Non-spoiler review

Binge-worthy: Dracula on Netflix

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So many of us are stuck with nothing to watch since the sports world is on pause. So I will drop on occasional non-spoiler review on shows that might keep you busy while we wait for the plague to end and give us our sports back. (Yes, we still have horse racing, which is keeping me busy, and it is worth checking out if you have nothing else to watch. An RTN subscription will get you all the tracks you need, or you can just watch TVG if you have that channel. Sam Houston shows its races live for free at shrp.com). Or you could just pick up a copy of Jesus Just Left Chicago, the greatest novel ever written, available in paperback, Kindle and audio book. For everyone else, here is a non-spoiler look at Dracula on Netflix:

What it is about

The name pretty much tells you, this is based on Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. I was skeptical at first, because I have seen every iteration of the Dracula story and did not feel the need to see another. But it is the brainchild of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the creatives behind perhaps the greatest television series ever, Sherlock. While Moffat's work on Dr. Who is questionable, these two together are incredible. The writing is very much along the lines of Sherlock, with clever jokes, not-too-obvious plot twists and strong writing and characterizations. Minor spoiler: Gatiss, who is also a fine actor (he played Mycroft in Sherlock and also had a role in Game of Thrones), makes an appearance in episode three.

There are three episodes: The first two are classic horror stories, while the third puts a modern twist on the legend.

The positives

1) Only three episodes makes it an easy watch. They are each over an hour in length, which is a tendency in the really good BBC shows. (This was released by both BBC and Netflix). There may or may not be a season 2, but if not, it ends perfectly. It is not a major time commitment, and once you are done you find yourself wanting more.

2) The writing, acting and storytelling are off the charts.

3) Claes Bang, a relative unknown, plays Dracula, and he is brilliant in the role. Maybe it was just me, but you find yourself rooting for him. (Yeah, I know, I have issues).

4) There is a nice twist on Van Helsing, which only adds to the charm.

5) From a plot standpoint, it is very well done and unlike any Dracula iteration I have seen.

The negatives

1) It starts a little slow; it's really about halfway through episode 1 that it starts to take off, so you have to stick with it.

2) If you are squeamish, it might not be for you. This is a horror series at heart, after all. There are some pretty gross scenes (even for me), especially in episode 1.

Overall analysis

Time commitment: Minimal. It is one season with three mini-movie episodes so you can watch it in a day.

Kid friendly: Probably not, unless you are raising your kids like my parents did me.

Bottom line: If you like Dracula movies, vampire movies, horror movies or Sherlock, this is a must-watch. It has elements of all the classics, but like Sherlock puts a clever twist on it. If you don't like those things? Stay tuned for the next binge-worthy.

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