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‘Interview With The Vampire’ Struggles to Find Its Footing in Season 2

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Is the microphone on? Good. That can only mean one thing, it’s time to continue on with the interview… The adventures of the vampires Louis, Claudia, and Lestat are far from over, as Interview With The Vampire season 2 is airing on AMC and AMC+ this month! Based on the novel of the same name by Anne Rice, season 2 sees our creatures of the night leaving New Orleans and setting off for the old world, Europe. With the hope of simpler times ahead for them, and answers to their vampiric lineage, Louis and Claudia begin a journey that only brings them more strife, as danger lurks around every corner and cracks begin to form in their relationship.

The series that began the Immortal Universe (a cinematic world connecting the works of Rice) sees the return of some familiar faces but also features a significant recast for one of our main three protagonists. While Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid return as the intoxicating Louis and Lestat respectively, Delainey Hayles replaces Bailey Bass as Claudia.

Interview With The Vampire season 2 is ready to recapture the success and acclaim from the first season, but it takes a while for the season to find its stride amidst some significant changes to the series structure. Continue to find out more of what you can expect from Interview With The Vampire Part II.

[Warning: spoilers from season 2 are below]

A new (old) world for Louis and Claudia in Interview with the Vampire season 2

If you weren’t familiar with the novel or the movie from the 90s, the previous season finale had to be quite a shock. Fed up with the abuse at the hands of Lestat (Reid), Claudia (Bass) decided that she and Louis (Anderson) had to take matters into their own hands… and boy did they. Poisoning him with tainted blood and slitting his throat, Claudia and the reluctant and abused Louis dispose of Lestat’s body and set off to find more of their kind. 

Interview With The Vampire season 2- Louis and Claudia
Louis (Jacob Anderson) and Claudia (Delainey Hayles). Interview With The Vampire (AMC)

Starting over is never easy, especially when you have to continue looking over your shoulders. Louis is haunted by ghosts of his past for his and Claudia’s actions, and he can’t seem to outrun them. That doesn’t stop their pursuit of more vampires across the Atlantic Ocean, a quest that eventually brings the duo straight into the arms of Armand (Assad Zaman) and his theater troupe of vampires.

Those who have watched the first season know of the identity of Armand, who reveals himself at the end of the finale, in a twist that fans of the book probably weren’t expecting. Herein the second chapter of Louis’ interview with Daniel (Eric Bogosian), the focus switches from the story of the vampire and his maker to that of him and his savior. Armand gives Louis a new lease on life, serving as a perfect foil to the cruel Lestat. Armand is patient when he needs to be, calm, and even a little cold, but he loves Louis deeper and in a truer way than Lestat ever could.

However, bliss is never easy, as Louis and Claudia will come to understand. Finding more vampires leads to an entirely different world than either of these two fledglings can even understand. Vampiric laws are harsh and final, so there isn’t much room for error. These two must navigate their new reality carefully; otherwise, it could spell trouble.

Book Review: Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire

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New perspectives and dynamics lead to a slow start in Interview With The Vampire season 2

Having read the book multiple times and seen the film with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt more times than I can count, I knew largely what to expect from this new batch of eight episodes. I also knew that Interview With The Vampire faced an interesting dilemma, a season without one of its main stars. As stated above, the last season ended with the death of Lestat, although with a glimmer of hope about a possible return, but I digress. However, one aspect that made season one so interesting to watch was the dynamics between Louis and Lestat, especially as the former grew on his own.

Their relationship wasn’t always pretty to watch, and it wasn’t supposed to be for that matter. Lestat is abusive, using manipulation and threats to control those in his life. Sure, he always attempts to rule through “kindness”, but he was a bully through and through. That being said, their relationship is addictive as hell to watch and now going into season 2, that dynamic is missing, which left me sort of worried about the direction they were taking here.

In that regard, the show initially suffers from the lack of that dynamic, as it tries to find a new foothold to brace itself. Interview With The Vampire season 2 does find ways to include Lestat in the story, through flashbacks and another rather ingenious way, but it is never the same. Although, it’s not supposed to be the same, as the story itself features a major transition from one relationship to another. I walked away feeling disappointed in the initial couple of episodes because they feel so vastly different and come off weaker than the first season.

Eventually, after a few episodes, the season does find the same stride that it had in the first one, focusing on Louis and Armand, as well as the larger vampire society of Europe. The story also drifts away further from the novel, with a greater emphasis on Armand and the impact that he has on the vampires around him. He becomes an integral part of both the interview and the narrative, which helps to bridge the gap slightly for the significant decrease in Lestat’s presence. There’s also more focus on Daniel, the interviewer, and the role he’s played in these vampires stories, in ways he could have never anticipated.

Impressive characters and actors in the newest season of Anne Rice’s Immortal Universe

What continues to make Interview With The Vampire an addictive television series is the characterization of Louis and the relationships he develops throughout the show. Louis is desperate for connections, as his desire for humanity grows the longer he’s a vampire. He wants the sun, he wants to live, but he’s stuck as a creature of the night and that’s slowly eating away at him.

Through the connections with Claudia and Armand, Louis finds a bit of that humanity again. It’s this journey of self-discovery that drives this second season, as Anderson’s portrayal of Louis is one of the strongest in the show. Anderson has created something special in Interview With The Vampire, and I hope there’s more of him in this role past the story that feels like it’s reaching its conclusion.

Interview With The Vampire- Armand and Louis
Armand (Assad Zaman) and Louis (Jacob Anderson). Interview With The Vampire (AMC).

Delainey Hayles has huge shoes to step into, as Bailey Bass was exceptional as Claudia in the first season. Bass was one of the main draws of that initial season because she played the role perfectly in every way. Hayles proves her talent and worth, taking the role in a new direction, but equally good as Bass. Claudia has reached a turning point in her journey, wanting to be something more than a vampire stuck in a young adult’s body. Her desires for more continue to push Louis and her on a dangerous path, if not eye-opening.

The larger inclusion of Armand for Part II was an interesting development that I wasn’t expecting, but does fit with the direction and narrative of the series. Season 2 gives viewers a moment to sit and breathe with these characters, as the pacing is much slower than the first.

Part of that slowdown is to give a greater exploration of Armand and the world he comes from. It does feel like this push is to further expand the Immortal Universe, similar to world-building for franchises like The Walking Dead and the Arrowverse. Assad Zaman plays Armand in a way that it’s nearly impossible to determine what his true motivations are. Is it power? Love? Obsession? There are so many layers to the character, and Zaman is expansive in the role.

In the end, Interview With The Vampire Part II is worth the watch on AMC and AMC+

Overall, this second chapter in Louis’ story is worth your investment, especially if you enjoyed the first season or the companion show The Mayfair Witches. There are definitely some pacing issues, which makes the first couple of episodes drag just a bit, but the characters and talent within the show make the initial hiccup worth it. So be sure to check out season 2 when it returns next week!

Interview with the Vampire returns on May 12 with weekly episodes on AMC and AMC+. Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord if you plan on checking out the new season!

Review: Interview With The Vampire Season 1 Finale

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Brian Kitson

Working hard to bring you the latest news and thoughtful analysis of all things nerdy!

Brian Kitson has 379 posts and counting. See all posts by Brian Kitson