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Do you know what I like to do in my spare time? I like graphic novels, comic books, manga and regular books. I can't help it. So one day, in 2014, I see this indie graphic novel called "Helsing", I got it, I read it and... it was nothing special. But it got a sequel and then another one and another... And with that came fleshing out of the lore and characters. I like it. It's a well done, imaginative re-work of familiar themes. It's not mindblowing, but give it a read. As well as the whole universe of creative re-imagined fictional characters in the Grimm Fairytales line...
The show was announced and with the posters and marketing and their "inspired by" nonsense, I was discouraged from watching it at the time. Actually, I was discouraged from watching it any time. But as both seasons are on Netflix where I live and I have free time and nothing to binge... why not? This show has nothing, NOTHING, not a single thing from the material that supposedly inspired it. No characters that fans of the original could recognise, no namedrops, no easter eggs, nothing. But hey, perhaps it can stand on its own... Nope. It's diet "Walking Dead". Why diet? Well, I never before wished that the whole main cast of characters would die a long and painful death. They deserve it too. They're worse than the "vampires", those guys just want to feed... the survivors? They're stupid, evil, boring, cliched bunch.
But I still don't get what could've inspired the creators of this show in the graphic novel. Because the plot, the premise, the characters, the setting are all different! No mention of New York, London, China or Egypt that were the setting for the graphic novel. No Hades, no Jonathan Harker or Mina Murray or Dracula. What in the living, rich, vibrant world of "Helsing" inspired those folks to make another boring, drab, grey and brown post-apocalyptic pile of mediocrity?
One thing could save this, right? Vampires. Vampires are smart, strong, powerful with a myriad of powers and weaknesses - a true feast for creativity! So why not make them just zombies. That's what they are for the most part. And few vampires who are given some speaking lines... are about as cliched villains as you can get. How to kill a vampire? Just shoot him or stab him with a knife. Hell, bash him a few times with a baseball bat. Why not...? Right?
There. Some final thoughts. If you watched this for a bit and got bored but liked the idea - go watch "The Walking Dead". If you just wanted some vampires, there's a bunch of shows and movies out there. If you want a good TV show with vampires that's also a decent horror - "Penny Dreadful" is the best choice in my opinion. If you're interested in what "inspired" this show - Zenescope Entertainment has a shop, so go support this indie series and it's rather expansive universe (free tip - it's getting better with each new issue).
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