After watching I Woke Up A Vampire, we decided that we had to stop being so judgmental in life. The show was easy, fun, and good enough, and we would have missed out on something like this if we had been hung up on the fact that the characters were all 13 years old. The age factor had given us the impression that we were going to be watching a show more suited to kids and the kind of fantasy they like to toy with. In fact, the first two episodes strengthened that impression, considering that we did not like Carmie as a character at all. But as the story progressed, we found ourselves having fun, and the silliness of the plot was rather engaging. We were absolutely not expecting the dedicated world-building that revealed itself so cleverly through the narrative.
When it comes to fantasy, the story is only a winner if you are able to imagine the world and yourself as a part of it. The most popular fantasy series of our times, be it the Harry Potter universe, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or the extremely underrated Inheritance Cycle, requires the viewer to be able to imagine themselves wearing the shoes of the protagonist, and strangely, I Woke Up A Vampire has that effect on us.
On that note, before we go further, we feel the need to mention that we did not enjoy the acting of the children at all, especially Carmie. It is safe to say that hers was the only performance that did not convince us. Even Kevin and Dylan managed to secure the spotlight with their timing and acting, but Carmie, as the protagonist, failed on that front. We are often careful when it comes to critiquing the art of younger (child) artists. Unlike adults or even teenagers, they are not given the time to perfect or practice their craft. In fact, there is also a severe limitation in the methods one may adopt to teach children to imagine or react to certain situations for the camera. But at the end of the day, we are watching a story unfold on screen, and finding the right cast that convinces us of their roles is the makers and the actors’ responsibility. We don’t lower our standards just because we are watching a kid perform on screen, and it should never be an excuse. We are sure Kaileen Chang, who plays Carmie, will be brilliant one day because she seemed to be giving the right expressions. However, she couldn’t make them look organic. That may and will come with experience, and she has our best wishes.
Another thing we would like to comment on is the wisdom of the episode length. Eight episodes with a runtime of twenty minutes each make for a sharp story, and that makes sense since nothing new is being brought to the table, but it is being ensured that our time doesn’t get wasted with something dull and overly indulgent. There is also no overt mystery to the series, but that is alright since we understand that it is toeing the line between catering to adults and children. That is a reason that the predictability doesn’t hurt, in addition to how the revelations are handled so coolly, in a trademark unserious teen style.
While we are on that note, we would like to discuss some of the mistakes that the characters have made in the series. We are not talking about loopholes, but actual wrong decisions or a lack of thought. Without giving any spoilers, the only thing we will say is that this is where their age is finally justified. After all, it seems unfair that hormonal teens whose heads are swimming with fantasy and ideals are given the responsibility of choosing their own fate, a feat that grown adults struggle with. But adults wouldn’t be forgiven for the mistakes that the kids were allowed to make, and that is okay.
I Woke Up A Vampire offers its audience a lot, though the first season is just the starting point of it all. There is a rich world full of vampires, werewolves, and other magical creatures waiting to be explored. Then there are complicated humans who will be adding their own stories to the world, and finally, the fate of the world is at stake again through complicated bloodlines and ancient mysteries. The fact that there is a second season is proof of the effort that has gone into creating this story.
At no point will we be calling this a superior show, but the lightly parodying tone it has taken, along with the simple yet cosmic connection it has been tracing between the characters and the events, all indicate that the writers have cared about their work. How easy was it to do the simple thing and get away with it since a lot of the plot is predictable? But the writers made it fun and knew how to tap into the pulse of seasoned fantasy watchers.
In other aspects of the show, we loved the fashion and the colors used by the actors. They are so strangely relatable to the characters, and this is especially visible in the case of Madison, whose choice of girly prints and colors is so expertly justified by her aversion to the hyper-masculine narrative surrounding werewolves in popular media. Even the collector’s clothes make sense, though only at the last minute. But our favorite character of all was Leanna. She is so caricaturishly irritating and self-important throughout the story, but at the last moment, she shows that she had been a good person throughout who was more than capable of looking at the bigger picture. That was a nice touch because we did not want to see a perfection-seeking evil teen in the series. It would have ruined a lot of things for us.
The thing we have been trying to say in so many words is that I Woke Up A Vampire is an enjoyable watch. It is silly and fun and transports us back to a time when we were able to immerse ourselves in stories of magic and pick the villains we wanted to fight with while enjoying the best of both worlds, and that is a story we will never be too old to watch. Therefore, this show is worth checking out.