Five Questions for the Vampire Chronicles TV Series

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The saga of the Vampire Chronicles’ tv series has had almost as many installments as the series it’s based on. The movie rights were with Universal Studios, tentatively (as of 2014) to be adapted by Josh Boone. Then that fell through for unknown reasons (Anne Rice’s Facebook page has a tendency to go back and delete posts that no longer gel with the current narrative, y’see), and after a period of silence it was announced that the series would be shopped as a TV series instead.

That TV series started out on a strong note with the announcement that Bryan Fuller would be the series showrunner, which is about as perfect a choice as I could name. His series Hannibal is already about the closest thing to capturing the spirit of the Vampire Chronicles on film, including the actual films based on the series, and his eye for updating and remixing problematic texts into something more inclusive and suited to their medium is something the series badly needed. Not to mention Fuller pegged adapting the books as his dream project way back when he was a teenager, which is just cute as hell.

Unfortunately, Fuller has a bad habit of flouncing off of projects when he loses creative control (see most recently American Gods and Star Trek Discovery); and Anne Rice has legendarily refused to use an editor on any of her books since the late 80s (it shows), considering her first drafts to be untouchable masterpieces. The meeting of these two control freaks was predictable, and Fuller left the project only two months after signing on (though the news wasn’t announced until almost six months out, possibly to draw attention away from the lightning-fast turnover).

The project went back to development hell until about two weeks ago, when it was announced that Hulu had picked up the rights with Anne and her son Christopher as two of four producers. The pilot script, titled “The Wolf Killer,” has been written by Christopher Rice but otherwise there’s no production news forthcoming.

Whew. Now, readers may or may not know that these books were quite formative for me, both in my professional and personal life, and I’ve talked about them a lot. That decade-plus of influence has also left me a lot of time to think about how this series, both crucially important to the horror genre and quite badly aged in some regards, might look in adaptation. And that’s left me with five major questions about the new series.

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The Consulting Analyst – The Vampire Lestat (Part 12)

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We’ve arrived: the nadir of the book. I’ve convinced no small amount of trusting, unwary souls to try this rollercoaster of a series. Every one found different characters and themes that appealed to them, but without fail they reported having difficulty with this stretch of pages. Why? Because it’s a fuckton of infodump about characters we’ve just been introduced to and don’t care about. Also, (even more) racism.

On the bright side, while previous posts in this series have taken thousands of words breaking down 30 pages of novel, here we’re going to be able to sail through nearly a hundred pages like it’s nothing.

Prepare yourselves for an experience I’m sure many of you are unfamiliar with: an old cis white man telling you his overconfident opinions about how and why the world works.

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The Consulting Analyst – The Vampire Lestat (Part 11)

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If you’re wondering why it’s been a little while since the last recap, it’s because this section requires a certain amount of mental steeling to face. Not because it is particularly more horrible than other parts of this book (though at points it is, because it revolves around The Worst Character), but because a great deal of it is very, very boring. Today we will be covering the less-boring part.

When last we left off, Lestat had suffered the death of his first love and his mother leaving to enjoy eternity as her own person and buried himself in the earth, only to be dug out by the much-lauded Marius. This will turn out to be among the worst things that has happened to Lestat in terms of effects on the rest of his unlife. We’ll get into that as we go, because I am not exaggerating when I say that Marius is emblematic of just about everything wrong with these books.

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The Consulting Analyst – The Vampire Lestat (Part 10)

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We left off at a dire moment for Our Hero: the inevitable had at last come to pass, and Lestat’s first love Nicolas had immolated himself (with more than a touch of help from Armand). We return you now to that moment as things continue to get worse. Way worse, because we have to finally contend with The Worst Character in the flesh.

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The Consulting Analyst – The Vampire Lestat (Part 9)

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Summer is turning to fall, and so we return to those garbage vampires of my heart doing….actually, remember the World Tour part of Interview with the Vampire that was wisely cut from the film? Yeah, this is that again; except that Lestat is the Dashing Hero who actually knows a single scrap of something that he refused to tell Louis and…no. No, no. I can’t get into this yet. Now is not the time. But soon, dear readers. Very soon.

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The Consulting Analyst – The Vampire Lestat (Part 8)

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When last we left, Nicki and Lestat had a spiteful breakup, and Armand’s attempt to be the new boyfriend were somewhat dashed when he triggered Lestat’s PTSD. Despite beating Armand’s face in, Lestat wasn’t quite able to strike the killing blow – once his flashback subsided, he was able to see his now-helpless attacker as little more than an ancient, pathetic child. So naturally, Lestat decides to take him home.

We may not actually get very far in the text this time around: Armand’s backstory is quite dense despite taking place over a few pages, and I’m certainly not going to leave any stones unturned. With that said, let’s get into it.

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