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Hercules Says NBC’s
DRACULA Kinda Sucks!!

I am – Hercules!!

Were you thinking there still aren’t enough vampires (or serial killers generally) on TV these days?

A first series from comic-book writer Cole Haddon (“Space Gladiator”), NBC’s “Dracula” imagines Bram Stoker’s famed Transylvanian count as an inventor and human-American-impersonator determined to break up an oil monopoly in 1896 London.

The miniseries’ first episode looks expensive (the project was shot in Hungary, where the production dollar can be stretched), but the story somehow makes this time-tested vampire pretty boring -- and Mina Murray and Jonathan Harker and Abraham Van Helsing similarly so.

Appended to the project is some unconvincing steampunky sci-fi business that has wireless electricity existing more than a century ago -- even though it somehow no longer exists today.

The New York Times says:

... Unfortunately, “Dracula,” despite some nice costumes and the glowering presence of the Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is a mostly drab affair. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... I quite like it. Its aspirations and its execution are perfectly in sync; there is no way that Meyers could overact, or, indeed, not act enough, that would not suit the material. …

The Chicago Sun-Times says:

... The show has a lot going on and it isn’t always easy to follow, but for the most part it’s stylish, sexy and smart. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... The writers walk a fine line with characterization in the series. At first, many of key figures are almost like caricatures, one-dimensional and seeming to lack nuance. Yet, as the series continues, many of them do evolve. Mina, for example, displays atypical independence for a woman of her time in her determination to succeed in an overwhelmingly male profession. …

The Washington Post says:

... “Dracula” shows a lot of skill when it comes to launching a swift-paced series and weaving together several taut story lines and characters; at times it even finds an undiscovered sweet spot between “Downton Abbey” and Bela Lugosi. Rhys Meyers is an adequately creepy vampire and there is sex, style, mystery and ad¬ven¬ture all around. Only one crucial piece is missing: “Dracula” isn’t scary. …

The Denver Post says:

Not funny enough to be campy, not smart enough to be serious, NBC's "Dracula" is an incomprehensible mishmash in period costumes. It's scary, all right, but only when you think of what the budget must have been. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... Nothing in "Dracula" is as unique or as wonderfully weird as "Twin Peaks," and "Dracula" plows through plot more quickly, introducing and then writing off several intriguing plots and characters within its first three episodes. It's too soon to say whether that will turn out to be wise or foolhardy, but "Dracula" at least gets off to a mildly promising start. …

The Boston Herald says:

... Dracula’s visit to an under¬ground gay club next week is well, bizarre, but it captures how homosexuals dwelled in the shadows, terrified of exposure. Those moments are far more biting than any of the so-called scares. … C+ …

USA Today says:

... Were it merely silly, we might be more forgiving. But Dracula is exhaustingly, confusingly silly, and deadly dull, to boot …

Variety says:

... if the inordinately crimson-drenched doings threaten to become strained over a long haul, in the short term, anyway, “Dracula” is pretty tasty. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... even Meyers' always magnetic presence can't make this Dracula stand out.… There's nothing overtly bad about the first two episodes of Dracula, but neither was there anything compelling. …

10 p.m. Friday. NBC.

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