If vampires, mysteries and romance are your thing, you can do much worse than Blood Ties, the supernatural drama that aired on Lifetime in 2007. The second season collection contains the final nine episodes on three DVDs.
Blood Ties stars Christina Cox as Vicki Nelson, a former cop turned private investigator. Her partner is a hunky, ageless vampire named Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid). The two of them are hired to solve crimes that are out of the ordinary (demons, cat people, etc) and sometimes get brought in by Vicki’s old police partner and lover, Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal). Although all three are “friends,” there are lingering feelings between Mike and Vicki, feelings that make Henry a bit jealous. Likewise, Mike isn’t too sure how he feels about his ex hanging out with a bloodsucking bo-hunk. This strange romantic triangle makes for some light moments in between the X-Files-esque cases that form the basis for the plots of Blood Ties.
Nelson is a no-nonsense, hard nosed detective; she’s not afraid of anything. It’s this quality in her that makes her attractive to both men. Of the two, she seems more drawn to Henry and seems open to the idea of living forever. However, Henry knows that should he give her the gift of eternal life, their love will evaporate; he will have cursed Vicki into watching her friends and family die. This makes Henry one of the most sensitive vampires I’ve seen since Brat Pitt bared his fangs in Interview with a Vampire (this show did come out long before Twilight and The Vampire Diaries). Henry is no pushover and is quite protective of Vicki, as is Mike. The tough guy detective draws many stares and places his career in jeopardy by constantly going to Vicki for help. Some begin to question his sanity as he lets slip his belief in the supernatural.
Considering the limitations of working on a basic cable budget, Blood Ties is able to create plenty of atmosphere and just enough spookiness to make it worth watching on, say, a Sunday afternoon when you’re curled on the couch with a bag of chips and a Coke. Cox and Neal have nice chemistry and a playfulness that makes them a pleasure to watch. And Schmid holds back on the vampire angst and gives Henry a friendliness that you don’t often associate with vampire stories. The writing is slick and the production is pretty smooth while the direction and editing is seamless. While the music can get a little clunky, this is a minor distraction in an otherwise decent series.
Unlike so many productions that shoot in Canada an try to pass it off as some locale in the U.S., Blood Ties embraces its setting and puts the landscape to good use. Sure, the plots can be a little predictable, pulling ideas from previous supernatural shows and the horror classics of yesteryear, but the key to this show’s success is in the characters and the actors portraying them. All three leads are likable enough that Blood Ties deserves at least a rental consideration the next time you’re looking for something to watch on a weekend afternoon.
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