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Interview With the Vampire's Grand 2nd Season Is Missing One Crucial Thing

More Lestat, please!
  • Assad Zaman and Jacob Anderson in Interview With the Vampire (Photo: Larry Horricks/AMC)
    Assad Zaman and Jacob Anderson in Interview With the Vampire (Photo: Larry Horricks/AMC)

    The first season of AMC's Interview With the Vampire took the internet by storm because it captured the gothic macabre of Anne Rice's famous novel. But it also took the implicit relationship between vampires Louis and Lestat and made it an explicit celebration of undead queerness. Season 1 was moody and deliciously camp, with Sam Reid and Jacob Anderson's devastating performances anchoring the gory spectacle. 

    Expansion is what you want to see when a series executes such a well-crafted first season. Yes, give us more of a great thing. Interview With the Vampire Season 2 succeeds in creating a wider universe, bringing Louis, Claudia (now played by Delainey Hayles), and the audience to the Théâtre des Vampires, which introduces a plethora of interesting new characters. It is here Claudia finds her desired coven and Louis gets the chance to start over. The new vampires are essential to testing Claudia and Louis' relationship as well as showcasing the variety of vampiric experiences within this world. However, even with more vampires to play with, this is also where Season 2 struggles. 

    All of Europe becomes a playground for Claudia and Louis before they find the Théâtre in Paris, showing off a multitude of vampires across the continent. Claudia is as petulant as ever as they search for others like them, and Louis is distracted as he quickly realizes crossing an ocean still wasn't enough to stop his ex from haunting him, literally and emotionally. The audience is in the dark with the duo as they wonder where they should go and what should they do, and we wait for answers for the burning questions raised by Season 1, like how did Louis and Armand (Assad Zaman) meet, and what really happened to Lestat after Louis left him in the dump? 

    Armand arrives when the duo finally make it to Paris. Fans have been hankering for more information about the ancient vamp since his reveal at the end of Season 1, and Season 2 delivers on revealing the origin of his and Louis' relationship. It's a slow burn and more romantic in comparison to Louis and Lestat's sensual and erotic beginnings, but their connection is just undermined by Lestat's ghost as Reid steals the oxygen in every scene.

    Jacob Anderson could probably create chemistry with a dung beetle, so it is not that Louis and Armand aren't steamy on screen together. Reid is just so electric on screen that he makes anyone else sparring with Anderson look dull in comparison. His appearances are some of the most fun scenes in the season, but they unintentionally remind the audience that everything is better when Lestat is around to cause chaos. 

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and reducing Lestat to a ghost (though you can't convince us he's really and truly dead) also removes the main antagonist from Louis and Claudia's path. Yes, they have struggles and things they struggle to accomplish, but there is no overbearing force holding them down, no hand on their throat that they must subdue. The absence of a villain, for lack of a better word, gives the first six episodes screened for critics a bit of an aimless quality, at least when it comes to the flashbacks. 

    Luckily, the expansion also includes the present day story where Daniel Malloy (Eric Bogosian) is interviewing Louis about his early days as a vampire. Armand joins the interview sessions and the friction between he and Louis as they debate the story of their romance is delicious. They are both unreliable narrators and Daniel has to play referee between the sparring lovers to get to the truth. Secrets are revealed. Motives are questioned, and the tension provides the soapy drama we've come to expect from the series. As Daniel not only finds out more about Louis and Armand's time in Paris, but about his first attempt to interview Louis in the '70s, IWTV proves it has many layers and we've still only scratched the surface of what this Immortal Universe has to offer. 

    There are pacing issues within the season, making early episodes drag, but overall Interview With the Vampire is still a feast for those that delight in camp and melodrama. Anderson once again manages to give Louis an endearing vulnerability, while also painting him as tragically burdened by the sins of his past. Reid makes the most of every second he is on screen – you can't take your eyes off of him. Zaman's Armand is a softer foil for the chaotic Lestat, but that does not mean you should underestimate him. It just takes a minute to really see him shine. And Hayles fits into Season 2 as if she had been there the entire time, playing Claudia with a more mature air that fans may find less grating than the petulant Season 1 iteration of the character. 

    Good things come to those who wait, and that seems to be the case with Interview With the Vampire Season 2. All of the essential ingredients of great television that we loved in Season 1 are still there, but you have to wait for the dish to warm up. If we could give a note to the chefs at AMC, there's really only one: more Lestat, please! 

    Interview With the Vampire Season 2 premieres May 12 on AMC and AMC+. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Megan Vick is a pop-culture reporter whose byline has appeared on TVGuide.com, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Reuters and more. You can find her on the internet talking about K-pop or screaming about teen romances. 

    TOPICS: Interview with the Vampire, AMC, AMC+, Assad Zaman, Delainey Hayles, Eric Bogosian, Jacob Anderson, Justin Kirk, Sam Reid