Vampires have always been alluring. Seductive even. This, of course, serves a functional purpose in that it affords them the ability to woo their prey and get them to willingly be alone with the undead immortals. But it also makes for good fucking television. Case in point, the new AMC series Interview with the Vampirebased on Anne Rice's novel of the same name, with episodes dropping weekly on AMC+.
The impetus of the show is fairly straightforward: Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) is ready to tell his life story to Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian), a journalist he's previously worked with. It's time for a book to serve, in ways, as a warning for the living. The interview itself is set in the modern day, just after the conclusion of our recent pandemic. But the tale takes us back to the 1910s, when Louis was turned by Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) and traces the vampire he becomes.
Memory is a fallible thing and as the show progresses, Louis is revealed as an unreliable narrator. It's a point that he admits. As he talks about Lestat -- a man who felt like his tormentor, his collaborator, his lover, and his elder -- this is abundantly clear. Lestat is the art of seduction incarnate. And so is the tale.
You can quickly become seduced by the story and get caught up in Louis's feelings about Lestat. A sex scene in mid-air is positively beguiling. As is their desire to build a family. It is all quite sweet. As the narrator says in Maleficent, "this is no fairy tale."
Your feelings may make you forget that from the beginning, Lestat had made Louis as a mark and bent reality to his will until he got what he wanted. It's at these moments that Molloy's sobering interjections are pivotal. He disrupts the spell with questions, nudging us back to reality. And then of course, as Jordan Peele's Nope reminds us, beasts often return to their nature. At its core, this is still a story about blood-sucking, murderous all-powerful beings of the night.
AMC's Interview with the Vampire is a seductive tale that compels you to watch week after week with its nuanced writing and the actors' heartfelt performances. But the show itself does prick at interesting questions.
It's certainly not uncommon for gays to date men quite a bit older than they are. It's something that often creeps beyond critique. A combination of men being seen as autonomous and gay youth fancying themselves as "mature for their age," no doubt contribute. But the fact is, the imbalances are there for any sober-eyed person to see. Louis's feelings of love are undoubtedly intertwined with his desire for access to spaces his race bars him from as a Black man. Over time, they are also irrevocably melded into the fact that as much as he has experienced, they are two of a kind and Lestat is the only one who can give him advice on the road he is to travel. The grey area is where much of life actually lives, if we are being truthful, not in the stark black-and-white of discourse. And it's what will keep you plugged in through the rest of season one and through season two, which the series has already been renewed for.
Interview with the Vampire is streaming on AMC+.
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