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Old 01-12-2020, 09:40 PM
Mahaloth is offline
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Van Helsing - my favorite disaster of a show (open spoilers)


Van Helsing - my favorite disaster of a show

OK, so this includes spoilers for the show, but honestly, do you really care? I mean, itís that Van Helsing show on Syfy.

Van Helsing will always have a special place in my heart. When it began, it was an underdog and kind of hit with me. It was Walking Dead with vampires and a very good imitation. In fact, I would not scoff at you if you told me that the current Van Helsing is better than the current Walking Dead. See, both shows have had major changes, but Walking Dead has become unwatchable while Van Helsing is simply amazing. The behind-the-scenes on Van Helsing must be unbelievable.

Over four seasons, the following has happened:

1. Kelly Overton(Vanessa Van Helsing) had a baby in real life. OK, so they fabricated a sister named Scarlett Van Helsing who appeared in a chunk of episodes as the primary lead.

2. Kelly Overton came back, so they killed Scarlett off. I guess thatís the end of that guest spot. I mean, we donít need TWO Van Helsings, do we? (ha ha, foreshadowing)

3. Now, in season 4, Kelly Overton has disappeared again. She has not, to my knowledge, had another baby. She just disappeared. What did they do? They fabricated two 20-something DAUGHTERS of her, both who carry the Van Helsing name and gene. They never existed up to this point in the show and WHAM, two daughters! Itís hilarious. WE now have Van Helsing with two Van Helsings who WE NEVER HEARD of before now.

The above sounds like a mess and it is. This show has also:

1. Killed off or written off every single other lead except for one. Jonathan Scarfe(Axle). He is now the sole thing on the show that has been on it from the beginning.
2. They built up for years a main villain who they instantly killed. (Sam)
3. They killed off a main lead for no reason except perhaps not enough money to pay him any more. (Mohammad).
4. They hyped up Tricia Helfer as Dracula and she has only appeared briefly due to, obviously, some kind of budget limitation
5. They had Neal McDonough for awhile. Good get, right? Yeah, well he just changed what he looked like becauseÖ.uhÖ.they ran out of money for Neal McDonough??

So many more disastrous behind the scenes events have happened. It is obvious that this show is desperately trying to keep going with whatever cast they can assemble.

I saw all of this to say this. Van Helsing is still a really great show and in many ways, they are a great example of overcoming adversity to createÖ.wellÖ.I wonít say art. But at least they have managed to create a watchable show with almost none of their cast staying put.

If you havenít seen this show, check it out. Itís an absolute mess and it is like watching a beautiful train wreck. I canít look away for even a moment.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:32 AM
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I watch the show on Netflix. I've started to become really frustrated by the way that the woman with blood that can turn vampires back into regular people (who, as an added bonus, are immune from being turned back into vampires) doesn't make use of this power at every opportunity. Coat the edge of your bladed weapons. Find yourself a blowgun and tip every dart with a drop of blood. I vaguely recall her giving some dumbass reason for being hesitant, but she sure spends an enormous amount of time hanging out with people she's turned back, so I don't know what the problem is. I think she's got proof of concept by now. (And yes, I remember her daughter didn't fare so well, but they went to the trouble of establishing that it wouldn't work on her because she had been experimented on by the evil doctor, therefore making her the outlier.)
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:25 AM
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I was stuck in a hospital room for way too long, so I watched up to season 2. It started getting a little off-the-rails late in season 2, I thought, then I couldn't watch it because season 3 had to be broadcast in its entirety before Netflix would offer it. Too much time passed and I lost momentum, and the story. I tried picking it up again, but don't think I made it 2 whole episodes into season 3. Pity, I enjoyed what they were doing up until the end of s2. Sounds like I'm better off quitting there - I was enjoying what it was too much to appreciate the crazy bouncing around it did afterwards.

I was already unappreciative of the magic blood, and the (lack of) use it was put to, when I stopped watching.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:22 AM
Mahaloth is offline
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Turns out Kelly Overton DID have another baby and that is the deal with both Season 2 and 4. In Season 4(I finished it last night), she never re-appears after she leaves around episode 7 or 8. Even the finale could not get her there.

Have they not heard of filming out of order? I'm stunned they did not have her film 5-10 scenes from late in the season before she left for maternity. Again, this is clearly a show under budget pressure and other logistic pressures.

I really do have a bizarre love for it. I watch it as much to see how they will handle their difficulties behind-the-scenes as I do for the actual show.

Season 1 was clearly the best. Season 3 was back on track because Vanessa returned. Season 2 was bad and Season 4 was almost equally bad.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
...Van Helsing will always have a special place in my heart. When it began, it was an underdog and kind of hit with me. It was Walking Dead with vampires and a very good imitation. In fact, I would not scoff at you if you told me that the current Van Helsing is better than the current Walking Dead. See, both shows have had major changes, but Walking Dead has become unwatchable while Van Helsing is simply amazing. ...
I, too, watched from the beginning and was extremely impressed with the dialogue, acting, and direction---all of which seemed to me to be a big cut above other genre shows. And I suspect a lot of that can be attributed to creator/frequent writer Neil LaBute, who is a well-respected playwright and screenwriter. (In the Company of Men was his first big success, but his name is on a lot of well-regarded projects, and on a few less-successful ones, too.)

So I've followed the show with great enjoyment over the years, and had some of the same reactions you mention. I hated to see Mohammad go as his character was quite interesting, I thought: a person who had an inner goodness but had done some very bad things (in connection with his sister), and had also been overly-ready to believe that the deaf guy who he'd allied with was similarly good-at-heart. Then, as you mention, the disposal of Sam was shockingly abrupt; his backstory was also compelling, and many viewers must have expected a more nuanced resolution to his subplot!

But overall the show remains more interesting than typical cable fare. LaBute doesn't write every episode but it appears that he has influenced the show's producers to try to hire writers of talent. In a recent episode, for example, I found the aftermath of Scab's killing---what happened to Ivory---to be genuinely surprising and moving. And yet those were characters I hadn't really thought all that much about over the years (three for Ivory and four for Scab) they'd been part of the show.

The wikipedia article on the show, by the way, confirms that Syfy is springing for a fifth season, which will be "it" unless some other venue offers to pay for the show.

Last edited by Sherrerd; 01-17-2020 at 05:27 PM.
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