The amount of vampire based series and films now on air or coming out it really just quite ridiculous. I’m not sure why this giant swelling in interest in vampire lore and whatnot has come from (well, blame Twilight and True Blood I guess), but even when you get a show like Blood Ties which pre-dates those two efforts by a couple of years, you have to wonder just why everyone is so obsessed with vampires nowadays. I suppose there is some appeal and I’m a fan of the Joss Whedon vampire based outings but the more recent efforts have left me unimpressed.
Based on the novels by Tanya Huff, BLOOD TIES follows the twisty career and lovelife of Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox), an ex-cop turned private investigator who winds up working a supernatural caseload. Just after witnessing a brutal murder, Vicki encounters a sexy vampire–Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid)– who is investigating the crime for personal reasons. The two pair up to solve the case and quickly find they have more than just professional chemistry. Soon enough, they’re navigating both a romantic relationship and a host of new, increasingly bizarre mysteries.
It’s a generic story and one that almost every vampire TV show or movie has: handsome vampire woos attractive girl and, although their love is forbidden for some reason, it creates endless chemistry between them and blah blah blah. There’s nothing original about the way Blood Ties pulls this scenario off so I won’t bore you with the details of it, but those who are enthralled by such things should eat this series up.
Although there’s a pretty good chance you already have. This series is already two years old and first premiered in Canada before porting over to the Lifetime network in the US. Needless to say I don’t watch that channel so I hadn’t heard of this series and laying eyes on it I thought it was something akin to those cheap Disney cartoon knock offs that were so rampant in dollar stores and whatnot. Basically this series looks like True Blood lite, although with a lot less sex, nudity and gore. Although there’s still some of that too (sans nudity).
Of course I don’t even like True Blood. It’s not that it’s a bad show by any means, of course, as it’s well acted and nicely written. I just have no interest in the storyline and as much as I tried to get into it, I just couldn’t (though I didn’t attempt season two yet, so we’ll see). In any case watching what is essentially a watered down and hammier version of that show just doesn’t make for a good time. Not to mention the CGI budget for Blood Ties definitely isn’t up to par either.
So is there anything in this series that works? Well yeah. Of course there is, otherwise it wouldn’t have gone for 22 episodes (which was actually just one season, but was split into two by various networks). This second half of episodes was mildly confusing to me at first but it’s such a basic premise that it didn’t require many episodes to understand what was going on. Once I adjusted to that it was pretty run of the mill stuff. In fact it reminded me a lot of the SyFy series Moonlight, which is really quite a horrible show in of itself. It also was slightly reminiscent of The Dresden Files, which I did enjoy…so it had that going for it.
In any case Blood Ties is a basic cop drama style series with a vampire angle to it. Hell they even plaster “A Crime Series” on the DVD cover to drive that point home. I didn’t find any of the characters or plots particularly engaging or original so I can’t even really distinguish it from any other series of a similar nature. It’s not a real mark against the series so much as against the genre itself—original crime drama that’s engaging is just incredibly rare.
Overall Blood Ties isn’t a bad series…just one I wasn’t interested in. If you’re into the whole vampire phenomenon I’m sure it has some appeal then, but I could go without watching another pointy toothed series for a long while. Rent It.
The second season arrives in a standard amaray DVD case that houses the three discs inside. The case is accompanied by a clear plastic o-ring cover that slips over the front, creating a double image of the show logo. It’s kind of a neat effect and adds to the uniqueness of the package…of which there is little else as it’s pretty run of the mill stuff. Video is similarly generic, as is the audio, which brings the show to life in a 4×3 aspect ratio and DD2.0 audio. Nothing amazing about either, as they get the job done. Also included inside the package is a booklet detailing episode info.
Extras? Well there’s a Season 1 Trailer and a Photo Gallery and…nothing else. Oddly enough the rear of the package states that this includes “Full Hour Television Episodes,” but then denotes that “Television Episodes are 46 minutes after commercial breaks have been removed.” A really odd combination of text to slap on the back of a package.
In the end this is a pretty weak package…but then again I don’t really think this show did well enough to warrant anything better. At least it’s out there for those who want it. Since this set is basically barebones, give it a Rental.
Blood Ties: Season Two is now available on DVD.