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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Lair: The Complete Third Season

April 9th, 2010

The Lair: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon

The Lair is a gay themed soap opera about vampires. Ugh. I'm zero for three when it comes to the target audience. Firstly, I'm not gay. Secondly, I hate soap operas to the point where I use the term as an insult. Thirdly, I'm not a fan of how vampires are portrayed in most movies and TV shows. Vampires want to kill you. I don't find that sexy. Not at all. So I am as far outside the target demographic as one can be for this show, but I will do my best to not let that affect my review.

First, a bit of background information...

The Lair is set on an island. It tells the story of a covenant of vampires that at the beginning are preying on the local human population. There is the moody and introspective Damien, the head of the vampires a moody introspective one. His main rival is Colin, the bad boy. The lead human character is Thom Etherton, a reporter looking in on the murders that have happened. Also investigating the situation is Sheriff Trout. At the end of season one, Colin succeeds in his coup against Damien and becomes the new head of The Lair. Both Sheriff Trout and Colin's thrall (Frankie) are shot, the latter fatally, though he sticks around as a ghost. During season two, Thom helps revive Damien and helps destroys Colin, but a lot of people die in the process.

At the start of Season Three, Thom is living in The Lair as Damien's boyfriend/only food source. This is having a toll on him, both physically and psychologically. Meanwhile, Frankie is trying to move on to the other side, but he needs a proper funeral for that to happen. Damien wants to wait on that thinking he can still be of use. A new man shows up on the island, the kind of man that wears sunglasses at night. (No, not that man.) Athan is a gorgon whose look can turn you to stone, a fact that a local learns too late. Just one more strange crime Sheriff Trout has to investigate. The first episode ends with Richie, the new thrall, receiving a phone call that says Colin is going to return. Which he does, almost immediately.

So Colin is back and his usual self, Thom breaks up with Damien and begins a quest for a magic ring to protect himself, Damian gets into a business arrangement with a woman named Frau von Hess, and Athan begins a quest to look for the mummified head of Carter Vane. I believe those are the main plot threads that run throughout Season Three, without getting too much into spoiler territory.

If I were to use one word to describe The Lair: The Complete Third Season, that word would be "bad". If I were to use two words, they would be "shockingly bad." "Porn level bad." That's three words. Okay, I think that's enough of that. I think you get the idea. Granted, I'm not in the target demographic and I didn't have high expectations, but I just wanted interesting writing and solid acting. There's none here. The supernatural elements are handled so much better in other shows, including Dante's Cove, from whence this show spun-off. The special effects are nearly universally bad. Some of the acting can be generously described as campy, and sometimes it works (I don't mind Brian Nolan as Frankie, possibly because he's the only source of humor in the show) but a lot of it grates on my nerves.

I described the show as "porn level bad", which is not an inappropriate term to use, as there's a lot of sex and nudity in this show. It is practically softcore porn.

There are no extras on the two-disc set, nor are there any subtitles. There are play all buttons and proper chapter placements.

The Verdict

The idea of a supernatural soap opera is not a terrible idea. It worked for a long time with Dark Shadows, which featured one of the most famous TV vampires of all time. Throwing in a gay theme could also be a boon. However, The Lair takes these ingredients and combines them into an unholy mess. If it were campy, that would have been an improvement. But it takes itself way too seriously. Additionally, the Complete Third Season DVD is completely without features, further limiting its value.

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