Vicky Nelson, vampire wrangler
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 06/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The center of "Blood Ties" has always been the love triangle between PI Vicky Nelson, cop Mike Celucci, and vampire Henry Fitzroy.
But that love triangle starts constricting painfully in the second season of "Blood Ties," which finishes the all-too-short horror/mystery series. The plots are solid whodunnits and thrillers that center around strange supernatural beasties and items, and the trio of lead actors are excellent (particularly the striking Kyle Schmid). The one problem is the ending -- it's a big fat "to be continued" that leaves you craving a wrap-up TV movie.
When a wealthy man is brutally killed, Mike (Dylan Neal) knows he has the right suspect, a sneering woman who was at the crime scene. The problem is, the man died from being savaged by a giant cat -- and Mike saw her eyes glow when she was upset. So Vicki (Christina Cox) and Henry (Schmid) start investigating the woman's home and her family -- and uncover an ancient family secret and a tragic loss.
Among the other cases they handle: creepy art and men drowned with oil paint, a mysterious box that sticks Vicki in a time loop, a Goth club being threatened by a strange drug and insect attacks, a gang of truckjackers accidentally let loose an Incan mummy, and a murderer who suddenly changes his story (claiming psychic visions). And Henry unexpectedly seeks Mike's help when another vampire starts killing in his territory... leading to a reunion with the slinky Christina, his ex-lover/vampire-mother, who's got a nasty problem that is more than it seems.
Unfortunately, all this supernatural stuff is slowly crumbling away Mike's professional credibility, and the relationship between the three of them is getting increasingly tense. When an old demonic enemy returns to attack Coreen, Vicki must depend on both men to help -- but it may not be enough.
"Blood Ties Season Two" is in some ways darker and more desperate than the first season, now that Vicki has gotten totally immersed in the world of the supernatural (and Mike is starting to sink in too). But the core of the series is much the same -- it still sticks to the monster/artifact-of-the-week formula ("Talismans don't kill people; people kill people"), and maintains that distinctly dark, grimy feel, with lots of pale light, shadowy urban streets and a very unusual vampire.
And the murky mysteries are nicely speckled with gritty action sequences, monsters both typical (werethingies!) and unique (bug demons!), and some painfully bittersweet moments, such as the tragic fate of an out-of-control, self-loathing vampire. But the writers keep things tongue-in-cheek, and have some wonderfully quirky dialogue ("Don't you have a lucky shirt or socks?" "I have a bonnet that Anne Boleyn gave me right before she tried to poison me. I'm still here, so I guess you could call that lucky").
The biggest problem with "Blood Ties Season Two"? The ending. It's abundantly clear that there was a third season intended that would dealt with the myriad hanging plot threads -- namely the fractured love triangle and the whole Astaroth problem -- but it never happened. So the ending is depressing and unsatisfying. Come on, make us a TV movie!
Kyle Schmid actually steals the limelight in this season -- Henry becomes a more passionate, tragic figure as he deals with some of his past demons, while thankfully maintaining his sexy-trickster attitude (after admitting that he likes Celucci, he adds, "I'm gonna regret having to draw him being eaten by hellhounds"). And he pulls off even potentially-cheesy scenes, such as when Henry describes to the half-blind Vicki how luminous and vibrant the world looks to him.
But Christina Cox and Dylan Neal still hold their own -- Vicki seems more at peace with her new "night life" and the crimes she has to investigate, but her emotional life is even more snarled than it was before. She's getting pulled in two directions, and it now hurts. And Mike is slowly coming to terms with Henry's presence -- and evens seems buddyish once or twice. But the slow destruction of his career and his nice comfortable life is a painful thing to watch.
"Blood Ties Season Two" has an unsatisfactory finale, but it's still a solid fantasy/horror/mystery series that is one of the better vampire shows to make it to TV. Definitely give it a watch."
Hottest Vampire Ever!!
Melodie Stickrath | Aurora, CO USA | 07/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can safely say I was addicted to this show! Kyle Schmid as vampire Henry Fitzroy is most definitely the hottest vampire ever....whether on the big screen or the small. This show was funny, it had action, great chemistry between its characters and it was never given a chance by LifetimeTV. It ended with such a cliffhanger I figured we'd at least get a TV movie to tie things up, but we never got a thing. The show was based on Tanya Huff's Blood Books, but the show was far superior to the books. In the UK the whole show was sold as one set of DVDs. They needed to wring a few more bucks out of us here in the US, but that's okay. My favorite "vampire" show ever!"
Stephen P. Frakes | Salem, Illinois /Cottonwood, AZ | 10/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this series. I wish it was still going. It is always a shame when a great series is canceled. I'm just glad I have it to watch over and over. Great actors and the writers had great imaginations. And I love it when the vampire is the good guy. The series reminds me of the series "Supernatural" except it is a vampire that is one of the hunters. I think anyone who likes "Supernatural" will like this series."
Why was this show canceled??
Texasbug | Texas | 11/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I gave this 5 stars because I've really enjoyed the first season and this second season has great episodes, but you can tell they got cut off at the knees when they were canceled. So I'd like to give the Lifetime network zero stars for canceling this really well done show.
The casting for this show was really great. Kyle Schmid is one of our heart throbs now. And I think the woman who played the medical examiner is my all-time favorite medical examiner on TV. Christina Cox was also well chosen. I've read all the books and I think she makes a great Vicki.
The show itself was suspenseful and usually had comedic overtones that I enjoyed. This DVD set is well worth the price, even though there are only 9 episodes and no special features. That was a disappointment. But its all worth it to watch Henry, especially when he goes all vampire. They did his vampire teeth (and overall look) right. His canines and second incisors extend and his forehead does not get bumpy and his veins do not pop all out. Henry's vamp look is very sexy."