December 11-12, 2021
Written by Amy Marmin
In a time when post-apocalyptic themes litter our screens, we, as an audience, have been craving something different; something that sets itself apart from the rest. That’s where Syfy’s Van Helsing comes in.
With season one added to Netflix last year and season two currently airing, the show centres around a young woman who awakens from a coma after three years to a world she no longer recognises. She must now navigate a strange new world where the lines of morality are so blurred that it is extremely difficult to differentiate between friend and foe. Which only leads to complication after complication for our young protagonist as the story progresses. This relative newcomer to our screens takes a unique perspective on an idea that has been proffered to audiences almost to the point of it being a social cliché.
What makes this show any different from a number of similar ones, you might ask? The biggest difference is evident from the very beginning, and it is the show’s seemingly total disregard for the likeability of all its characters. This series contains characters that are so utterly flawed and screwed up that they are altogether unlikeable. But despite all of this, the show somehow works. The storyline draws you in and the unpredictability of the rag tag group of characters in the show, both human and vampire alike, keeps you watching. The show doesn’t fit into this neat little package of good vs. evil, or us vs. them. What perhaps is the biggest element of the series is the lesson that sometimes the greatest of evils come from within; a lesson that is usually learnt the hard way and Van Helsing is no exception.
The show’s storyline is extremely unpredictable, which, for an audience member, is hard to come by these days. This makes for interesting viewing as you are constantly left guessing, instead of falling into a state of expectedness as to what is going to happen next. This is definitely a huge advantage this series has over others. This combined with some excellent casting choices that include Kelly Overton (Legends, True Blood), Paul Johansson (One Tree Hill) and Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctaury, Hell On Wheels) makes for some riveting viewing. While the positive aspects of this show are numerous, there are a couple of drawbacks.
As is to be expected in a show of this nature, there are certain situational elements that are definitely cringe-worthy and that hit at the very heart of what it means to be human. Additionally, some parts feel a little drawn out, while others brushed over a little too quickly. Contextually, this doesn’t make a lot of difference to the end product but cohesively it could have made a world of difference to the transition between certain scenes. Generally, though, these drawbacks are relatively inconsequential to the overall appeal of the series if you can get past them.
With season two currently airing in the US, there is still a short wait before it comes to our shores and all our questions are answered. In the meantime, this is the perfect time to catch up on the first season or re-watch it if you are already a fan and prepare yourself for what it to come.
You can steam Van Helsing via Netflix now.
Pic via Syfy