Immortals is about what you’d expect from a new binge-tastic Netflix vampire show, for better and for worse.
Early March is turning out to be a fun time for fans of small-screen supernatural drama, as just one day after the release of the magic-vs-werewolves series The Order, Turkish vampire series Immortals has just debuted globally with a thoroughly bingeable eight-episode first season.
I forget exactly when vampire stuff basically became review-proof, but it was somewhere between Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, and since then there has been a certain subset of viewers who will happily sink their fangs into whichever pallid neck comes their way. The Immortals is a darker, more serious show than The Order, and a bit less accessible for being Turkish. Then again it’s all very traditional, with just the right amount of ancient prophecies, forbidden romances and high stakes (oh, I’m sorry) to make any genre fan feel right at home.
Known as Yasamayanlar in its native Turkey, Immortals concerns the revenge plot of Mia, a human-turned-vampire played by Turkish actress and model Elçin Sangu, who has a personal beef with the vampire leader of Istanbul’s seedy underworld, Dmitry, played by Turkish actor and model Kerem Bürsin. Astute readers will be noticing a trend here. It isn’t a new trend, obviously, but the prevalence of predictable plots and implausibly gorgeous actors is fundamental to this new strain of contemporary vampiric shenanigans, with its built-in, often unashamedly turned-on audience. And that’s Immortals in microcosm, really.
The regional specificity of Istanbul doesn’t do much for Immortals, which leans heavily against that typically poorly-lit, neon-tinged aesthetic that you might expect. There’s a bit of an edge to some of the performances, characterisation and costuming which feels, for want of a better term, international, but the framework of Immortals is universal, for better and worse. This’ll be a sure-fire hit, there’s no doubt about that, and don’t let me put you off – I’m hardly the target demographic here. And if you are, you probably don’t care what I say anyway.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.