imposed quarantine, I finally finished watching Netflix's series 'V Wars.'
I had heard incredibly mixed reviews when 'V Wars' first debuted on Netflix. None of which I put much stock in because honestly they had me as soon as the words vampires and Ian Somerhalder appeared in the same sentence. While I have never read or seen any of the Twilight Saga, I have watched The Vampire Diaries series all the way through twice. Vampires are my favorite horror creatures and as long as they don't sparkle and actually tear into some necks, I'm interested.
I have not read the 'V Wars' graphic novels by Jonathan Maberry and truthfully didn't remember even watching a trailer for the series. So I went into this series with zero knowledge of the source material and zero expectations. However, I did go in knowing that my beloved Damon, Ian Somerhalder, was not playing a vampire. The main character, Dr. Luther Swann, played by Somerhalder, is a scientist who discovers an ancient virus that is released from the ice due to glaciers melting from climate change. While some people have been commenting that this plot device is too political, I am absolutely here for it. Any time someone comes up with a new way of creating vampires, I am all ears. We need new ideas. We need new things to be afraid of, for the sake of keeping horror fresh. Oh, what perfect timing to sit trapped in your house because of Covid-19 and binge a show about a virus that turns people into bloodsucking creatures.
I started the series before "Social Distancing" and have kind of dragged out watching it. But now that I am stuck inside, I finished the second half of the series in one day. Honestly, I really enjoyed it. The acting isn't award winning. Some of the special effects are downright cringeworthy. Especially when people "vamp out" to feed. Definitely not my favorite part of the show.
What I did like was the humanity of the show. Which sounds ridiculous since it's a horror show about vampires. The content is relatable. I'm not saying the Covid-19 pandemic has me concerned about vampirism, or zombies for that matter, but the government involvement and human reaction to a rapidly spreading virus in this show resonates with an audience binging from their couch while in quarantine. Somerhalder's character is desperately trying to pinpoint the gene that determines the transformation while hoping to find a cure. He is trying to be a good dad while being held hostage in a government facility. His best friend Michael Fayne is patient zero and is struggling with accepting his powers while missing his humanity. THE HUMANITY IS ON POINT! Are there plot holes? You betcha. Does the science make sense? Probably not. But the idea behind a virus that is essentially reintroduced to society and spreads by air that creates vampires. . .come on, your interest is piqued. From government internment camps for the infected to senators trying to pass legislation to protect the new species, it's a modern retelling of an ancient problem. I love a good Dracula origin story, but damn, the government being involved with vampires. . .ON POINT, Netflix.
They introduced a whole bunch of characters pretty rapidly, so not every one has a fleshed out story or character arch, but it's a really good place to start. For season one, I learned enough about the characters and the issues to be interested in watching a season two. I have already ordered the graphic novel because I am interested to see if it explains more and delves into some moments I feel the series glazed over. The series moved a little slow at first, despite it's rapid moving storyline, but the last episode was a slap in the face. I love a good cliffhanger and I know it's a cheap way to get people to come back for the next season, but it works.
If you are staying SAFE AT HOME and want to feel a little uneasy about government involvement in medical issues, binge this show now. If you like sci-fi thrillers with gory scenes and graphic violence, this show is also for you. If you just want to see Damon's piercing blue eyes and watch him clench his jaw a lot, push play now.
Until next time horror fans,