Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bring it Back! Thursday Presents: Blood Ties

Full run - 1 season - 22 Episodes
Show lifespan - March 11, 2007 – December 7, 2007
Visit the Official CTV Website
Currently on the air? Yep, in Canada.
Sundays 7pm ET / 8 CT
Tuesdays 9pm PT
Thursdays 8pm MT

Oh Blood Ties, how we miss thee. You need your own country song to express all the wrongs the Lifetime Network did to you. From yanking your Sunday night slot to shoving you to Friday's at 10 pm, 11 pm...1 pm. And then proclaiming the ratings were low (um, dur). From the lack of the level of promotion given to their other shows like Army Wives and now Drop Dead Diva. To the chopping of a whole season to sell it as two stateside (more on this later). To the ever so quiet DVD release and the cut out opening credits. I wonder how you would have done if you were on the Chiller channel or maybe USA (SF Channel would have probably given it the same treatment). Alas we may never know.

Blood Ties, for those who have yet to check it out (come to the dark side, it's fun!), is an urban fantasy series that aired in 2007 during the height of Television's fascination with everything paranormal. Moonlight, that lil NBC show, and Blood Ties were synonymous when talking about the current crop of UF and PR genres moving to the small and silver screen.

The show was based on Tanya Huff's Blood Books featuring former police officer and current Private Investigator Victoria "Victory" Nelson. Vicky has seen her share of crazy things on the streets alongside her former partner and sometimes lover Mike Celluci. But none of that compares to the rash of slayings taking over Toronto. In comes the ever so sexy Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, now a vampire who soon joins up with Vicki to find out who's been encroaching on his territory (as Huff's vampires are more solitary than communal types). So begins a friendship and some really hot sexual tension between the love triangle as they battle and solve crimes dealing with shapeshifters, mummies, evil demonic creatures, succubi and even telekinetic children.

I loved the way Blood Ties mixed in the possibility of romance with some awesome mysteries. Finding out how the story would end was just as enticing as seeing Henry put the moves on Vicki and strut his stuff. Lestat was always my favorite vampire but now he has a match in Henry Fitzroy (played by Kyle Schmid). While most vampires sulk a bit about their awesome powers and immortality, Henry basked in it with a confidence of centuries of seduction and sexy confidence. I loved Henry so much that he was an inspiration for my character Jace Archane in my Ashen Twilight Series.

Vicki is as strong a heroine as they come. While I felt book Vicki came off a little too masculine for my taste, I enjoyed the complexities of Christina Cox's version of Vicki. She was strong minded but you can tell there was a vulnerability about her whenever she felt she couldn't do something to help her friends or those in need. She didn't try to one up people just because she could, there was always a method to her plans and she always got down to the truth one way or another.

Coreen was not just an assistant but a partner with a love of all things paranormal. And her perkiness wasn't annoying like some characters (cough Relic Hunter) who helped out the main heroine. Mike was a good foil for Vicki and Henry, always serving as a grounding although he could be a bit testy when he simply refused to believe what he saw right in front of him. In the book Mike and Vicki were constantly at odds so I'm glad the story toned down their constant arguing.

I've also found some great musical talent on the show from ambient, electronica to rock and new age rap that I have never heard of before. Many are local Canadian artists but I've sure started following them after I found their names here. One website has a list of the artists here. TransientWorld and FNDMNTL are my new favorites just to name a few.

Now, as I mentioned before the DVD has come out stateside but unfortunately it's billed as Season 1 with only episodes 1-12 while Season 2 is supposed to come later. Buyer Beware! In truth, Season 1 is the entire episodes from 1-22 but Lifetime decided to break it up to give it a feel of a longer show. The series remains as a whole in the UK DVD version which also includes the spiffy opening scene song by Tamora Rhodes. Check it out:

If you have a region free DVD player, (hit me up if you want to know where you can get a cheap but awesome one that plays almost anything you throw at it) by all means get the UK version. Amazon UK has them for more than half the price of the US DVDs at 5.78 pounds (roughly $8.30 w/ out shipping which is like $3.00 Airmail) while Amazon US has it for $24.99.

There are a good amount of revival efforts trying to bring back the show from Podcasts, Blogsites and websites/forums but unfortunately most of the cast has moved on (Christina Cox, for instance is on the new ABC show Defying Gravity). So the chances of the show continuing are sadly diminishing as the days go on. A shame because this was one of the most well written and imaginative shows that premiered in recent time. It's sad to see good shows die so young. But we shall always have our DVDs (even if they do get worn out). ;-)

Watch Vicki and Henry's first meeting from Blood Price Part 2


RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thanks for sharing the love of a great show.
I loved the Tanya Huff books and eagerly awaiting each new one.
The show was excellent and true to the spirit of the novels.
Too bad it was on a crappy network.
Lifetime? Really?
This show would still be on the air if it was on HBO, look at the excellent job they did with the Sookie Stackhouse novels.
Or Showtime which translated Darkly Dreaming Dexter to the small screen.
*double sigh*
All the best,
twitter: @RKCharron

Heather Long said...

Wonderful, wonderful blog about Blood Ties. I stumbled across the show (yes total lack of promotion) and was absolutely delighted with it. I got most of my episodes on iTunes. I was just talking about this the other day on the Daily Dose and vampire lovers.

And yes, I wish they had gone forward. Lifetime could be USA for women if they got it together

Rebecca Royce said...

Would it be wrong to admit I neither liked the show nor the books?

Rebecca Royce said...

But I loved your blog today!!!!

Annie Nicholas said...

*shock* I don't think I've heard you say you didn't like a book Rebecca.

Great post, Rae. I've never heard of either book or show. May poke around the local library and see if they have any of Huff's work.

Sandra Sookoo said...

I've heard of it but I'm not real into sci-fi :-) Nice post!

Rae Lori said...

Sandi, if you like urban fantasy I think you'd like Blood Ties. Heck, even paranormal romance to an extent cause there's lots of beasties and a romantic triangle hehe.

Annie, that's true huh! (whispers) Although I couldn't get into the book series either myself. Ack! Liked the show more which is a bit weird! lol

Rebecca, that's okay! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :-D

Thanks Heather! Wow imagine that indeed. Lifetime could really kick butt if they had their heads on straight with some awesome programming and didn't, in a way, talk down to their audience. Some of their movies could be interesting too but they're stuck on Planet Predictable most of the time. A shame. Oxygen and We are kickin' it's booty I think!

RKCharron. Oh wow! Imagine the possibilities! I wish HBO or even Showtime would pick up the show based on whirl of paranormals still popular in the media today. They could do so much and would definitely have the audience. Imagine Blood Ties and True Blood back to back. Sunday night would be amazing.