Episode Analysis Interview With the Vampire: In Throes of Increasing Wonder

Interview With the Vampire's first episode is strong on story but weak on history.

Episode Analysis Interview With the Vampire: In Throes of Increasing Wonder
Image courtesy AMC Networks

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Warning: The following contains spoilers for Interview With The Vampire through episode one as well as the books. Read at your own risk.


Before we begin, let us address the megafauna sized cockroach in the room: I am one of the four people who got a Cease and Desist from Anne Rice’s lawyer to stop writing fanfic.

This event in my life has granted me exactly as much fame and fortune as my love of chocolate chip cookies (arguably less because chocolate chip cookies are their own reward, c’mon). But I say this since it is background on me reviewing this show.

Also background is that I used to write about Anne both as a dedicated amateur and professionally. I’ve been cited in books as an expert on Anne Rice. I gave tours in the French Quarter and Garden District which included locations from her books and the Interview With the Vampire movie. I’ve played with her dogs. I’ve had cordial third party working relationships with her relatives who worked for her company Kith & Kin. I have stayed in one of Anne’s homes. I had the ability to, but did not, buy her underwear.

My relationship with all things Anne Rice ended in October 2000 because if you tell me to cease and desist showing my appreciation as a fan I will, as many in the fandom did at that time, cease and desist giving you my money. Which as anyone who was reading Anne’s unedited self knows was not exactly a hardship but still. (I dipped out right after Vittorio the Vampire, for those keeping track at home.)

The list goes on and on but point being I can’t sit here and be like “What’s vampires, precious?” as I review this show. On the other hand let’s be real here: you’re going to be hard pressed to find anybody else on the internet who can offer a perspective comparable to mine on AMC’s Interview With the Vampire. So… congrats for you I guess? I’d say way to know me before I was cool but obviously I have not nor will ever be cool.

I can’t claim to be an expert on all of Anne’s stuff to the present day. Having not read anything from Merrick onward I can’t speak to any of the lore that came later (Lestat goes to outer space or something? Maybe? Which I mean it's no weirder than him drinking the blood of Jesus directly from the source so sure why not?) I can still speak to some of Anne’s politics, standing in the community of New Orleans, and other things that put her name in the news as they happened though.

And as those of you who have been reading the site since the beginning know, if the vaguest possibility comes up that I can talk about talk about New Orleans history in the context of a TV show I will put a stool next to that opportunity and milk it to death.

All of which is to say strap in, gang, because I have NOTES. We’re talking show quality, we’re talking context of the show against actual Louisiana history, we are talking and talking and TALKING.

Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Captain America saying "Before we get started does anyone want to get off?"

Is AMC’s Interview With the Vampire a Good Show?

In order to talk about AMC’s Interview With the Vampire, something which I dearly wish had a shorter way to differentiate it from the book and the movie, we have to acknowledge the show is entirely its own thing. When you take an 18th century slave owner and turn him into a Black man in 1910 you’ve obviously made your mission statement that when you say the show is “based on” the novel what you mean is “In as much as both the book and our script were written in English.”

So we have to throw out any attempt to talk about the show in comparison to the books. Which isn’t to say they didn’t dig in to the source material. There’s a lot of references which show they paid attention to the books and I’ll get into how well they were handled in a second. But you can’t be here all “Um, ACTUALLY Paul died by falling down a staircase” about it. The show has to be judged on its own merits. And fortunately those merits aren’t bad.

I mean regardless of backstory if you’re casting for a character whose nickname is Beautiful One you can do a damn sight worse than pulling Jacob Anderson’s headshot out of the pile. If somebody told me the entire setup for the show was changed because they were able to cast Jacob as anything I’d say fair cop and entirely valid reason. Does Helen of Troy need to be played by a woman or can we get Jacob for that one too? I see no issue here.

Now the catch is we are still talking about the white plantation owner to Black brothel owner transformation and I will get to that, believe me. We’re shelving that under historic context. For now we’re sticking to story and acting.

And the acting is woooo. I mean take that scene of Louis’ confession in the church and send that over to the Emmy nomination PO Box immediately. Holy fucking shit that monologue is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on television. You could pull that scene out entirely devoid of context and show it to someone and they’d still be able to appreciate how amazing it was.

In fact, the entire church sequence was well done. I loved Lestat’s almost bored slow mo walk while the priest tried to get away. It’s very easy to make moments like that cheesy (more on this in a second) but that struck the perfect tone of otherworldly horror. Credit to many people, including director Alan Taylor, for that.

The show also does a good thing by introducing us to the new version of Daniel Molloy right off the bat. As we’ve discussed elsewhere shows need to explain the story they’re telling to their audience. When we come out of the gate with Eric Bogosian giving us Daniel by way of Reuben Tishkoff we know we’re in completely new territory from any version of Interview With the Vampire that came before, book included.

I will say I find the conceit of “We’re having an interview because we had an interview” to be a really long walk when you can just, yanno, have an interview. Apparently this was showrunner Rolin Jones’s idea and it strikes me as one of those things that you think of at 2 am when you’re convinced you have to explain to the audience why you’re using an older version of Daniel when you can, as I’ve just said, just use an older version of Daniel. Again: the white plantation owner is now a Black man. We’re aware you’re making changes.

Though in the interest of fairness it’s possible that this, like putting Louis in Dubai for some reason, has a point to it that won’t get revealed until later.

Back on Louis, I will say this new characterization of him had me clapping like a seal. Because while you possibly could get further from the characterization of Louis in the novels other than by having him spout a line like “You hiding any bills in them fat fucking rolls of yours?” boy would it be difficult.

In point of fact the characterization of Louis in the show is so not Louis that it has to be deliberate. This is like the gag about how it’s impossible to get every answer wrong on a multiple choice test unless you know all the right answers because statistically speaking random guesses will at least turn up a few correct choices. We’re talking about the whiny character who felt guilty about everything up to and probably including his need for oxygen during his mortal life and we’re having him casually toss off comments about how desire was his business. I mean COME ON. How is that not on purpose? Love it. LOVE it.

Mind you, this change in Louis’ personality has me curious if they’ll stick the landing on Louis being eaten up with guilt about killing humans. Because it made sense when Louis starts off as someone who shame spirals whenever he has to ask anybody to pass him a napkin. Doesn’t work when you’re giving us a character who has repeatedly told us in less than an hour that he knows better than to show weakness.

Not saying you can’t do it, just that I’m interested to see how they attempt it.

Of course you can’t talk about Louis without talking about Lestat and here’s where I’m going to say the show falls down. And the irony is that I think one of the reasons why is that they didn’t change Lestat enough. Louis had to get rebuilt from top to bottom, which means he has new life (heh) which fits perfectly into the story of the show. Lestat, on the other hand, not only has no changes but is extremely grounded in the books.

Don’t get me wrong: I loved the book references. And there are plenty of other properties who should take lessons from the show in how to incorporate canon references in service to the story instead of as automatic Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme delivery devices. Lestat’s offhand comment about musicians always being forgotten is an infinitely better use of his history as an actor in love with a violinist than having him, say, show up in a T-shirt with a Stradivarius on it and an arrow pointing to it that says Hey Remember This Thing?

I also liked things like Lestat mentioning his mother giving him a flintlock rifle because while again that is a book reference it sits solidly in service of the show’s story. It’s 1910. A flintlock rifle as something someone would use is an anachronism, which reveals that Lestat is at least a century or so older than anyone else at the table. But of course that assumes knowing that it was a gift Lestat was expected to use, so Louis’ family probably assumed Lestat was referring to a gift of an antique. Either way it’s subtle and fits the character as a predator hiding in plain sight while still being an if you know you know style reference to the novels.

It also works out well that they’re dialing up Lestat’s feelings about god and religion. It’s all grounded in the books but originally at this point in his life Lestat was more philosophical about god and the concept of good and evil. Here he’s got real chip on his shoulder about it and I like it. Because of it I don’t think it was a coincidence that the first time the show lets us see him kill someone is in the alleyway next to St Louis cathedral. (Confusing why the show of power they’d have him to do scare somebody is to turn lights on instead of off, but whatever.)

But Lestat, in and of himself, is blah. I mean Sam Reid is perfectly serviceable as an actor. But a key aspect of Lestat’s character - and something the show tells us we’re supposed to be buying into - is that at any given time he is the most charismatic person in the room. Lestat’s been able to Forrest Gump his way through significant moments on vampire history as well as get the original vampire herself to fall in love with him. He’s especially supposed to be more charismatic than Louis.

Once you cast Jacob Anderson as Louis you need somebody who can not only match him for looks and personality but beat him. So far Sam Reid isn’t doing that. He’s not giving me The Brat Prince he’s giving me that guy all the goth kids wanted to date in junior year because his shoulder length blonde hair and the use of the word “plebian” in conversation made him the most Lestat-esque person in Goshen High School (go fighting Corn Husks!)

Now I will say Sam Reid is selling me on anger. So much so I’m wondering if one of Lestat’s pissed off speeches was part of Sam’s audition. But I would love seeing the chemistry test between him and Jacob because so far they are not selling it to me. And it’s not helped when the show itself repeatedly uses the device of having Louis tell us that he was captivated by Lestat instead of showing us. I get that in some instances this is a way to quote the books directly but when again and again Sam’s performance is literally turned into a background droning noise while Louis insists that no, for real, this was the hottest fucking thing he’s ever heard in his life - well either Sam wasn’t giving a performance they could use or he was and for some reason they didn’t show it to us.

And the less said about the repeated decision to frame Lestat in the camera as though he’s about to inform us that everything she wants is everything she sees the better.

Of course we do have to acknowledge that the show is, well, acknowledging the full nature of Lestat and Louis’ relationship right from the start. And for those who I’ve seen protesting that Anne was always pro-gay in both her politics and her writing, allow me to put on my This Expertise And Five Bucks Gets Me A Hot Chocolate At Starbucks hat and say no she did not. Anne’s support of a gay interpretation of her books vacillated wildly depending on how religious Anne herself was at the time (which, in and of itself, affected how religious her books were. Again I remind you that at one point Lestat drank directly from Jesus.)

I’m told that at the end Anne was explicitly writing Louis and Lestat as a couple and if so good for her. But it’s incorrect to say she supported that interpretation for all time always. The show does get credit for not only not shying away from it but making it undeniable. I’m not really a fan of the naked levitation scene and the thought process behind why they needed to have it and spend anyone’s time setting up the equipment to make it happen when you could just show them having sex but whatever. I hear some people enjoyed it.

Rounding out the things to touch on purely from a storytelling basis, of course you’re fighting a tough battle to beat the score by Elliot Goldenthal. I don’t know that Daniel Hart is managing that yet. The movie’s music grabbed you immediately. The show’s music doesn’t. But I do like that there seems to be a leitmotif of Lestat being connected to violins so I’m okay for putting judgement as a whole in the wait and see column.

Likewise of course we have to talk costumes. Carol Cutshall is in charge there. The choice to put Louis and Lestat in all browns is not where I’d go, however I did notice that more color starts creeping into their wardrobe as they spend more and more time together. Lestat having a bright green tie during the family dinner scene when Louis is famous for having green eyes is a particular standout. So, like the music, I’m putting this in the wait and see column before judging.

Though I will say Louis’ green eyes are one of those things you don’t need to keep. I get that they’re going for the idea that all vampires have otherwordly eyes since even Lestat’s blue ones look funky, but still. Once you’ve committed to turning the white slave owner into a Black man the green eyes aren’t exactly the thing you need to worry about.

Which brings us to all the things you do need to worry about once you’ve changed your main character’s race and occupation and set it in New Orleans.

Get comfy, we’re going to be here a while.

The Real New Orleans History Behind AMC’s Interview With the Vampire

I want to say that pound for pound the show got right more than it got wrong. But this is if we’re purely talking about number of facts referenced. For example Jim Crow did, in fact, affect Black people living in Louisiana. That’s not wrong.

But what it’s not is complete. And I realize I may be one of the pickiest people on earth about this but if you are setting a show in Louisiana with a Black lead I absolutely will be looking at whether you used the local history, particularly Black history, right.

If I could boil this section down into a single sentence, a How to Get Away With Murder style thesis statement on the board, it would be to say never ever ever write about Louisiana as though it is interchangeable with the rest of the American south. Louisiana was French, then it was Spanish, and the most important of all it was Catholic

Being French, Spanish, and Catholic meant that the culture and laws of Louisiana did not match anywhere else in the country. The fastest way to reveal you either didn’t do the work or that you said “Shut up, nerd” to any history experts you hired to help you out is to write things which imply you don’t even realize there was unique history to be found there.

The other thing is that if you have taken a character who was a white slave owner and turned him into a Black man, you had fucking better be aware of every god damn implication that race change entails. Don’t get me wrong: you can do it. I am all for interrogating the text of Interview With the Vampire from any perspective. Centering a Black man as the lead in a story where the original protagonist treated it as an insult that the people he enslaved and tortured dared maybe not like him too much is beyond a-okay by me. Frankly Anne’s texts could use a deep racial analysis because anybody who wants to argue that Anne Rice was always a bastion of liberal politics is welcome to give me an essay explaining why Lestat, fresh from a hundred years of slumber, parrots Reaganomics style talking points about welfare queens driving expensive sports cars.

And I’m going to say that as of the first episode Interview With the Vampire is not showing their work. In fact, the way that Louis’ family history and the entire history of race relations in Louisiana is summed up with the “yadda yadda” style line of “Decades of Jim Crow and the electrified light of a new century had vanquished any idea of a free man of color” very much tells me that even if Rolin Jones, who is both showrunner and the writer of In Throes of Increasing Wonder, heard about any of the history he tuned it into a background droning noise the same as the show did for Lestat’s voice.

So let’s talk about this history.

The reason why I stress French, Spanish, and Catholic for Louisiana is that this shaped things on a cellular level. To this day Louisiana doesn’t have counties, it has parishes. It uses the Napoleonic Code as the basis for its laws (ironically put in place after the Louisiana Purchase but still).

To talk about the history of Black people in Louisiana we have to talk about the history of slavery in Louisiana. And the first thing you need to understand there is that the trafficking of enslaved people in and out of North America was heavily affected by this area. Back then, as today, New Orleans was one of the most significant ports of trade. You don’t need to have memorized the 1619 Project to know that one of the most profitable things to trade in the early days of the new world was human beings.

After human trafficking the next most profitable things were crops from plantations. The show reflects this by mentioning how Louis’ family had a sugar plantation. This change from the indigo plantation Louis had in the books is probably a result of the later timeline. Though indigo was the most popular crop in the late 18th century, the original Louis’ time, by the 19th century the indigo crops were failing due to plant infection and were replaced with sugar.

Understand that the plantations did not work without the forced labor of the enslaved. By the time of the Civil War there were over 330,000 enslaved people in Louisiana being tortured so people could have sweet tea.

People who try to defend slavery in Louisiana - and I have heard them try, believe me - will point to the Code Noir, enacted in 1724 by the French government, as the thing that, and sadly I am quoting here, made it so that “If you had to be a slave, New Orleans was the place to do it!”

Yes, the Code Noir did things like make rules regarding the treatment of the enslaved but things like “Well the first offense is a whipping and for a second then obviously you’re going to want to use a brand” isn’t exactly Nobel Peace Prize material.

What the Code Noir and the various changes to it made in the 18th century did do is set into motion things that made the culture of Louisiana and New Orleans in particular different. For example, the Catholic based laws gave the enslaved Sundays off. This encouraged the enslaved to gather in places like Congo Square to meet, do business, and play music that would later become jazz.

The laws regarding things like interracial marriage, concubines, and the legitimacy of children born out of wedlock gave rise to the gens de couleur libres or free people of color. This part of the population held its own place in New Orleans by having legal rights and legitimacy above the enslaved and some of the lower classes but nowhere near the privileges of rich white society.

What free people of color were most known for is their impact, physical and cultural, on the city of New Orleans. I’m just going to straight up quote here:

“Free people of color in Spanish New Orleans were often skilled property owners. Common professions for men included carpentry, construction, ironworking, and making furniture, shoes, and clothes. Women worked as seamstresses, laundresses, midwives, tavern keepers, boardinghouse keepers, and retailers, among other jobs.”

Put another way, if you like the pretty cast and wrought iron you see all over the French Quarter, odds are high it was a free man of color who made it. And if you want an example of cultural impact I’ll bet many of you have heard of a woman by the name of Marie Laveau (whose official job was that of a hairdresser).

All of this is the cultural context which gets us to the point that Louis’ family took over a sugar plantation. We’re talking about a place where no aspect of the economy was unaffected by the buying and selling of human beings. At the same time it’s a place where some members of the Black community (nearly 19,000 by the time of the Civil War) occupied a place with lesser rights than white people but more opportunities than they would’ve had elsewhere in the country.

I’m not saying that the show had to stop in the middle and give us a Moby Dick level essay on the ins and outs of slavery in New Orleans, but hopefully you can see why I’m side eyeing what the show did do, which is summarize all of this into Louis saying the family got the sugar plantation thanks to “The blood of men who looked like my great grandfather but did not have his standing.” Uhh - thanks? What the fuck does that mean?

We have to pull out a Rosetta Stone here and combine it with the only other sentence we get (which was, to remind you, “Decades of Jim Crow and the electrified light of a new century had vanquished any idea of a free man of color”) and make an educated guess that the show is saying the de Pointe du Lac family was largely made up of free people of color. And let me point out here that the show is treating the introduction of light bulbs as equally important information as whether or not the family of the main character were captured and tortured for their labor.

Dudes. DUDES. Tell me this script was written by a white person without telling me. Come on now.

But fine, you gave me a puzzle so I’ll try to solve it. “looked like my great grandfather” tells us nothing on its own. Louis’ great grandfather could’ve been white or Black. But the “blood of men” has to be a reference to the enslaved…. but that doesn’t tell us anything either. White plantation owners pulled a Thomas Jefferson all the time. At some points in Louisiana history doing so meant the kids had legitimacy and even freedom their mothers did not but that wasn’t always. There were also free men of color who owned plantations complete with enslaved people too. My guess is that “looked like” is meant to mean the same skin color but do you see how lazy this writing is? Do you get why it’s revealing that if the history was presented to anyone in a position of power on this show they clearly didn’t pay attention to it?

Now given the history of free people of color probably what we can guess is that at some point the de Pointe du Lac family was enslaved by white plantation owners, which is also likely how they got the de Pointe du Lac name. And maybe what the show is telling us is that some of those enslaved ancestors became freed and then went on to enslave others. But boy howdy is this not something we should be guessing about! Particularly when the protagonist in question gives a speech about how his role as a brothel owner (I’m getting to that, believe me) meant that he was building his own fortune on the abuse of others. Boy would it be fascinating to know if this is free floating morality or a guilt that is based on generations of complex family history, huh? Are we going to get insight about that at any point? Possibly, but maybe we’re going to be hearing more about those all important light bulbs. It is such a toss up as to which of these details really affected Louis as a person, isn't it?

Moving on to the Civil War what we get is that many of the enslaved who were now freed stayed in the area and became sharecroppers working their own sugar plantations. Given that Louis is an adult in 1910 and he talks about his great-grandfather as the plantation owner, and doing a rough back of the napkin estimate of 20 years per generation so around 60 years total, we can at least rule out that his great grandfather didn’t start as a sharecropper. But it’s possible that the de Pointe du Lac family became sharecroppers, especially once great grandad couldn’t rely on forced labor to keep costs down.

The show is correct that Jim Crow laws affected things, even in New Orleans where the comparatively greater legal rights and social standing held by free people of color made it harder to pull said rights away. These rights were pulled away and the impact on things like the ability for a Black family to make money in the sugar business is still being felt today. However, as with everything else Black history and New Orleans, we can’t just say “Oh yeah Jim Crow” and act like that covers it. Louisiana was a testing ground for racial politics in the post Civil War era. It had multiple Black politicians. It was the home of a little court case you might have heard of regarding the phrase “separate but equal” which happened fourteen years before the show takes place.

As the eldest son of a family of generations of free people of color Louis in particular should be feeling more than just “Man them racist white people, am I right?” about his lot in life right now. Yes, it’s not inaccurate to say that the de Pointe du Lac family was stripped of their rights the same as all the other Black people in New Orleans were. But it is disgustingly incomplete to elide the nuance that the de Pointe du Lac family held a higher legal and societal status before that happened. Both in the sense that the de Pointe du Lacs would’ve been rightfully pissed at having their status ripped away from them, and in the sense that there might be some huge issues about how one of the ways their ancestors kept that status might have been by enslaving people who “looked like them.”

You see why I’m saying we kinda need some details on whether Louis’ great grandfather was a white dude? Also why, if the show did decide to go the route of making Louis Black but also keeping his Black ancestors as slave owners that needs WAY more work shown than a couple of lines you miss if you happened to be eating a Dorito when Louis said them.

Which then brings me to my next side-eye at the show, which is not only making Louis Black but making him a brothel owner. Which you can do. As I said before, personally I love that this is the most opposite characterization of Louis from the books you can possibly imagine. But let’s discuss how it’s not a great look when you’ve made the decision to have a Black lead who an elderly white man immediately dismisses as a “pimp.”

Dudes. DUDES. Are there any people in the writers’ room who aren’t white? Seriously?

So let’s talk about this.

Storyville was part of New Orleans and those of you who are paying attention might notice that it’s located gosh darn near that Congo Square place I told you about a few paragraphs back. Almost as though it, and the entire neighborhood of Treme, were born because of that religion and those laws I keep mentioning as being sorta kinda important for understanding the area.

The thing about Storyville, though, is that it was entirely legal businesses. It was created first and foremost to collect taxes and also to provide protection to women working as prostitutes. Now I’m not going to say this meant that everyone working there was holly and jolly, and yes part of specifying where legal prostitution could take place was based on morality of keeping temptation away from those who might succumb to it. But Daniel’s free to enjoy a cup of shut the fuck up any time now for reducing Louis to no more than a pimp.

Likewise I’m also going to side eye the show for doing it. Because it’s one thing to say you’re going to make Louis a brothel owner because you’re going in the exact opposite direction from his characterization in the books, it’s another thing entirely to do it while having the show insist to us that as a Black man Louis had no other options. Yes, Jim Crow put stricter limitations on what Black people in New Orleans could do to earn money but it didn’t reduce it to prostitution or nothing. There were still Black business owners, union workers, social clubs, and even millionaires.

The show clearly loves to give references to indicate that somebody did their homework. Lestat is shown holding a Blue Book, for example, in a genuinely nicely handled historic shout out akin to the backstory shout out we get when he references needing protection from the wolves. But dudes, dudes. If you have taken on the challenge of turning Louis de Pointe du Lac into a Black man take on the fucking challenge. You’re the ones who wanted to try skiing down Mt Everest. Don’t blame me if I’m going to point out you need way more equipment to do that than the tiny backpack you’re currently sporting on your shoulders.

I’m going to round this section off with the last top level thing which frankly just confused me, which is the way the show is handling the concept of anything French in New Orleans. Namely, the way the show is repeatedly having people act as though coming across anything French is both rare and weird. If I had to quote my most repeatedly written note while watching it is, and I shall cut and paste: “THIS IS NEW ORLEANS.”

New Orleans is French. New Orleans is extremely French. New Orleans is French to this day. Have you noticed the city’s catch phrase? The name of one of the most famous sections of the town? The way they cheer the local sports team? Even the most famous cemetery in the American part of town is named after a French dude! Do I need to go on here?

Being under Spanish and later American rule changed nothing about how being French in New Orleans was considered fashionable and desirable. If you weren’t French you pretended to be. One of the most notable examples of this is James Gallier, an Irish born architect who changed his last name from Gallagher in order to fit in to New Orleans society. We care about James because his son, James Gallier Jr, was the architect and resident for the flat at Rue Royale that a couple of vampires you may have heard of named Louis and Lestat call home.

I have absolutely no clue why a lack of familiarity with anything French is a running theme they decided to hang their hats on. It’s just weird.

So yeah! There’s your history lesson for the week. I’m probably going to be returning to this well a lot. Just a feeling.


This section of things that didn’t fit anywhere else is more aptly named than ever, huh? Let’s get into it:

  • Paul’s funeral was another mix of extremely accurate and extremely not. The Jazz funeral was good. Showing the open shelf that Paul’s casket would be placed into in the family tomb was good, as was the environmental storytelling of how the de Pointe du Lac family tomb wasn’t a small one (i.e. they were a family with money). Saying that the wake would happen after the funeral was not. Wakes happen before burials, and can last as long as a week before the funeral itself happens. What you get after a funeral is more of a one off reception. (Holding a funeral ball is, of course, up to the family.)
  • The lack of understanding about the scheduling of Catholic funerals also led to it being weird that Louis claimed the last sunrise he saw was the day Paul died. Unless Louis means literally watching the sun rise, as he and Paul did, Louis saw plenty of sunlight still before he became a vampire. Paul is not going in that tomb in less than 24 hours, no way no how.
  • Put me in the camp of saying Paul’s death in and of itself was weird. I’m giving some leeway for the display of Paul’s mental health issues because it’s too early to say if they’re going a route where Paul wasn’t mentally ill so much as a prophet, but him randomly walking off the roof was him randomly walking off the roof. I would’ve liked at least some connection between his dialogue and his actions, even if it was symbolic. Him insisting Louis get away from the Devil was good but it wasn’t enough for my tastes.
  • On the one hand I wish the episode titles for this show were shorter but on the other hand, regardless of them being based on book quotes, you can’t say the length doesn’t accurately reflect the wordiness of the source material.
  • I did a writeup of facts about Louisiana that writers should know back when Falcon and the Winter Soldier came out. It’ll be just as handy a cheat sheet for those of you watching this show.
  • As for example, loved that line of dialogue that used “riverside of Decatur street” as a landmark. Like I told y’all, north, south, east, and west don’t mean anything!
  • Though related to that the woman saying she’d dump Paul’s body in Lake Ponchartrain was a weird choice when the Mississippi is right there. I mean you wanna find a cab that’s going to drive you and a dead body up there that’s your choice but seems a waste of time and money if you ask me.
  • Let me get ahead of the curve here and say that Louis is Creole. Call him Cajun and he’d have every reason to deck you.
  • I’m holding off on any comments on vampire abilities because I figure the show’s going to address it better in the future. Obviously we’re only keeping the barest things in common with the books.
  • I liked how Louis’ hand remained burnt during the modern day interview with Daniel. They could’ve just as easily saved time and money by not requiring that makeup job but it was a nice touch in showing not telling power limitations.
  • Another habit that is just weird to me: Calling Louis “Mr du Lac.” It’s de Pointe du Lac. It’s a full proper noun. Chopping off part of it is no different from calling New York just “York.” May as well straight up call him Mr Lake while you're at it.
  • Assuming the people found by the river were killed by rats is legit. Those fuckers get huge in the swampland.
  • Louis talking about a cold winter is valid. It does get cold in New Orleans in wintertime and having a fireplace (which you see in many of the interior sets) is useful.
  • Another dialogue highlight: “I was, admittedly, a rougher thing then.” Yes, book Louis of course being famous for how butch he was.
  • The character of Peg Leg Doris is played by Rachel Alana Handler who uses a prosthetic leg in real life, which is great casting.
  • Given that director Alan Taylor worked on Deadwood (particularly the should have won multiple Emmys episode of Requiem for a Gleet) I’m assuming the “I apologize” moment is a deliberate shout out.
  • Yes, I got the Mayfair Witches reference, we’re fine.
  • Saying the de Pointe du Lac family home is falling down around them was probably meant as an indication of how they are still struggling for money. But anybody who’s lived in New Orleans knows having your home falling down around you is a constant state of being no matter how rich you are. The city was taken from the swampland and the swamp would like it back now.
  • St Augustine is a real church in New Orleans which was established by free people of color.
  • I realize location shoots gotta location shoot but I will side eye the fuck out of anything that implies Louis and anyone Creole would hang out in the Garden District voluntarily. There was resentment between families that lived uptown and downtown of Canal street that lasted when I lived there which was, I can assure you, significantly after 1910. I’ll get into it more if it ever comes up but I mention it now so y’all can be judgy with me if it happens.
  • Likewise Louis calling himself a “red blooded son of the South” is another oh HELL no. Creoles fucking hated Americans. Someone like Louis would rather rip his own tongue out than ever say he shared something in common with those English speaking Protestant freaks. Again: markers of upper class in New Orleans are French and Catholic. Those would be what Louis aspired to shape himself after, not American southerner.
  • Related to that, and this probably belongs more in the history section but we’re getting wordy enough so I’ll put it in a bullet point for now, but having Louis, a Black man, get his validation from a white son of an aristocrat is a choice. It’s a choice you can make but you need to make it mindfully. I’m not sure yet the show has proven it’s doing that, see the entire history section for why.

And there we go! One down, seven more to go I think? Let’s see how long this experiment lasts. A plus on the fiction side of things, D minus on the history, but maybe they’ll redeem themselves as they go on. Just have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

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