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After seeing someone else's comments who was quite happy to insult the roleplaying game in which this show was based on, I felt I had to cast a rebuttal as a fan of the roleplaying game.
As mentioned, Kindred the Embraced is based on the 'World of Darkness (tm)' that the gaming company White-Wolf created called Vampire the Masquerade. A world/game rich in vampire culture, politics, history and diversity. A game which spawned numerous other games for White-Wolf, card games, and a computer game, as well help to create a new roleplaying market, the live-action roleplaying game. As well revitalized the roleplaying gaming industry almost single-handedly, by bringing in new players and capturing the imagination of 'old-guard' gamers alike; also attracting the attention of players who would have never been interested in roleplaying, or those who had played before and didn't like it.
These aren't suppose to be Dracula-like vampires, or Buffy-Like vampires. These are the movers and the shakers of the world who hide in shadows controlling the media, the press, the government, the police, and anything else that holds their interest. Not mindless blood-suckers who are hell-bent on destruction and evil. Don't get me wrong, being alive for a few hundred years can make some vampires very evil and twisted creatures, but enough of that...
The series was rather poorly done simply because they didn't even try to delve into culture that the game created. The structure of the kindred politics is a league called the Camarilla, who consists of seven clans who work together under a set of laws known as the Traditions to uphold something they refer to as the Masquerade.
These clans are: The Ventrue (regal blue-bloods who are snobby but think they should control the camarilla); The Brujah (anarchists and rebels who shouldn't have been suit wearing mofia-types, who strive for change and think the camarilla is outdated and corrupt); The Gangrel (wild, animalistic loners who can control, communicate and change into animals like bats and wolves); The Toreador (artists, artistic poseurs, gossip-mongers and hangers-on who care more for style and art than substance); and the Nosferatu (hideous, ugly, monsters, yet also reserved and sneaky, who dwell in sewers and abandoned places, but are the intelligence community/network of the kindred, knowing everything that is going on, and selling it for a price). As well as two others I'll mention below.
I found the show was more about the human cop, and reporter who the Prince takes a personal interest in, as well as the relationships of the 'Primogens' (the heads of each of the clans) than it was about what I think would have made the show more interesting and marketable, the culture, history and politics, and the abilities of the kindred themselves. As well as the multitude of arch-types of characters that each clan creates by their own attitudes and ideals.
Another fault of the show was, the fact that it seemed that all the vampires had the same powers and abilities. The Primogen of the Toreador, Lily, was able to turn herself into a wolf, an ability which is usually only reserved for the older and more powerful members of the Gangrel. Or the prince, Julian, was able to 'Earth-Meld', again, an ability only the Gangrel subscribe to.
They should have had a stronger division between the clans, explained that each clan has their own philosophies and ideals, as well as abilities and powers. Not to mention, two of the most interesting clans weren't even included in the show. The Malkavians, a clan of insane vampires who also have moments of sheer genius, insight and enlightenment. Or the Tremere, a tight-knit conspiratorial clan who are able to cast magic spells through the use of vampiric blood.
The show should have been about a group of newly embraced (the term used for being turned into a vampire) vampire childer, the relationships they developed with their sires, each other, and their exploration into the world of the kindred. As the newly embraced kindred learn about their respective clans and abilities, and politics, so do the audience.
Who are these Primogen? Why do they control the clans? Who is the Prince of the city? Why does he call himself the prince? What is the Camarilla? What/who are the Sabbat? Why do they want to destroy the Camarilla? Questions that would have kept the audience wondering, as well as the character guessing about. It would have made the show more interesting in my opinion.
As well, there is a rich culture and history behind each of the clans that make up the Camarilla. This information was poorly utilitized in the show, and they displayed some of this information rather matter-a-factly. Such as an introduction of an Assamite Kindred Assassin. They barely touched on what 'The Masquerade' was, why the kindred had it, and why clans such as the Brujah and the Gangrel who clearly distrusted and hated one another would work together in the Camarilla under a Ventrue prince such as Julian. Nor did they adequately explain who 'Archon' was, and what his purpose was.
I feel it would have been much more interesting and fascinating to the audience at large to concentrate on the difference add the character-types of each of the vampire clans than to have made it a soap-opera bombastic gothic-horror version of Melrose Place, or 90210. A lot of fans of the roleplaying game felt that Aaron Spelling was not interested at all in the diversity and information that the roleplaying game supplied and in fact ignored almost all of it.
As a fan of the Roleplaying game, I was sorely disappointed, as were a lot of other Vampire the Masquerade fans.
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