With so many shows coming out, it’s difficult to know how to invest one’s precious time. We live in an era where new TV shows and movies are popping up nearly every week and navigating through the miasma of choices can be daunting. I wouldn’t say I’m here to necessarily help with that, but I am here to tell you about the round-table meet-up I sat in for the upcoming SyFy show Van Helsing. From what I saw of the trailer, if you like vampires and women who kick butt, then Van Helsing might just be your proverbial cup of tea.
Myself, and the rest of the press members who spoke to the actors and producers, were pleased to find these creators were a kindly bunch and seemed very invested in their creation. With about a million vampire movies, TV shows, and books out in the world, you’d think it’d be easy to say this would be just another run-of-the-mill horror show. I’m inclined to think otherwise.
From Kelly Overton to Jonathan Scarfe and Christopher Heyerdahl to the show’s producers, everyone was incredibly generous and charming. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people to interview. Oftentimes, my colleagues and myself found ourselves immediately disarmed by the smiles of these actors and producers as they sat down to talk to us.
Kelly Overton discussed to us about everything from how she loves getting drenched with fake blood to the responsibility she feels in being a strong role model for young women.
Then you had Jonathan Scarfe. After talking to the man, I was pretty much convinced he could survive a vampire uprising. After all, he and his family sold everything they had to go sailing around the planet for two and a half years, armed with only the bare necessities.
Christopher Heyerdahl on the other hand is a classic actor through and through. You could listen to the man talk for hours, finding yourself hypnotized by the eloquence of his words and not be bored in the slightest. He has a real way of talking is what I’m trying to get across. Mr. Heyerdahl talked to us mainly about two things: acting theory and playing a deaf man on the show and the struggles associated with that. I have no idea how many minutes he spoke, but all I know is that it wasn’t for long enough.
As for talking to the producers, namely Chad Oakes, Mike Frislev, and Simon Barry, while we didn’t learn any “breaking news” about the show, we DID learn about their passion for the project. Right from the get-go, you could tell they were excited to be working on a vampire show and that they were able to share their vision with the rest of the world. One of the things they made pointedly clear was how their Van Helsing was different from any other iteration we’ve seen and not to expect crossbows and all the gnarly attributes typically associated with either Dracula or Van Helsing.
At the end of the day, with a googolplex of content to choose from, there are going to be shows better than Van Helsing. That’s cold, hard, math. Yet there was something genuine in both the trailer and the answers I received that made me take a step back and reevaluate any preconceived notions I might have had. I know there are fans of the Syfy show Defiance, but those same people express irritation that the show hasn’t been properly recognized. Perhaps it’s due to the campy nature of most Syfy programing, leaving a stale taste in audience’s mouths, but there are gems in the rough. Hopefully, Van Helsing is such a gem.