Based on Richelle Mead’s YA books, Vampire Academy is now launching as a Peacock series; this is following an unsuccessful attempt by Netflix to present the story as a movie franchise in 2014, when the production of a second film was cancelled after the lukewarm reception of the first.
The story is centred around the Moroi vampires, an ancient royal clan with their own strict rules. Protagonist Lissa (Daniela Nieves) is a teenage Moroi who must attend St Vladmir’s Academy, a boarding school where vampire royals are educated. On the same premises, half-human teens are simultaneously trained as bodyguards to protect their royal peers from the dangerous Strigoi vampires, who are out to kill them. Lissa is deeply connected to her best friend, Rose (Sisi Stringer), who belongs to a different social class but whom she treats as an equal. The pressures to follow social norms cause the girls all sorts of challenges related to the duties they must fulfil but also in the romantic sphere.
The series presents a mix of teenage, high-school movie dynamics with plenty of elements reminiscent of wizardry and witchcraft school sagas, plus vampirism and zombie-like creatures thrown in. The opening scenes are especially messy in terms of style: everyone is attending a royal ball and dressed for the occasion, but there’s a clubbing atmosphere with classless physical and verbal exchanges taking place. Overall, the characters are sorely two-dimensional and there is such a blend of different popular myths and teen stories that nothing really stands out or keeps one’s interest.
Young fans of the book series may enjoy seeing the action brought to life onscreen, but the series is unlikely to impress other viewers, and much less get them hooked.
The first four episodes of Vampire Academy will be released on Peacock channel on Sky and Now on 16th September 2022.
Watch the trailer for Vampire Academy here: