I’ll admit, I had no intentions of watching NBC’s new drama Dracula. I usually love vampire-themed stories (with one notable exception), but the commercials made it seem like a melodramatic recreation of arguably the most famous vampire in history. I mostly assumed it would be 45 minutes of dramatic music and Jonathan Rhys Myers taking his shirt off every week, and quite frankly, I didn’t need another television show on my docket.
Then I heard a rumor that there might be a lady-loving lady on the show. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a shot, despite my hesitations.
Something I hadn’t really considered before actually sitting down and watching the show was that it’s set in Victorian England. This means pretty girls with lovely accents in Victorian attire. And there are two women in particular that suit my fancy.
Meet Mina and Lucy. Lucy is sassy, brash, and blonde to Mina’s sweet, smart, and brunette. They are best friends, and by the end of the gala at which we first meet them, I was already trying to come up with their ship name. (Lucina? Micy? Lina?) The gala was in honor of Dracula, who came to London masquerading as an entrepreneur with a pseudonym (Alexander Grayson) and a terrible American accent. He shows his guests some magical process of lighting up light bulbs without any wires, which the girls find fascinating. Mina, entranced by her light bulb, immediately cries out Lucy’s name, totally ignoring her boyfriend.
Later on in the episode, the ladies have a good old-fashioned sleepover, and Lucy takes this opportunity to remind Mina that she finds her boyfriend incredibly dull. Mina says she does love their slumber parties, but they always seem to result in Lucy disapproving of her man, though she doesn’t seem to read into the implications of this. The little scene is actually really adorable. But before they can get to the pillow-fight portion of the evening, they hear a noise outside (that ended up being Dracula brutally murdering someone, but whatever).
We don’t learn much about Lucy’s background in the pilot episode, but we do learn that Mina is a woman ahead of her time, and the only woman in her med school class. Lucy is also bolder and more outspoken than women were generally expected to be in that era, which is probably why the two girls are drawn to each other.
Now, if I hadn’t heard anything before going into this pilot episode, I would have thought I was in for another rousing game of subtext shipping. However, going off the rumor, I did a little digging. Multiple sources say this re-imagining of the classic tale will take quite a few new twists on the original, including Lucy’s sexuality. I’m not sure if she will be admittedly bisexual or just Mina-sexual, but all agree that Lucy has deeper-than-friendship feelings for her best friend. The actress, Katie McGrath, had a chemistry read with the actress who plays Mina (Jessica De Gouw) and said, “Thank God she’s good-looking!” She laughed at the silliness of her own statement, but she’s not wrong. In fact, good-looking is an understatement, my friend.
Since everything I’ve read says or implies that Lucy loves Mina, but none have mentioned whether or not Mina returns her feelings, it’s entirely possible that this storyline will be Lucy lamenting any and all of Mina’s love interests, with no actual sweet lady kisses. Especially since all signs point to Dracula and Mina being the star-crossed lovers of this story. However, if the outgoing and sensual Lucy actually is bisexual, it’s possible we’ll eventually get some Fingersmith action one way or another. All I know is, if it’s anything like the scene in this episode with Dracula and his conquest in the opera box, it will be rather steamy.
While not part of the potential lady loving (as far as I know), also worth noting is Lady Jayne Wetherby, who is as classy and baddass as her name implies. She is in the know about vampires, and pretty good at telling whether a body was killed by one or not. She also had a hand in—or at least is aware of—the cover-up of some recent murders, distracting the public from the vampire-ness of the killings by creating a mysterious murderer named Jack the Ripper. Lady Jayne was the woman Dracula seduced in the opera box, though it’s unclear whether she knows of his living dead status or not. I imagine not, because in her spare time, she is training in a way that would make Giles proud.
She also might be keeping a vampire as a pet. To be determined.
All in all, the show is a bit melodramatic, as I thought it might be, but it has potential. It’s definitely a slightly different take on the novel, which opens up a whole realm of possibilities. Also, the cinematography is stunning. The music that backs it adds to the drama of it all, sometimes more so than the actual goings-on, but it’s just so visually beautiful and aesthetically pleasing that I don’t even mind.
Also, as I mentioned, pretty girls with lovely accents in Victorian attire. And it looks like next week we might get some TGTGT.
What do you think? Will you check out (or continue to watch) Dracula? If so, will you do it for the story, the visuals, or the potential for sweet lady kisses?