I don’t even know where to start, honestly. Seriously, Syfy? WTF!
Listen, I totally understand trying to have a little fun while pushing boundaries. I’m also not the least bit squeamish, as earlier seasons of The Walking Dead were some of my favorite hours of television ever. The Strain on FX is also fairly gross, but I’m cool with that because the story is for the most part… interesting. With Blood Drive, Syfy’s taken a throw everything including the kitchen sink in approach to another level. I can just picture network execs sitting around a table brainstorming this gorefest and pitching the sickest shit they could think of. That’s right folks, don’t expect any real story here just insane nonsense and rivers of splashing blood.
I’m often accused of kissin’ Syfy’s ass by trolls on social media because I love and support the network. However, there’s always an exception and for me… that’s Blood Drive. Syfy has been doing incredible work re-branding itself in order to win back the “genre” crowd that now tunes in to HBO, AMC, Starz or Netflix. The network has been on a roll with outstanding series’ like 12 Monkeys, The Expanse, The Magicians, Killjoys, Dark Matter and Wynonna Earp. Incorporated failed sadly, but at least it was in the same wheelhouse. Sure, Sharknado attracts plenty of eyeballs once a year, but it’s meant to be a spoof whereas Blood Drive takes itself more seriously. I confess that the grindhouse appeal is lost on me, but I’m curious to see if there’s a Syfy audience for it. My thinking is, if HBO wouldn’t air it then Syfy should probably steer clear.
So, now that you’ve got an idea how I feel about Blood Drive… let’s discuss the premiere, shall we?
Colin Cunningham’s character Julian Slink kicked things off by calling us dumb dumbs for tuning in. Yeah, that should have been a red flag right there. Ha! The premise is that the world’s gone to shit, and the only motivation to keep on living is a road race with a ten million dollar cash prize. Okay, sounds like there’s somewhat of a story there, right? Wrong! That one sentence describes the 13 hours you’re about to sit through if you make it to the finish line. Oh yeah, the cars run on human blood. Eeeeew!
Anyway, we’re introduced to Grace D’Argento (Christina Ochoa) right away and she makes quite the impression by shoving some punk into the hood of her car to get gobbled up. The guy was a rapist douche, so the audience doesn’t hold it against Grace too much. Did she have to stab him in the groin though? C’mon… ouch! It only got nastier if you kept watching as the car crunched up the guy’s skull ‘n bones spitting out his clothing. Then she topped off by taking the other guy’s arm. Yeah Grace is a piece of work. By comparison, Arthur Bailey (Alan Ritchson)’s good cop is an absolute saint, just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Since those are the only two characters that really matter, there’s not much else to grab on to here except the occasional shocking gross out.
The big set piece was Mayhem, “the warehouse” where MC Slink tagged his drivers with a neck bomb and off they went. Well, not before Arthur and his partner witnessed the depravity first hand. Yup, more cars grinding up humans and wringing them like washcloths for their blood. It was far too off-putting for my taste. By the way, Cunningham’s intro was flawless. The actor was clearly having a ball camping it up as Slink. However, as someone familiar with his previous work I was surprised he took a part in this drivel.
Grace got saddled with Arthur, after our hero was discovered and accidentally dented her red ride. Their “link” meant he couldn’t wander too far without her bomb going off. Needless to say, our sexy duo forcibly played along and ultimately wound up having intense car sex since adrenaline shorted out the neck devices. It was all pretty nonsensical, but I’m sure a half hour in you had stopped trying to make any sense of this show. It was amusing that Grace kept calling him Barbie. “Harder Barbie, harder” hehe.
Bit of trivia for ya. Ritchson played another Arthur about 10 years ago on TV… that’s right, he was Arthur Curry/Aquaman on Smallville. The actor tries his best on Blood Drive, and he’s charming enough easily inhabiting the leading man/hero protagonist. I’m just curious if the show turned out to be what he signed up for. Same can be said for Cunningham. I guess it’s a job and most actors are unemployed until the next gig. So there’s that.
The B-story with Arthur’s partner, Christopher, held little interest for me, but you’ve got to fill up the hour somehow. There was plenty of man ass and bare chests, which made me wonder if Syfy expects ladies (or gay dudes) to be the show’s primary audience. That’s not a complaint, just an observation guys. If I was ripped like that, I’d probably be naked on TV too. LOL – Oh yeah, the cop lady was an android or clone… why the hell not?
As it turned out, the organization behind the Blood Drive also runs pretty much everything including the police force. Not a good sign, but who cares really?
While I’m disappointed in Syfy for peddling this trash, they’ve also got Krypton and Stranger in A Strange Land on the way so I’m not holding it against them. The violence was insanely gratuitous. There was zero story. The acting was questionable. I mean, the only real reason to tune-in is if you have some kind of blood fetish. Grinding up cheerleaders, really? This series is a hard pass for me, but I confess the pilot made me curious enough to watch a few more episodes. It only gets worse folks, so count me out. If you plan to tune in for more, I’m interested to know why. What did you like or hate about Blood Drive? Is the show a misfire for Syfy, or do you think it’s cool they’re throwing shit out there to see what sticks? Hit me up in the comments below, let’s discuss.
Blood Drive airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Syfy