Vampire Influence on Television (GUEST POST)

Cami Hadley is a freelance lifestyle writer with a passion for film, fashion, home decor, entertainment and the technology that simplifies her life.  She left her entertainment law practice in 2007 to spend more time with the true loves of her life: her family. Cami's a proud wife and mom of two children, two dogs, one cat and a goldfish.

Vampire Influence on Television

By Cami Hadley

With the box office still buzzing from the latest (and final) installment of The Twilight Saga and the TV brimming with vampire-related TV series, it may seem like vampire-mania is a recent development. However, fascination with the mythology and legend of vampirism has long been a staple of western culture, especially when it comes to television.

Vampire Flashback

You may or may not recall the popular late-‘60s/early-‘70s TV series Dark Shadows. This vamp-centric soap opera ran from 1966-71 on ABC and was briefly revived in 1991 before NBC cancelled it. Johnny Depp was a big fan of the show and recently played the main vampire, Barnabas Collins, in 2012 film adaptation of Dark Shadows directed by Tim Burton.

A ’90s Resurgence

Perhaps, 1991 was too soon to revive Dark Shadows. Fast-forward six years to the debut of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), and you’ll see TV audiences enthralled in the story of a high school cheerleader delving into a supernatural world to fight forces of evil and repeatedly save the planet. Buffy’s wild success was followed by a spinoff series, Angel (1999-2004), in which the vampire is the hero and battles demons and their human allies to assuage his guilt over his own past sins. One might argue that these two series inspired and set the stage for the popularity of the Twilight franchise of novels (first published in 2005) and movies (which debuted in 2008).

Carrying the Torch

Today, several TV series continue the vampiric TV legacy forged by Dark Shadows and revived by BuffyTrue Blood, has aired on HBO since 2008 and been the center of much controversy among fans of the Sookie Stackhouse novels upon which the TV series is (some would argue, loosely) based. Being Human is a popular BBC series that follows the struggles of roommates who happen to be a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf. The CW didn’t want to miss out on the public’s renewed fascination with the undead and launched The Vampire Diaries in 2009.

Spotting a pattern? Vampires on TV never really die. You can always count on them to come back for more.

Vampires, Boredom, and Sex (GUEST POST)

by Mauro Corso

Mauro Corso is a journalist, writer, and actor who lives between Rome and Berlin. As a special contributor to, Corso has written a series of Guest Posts about vampires in popular culture. This is PART 1 of 4

What is the main problem of immortality? It lasts more than anyone can reasonably bear. Adam, the vampire in Martin Lastrapes' vampire short "Adam & Olivia," has been a vampire for thirty years and is already bored to death. Boredom is an underdeveloped theme in vampire literature. Sometimes we get a hint of this existential problem in the life of vampire, like in True Blood when we see  Sophie-Anne Leclerq, Vampire Queen of Louisiana, playing a board game. Or we may suspect that all the power play and meddling in human lives is simply a device to hide the emptiness of being a vampire.

Lastrapes’ vampire short made me feel this powerful boredom in Adam’s life right from the start, setting this tale apart from everything else I have seen or read so far. Boredom, it seems, might well be the worst part about being a vampire. For example, consider the unlife of Edward Cullen from Twilight series, who is is essentially stuck in high school for all eternity. Even if we don’t sense his boredom, I can’t possibly imagine a more powerful image of damnation. Given all this, we might ask:

What is a vampire’s main drive?


Everything else is just a pastime between survival and drinking sessions. There is sex, of course, which is a rather problematic issue in vampire physiology. I think that the sexuality of vampires is generally taken for granted. It would be hard to categorize this drive as just another pastime. While it is one of the most basic human drives, is it possible for something not living to have an erotic desire? It is quite true that love and death are strictly intertwined (thank you Mr. Freud!), but saying that a corpse feels attraction to someone else (especially living!) is something I always found dissatisfying. Possibly, a vampire not interested in sex would be too un-human to sympathize with.

I believe that sex is the only interesting thing in the delirious mayhem of twists that is True Blood (yep, I don’t like it...please bear with me). Between Sookie, Bill, and Eric, their sexuality is never questioned; vampires and humans have sex with each other without missing a beat. And in Twilight, sexuality is taken to the next level: Supernatural pregnancy. I find this concept really frightening, and not in a good way. I thought that the only way a vampire could have children was by siring a human being.

The way the TV seriesBeing Human  (US version) depicts sexuality in the vampire world makes the most sense to me, because it is rough, messy, and involves a lot of blood; we so often take for granted the importance of blood in the life of a vampire. The drive for blood in sexuality is rarely clear in vampire stories such as Twilight or True Blood.

This brings to mind another problematic aspect in many vampire stories, which is the "vegetarian" vampire—a vampire who doesn't feed from humans. There is something primal and erotic about vampires feeding, which seems to have strong connections with sex, so the idea of a vampire being able to restrain himself/herself from draining someone he/she is having sex with is difficult for me to swallow.

At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I would like to see some sort of vampire sexuality that actually makes sense. Even Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which revolves around the idea of undying love (especially in Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation), isn't very clear on how the physical part of this immortal relationship is treated—due, in large part, because Dracula’s romantic desire is doomed to failure.

Sexuality, especially in literature, should not be the easy way to engage a reader; it should have a deep, existential meaning in the economy of every novel.

Check out all of Mauro Corso's articles in this series: