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How SYFY's 'Reginald the Vampire' bites into a new genre vein as a vampire comedy
Vampire comedies are nothing new but the creators of Reginald the Vampire are aiming to be different.
Comedy and vampires go together like fangs and blood. In television and film, shows from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to What We Do in the Shadows have proved that humor can only enhance the scares. Since there are plenty of benchmark examples of the subgenre, the creators of Reginald the Vampire, SYFY's upcoming adaptation of Johnny Truant's Fat Vampire books, knew they had to distinguish themselves from the genre pack.
At today's NBC virtual Television Critics Association panel for the series, which premieres Oct. 5 starring Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: No Way Home), showrunner Harley Peyton (Twin Peaks) and executive producer/director Jeremiah Chechik told reporters (including SYFY WIRE) that their show really tackles the shallowness of the iconic bloodsuckers.
"For us, the world that was created by Johnny Truant in the original book really posited this interesting dichotomy between the vampire world, where vampires are really vapid, vain, runway models. They seek a kind of perfect perfection. It's all about beauty. And that's where we get into issues of body shaming and body positivity" Peyton told reporters. "Reginald, of course, just doesn't fit the mold, so that's something that we follow and work with, whether it's text or subtext. And I think that's pretty different from anything I've seen before. In other words, it's really about vampire society; they love bureaucracy, they love to look in a mirror because they can't see themselves in a mirror, and it's all about that conflict between what we think of as beauty, and what we think of as inner truths and the beauty inside us. That's what made it fun for me, certainly, as a writer."
Series executive producer/director Jeremiah Chechik, who worked on the ground establishing tone and look during the Vancouver production, added, "I think the foundation of our show is very rooted in real emotional dynamics; that is the rock solid foundation. It's based on how we fit in, how we present ourselves, what we think of ourselves, how we relate to others, what is expected of us, our sexual orientation and the color of our skin. All of these things are really social dynamics which we explore within the wrapping of a vampire show. I think the root of our show is not really to create a horror vampire, "I will suck your blood," kind of show. It's really about how when you die, you can live better and you can become a better person, or not. But those are the real reversal of tropes that stand out. And of course, totally and visually, it doesn't look like anything you've ever seen. There's a lollipop, color pop aspect that really works against the tradition of the dark noir vampire."
Reginald the Vampire premieres Oct. 5 on SYFY.