Everyone loves a good vampire show, and our fascination with the mysterious figure of the vampire goes all the way back to the end of the 19th century. In a society plagued by moral rigours and sexual taboo, the vampire was the embodiment of man’s fears and desires; the ultimate Eros and Thanatos. When we think of works of that genre, Bram Stocker’s Dracula immediately comes to mind.
What most people don’t realise, however, is that this famous masterpiece draws its inspiration from an earlier novella, written by Sheridan le Fanu, which features (pause for suspense) a vampiress and homoeroticism! It tells the story of Laura, a young woman preyed upon by a female vampire named Carmilla who tries to seduce her while crawling in her bed at night to suck her blood…
Based on this novella, Carmilla is a Canadian web series which will delight all those who crave queer representation and fantasy. In this modern adaptation, Laura is a journalism student freshly installed on the Silas University campus. Her roommate mysteriously disappears and, while Laura investigates her disappearance, she is assigned a new roommate: the seductress, Carmilla. The series focuses on Laura’s investigation, with tension immediately building as she discovers that her roommate is not the only girl who has gone missing. This tension equally applies to the relationship between Laura and Carmilla, which evolves from hostile to romantic over the course of the season.
The web series is filmed as a vlog, with the story told through video journals recorded by Laura as part of her journalism project. While the format exploits the trend of classical literature’s modern adaptation on the internet, Carmilla stand out thanks to its great queer representation and its strong female casting.
It features openly homosexual main characters, a realist and non-fantasized lesbian relationship, and a non-binary character: themes still quite rare in media and worth noting. The series is a good mix of comedy and drama, and becomes addictive quickly.
Unfortunately for fans, the last season aired this October, putting a premature end to the Silas adventures. Lucky for those of us with access to UK YouTube, the entire show is available online via the channel KindaTV. Start binge watching now to involved before the crowd-funded film comes out in autumn 2017!
Image: Michael Fitzgerald @wikimedia