I have been a fan of the Ann Rice book since it was released in 1976 and I still have my original paperback copy. The back cover had models portraying the main characters in a formal portrait and that image of them stuck with me and became how I visualized them. There were followup books, though the first of them "The Vampire Lestat" took awhile to come out the rest were written much quicker and soon Rice had several series of supernatural series covering all sorts of occult subjects, with varying degrees of success in my opinion. A film version of "Vampire" was released in 1984 and while it had some lovely cinematography and a well know, good-looking cast it was TERRIBLE. Miscast and, apparently due to the objections of Tom Cruise, it erased all the gayness which made the book so fascinating when it was released. Cruise tried to make his version of Lestat the highlight of the film and Will credit him for making a huge effort in the role. However taking away the character's queerness took away the character and all that effort was not enough to save the project.
Now we have TV series based on the same material and I was not too hopeful how it would come out. I knew in advance they had changed the time period and were going to play quite a bit with the original storyline of a book I simply LOVE. Louis de Pointe du Lac is now a rich black brothel owner, not a white plantation owner and the story has shifted about 100 years later than the novel. The original story still exists in it's original form by way of this being a second meeting of the now old, dying of Parkinson's journalist (Eric Bogosian) once again meeting with Louis who wants to redo the interview after admitting he wasn't entirely honest the first time around. He provides evidence of his current version with diaries and newspaper clipping etc to show his good faith and also to give us, the viewer, more insight into other characters in their own words.
As the interview progresses, the familiar story is presented in different ways and some elements are changed completely. Louis has a servant (Assad Zaman) who arises the suspicion in the journalist that even this new interview might be given by an unreliable narrator - and he is not wrong.
I don't want to spoil things as this series is absolutely fantastic and gives us the tone and feeling of the book while at the same time letting it be its own thing. It adds to the book, a rare thing, and does not shy away for the queer elements (not at all) and introduces new ones like Louis having to deal with racial and sexual prejudices which really adds to the character in ways I wouldn't not have predicted. Jacob Anderson IS Louis, the pouty, miserable vampire of the books but with much more context. And my goodness is he beautiful both physically and as an actor in the role. Sam Reid grew on me as Lestat and his wrath and mental instability is terrifying. His French accent is a little off for me so it took me longer to buy him as Lestat but he really succeeded in getting me on board. Bailley Bass is Claudia, the young girl who is made a vampire to complete their little vampire family. In the show she is not a 5 year old but a teenager and Bass runs away with the adolescent rebellion as only a vampire stuck forever in a teenager's body can. Being transformed so young, killing and living as a supernatural creature is all she knows and that makes her more dangerous than maybe Lestat and Louis could have anticipated.
This series has been beyond good and doesn't seem to have a huge backlash some other reboots or followup properties have in recent years. Some of that is the quality of the show nullifies the dumb internet bigotry and some might be is has slipped in under the radar just enough to have avoided the attention of Russian trolls. Hard to say. There is some what I would call light nudity and sexuality but there is some pretty nasty violence... I mean several times during the season I was really taken aback by it. It isn't without purpose, however. Everything in this show seems to have purpose and leads somewhere interesting. The second season can't come soon enough.