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Please Please Please Watch Interview With The Vampire Or Else I Will Die

Louis and Armand from Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire, AMC

My favorite gay vampires have returned, and they’re just as toxic as I remember. If you’re not yet caught up on AMC’s Interview With The Vampire, now is the time. Season 2 started on Sunday, and they’re about to get to the Good Shit.

The first season of Interview with the Vampire almost passed me by. I have been a longtime fan of the original 1994 movie, starring Brad Pitt as Louis Pointe du Lac and Tom Cruise as Lestat de Lioncourt. I believed that even though that movie wasn’t perfect, it was a lovely adaptation of Anne Rice’s work. AMC’s series showed me that I was absolutely wrong on that count—while the new adaptation makes radical changes to the text, they all serve to bring the viewer closer to the sumptuous, melodramatic tone of the original novel. In particular, Sam Reid as Lestat is a delight, constantly prancing around every scene like a pony on cocaine. 

This adaptation also makes good use of the actual narrative conceit of the interview occurring, which the movie kept in the background. Half the show takes place in the present day, where Louis has shacked up with his new lover, Armand (played by theater actor Assad Zaman with evil glee), in Dubai. There, Daniel Molloy, played by the wonderful Eric Bogosian doing Anthony-Bourdain-if-he-were-a-journalist, interviews Louis and pokes holes in the smoothed-over version of history that he presents.

Lestat will sadly be absent for much of this season, as it is adapting the second half of Interview, which takes place after Louis believes he has killed his lover. I am so pumped for what they’re going to cover this season that it becomes hard not to spoil it for newcomers. Suffice it to say, the tragedy that these characters are hurtling towards will be heartbreaking and I am gnawing my fingernails down to the quick in anticipation. This season will be Paris and the Theatre des Vampires—these are some of the iconic aspects of the original novel, and the place where Rice’s vampire cosmology expands into a whole world of love and loss rather than focusing exclusively on Louis’ perspective. Because I know where this season is headed, I know that it will hurt my feelings a lot, and therefore I need to get everyone else on board so we can all share in the delicious pain.

Last Sunday’s premiere episode was just a taste of the angst that these characters will endure. Louis Pointe du Lac, played by Game of Thrones’ Jacod Anderson, is essentially drowning in guilt as he and his teenage sire Claudia, this season played by Delainey Hayles, traverse war-torn Europe for evidence of other vampires. Louis hallucinates a dead Lestat to torment himself, while Claudia mostly ignores his mounting mental health issues. It’s a meditative episode—a lot of the forward motion in the plot happens in the present day interview sequences—but it leaves the audience at a perfect place to prepare themselves for the events to come. By the end of the episode they prepare to travel to Paris. Louis declares to Claudia that he is devoted to her like a father is to a child, but he delivers his impassioned monologue while a hallucination of his dead lover smirks at him. The dramatic turns of the season will balance on that fulcrum. Can Louis protect Claudia, or does he still long for a love that he betrayed and left for dead?

Lestat haunts the interview sequences as well, but mostly in the way that Louis and Armand insist that they’re perfectly happy while it is obvious that despite loving each other, they don’t quite connect. In one scene they enter the room aggressively holding hands as a power play, while Molloy struggles not to roll his eyes at this manufactured depiction of a healthy relationship. Fascinatingly, Molloy appears to have more chemistry with Armand than Louis does. Again, I don’t want to spoil where this might be headed but please, I pray on all that is holy: I need that vampire to fuck that old man.

Jacob Anderson as Louis from Interview with the Vampire
Image Source: Interview with the Vampire, AMC

If you haven’t watched this show but any of that sounds appealing, please, for the love of god, get caught up on the first season and join me. Interview with the Vampire is a rare jewel of a television show. The acting is often revelatory—as much as I love Sam Reid’s Lestat, Jacob Anderson has completely changed how I feel about Louis, unearthing richness and subtlety in a character I used to find boring. Sometimes watching this show feels like going to the theater every Sunday; when I turn off the lights and settle into the couch, I feel like I’m letting the curtains rise before I get whisked away just on the energy of the performances and writing. As Louis says early on in the first season, let the tale seduce you—though the price of that seduction may be more than you’ve bargained for.

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