Sunday, December 11, 2016

Van Helsing, Season 1, Episode 13: It Begins

Vanessa has been captured by the big bad vampires which means she now has to suffer the most awful of tortures

Dmitri’s speeches

Honestly, there’s a lot of wrong with this show – but in terms of enjoyment pretty close to the very top of the list has to be the over the top ridiculous, awful villains

If only this show would realise this and EMBRACE it. Dmitri is amazing comic relief.


I keep waiting for the punch line but I just get that creepy feeling – y’know the one you get when laughing along to one of your creepy uncle’s comic diatribes before realising “oh my god, he’s serious, he actually does thing gay jewish illuminati are going to impose Sharia law”

Anyway we “learn” that Vanessa is actually the descendent of Van Helsing which is possibly why he has super powers

Well, I put “learn” in quotation marks for a reason because it’s the title of the show. This isn’t a reveal. They also want to harvest her eggs. Or impregnate her. Or both. They want to create a new generation of day walking vampires so they don’t have to keep blocking out the sun and likely destroying all of the plant life leading to a mass extinction but no-one seems to talk about that. Also they want to feed Vanessa blood because…

Meanwhile the head vampires, Rebecca, Anastasia (who is here for… reasons?) and Dmitri all kind of hate each other. Rebecca is also working with Taka, the head of the resistance to attack the fort in exchange to give them a vampire free island on which to starve to death on. And she gets… well I don’t know but her reason seems to be she’s jealous that Dmitri is going to make daywalker babies with a human. Because a female villain still got to have a male motivation, right?  

And Mohammed discovers that Sheema is The Worst and has gone full on team vampire because she totally likes her new digs. This combines with Doc to show in Van Helsing world, Black women are just waiting to creep up and play nice with the vampires.

This leaves Mohammed looking all sad and mopey and guilty.

Vanessa inevitably escapes – after declaring she is Vanessa Helsing and drinking blood this means she can now almost tear out Dmitri’s heart because she isn’t properly restrained or anything (gods know why?!) Dmitri runs away leaving Vanessa and Rachel to fight because they hate each other because WOMEN. RAWR

They don’t even fight it out because the rebellion arrives – and Taka finds the helpless Dmitri. Dmitri offers Taka a better deal and he listens to the vampire (oh my gods, why? WHY would you do this). When Brendan suggests he not do this, Taka shoots him. Yup, glad to see this POC was returned to the plot line for such a major point. Why why why was he even with the resistance just to die here? Why?

So ends the last season of Van Helsing, and it has been a rocky road to say the least. I already shredded the original episodes as being really terrible way to introduce the series. And Axel was terrible and ruined every scene he was in

Oh, and Axel is back by the way. As a vampire. As is Vanessa’s child, Dylan. This would be tense if we didn’t have a character who could turn vampires human again

Anyway, this meant any characters or storylines that could have been interesting to develop or explore were kind of ruined because Axel and John would argue their way across it, or we’d have a Dmitri monologue. And there were glimmers of interesting stories there as well – there were – but for some reason these plot

It also had some interesting diversity. We had Sheema, Mohammed and Doc, all non-stereotyped Black people and, originally, not villainised. We had Sam, a Deaf man – and how many disabled people do you see in dystopians (or TV in general)? We had Vanessa and Susan clearly being more than friends even if no-one ever said the word bisexual because they NEVER DO and we had Brandon, a capable leader of another group.

And then it ruined all of them. All of them. Every last one. All the Black characters turn evil. All of them. Every last one. Evil, evil evil. Evil vampire collaborators. All of them. You’d think there’d be an outlier, but nope. Brandon was the silly man who Axel had to defeat so prove his awesomeness – and is now dead. Sam turned into a depraved serial killer which, yes, isn’t a stereotype of Deaf people but “I wish one of my almost non-existent depictions on television was a serial killer” is not something any marginalised group has said, ever. Oh and vampirism cured his hearing, of course it did. Then, after one kiss, Vanessa decided she would never ever ever mention her attrasction to women ever again (even when she and Susan are at Susan’s house and Susan is clearly having issues there’s no suggestion of a relationship there) while she positively leaps on the first hot guy in the next couple of episodes because the Quiet portrayal rule means that when a major character, especially a protagonist, suggests they’re bisexual they nearly always have to be forced into endless opposite sex relationships to make it clear the same-sex loving thing is just a tiny side bar)

So, van Helsing. You could have been good. You weren’t. Not at all.