Friday, July 16, 2010

The Gates

The moment I heard that a new vampire show was about to hit the air I absolutely had to watch it. A few episodes in I realize that there is a lot more going on than that.  The Gates is a closed community in which  an sucubus, werewolves, vampires, witches, and one creature which I have yet to figure out all reside.  They exist with uber class privilege and are going through the charade of having a nice but suburban life.   The sheer mix of supernatural creatures should create some very interesting interactions.

A cop from Chicago moves to "The Gates" after an involvement in a  questionable shooting.  The home that they are given is extremely lavish and it quickly becomes clear that this a town of secrets and deception. The Gates feels very much like ABC is trying to cash in on the current vampire craze that is pushing the "True Blood" and "Twilight" empire.  Considering that there is very stiff competition for viewer attention the The Gates is not working hard to grab the audiences attention.  If it were perhaps the first to the gate (yes bad pun intended), then a slow crescendo could be tolerated, but at this point it is certainly no competition for "Twilight" let alone "True Blood".   Thus far none of the acting is particularly good but then the same can be said of "Twilight" with "Eclipse" being the worst of the series thus far. At least the accents on the show are real unlike the mutilated accents on "True Blood."

The problem with "The Gates," is that it feels very much like the occult meets "Desperate Housewives".  There is a  three way teenage love triangle, which feels  like a nod to a "Twilight," even though a human and a werewolf are fighting over a succubus. The witches of course are divided into good and evil; however, interestingly enough, the so-called bad witch is the blond, and the good witch is a WOC.  Dylan Radcliff played by Luke Mably is determined to play stepford family to ensure the safety of his adopted daughter.  He is exceedingly private and thus is very controlling when it comes to his wife, Claire Radcliff played by Rhona Mitra.  I know that Claire's character is not really meant to be amusing but the very idea of a vampire trying to be Martha Stewart and failing miserably amuses me.  I think that if she goes on another mommy and me ice cream dates her head will explode.  This is not the life that she wants and  so "The Gates" traps her rather than protects her.  It seems to be an interesting play on the problem that has no name - Betty Freidan would be pleased.  If you are staying at home against your will to play the role of housewife the monotony will get to you and it is in these moments that Claire is more apt to get into trouble.

The story can be a little hard to follow sometimes because of the extremely long list of characters, however; it is my hope that at least a few of these will be weeded out so that a viewer can make a proper investment in the characters. Apparently this coming Sunday all bets are off as the secrets that residents have been trying to keep hidden are revealed. This of course will only be a surprise to the human characters on the show as the audience was made aware very early on in the first episode that not all was as it seemed.  The question is, when the scary things come crawling out of the shadows will the writers have invested this moment with enough occult drama so that we can finally move away from the night time soap opera feel of the show?  If "The Gates" seeks to become a serious contender in the vampire dramas it needs to move beyond Wistera Lane and take us to place wild abandon and mysterious coldness.

Have you been watching "The Gates" and what are your thoughts of the show so far or are you so vampired out that the thought of another blood sucking drama has you running for silver?