Julie Plec Puts Yet Another Twist on the Vampire Genre

Julie Plec knew over a decade ago that she wanted to adapt Vampire Academy into a TV series — and even then, she knew she wanted to do it with her friends and Kyle XY colleague Marguerite MacIntyre, who later read the books while the two were on vacation together. It wasn’t the right time, but at a later point-Sunset and Real blood and Diary of a vampire world—and after the dismal 2014 film adaptation—the castle doors were flung open. (Actually, literally: Plec and MacIntyre’s Vampire Academypremieres Thursday on Peacock, filmed in a castle in Spain’s northern Basque Country.)

As the main mastermind behind The CW’s Diary of a vampire TV universe (also includes Original and Heritage), Plec uses the vampire genre to explore common themes like loss and trauma through the lens of teen soap. MacIntyre, who starred in Plec’s Kyle XY and Diary of a vampirejoined her friend in the writers’ room for the first time in Original. The pair’s new Peacock project attempts to give a fresh twist to an aging genre — one that, as Plec herself admits, may have encountered an existential crisis.

Talk to The Daily Beast first Vampire AcademyAt the premiere, Plec noted that while any vampire story will contain its own creative flourish, the central dynamics in history remain the same: “We are all the same: know about vampires and what we love about vampires in fiction and television is that the predator is seductive, primitive, sensual, and deeply sexualized. But those jokes don’t seem to work with younger, more socially conscious audiences.

Plec recalled that while making her last Diary of a vampire branch, Heritage, she and her colleagues “sort of, we can’t do that anymore. Today’s society, this generation, they have no space for that.

“How do you tell a story about a predatory creature that can’t be relied on for any of the creature’s normal forms and actions?” Plec added. “To me, any vampire show made today, including ours, is really, about finding new and different ways to tell a story about a person. who’s running out of time, basically.”

For centuries, the world of Vampire Academy operated from an unquestionable set of rules: the “civilized” Moroi vampire, wielding elemental magic, sat at the top of society, guarded by vampire guardians. -who are called Dhampis. At the bottom of the social ladder, as always, you still have the regular old humans, and then the monsters – the ruthless, heartless vampire called the Strigoi, whose only thirst is for blood . Like the Plec series before it, Vampire Academy lies a complex and traumatic bond – in this case the unlikely friendship between a vampire-human hybrid, Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer) and a vampire noble , Lissa Dragomir (Daniela Nieves).

Foundation class structures Vampire AcademyThe world of the world has disappeared without challenge for centuries, but as we see it, political upheaval has begun to reveal cracks in the foundations. The Moroi vampires, who pride themselves on their ethnicity alongside the cranky Strigoi, have normalized their own countless inhuman, oppressive, and exploitative policies as divine law. Based on how this society works, Lissa and Rose’s friendship would have no chance of surviving; Of course, how they will make it work, that is what we are here to find out.

Adding to what Plec said about expanding the traditional impulse of vampire fiction in a new way, MacIntyre noted that Richelle Mead’s bestselling YA novel provided “this beautiful template. … It’s not the same story we all know. “

“There are different types of vampires, and one of them is predatory and violent and will kill you as soon as they do anything else,” she explains. “But it’s kind of – there’s a violent tension in the world, and that’s built into the fabric of this society. … So we had this beautiful facility from then until spring, and then we just went a little further.”

Much as Vampire Academy want to feel like something new (and sometimes it can be), the series is like a messy mix of influences and remixed tropes. Hunger game tired of walking around in floral dresses of Bridgertonwhile ominous rituals like the “specialization ceremony” (think “The Sorting Hat but like a talent show”) loom over our young characters.

Although we’ve all heard about Rose and Lissa’s devotion to each other, and even witnessed the depth of Rose’s protection for her friend, their relationship feels stiff. solid and not more specifically attached. And both characters’ romantic relationships — Rose’s love triangle and Lissa’s timid courtship with a tutor with her own dark past — struggle to spark as fascinating couples. of Plec’s previous programs.

Vampire Academy feels less lethal than its predecessors, but that might not be a bad thing. There’s more lore to build here than there is in the CW shows, and Plec knows how to blend into the inherent peculiarity of the vampire genre on television. If she and MacIntyre touch the right veins, they might find the sweet spot between Bridgerton and Diary of a vampire. For now, the search continues.

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