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Interview with the Vampire Season 2 Review


Interview with the Vampire Season 2 Review


Summary

  • Season two of
    Interview with the Vampire
    delves deeper into character development and vampire hierarchy.
  • Armand’s addition and the Parisian setting provide a nice contrast to season one, though Lestat’s presence is missed in the new season.
  • Claudia’s age discrepancy in the narrative is a stumbling block, but the series overall continues to expertly explore love and lust in a vampire world.



Interview with the Vampire returns to AMC for a second season after a nearly two-year absence, and drops the viewer right back into where the story ended. Season two might not be as violent or overtly sensual as its predecessor, but it makes up for it by digging deeper into the characters and expanding the vampire hierarchy of power. Season two is certainly another strong example of a modern adaptation, both bringing what audiences loved from the original material while also not being afraid to move elements around to make a stronger story for the most part.


Anne Rice’s 1976 novel of the same name was a smash hit and became one of the most influential pieces of vampire lore since Bram Stoker’s Dracula. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight to True Blood, all can trace elements back to Anne Rice’s original novel and the 1994 film of the same name starring Tom Cruise as Lestat. AMC’s announcement of Interview with the Vampire both seemed obvious but also slightly late.

Following the massive vampire mania of the 2000s, it would seem Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles would make for an ideal television show, but it took years to get off the ground, and when it finally aired in 2022, it was arriving in a different landscape. The vampire craze had long died down, yet it came at a time when audiences were nostalgic for the days of Twilight and True Blood, and Interview with the Vampire offered a show that was equal parts sexy and gory, truly embracing what audiences love about vampires.



Adapting the Second Half of Anne Rice’s Book

Interview with the Vampire TV Poster

Interview with the Vampire

3.5/5

Based on Anne Rice’s novel series that began in 1976, Interview with the Vampire is a gothic horror fantasy series that explores the life of Louis de Pointe du Lac through an interview with a journalist. Told through flashbacks of Louis’ life during the interview, the series examines Louis’ relationship with the vampire that turned him, Lestat de Lioncourt, and a teenage girl named Claudia, whom he turns. The series is the first of Anne Rice’s Immortal Universe media franchise.

Release Date
October 2, 2022

Seasons
2

Story By
Anne Rice

Network
AMC

Streaming Service(s)
AMC Plus

Franchise(s)
Immortal Universe

Pros

  • The addition of Armand and the Parisian setting is very nice, and the acting is excellent.
  • The exploration of vampire mythology and Louis’ desires is expanded.
Cons

  • Lestat’s presence is sorely missed in much of season two.
  • Claudia’s age doesn’t make much sense and feel unrealistic with the actress.

The series opted to make some major but important changes. It moved up the time frame of Louis (Jacob Anderson) turning into a vampire while also changing his skin color to add a new layer of cultural and racial tension to his story. The framing device of the interview also acts as both an adaptation of the original story and a sequel, as this is the second interview Louis has done with Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). The first was in 1973, which is implied to be closer to the events of the novel’s original ending.

This second interview reframes the story in Louis’ mind with more hindsight while also calling into question how much is actually true. Instead of adapting the entirety of the original novel for season one, Interview with the Vampire opted to adapt the first half of the book about Louis’ time in Louisana with his maker/lover, Lestat, and the creation of their daughter figure, Claudia. The end of the season marked the book’s halfway point, with them burning Lestat.


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Season two now adapts the second half of the novel, chronicling Louis and Claudia’s time in Paris meeting the Théâtre des Vampires, a coven posing as a theater troupe performing vampiric shows that the audience thinks are fake under the leadership of Armand. Louis and Claudia must conceal their history from the coven after discovering that their attack on Lestat is a major crime in the vampire community.

While Claudia embraces the vampire community she has found, she eventually begins to grow sick of being viewed only as a child. Meanwhile, Louis is coping with the fallout of his separation from Lestat while also pursuing the possibility of a new romance with Armand and how this relationship could jeopardize the delicate balance in the vampire community. Meanwhile, the interview framing device of Louis and now Armand joining in puts interviewer Daniel in an interesting position to question what happened the night of their first interview back in 1973.


Armand and Louis Evolve Interview with the Vampire

For season two of Interview with the Vampire, the creators found the perfect cut-off point between splitting parts one and two of the book, with the character of Armand and the city of Paris contrasting Louis’ life in Louisiana. This does not happen until episode two, though, which makes the first episode of the season more like a necessary transition piece as opposed to a gripping start, as the series premiere was.

Armand (played by Assad Zaman) was introduced in the final moments of season one, with the big twist being that he was posing as Rashid, Louis’ assistant. Armand’s role in season two is one of Interview with the Vampire‘s most interesting developments. The interview segments question the veracity of Louis, as two people provide commentary on how events unfold, and the series can highlight how unreliable everyone is as a narrator. It is also framed like a couples’ therapy session, with the two seeming in unison at the beginning but slowly having their relationship tested as they both are forced to revisit the past.


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Armand is meant to serve as a major contrast to Lestat for two different but, at times, similar relationships in Louis’ life. Louis escaped an abusive relationship, so at the start, he keeps Armand at bay, likely out of fear of being hurt. While Lestat’s colorful personality and love of life attracted Louis to him, it also concealed a host of demons. This is equally true of Armand’s quiet-spoken nature. While not as overtly destructive as Lestat, Armand has demons of his own, and Louis has reasons to be distrustful of a man with power who can and likely will hurt him in the name of love.


The series continues to explore how the characters’ desire for love and lust often get mixed up and the dangers that stem from the confusion. In a city of art, Louis’ soul is torn apart by past feelings toward Lestat and new feelings for Armand. Jacob Anderson continues to be a captivating lead, giving Louis a soft-spoken introspection but also a violent temper bubbling beneath the surface. It helps that, for a good portion of the series, he has the great Eric Bogosian as a scene partner for his interviews with Daniel Maloy.

Missing Lestat in Season 2 and Claudia’s Awkward Age

The biggest hurdle in season two of Interview with the Vampire was always going to be how to handle the fact that Lestat, who became the main character of the franchise, has a much smaller role in the second half of the story. Sam Reid’s depiction of Lestat was the highlight of season one, and while his role in season two is greatly smaller, the creators find a clever way for him to still be present in the story. He haunts the series as a looming threat from Claudia and Louis’ past, and he hangs over the story in some interesting ways.


Thankfully, Ben Daniels’ portrayal of the vampire Santiago provides a great new antagonist for the majority of the season, who is delightfully sinister in a way that does not feel like a carbon copy of Lestat.

Check Out a Special Preview of Season 2

One of the season’s biggest stumbling blocks, though, revolves around the character of Claudia. Delainey Hayles steps into the role played by Bailey Bass in the previous season. The issue is not with the performer; in fact, she takes on the character with almost seamless ease. The big issue is in the narrative corner the creators have written themselves into.


In the original novel, Claudia was turned at the age of five, which, for obvious reasons, was never going to be doable, and even the 1994 film updated her age to 10 (played by Kirsten Dunst). Clearly with the subject matter and the sensuality involved in Claudia’s role in the story, the creators aged her up again to 14, but played by a 19-year-old. While obviously the right choice for a number of reasons, it is the one area in the adaptation that fails to update the arc properly. They keep talking about Claudia as a child who has turned into a vampire, but the star playing her clearly is a young adult.

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Setting Up More of The Vampire Chronicles


Interview with the Vampire season two is another strong entry in the franchise that both works at adapting the original novel while also updating it for a modern adaptation. While the lack of Sam Reid’s Lastat as a major presence is missing, it does a good enough job of not only expanding the world and lore of the vampire mythology but also digging deeper into the characters. Armand’s inclusion in the story makes for a perfect mirror for season one’s central relationship with Lestat.

It is clear that there are still plenty of stories to tell about these characters and the world. And now, thanks to AMC also owning the rights to Anne Rice’s other supernatural series, Mayfair Witches, it seems like they are going all in on the Immortal Universe being their next major multi-year cross series franchise. If you enjoyed Interview the Vampire season one, season two will not disappoint. With the whole first book adapted into two strong seasons of television, the stages are set for the franchise to dig into the equally fascinating but lesser-known entries in Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series.


Interview with the Vampire season two premieres on Sunday, May 12, 2024, on AMC and AMC+. You can watch it through the link below:

Watch Interview with the Vampire

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1 Comments Text
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