While I grew up with Season 1 and 2, and enjoyed the low-budget feel, the goofiness and whatnot, I LOVE the darkness that came with the later seasons. They had more opportunities to go deeper and bolder with things... and in some cases, they did. Other times... not so much. It was on CBBC so there wasn't much they could do about that, which is probably why it was so lacklustre and rushed at times with the plot. Now, I'm not saying all vampire shows have to be gory and rated 18, BUT isn't that an inherent part of vampires and their culture?
It just felt odd to me when it got to Season 3. The dark vibe was there, the special effects were so much better, Vlad was a teenager... but they were forced to hold back because the show was for kids. And while it's a cool show to have for kids, the premise of it all was too good for them in all honesty. They had to hold back on doing so many things that would make the show SO much better. For instance, they would reference and allude to the fact that vampires were this horrendous, evil species but I never felt that. We were supposed to truly understand and be sympathetic towards Vlad and his constant struggle with wanting to be human and hating his own kind. But it's hard to really do that when we don't see this evil for ourselves. We rarely saw vampires feeding on people and biting them. They made the Count look like a joke most of the time but then would selectively make him a beast when it called for it, which was always giving me whiplash.
Vlad and Erin were rushed(and not in a good way like some couples do in other shows) and they were not on the same page at all. They could have done a great romance story with them if they were given the proper attention. I would have liked to see them actually develop feelings for each other. We saw glimpses of it but never enough to make me believe they would risk so much for each other or be in love. Not to mention, they kept putting off conversations about their future together. They didn't fight for each other hard enough once she became a vampire.
Wolfie was supposed to be 4 years old but was 10. He looked like a 10 year old, he acted like a 10 year old... I didn't get it. Still, he was a better actor and delivered his lines better than George in Season 5.
Bertrand was the coolest character in Season 3--and that's coming from a girl who called her cat Vladimir--and then they ruined him in the next season by randomly turning him into a Yes Man for Vlad. I understand that being faced with Sethius, a complete lunatic who wanted the world in chaos like Bertrand planned, forced him to rethink things but I wasn't expecting him to become completely... tame. I found myself missing the snark, the backstabbing, the scheming, the scariness to him.
Season 5 was awful. I used to give it the benefit of the doubt but now I see that it's nowhere near the same level as the other four seasons. The lighting was always weird, the Count had turned into a complete joke, the humanity reveal with Vlad made sense but I still wish it had been hinted at more consistently throughout, I found Talitha to be cringe, the storyline surrounding the seed thing was boring and random, Ramanga randomly happened to have 2 sons which he never mentioned before(despite there being a huge wedding in Season 4 with their sister, as well as a giant scheme to kill the Chosen One, her groom), the Count was randomly lovely to Ingrid in the final moments of the show... the only redeeming parts of it was Piers, Malik and Vlad's handsome face.