The late Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles are beloved by many. I will start this review by confessing I have read only three of the many, many books in the series (one of them being Interview with the Vampire, though), and that when it comes to vampires, it’s not my favorite. So you won’t be surprised I have mixed opinions about the show.
First, there are the main characters of Louis and Lestat. While impeccably portrayed by Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid, they’re just, well, annoying. Mainly because both Louis and Lestat and their general actions drive me up the wall.
The portrayal is on-point from what little I have read of the books, so I can’t fault the actors, but they will never be my favorite characters. And that’s pretty much my only gripe with the show, really. I have zero issues with the fact that this show is very gay, nor with the casting choice to make Louis and Claudia (another infallible portrayal by Bailey Bass) black. The show has a much more contemporary, recognizable feel by addressing the issues of racism that are sadly still with us today.
Story-wise, you like the Vampire Chronicles or you don’t. You know what you’re signing up for: an extremely dysfunctional vampire couple that gets up to all sorts of shenanigans. Including turning a young girl in the hopes of saving their ailing marriage, murder, mayham and domestic and sexual abuse. The show brings to life what the book brushed over, because when it was published in the 1970s being this explicit was not an option.
What draws the steampunk in me to Interview with the Vampire are the historical elements. The fashions are exquisite, and you get decades worth of them. Just for the midcentury fashion alone, this show is worth watching. The setting of 1910s to 1930s New Orleans is superbly done.
Add to that all the history they weave in, such as gay being a crime, segregation and the United States being drawn into World War II. These are the things I will personally tolerate the bullshit of “Loustat” for. I’m excited to see more of them in Season 2.
A word of warning: the show can be rather hard to watch when you’re not in the US due to the monopoly grasp AMC seems to have on it. Here’s to hoping it will be more widely available soon, but it is worth the trouble finding if you’re a fan of history and historical fashion.