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Blood Ties premiere thoughts

Finally got a chance to actually watch this Thursday night, finally posting about it today. (Why am I leading multiple lives again? Oh. Right. Mortgage and groceries.) As one might expect, it is somewhat spoilery.

So, if you have vampires in Toronto, I guess it's obligatory for Allan Kroeker to direct your pilot? *g* Not that this is a problem -- we see the guy's name all over television for a reason. But it still made it that much more déja vu-y to see lots of the same sort of establishing shots (even though it would have been a necessary ingredient regardless), just updated by 15 years! And you can tell he's been doing stuff like BSG, although I guess really the handheld shots and such are pretty much everywhere now too. It looks, for the most part, like a "gritty" drama of the moment, which just happens to have some weird supernatural stuff going on.

From what I remember of reading Blood Price (also ~15 years ago), they did a nice job of updating it to the age of Google as verb and cellphone as essential item. That's not always an easy process, especially with a thriller plot, so kudos for that. The only time it was a little odd to me was when Vicki blithely picked up Mike's call after he'd left ten zillion messages, which she really should have heard by then. But I could write it off as (a) she was a bit distracted, and/or (b) she was yanking his chain. The latter wouldn't be fair, since he was legitimately worried that she'd gotten herself dead, but it would be Vicki.

That said, I've only ever gotten around to the first three books, and that ages ago. So I'll mostly be taking this thing on its own merits. The real test will be what they do with their own stories, but the ingredients look promising.

The key thing to get right, of course, is Vicki, and I have no worries at all on that front. I've always liked Christina Cox, and it'll be nice to see her regularly demonstrate just how much she's grown from quiet-but-intense little Joan of Arc with her slightly dodgy French accent. (Whatever one may think of Forever Knight, no denying they had an eye for young talent. Christina Cox, Torri Higginson, David Hewlett, Carrie-Anne Moss, Rachel Luttrell, Amanda Tapping, Hayden Christensen... Quite the crop of baby-faced guest stars, plus one actual kid, who've since come into their own!) All the prickly edges are right there with no apologies, and without making her off-putting to the audience. No mean feat. The I-can-take-care-of-myself-dammit attitude, and the fear of becoming dependent underneath it, are solidly in place, but that's not all there is to her personality, which might not be the case in other hands. So far they're doing a great job with her retinitis and trusting the audience to get it -- much more so than I'm accustomed to seeing from TV handling of "invisible" disabilities. (brainiacfive was like, "Ah, she carries a big stick instead of a gun," to which I replied, "Yeah, you can tell this is Canada and she's not a cop anymore." And only later remembered, um, yeah, that might or might not matter if it weren't unsafe at this point for her to use one.) It'll be interesting to see how they present the ongoing deterioration of her vision.

Kyle Schmid's Henry...isn't quite soup yet. There were a few moments of "Yes! That! Somebody's there!" And the rest of the time I saw a very young actor working his tail off. But he seems to be working intelligently, and I think he'll get there. The physical work mostly is, although it still seems like he's breaking in a new suit. The dialogue will take a little longer, I think; right now it's coming off pretty stilted to my ear. I think his best moment so far was showing Vicki his work in progress. I'll confess I kinda miss the idea of a bastard-Tudor-prince-turned-vampire writing bodice-rippers under a female pseudonym. But I'm equally entertained by him as a graphic novel auteur who bristles at the term "comic book," even though I've no doubt he owes most of his success to comics fans who are unashamed to call themselves such. And, as Tanya Huff already pointed out in her blog on the Lifetime site, it's much better suited to a visual medium. (For those who don't know, she's also andpuff here on LJ.)

Dylan Neal's Mike isn't particularly grabbing me so far. I'm getting that surfacey soap-opera sheen, and for me the style doesn't work here, and especially doesn't mesh with Cox's immediacy. He's not OMGawful, just...workmanlike. *shrug* I'll probably get used to it, but right now it's a bit of work to care much about what Mike thinks or feels, which shouldn't be.

Coreen is darling, and her staying on as Vicki's assistant was a pleasant surprise.

The lackey demon was conceived and executed at just the right pitch, I think. The honcho, er, somewhat less so. He would have been more effective with a bit more suggestion and a bit less detail, IMHO. But I expect we'll mostly be dealing with occult baddies (and the accompanying visuals) on the lackey demon's level, so not too worried about that.

Dunno yet if I'll go all fangirl, but I think I'll be enjoying this. (And trusting it won't get cancelled because too many men are watching. :-P Yes, I still mutter imprecations at SpikeTV every time I see one of Jill Wagner's car commercials...)



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
Apparently whether or not Lifetime picks it up for a full run of 22 eps (andpuff) mentioned that so far they're just running the first 13), the CHUM network here in Canada, which includes SPACE channel (our SF/F) station will be airing all 22 eps this fall.
Mar. 18th, 2007 09:46 am (UTC)
Good to know! Thanks! :-)
Jul. 23rd, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
I remember reading this when you posted and being steadfastly neutral and distanced.

You are evil.
Jul. 23rd, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
You are evil.

Why, thank you. ;->

In my defense, at the time, I was pretty neutral myself. Other than, y'know, "MY Vicki!" *sheepish g*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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