It’s just like they always say: every teen vampire heir to the royal throne needs their warrior protector best friend, especially when they’re both studying at a boarding school for vampires. They do say that, right?
Regardless of its applicability, that’s essentially the idea behind Vampire Academy, Peacock’s stab at the they’re-ancient-vampires-but-they’re-teens trope currently having a moment in shows like Netflix’s First Kill. Where First Kill tries painfully hard to be a new, woke spin on the undead romance, Vampire Academy, which premiered its first trailer yesterday at San Diego Comic-Con, appears to be taking the opposite route, and leaning into the tried and true trappings of YA fantasy.
Based on the best-selling series of novels by Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy follows the adventures of two best friends, Lissa (Daniela Nieves) and Rose (Sisi Stringer). Although Lissa and Rose are normal BFF’s at first glance (the trailer reflects this by depicting the girls giggling together on a bike), rest assured there’s more to the story. Lissa is actually a vampire and member of the royal Dragomir family, and Rose is her sworn protector.
When Lissa must attend a Hogwarts-esque boarding school to prepare herself for her royal duties (hence, the series name), Rose is called to join as well, and train as Lissa’s guardian. From there, the duo must navigate the monsters inherent in the social makeup of an exclusive private boarding school, while also fending off the literal monsters who threaten it, the bloodthirsty and red-eyed Strigoi.
Although Vampire Academy doesn’t bring anything stylistically to the table that the Volturi didn’t have back in 2009's The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the series’ trailer could well serve as a supernatural romance highlights reel. There’s breathless kissing in dark corners! There’s CGI fire! There’s a woman in a white gown falling out of a window! There’s a shirtless white guy practicing fight sequences on the turret of a castle! There are so, so many lace collars!
“We love the books too, and we love what you love…there’s pieces, we kind of picked our way through…if you’re a fan of the books and you’ve loved something in the books…trust us,” showrunner/writer/executive producer Marguerite MacIntyre assured fans at SDCC. A love letter to the YA fantasy medium? Now that’s a project this writer can get behind.
Vampire Academy will premiere on Peacock on September 15.