Anne Rice’s classic gothic romance Interview with the Vampire returned to the small screen to chill and delight, and its premiere caused a huge boost in AMC+’s viewership. Though the original novel set the stage for the spooky romance explosion that was to follow, the new TV series is another in a long line of tantalizing programs.
From long-running TV staples like The Vampire Diaries to horrifying tales like The Haunting o f Bly Manor, plenty of shows mix romance and terror for a perfectly eerie experience. Though paranormal romance is a massive TV sub-genre, only the very best shows capture the same energy as AMC’s newest hit.
Sharing its setting with Interview with the Vampire, the Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals further proved that bloodsuckers and New Orleans go together perfectly. The series follows Klaus, the original hybrid of a vampire and werewolf, who returns to the Crescent City to reclaim his familial right from new vampires who have taken it over.
Leaning more heavily on the classic gothic look of New Orleans, The Originals seemed to have been made with Anne Rice’s novels in mind. Aside from that, the show is a gripping enough drama, and it doesn’t require an encyclopedic knowledge of its predecessor to enjoy.
Often regarded as a forgotten ’80s TV show that deserves a second look, Beauty and the Beast revitalized a classic piece of literature for a modern paranormal romance epic. Living in the subterranean tunnels beneath New York City, the lion-man Vincent falls in love with a fiery district attorney, and the couple must reconcile their two worlds.
Though it was less horror-centric than Interview with the Vampire, Beauty and the Beast was nevertheless a paranormal romance for the ages. The show is supported mostly by wonderful performances from Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, and it delivered exciting stories outside its compelling romance angle.
Seeing Interview with the Vampire‘s chilling plot and raising the bar, The Haunting of Bly Manor used ghosts to scare its audience half to death. Loosely adapting the Henry James novel Turn of the Screw, the show follows a young governess who is disturbed by spooky apparitions that threaten her young charges.
In between moments of utter terror, the series does have a pretty interesting series of romances. Like the novel it was based on, the show captures the beautiful simplicity of love in the 19th century but modernizes it with complications from a more recent era. What makes the show one of the best Netflix original series is that it doesn’t ever compromise its scares for its romance and vice versa.
Though it isn’t nearly as romantic as Interview with the Vampire, Forever Knight is one of the most unique vampire programs to ever grace a TV screen. The series follows Nick Knight, an ancient vampire who works as a homicide detective in Toronto. His plans for making amends for centuries of killing are challenged when rival vampires roll into town and aim to do harm.
The urban environs of Toronto are the perfect backdrop for a modern vampire series, and there are plenty of screams to go along with the show’s procedural format. Though it only lasted a few years, no show before or since has been as clever with the vampire mythos.
Perhaps the mother of all vampire TV shows, Dark Shadows took the classic soap opera format and completely turned it on its ear. After several centuries locked away in a coffin, vampire Barnabas Collins is freed and makes his way back to his ancestral home of Collinsport, Maine.
Though it might be unrecognizable to modern fans of Interview with the Vampire, Dark Shadows was one of the first mainstream gothic romance programs in TV history. With over 1,000 episodes, the show moves somewhat slowly, but the romance and intriguing plots elevate it above the typical clichés that one comes to expect from a weekday soap.
Just when it seemed as if there were no new ideas in vampire fiction, Joe Hill’s novel NOS4A2 was adapted into the AMC series of the same name. The series follows a young woman with the supernatural ability to find lost things, and she is put on the trail of a strange vampire who captures people’s souls and traps them in a Christmas-themed land of his creation.
Much in the same way Rice’s take on vampires was a revelation, NOS4A2 took the tired old bloodsuckers in an entirely original direction. Though the series is devoid of any romance plot, there is a subtleness to the show’s terror that makes it similar to Interview. Ranking highly among the best shows that only lasted 2 seasons, NOS4A2 never really got a chance to shine.
If Interview with the Vampire is classy and sophisticated with its romance, Netflix’s original series Hemlock Grove was unabashedly raunchy and provocative. Set in a dilapidated old mill town in Pennsylvania, the series follows the denizens of Hemlock Grove of both the upper and lower class and the monsters that reside there as well.
Not limiting themselves to one type of fright exclusively, dark magic and monsters abound in the campy send-up to gothic horror. With a star-studded cast, the show’s love stories are deftly woven between tales of murder and mayhem, and the series seems to delight in its own twisted fantasy.
While shows like Interview with the Vampire are told from the vampire’s perspective, the aptly named Buffy the Vampire Slayer took an entirely different approach to its fanged fiends. Buffy is an average American high school student except that she is also destined to be the ultimate slayer of vampires and other monsters.
Ranked highly among the best teen shows of the ’90s, Buffy was a cultural phenomenon that spawned several spin-offs of its own. Outside the tongue-in-cheek action of the series, there is also a fair amount of paranormal romance to be found. Buffy’s relationship with Angel is front-and-center in the story, and it is always fascinating to see their two worlds clash.
Interview with the Vampire captures the sweeping grandeur of The Big Easy, but another Louisiana-based vampire program had viewers swooning for almost a decade. True Blood is the story of Sookie, a waitress who falls in love with a vampire after the development of synthetic blood allows the undead being to no longer have to feast on humans.
Romance is the driving force behind the plot of True Blood, and it approaches its sex appeal with a bit less tact than Interview does. The strained relationship between vampires and humans drives the story along and the entire town seems to be built on a powder keg of jealousy and mistrust.
Though it came about to cash in on the monstrous success of the Twilight franchise, The Vampire Diaries grew into a TV powerhouse all on its own. Elena is a recently orphaned teenage girl who falls in love with a century-and-a-half-old vampire. When the vampire’s brother returns, a love triangle forms, and their original connection is severely tested.
Establishing its own rich lore, the series has branched out into other forms of media and has even had several spin-off shows. Undoubtedly one of the CW’s most successful programs, The Vampire Diaries nailed its romance plot and even gives modern shows like Interview with the Vampire a run for their money in terms of entertainment value.
NEXT: Vampire Diaries Characters Who Appeared In The Most Episodes Across All Three Shows