Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dracula, villain as hero! What NBC's version teaches us about heroes who are redeemable!

     Dracula, that arch villain, has become a romance hero. While I am no regular reader of paranormal romances, nor even its cousins sci-fi or fantasy, I get a kick out of this Friday night version of the Bram Stoker's infamous villain.
    Always intrigued by the historical figure, the famous leader who held back the hordes of infidels from his domain by pitting them on spikes, I have read the original and a few fictional interpretations of that event. But this version strikes me for its ingenuity—and its wide appeal to many of those whom I "visit" with on Facebook and Twitter.
    I ardently appreciate this version of Dracula and thought I would tell you why. (Perhaps you agree!)
    I think Jonathan Rhys Meyers and the writers have done a smashingly good job of giving Dracula a pair of motivations that make the audience cheer for him. Aside from the fact that Meyers played that other ruthless "hero" Henry VIII of England recently, he can appear dangerously seductive. Always a good trait for a romance hero!
    Believable as a man out for revenge, this Dracula also has a soft spot for the (seeming) reincarnation of his beloved wife. Hence, we have the merging of Dracula's goal to destroy those who destroyed and turned him into the creature he is with the new goal to be united with his wife/modern-day Mina.
    True, it is no small feat for a blood-sucking vampire to find true love or everlasting happiness with that lover. But women who read (and write) romance, whether or not they are like me and avoid paranormal sub-genre, will recognize the signs that there may be a resolution to this impossible love affair.
    Jonathan Harker has been transformed here as well. A nice guy, he seemed a suitable match, if a rather boring one for Our Heroine, Mina. Yet, the writers have taken his character and shown him to be opportunistic and easily confused. Never good material for the characterization of The Guy Who Gets The Girl in the End. Now we even see him falling in with The Villains of the piece. His motives may seem "normal" yet we really don't care for him. Our affections are firmly with Our Hero Dracula…and we see that Our Heroine Mina is enthralled by him as well. 
    The bigger questions are two.  First is will her affection last? If we are to take the last bedroom scene in the season finale to be a true indicator of her desires and her love, then we can say yes. After all, heroines do not go to bed with just any old dude. And this Mina tends to be a clear thinker, seeing Jonathan Harker for what he is and is not, even if she is scurrying to learn precisely what Alexander Grayson/Dracula truly is.
    The second big question is of course, can we have a happily ever after for these two lovers. I see possibilities for that answer to be yes. Mina, in her present form, is a scientist, God bless her. And her goal, as she stated it in an early episode, is "to cure death."  If she can, viola! We have Nirvana!
    Or rather poor Dracula does…and hence, so does she.
    Marvelous resolution to a seemingly impossible problem. This is the stuff of good romance—and the folks at NBC's new version have done a darn good job of making it delicious.


Tina Donahue said...

I've never seen this show. Given your post, I'm going to give it a try. Thanks, Cerise!! :)

jean hart stewart said...

Know nothing about this program...you certainly want to make me know what I'm missing....

S.Lira said...

I love this show. I need to catch up with it but I saw the first 2. :D

Great post