Blood Ties (TV, 2008)


The precursor to Sookie Stackhouse and all the rest of that vampire love-lit was Blood Ties, which also beat the others to a TV series. A DVD review from Death Ray 10. There’s a review with the showrunner, Peter Mohan here.

Blood Ties Season 1

FOUR STARS

2007/989mins/15

Created by: Peter Mohan

Director: Various

Writer: Various

Starring: Christina Cox, Kyle Schmid, Dylan Neal

Chick-lit vampire romance makes surprisingly man-friendly TV.

Maybe it’s the way they’re written, maybe it’s who they’re marketed at, but with few exceptions, Dark Fantasy romance novels do little to excite the male psyche. I’d bet a shiny dollar that many of the purchasers of Tanya Huff’s five million books, upon which Blood Ties is based,  are women.

But a few tweaks here and there, and this ladies-only format makes fantasy fun for all the members of the household.

Blood Ties follows the adventures of Vicki Nelson, an ex-cop who was forced off active duty due to a degenerative eye condition. Unwilling to take a desk job, she strikes out as a PI, being watched over by her concerned on and off lover, Mike Celluci. In the two-part pilot, she investigates a series of killings that seem to be the work of a vampire, and finds herself meeting Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid) – immortal, night-walking son of Henry VIII. A demon and latterday wizard are behind the killings, and as Henry does not want attention being drawn to the spookier side of life, ends up helping her out, sucking Vicki into a world of paranormal secrets, and giving the third point to the show’s love triangle.

The series is no great intellectual feat, like most buddy cop shows the actual resolution of the crime would never stand up in court, but it’s a well crafted spin on crime fare, made for pennies, but with love. The stories trot along nicely, and there’s little dead time. If you’re thinking Buffy or Angel, don’t, there’s no painfully hip Whedon-esque sass, and the grown-up angle to the conversation and characters’ woes give it an after hours, black-coffee tang.

Blood fans will find much to please them – Mohan has the players down well and keeps on with the unsophisticated night-versus-day love aspect, though Henry is not a romance novelist but a much boy-friendlier graphic artist.

There’s a 1980s Moonlighting/Beauty and The Beast vibe, right down to the old-fashioned standalone stories, but we mean this in the best possible way. It’s slush, but it’s good slush both sexes can safely watch with their other half.

Did you know?

Blood Ties is a Canadian TV show that is actually set in Canada, though Vancouver locations stand in for Toronto.

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