Vampire in the Garden
Momo lives in the human enclaves, but hates the regimented life there, where not even music is allowed. Lady Fine is a vampire, but does not want to be the Queen of the Vampires, despite the insistence of her fellows that she take the role. Momo and Lady Fine find each other and flee together, pursued by their respective compatriots who seek to force them to return to their respective "homes".
This only runs 5 episodes, and feels more like a longish short story than anything else. It's bereft of a lot of details that the audience would like to know.
-Or at least that I would. For starters: how did the human-vampire war start? WHY do the humans now hate music? It's said that music "attracts" the vampires, but I'd think that irrelevant; the vampires know where the humans are. The vampires, by the way, LOVE music and dance, living in something like a cross between the splendor of the classical European court and utter decadence, as opposed to the ascetic, militaristic lifestyle the "Warms" (humans) now live (but hardly enjoy.)
The series' character designs are fairly simple. The vampires are easily distinguished by their pallor, being rendered with nearly colorless hair and eyes.
The world we're shown here is a frozen place- if it's not near the Arctic Circle, it's doing a good imitation of it- and Momo and Fine spend nearly the whole show trudging through it, trying to avoid being "rescued" by, in Momo's case, her mother and uncle, and in Fine's case by her apparent second-in-command, named Allegro. The show is yet another one about two people trying to be together in spite of their feuding clans. Well, it didn't work out very well in Shakespeare...
That frosty landscape also brought up another issue: just how sensitive ARE the vampires here to light? We see them actually set on fire by the humans' powerful searchlights, but on the other hand they seem to tolerate daylight pretty well. Direct sunlight is not so much an issue, since it's usually snowing here, but I would think mere daylight would be enough to- uh- inflame some vampires, but apparently not.
We also see some schemes tried to enable the humans and vampires to co-exist, if not together then at LEAST side-by-side. But it's kind of difficult to make a stable arrangement work when one party is an obligate parasite of the other.
The show adds one interesting innovation to vampire lore: the vampires have a kind of performance-enhancing drug that turns them into powerful monsters, but at the price of eventually killing them, so it only gets used in desperation and/or in suicide attacks.
The show also has one LESS than original idea: one of the humans reminds one of the vampires very much of an ex-lover. This plot idea has of course become a staple of vampire films, including one film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, even though I believe it wasn't really IN Bram Stoker's original novel.
The show's meant to be much more emotionally moving than intellectually satisfying, and I guess that's OK, though it STILL seemed to me somehow incomplete. It DOES bring up the issue of how, or even whether, members of two seemingly incompatible species can ever find a way to be together. I won't say what Vampire in the Garden's final verdict is, but the Rec this time had a VERY clear answer to this question. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Violence, including considerable bloodletting by BOTH sides. Netflix says TV-14.
Version(s) Viewed: Netflix video stream
Review Status: Full (5/5)
Vampire in the Garden © 2022 WIT Studio/ Production LG
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