These vampire TV shows don’t suck.
Blood. Lust. Sex. Drama. Vampire TV shows offer all this and more. While bloodsuckers used to be regarded as grotesque creatures once upon a time, they evolved into being portrayed as mysterious and sensual beings, usually ostracized and surprisingly human.
Pop culture embraced their eerie nature and TV shows about vampires became all the rage just a few years ago. The hype died down in the meantime, but dedicated fans of the genre know that a renaissance is likely on the way. Until then, we’ll patiently kick back with a classic or check out some of the more underrated vampire series available in Australia. Here are ten of the best.
Top 10 vampire TV shows
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The Vampire Diaries
- The Originals
- Being Human
- True Blood
- The Strain
- Van Helsing
- From Dusk till Dawn: The Series
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)
It’s been more than 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired on television and the vampire series is still regarded as one of the best TV shows of all time. Witty, action-packed, scary, and truly ahead of its time, Buffy set a high bar for the genre.
Created by Joss Whedon, the show follows a teenage vampire slayer who battles against vampires and demons with a little help from her friends. It perfectly captures the spirit of the era, yet it still holds up today. The special effects may look dated, but the problems these teen face are timeless, which makes Buffy a fun binge anytime. You can purchase episodes from digital retailers like Google Play, iTunes, and Microsoft Store.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy
- Alyson Hannigan as Willow
- Nicholas Brendon as Xander
- Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert
2. Angel (1999)
Besides being iconic on its own, Buffy the Vampire Slayer also spanned a successful spin-off show. Angel follows the titular vampire as he relocates from Sunnydale to Los Angeles and risks his soul to battle dark forces in the City of Angels. After years of preying on the weak, Angel finally takes his first steps on the road to redemption by doing his best to help the helpless. Along the way, he is joined by some familiar faces, including the spirited Cordelia.
Angel is a fun blend of humor and horror. Initially dismissed by critics as Buffy’s ‘poor cousin,’ it quickly developed into a highly entertaining series in its own right, a tad darker and broodier than the original. You can buy episodes from digital retailers – the series is available to purchase from Google Play, iTunes, and Microsoft Store.
- David Boreanaz as Angel
- Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia
- Alexis Denisof as Wesley
- Glenn Quinn as Doyle
3. The Vampire Diaries (2009)
The Vampire Diaries centres on Elena, a teenage girl who finds herself torn between two vampire brothers. While Stefan is doing his best to live peacefully among humans, Damon stays true to his predatory nature, causing mayhem all around. Meanwhile, Elena tries to lead a normal high school life, which isn’t easy when immortal beings are always out to get you.
A compelling teen drama with captivating characters and great pacing, The Vampire Diaries was a bloody sensation. It boasts a fascinating mythology and some truly memorable twists, ensuring that viewers can’t help but come back for more. The addictive show is available to stream on Netflix.
- Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert
- Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore
- Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
4. The Originals (2013)
A The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals centres on the Mikaelson siblings, the original vampires, led by Klaus. The powerful vampire/werewolf hybrid relocates to New Orleans and finds his former protégé reigning over the supernatural community. He sets out to reclaim the city with the help of his brother Elijah, but not before receiving surprising news from a former flame.
The Originals is a sleek and atmospheric show which, just like the original, manages to deliver surprising plot twists and keep viewers on the edge of the seat. The fact that it revolves around a family only ups the stakes, making the drama that much more interesting. You can stream The Originals on Netflix.
- Joseph Morgan as Klaus
- Daniel Gillies as Elijah
- Phoebe Tonkin as Hayley
- Charles Michael Davis as Marcel
5. Being Human (2011)
For these three, being human is harder than it looks. This underrated Nord American series follows three roommates – a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost. Their supernatural nature makes them share a special bond and they rely on each other for support as they try to blend into society and lead normal lives. Needless to say, that proves to be incredibly difficult.
Being Human is a remake of the British series with the same name. With a solid cast and interesting themes, it more that stands on its own, offering a compelling blend of comedy, drama, and horror. You can purchase Being Human episodes from digital retailers like Google Play, iTunes, and Microsoft Store. If you’re curious to compare and contrast, the UK version is available to purchase from iTunes and Google Play.
- Sam Witwer as Aidan Waite
- Meaghan Rath as Sally Malik
- Sam Huntington as Josh Levison
6. True Blood (2008)
Gory and sexy, True Blood centres on Sookie, a telepathic waitress from a small town who falls in love with a vampire. The show takes place in the near future, a time when human and vampires live together thanks to the invention of a synthetic blood which allows bloodsuckers to survive without preying on mortals. Vampires are fighting for equal rights and Sookie finds herself right in the middle, struggling to figure out how to navigate the complicated world of her new beau.
Well-acted and more graphic than some of the other entries on the list, True Blood provides pure escapism, dazzling viewers with steamy romances and clever social commentary. The series is available to stream on Foxtel Now.
- Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
- Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton
- Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
- Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds</
7. The Strain (2014)
When an airplane lands with almost everyone abroad dead, the CDC is called to investigate. The team soon discovers four survivor and figure out that they’re dealing with a dangerous viral outbreak, similar to an ancient strain of vampirism. They have to quickly stop the virus from spreading, fearing that humanity might already be doomed.
The Strain offers an effective mix of gore and thrills, stunning visuals, and exciting twists. Not recommended for the squeamish, the show rejects the idea of ‘brooding’ vampires and makes the creatures scary again, to horror fans’ delight. You can purchase episodes from Google Play, Microsoft Store, or the Playstation Store.
- Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim ‘Eph’ Goodweather
- Mía Maestro as Dr. Nora Martinez
- David Bradley as Professor Abraham Setrakian
- Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet
8. Van Helsing (2016)
This dark series follows Vanessa Van Helsing, a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, who wakes up from a coma in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by vampires. Her unique blood composition allows her to turn vampires human, so she becomes humanity’s last hope of survival. Soon, she will lead a resistance against the vampires, all of whom want her dead.
Van Helsing is a grim dystopian series, violent and gory, which tremendously benefits from a nuanced performance by Kelly Overton in the lead role. Think of it as The Walking Dead with vampires, if you must. The show is available to stream on Netflix.
- Kelly Overton as Vanessa Van Helsing
- Jonathan Scarfe as Axel
- Christopher Heyerdahl as Sam
- Paul Johansson as Dmitri
9. From Dusk till Dawn: The Series (2014)
Familiar with the movie? You’ll likely love the show as well. From Dusk till Dawn centres on brothers Seth and Richie Gecko, who are hunted by the FBI following a bank robbery gone wrong. Heading for the Mexico border, they take a family hostage, but a drug lord reroutes them to a strip club where they find themselves surrounded by snake-like creatures and must fight to survive until dawn.
From Dusk till Dawn features a different breed of vampires, but that doesn’t make them any less compelling than their sparkling counterparts. Plus, the characters are engaging and the dark humor delicious, ensuring that the show will appeal to fans of the cult movie and newcomers alike. From Dusk till Dawn: The Series is on Netflix.
- D. J. Cotrona as Seth Gecko
- Zane Holtz as Richie Gecko
- Jesse Garcia as Ranger Freddie Gonzalez
- Eiza González as Santanico Pandemonium / Kisa
10. Preacher (2016)
This outlandish show follows a hard-drinking preacher, Jesse, who becomes infused with an extraordinary power. He embarks on a fascinating journey to understand his newfound ability and enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and a vampire along the way. Soon, the three will find themselves on a road trip for the ages as they look for God himself.
Dark, bizarre, and ridiculously entertaining, Preacher is a visually stunning series that offers more gore than the average viewer will be able to handle, but balances it out with humor and wit. Although only one of the main characters is a vampire, he also happens to be one of the best to ever grace our screens. He’s a wild and self-loathing beast who can be charming and crack jokes when the situation calls for it, but always stays true to his murderous nature. Preacher is available to stream on Stan.
- Dominic Cooper as Jesse
- Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy
- Ruth Negga as Tulip
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