While watching the first episode, I couldn’t help but think of the much better ‘Nosferatu’ by the great Werner Herzog (I haven’t seen the original). With this series, everything feels rushed as the writers force themselves through all the “trash” just so they can get to the “good part”; compare this to Herzog’s film, where he takes his time in building a dense and insurmountable atmosphere (it helps that Kinski is terrifying to begin with). This disregard and lack of respect for the source material is deepened with the twist at the end of episode 2 where we learn that Dracula has arrived in the modern day.
I wouldn’t say that the show rapidly declined over its run (since it never had much of a peak to begin with) but I think that episode 3 (despite how bad it is) actually avoids the problem that the first two episodes had: that they were done much, much better elsewhere. Since episode 3 is without much precedent as far as “direct” Dracula adaptations go, it is able to do much more with what it has built. But that doesn’t matter when the show dives head first into the nearest dumpster, slathering itself with rotten food and garbage as it parades itself as the greatest new fragrance on the market.
P.S. Dolly Wells kills it as Sister Agatha Van Helsing (but unfortunately fails a bit as the much more boring Dr. Zoe Van Helsing).
2/10 – Terrible