A couple of months ago I posted about my top ten favourite vampire films; you can read that HERE. As I shared the post on my YA Facebook Page I was asked by readers if I had a favourite vampire related TV series – well, not wanting to disappoint the fang-tastic folk who took the time to read and comment, I am happy to make their wish come true with a flap of my Dracula cape.
So, here for your enjoyment, is my top eight (couldn’t think of any more!!) vampire TV shows. They are in no particular order because they are all pretty bloody brilliant:
Hemlock Grove (2013-2015)
Nominated for two Emmy awards, this series was pretty epic. Starring the beautiful, Famke Janssen in the lead role of Olivia Godfrey, and introducing Bill Skarsgard and Landon Liboiron as Roman Godfrey (vamp) and Peter Rumancek (werewolf). This show was dark, gritty, and incredibly gory. It’s an American Netflix original horror fantasy show that I stumbled upon during an attempt to find something supernatural to watch. I was hooked from episode one. If you like your vamp shows with plenty of blood, horror, and a smattering of sex, then this show is for you.
True Blood (2008-2014)
I couldn’t put the words ‘vamp’ and ‘sex’ into the same sentence without mentioning True Blood. The horny inhabitants of Bon Temps are tentatively learning to live alongside vampires who have ‘come out of the coffin’ thanks to Japanese scientist’s invention of synthetic blood. Based on the popular books by Charlaine Harris, True Blood became an instant success back in 2008.
With colourful characters such as everyone’s favourite waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, her energetic brother, Jason Stackhouse, and my absolute favourite cook of all time, Lafayette, this show stayed a firm favourite of mine until its final episode in 2014.
It’s worth watching just to see, Alexander Skarsgard’s vampire character, Eric in the buff, as well as the fabulous relationship he has with his protégé, Pam – best vampire in heels EVER!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
I’ve written a couple of posts about my love for Buffy, so I’ll try to keep my fangirling to a minimum this time. (You can read one of those posts HERE).
Every week I would tune in to hear those immortal words…In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has to be one of the most influential TV genre shows EVER. It centred on strong females and fabulous storytelling. Sarah Michelle Geller’s role was one of the few female leads on television back in the day, so it was a rule changer for television. Nothing can dampen my love for this show – not even the fact that love interest Angel left in a cloud of fog!
Angel (1999 – 2004)
This Buffy spin-off show was a Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt collaboration and kept our favourite brooding vampire with the great hair on our screens. The show ran alongside Buffy and occasionally met for one-off episodes where the cast got to fight the big bad as a team again.
A few of the cast from Buffy ended up moving to LA and joining the detective agency that Angel started to help sort out the evil that moved in the shadows of California. Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase, is one of my favourite characters. Although I didn’t like her role towards the end of the series, I loved her quirkiness in the beginning.
When Spike (James Marsters) joined the cast in a later series, it cemented my love for the show.
Penny Dreadful (2014 – to date)
If there is one actress who will draw me in to watch a show, it’s Eva Green. She is truly mesmerising. When I first saw the advert for season one of Penny Dreadful, I was intrigued, but the first couple of episodes didn’t quite grab me – they were totally ‘out there’. I wasn’t convinced but kept watching, and I’m so glad I did. The show just got better and better.
Also starring Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett and Billy Piper, this dark and psychological thriller is brilliant. The vampires are nothing like the creatures you will find in other genre shows; they don’t take the main roles but quietly slink about in the background causing an unholy mess for the main cast.
Dracula (2013 – 2014)
The series, based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was initially well received, but the fans fell away in droves and season 2 was cancelled before it even got going. I happen to be gutted about this because I loved the show!
Jonathan Rhys Myers played the lead role of Dracula, posing as an American entrepreneur in Victorian England. He has other plans and wants to kill every member of ‘The Order of the Dragon’ who were responsible for the death of his wife hundreds of years ago.
There is a sweet romantic thread running through the series and a wonderful cast of colourful characters. Jessica De Gouw plays the love interest, Mina, and Nonso Anozie stars as Dracula’s right-hand man, Renfield. Van Helsing is played by Thomas Kretschmann.
The ending of this one season wonder was highly explosive and left wide open and ready for further exploration – such a shame it won’t happen.
The Vampire Diaries (2009 – to date)
I love the Vampire Diaries books by L.J. Smith, and I know that many fans were horrified to discover that Nina Dobrev had been cast as the lead, Elena when it was transferred to the screen. This was purely because in the books Elena is blonde – Nina is clearly a brunette! Isn’t it funny how book fans get so protective over their favourite characters? It all turned out well as Ms Dobrev won over the crowds with her performance.
Another plus point about the books vs. show is how they are totally different – totally! Even down to the cast members and their relationships. There are key factors that remain loyal to the book series but, for me, it’s nice to see them as two separate commodities.
The bonus of watching Ian Somerhalder every week in his role as Damon Salvatore is enough to entice any female (or male) with a pulse! He plays the ultimate bad boy at the start of this series, and I have to say, he hooks you in and leaves you wanting more. As the show progresses, we get to see a softer side to Damon, but even this is heart-warming.
The Vampire Diaries has a huge fan base and understandably so. I hope this show continues to run for many years to come.
The Originals (2013 – to date)
Just as Angel was a spin-off from Buffy, The Originals is a spin-off from The Vampire Diaries. The Originals were the oldest and deadliest vampires to arrive in Mystic Falls, and with their arrival came a host of nail-biting episodes. So much so, that the original vampires got their own show.
Set in New Orleans, these slick vamps run the streets and cause no end of trouble for the witches. It’s a fun series with plenty of twists. I didn’t like Joseph Morgan’s character, Klaus, when he first landed in TVD, but over time he grew on me and even though he is a sadistic killer with some fabulous one-liners, he became one of my favourite vamps.
When Klaus and his family return to New Orleans after being absent since 1919 it’s fair to say, they cause a bit of a stir. A highly entertaining series.
So, that’s it. My top eight favourite vampire TV shows. I’d love to hear your thoughts or recommendations if you know a show I haven’t mentioned.
Are you a fan of supernatural/paranormal? How do you feel when a book series you love is turned into a TV show?