Oh, and the pilot episode featured a plot twist at the end; I have marked our conversation of said twist with spoiler tags.
Maggie: So: what did you think of Dracula?
Arsenic: Well I appreciate the Downton Abbeyness of it all. They've got great costumes, and Sir Anthony is on the show, being his usual douchey self. I literally laughed out loud when I saw him. All they need is Maggie Smith making snarky comments about the action.
Maggie: I think this is going to fall in the "hate-watch" category for me.
Arsenic: Oh, totes. It is ridonkulous.
Maggie: It's kind of terrible, but I can't look away.
Arsenic: I think all Dracula stuff I've ever seen has been a total train wreck, but this is unapologeticaly bad.
Maggie: Here is my main complaint: there are too many unnecessary plot additions. Because you know what the Dracula story is really missing? A subplot about reliance on petroleum as an energy source versus geo-magnetic power.
Ew, get that science away from me!
Arsenic: The novel is a little light on taking down Big Oil. (SPOILER) I don't get why Dracula is suddenly a good guy who is working with Van Helsing. (END SPOILER).
Maggie: I don't think you could call Dracula a "good guy" though.
Arsenic: Well, he's the lesser of two evils because according to the show, he's working against a big corporation. He's like a 99 percenter who sucks blood and kills people
Maggie: Yeah, the killing people thing is kind of a sticking point. I usually love me some secret societies, but this whole Order of Dragon is so unexplained it is kind of laughable. What do they stand for? Why did they kill Drac's wife 200 years ago? What are they doing now other than being rich jackasses? Instead of "setting up mysteries" it's more like "we forgot to mention it in the pilot."
Arsenic: And I'm all for strong female characters and all,but my historical accuracy meter went off when I saw that Mina is somehow in med school.
Maggie: OMG YES what the hell?
Arsenic: In Victorian England? How??
Maggie: And nobody even bats an eye of course. Because her Dad is a famous doctor or something. PLEASE.
Arsenic: How did that happen?
Maggie: This is clearly some network suit being like, we need to make Mina a "strong" woman or the vaginas will bitch at us on twitter.
Arsenic: Those vajays be naggin'. And Mina isn't a strong character. She's meant to be an ingenue.
Maggie: Excellent point. And there are other ways to make her have a strong presence rather than some ridiculousness about her being in medical school.
Arsenic: Yeah, I don't buy that. No one would have been okay with that.
Maggie: Let's talk about Drac himself. Usually I hate Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but darn if he wasn't actually pretty good. Except for the American accent. DEAR GOD. It is terrible. And why is he pretending to be American? It makes NO SENSE.
Arsenic: He's good in this because he's playing total douche. I can't stand him unless he's being a douche because I feel that's his natural state. And yes, WHY is he American? That makes no sense. If it became clear in production that he couldn't nail the accent then it should have been time for a rewrite.
Maggie: Agreed. Just make him British and have him coming from India or something so he needs to be introduced to society.
Arsenic: Oh, and I loved how Jack the Ripper was ACTUALLY a vampire. Actually a fact. "Oh the trouble it took to clean up that mess." It was a total non sequitor and it made no effing sense.
Maggie: It's all a cover-up! Perpetrated by the same shadowy secret society that....well, we don't really know what else they do. Because it has in no way been established.
Arsenic: I feel like, and one of the reviews I read touched on this, that they can't use the Knights Templar because that's overdone, so they used something else. But still it's really stupid.
Maggie: I just don't understand what the society DOES. They burned heretics or something 200 years ago? But that doesn't mean anything. Who HASN'T?
Arsenic: I mean really. I thought that was a normal weekend in 1600s Europe. My mistake.
Maggie: So one change that I do like: Renfield.
Arsenic: I like him. He's enjoyable. I feel like he's the only likable character.
Maggie: I'll take quietly snarky over bug-eating batshit crazy any day of the week. I hope he ends up the hero of the show.
Arsenic: I can't stand Lucy. She's usually just a dumb blonde and here she's slightly more interesting with that actress. Mina is just a fainting flower with a ludicrous plotline.
Maggie: We will see what happens with Lucy. I mean, we kind of know from the book she shacks up with Drac, but hopefully she will play some purpose other than blood bag.
Arsenic: And Harker is a milquetoast, let's face it.
Maggie: He's better than Keanu though.
Arsenic: And I'm the tallest person at a midget convention. He is better. That actor fits the part better than Keanu.
Maggie (SPOILER) I know we already dropped this spoiler bomb, but the Van Helsing working with Dracula took me by surprise. And it didn't piss me off which also surprised me. I am interested to see where this goes.
Arsenic: It doesn't bother me, either, but I'm not a huge fan of the book. Maybe if I fangirled Bram Stoker I'd be more pissed. (END SPOILER)
Maggie: I just thought it was interesting, since they are so linked as enemies in pop culture. But since Dracula needs a hunter, thank goodness we have the blonde Lady Jane ninja.
Arsenic: It was like suddenly it was a kung fu movie. Oh, and why was Drac's fight on the rooftop in slo-mo??
Maggie: I think they were trying to be all 300 with it. It didn't work.
Arsenic: You save the slo-mo for epic battle scenes. Fighting a chimney sweep on the roof is not an epic battle.
Maggie: That guy was kind of shitty vampire hunter, to be honest.
Arsenic: I almost expected Mary Poppins to pop in. THAT'S the movie we should make.
Maggie: Dracula and Mary Poppins: Thunderdome.
Arsenic: Mary Poppins: Vampire Slayer. I would pay to see that.
Maggie: To Kickstarter!
Arsenic: Let's make this happen!
Maggie: We just need some celebrity endorsements. I bet Dick Van Dyke would be down. Ok, we have gone off the rails a bit.
Step in time, motherfuckers.
Maggie: Any final thoughts?
Arsenic: I think there's not much else to say. It's silly.
Maggie: I'll give it a few more episodes, but mostly because I feel that I HAVE to watch something called "Dracula" as a vampire genre fan.
Arsenic: And I can't tell yet if it knows it it's silly or if it doesn't and it's taking itself very seriously.
Maggie: I think the later, which is kind of the problem.
Arsenic: Like Sleepy Hollow knows it's kinda silly.
Arsenic: It's there. It's in on the joke.
Maggie: Are you going to stick with Dracula?
Arsenic: I don't know. Honestly, that whole Victorian murder spree stuff doesn't appeal to me. OH, but DID YOU KNOW...that experiment Drac did at the beginning was actually something Nikola Tesla did? So Drac = Tesla
Maggie: When he was dissing Edison and Tesla, I was like, "oh no he didn't!
Arsenic: Oh, he went there.
Maggie: We'll see what The Oatmeal has to say about this.
Arsenic: The show's just trying too hard.
Arsenic: I might tune in again just because it's so fucking funny.
Maggie: I think the takeaway is: if you enjoy hate-watching or drunk-watching, this is the show for you. If not, avoid.
Arsenic: I agree.
Arsenic: It's a good thing to watch among friends when you are all drunk or feeling particularly snarky.
Maggie: if you ever come visit we will get drunk and watch it.
Dracula airs Friday nights at 10:00pm on NBC.