Reginald the Vampire S1E2: “The Hunger” — Does This Need To Be 40 Minutes?

Pictured: (l-r) Jacob Batalon as Reginald, Marguerite Hanna as Ashley -- (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)
REGINALD THE VAMPIRE -- "The Hunger" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jacob Batalon as Reginald, Marguerite Hanna as Ashley -- (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)

The following contains spoilers for Reginald the Vampire S1E2, “The Hunger” (written by Harley Peyton, based on the books by Johnny B. Truant, and directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik)

We pick up from last week’s cliffhanger with a very anticlimactic scene between Reginald (Jacob Batalon) and Sarah (Em Haine). Reginald the Vampire’s pilot “Dead Weight” ended with Sarah showing up at Reginald’s door unsatisfied with where they last left their “not-a-breakup-because-they-never-dated” conversation. Instead of taking some agency in this situation, Maurice (Mandela Van Peebles) shows up and compels Sarah to leave and forget about the whole situation: Reg asking out Sarah, Reg standing up Sarah because he’s changing into a vampire, Sarah confronting Reg and him “breaking up” with her, and Sarah’s desire to talk it out with him.

I mean, what was the point of the cliffhanger if you’re not going to do anything with it?

Now, Reginald has to figure out how much Sarah remembers to determine if she still likes him. Meanwhile, Reg hasn’t even fed yet, and Maurice insists that should be first on Reg’s list because the consequences of not feeding are dire. We find out later that Maurice was not wrong when Reg starts to decay: he grows pale, his finger falls off, his eyes sink, and he starts to smell.

 Reginald sitting in Maurice's modern, colourful house with Maurice's partner Mike -- (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)
REGINALD THE VAMPIRE — “The Hunger” Episode 102 — Pictured: Jacob Batalon as Reginald — (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)

All the while, Maurice is having an excellent time with his partner-roommate-boyfriend[?]; we’re never sure because the relationship isn’t defined. Only their night is interrupted by my favourite villain Angela (Savannah Basley), who invites the two to dinner.

So, Reginald is struggling to feed, Maurice accidentally joins an orgy, his partner-roommate-boyfriend[?] is murdered in the process, and Angela uses him as bait so she can kill Reginald for having the audacity to be fat and eternal. Reginald feeds on Todd (Aren Buchholz) as we cheer, and then runs to find Maurice after having a vision of his maker in pain.

This week’s cliffhanger is Reginald and Maurice in the crematorium of Angela’s lair as she amps up to take care of their disgrace to their “nation”.

Did I miss anything?

Oh, right. Claire (Thailey Roberge) knows Reginald is a vampire and didn’t even scream when she found out, and Marguerite Hanna’s character now has a name: Ashley. Marguerite Hanna is great; more of her, please.

Ashley sincerely lecturing Reginald on containing his emotions and dealing with what ever is bothering him at the Slush Shack -- (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)
REGINALD THE VAMPIRE — “The Hunger” Episode 102 — Pictured: (l-r) Jacob Batalon as Reginald, Marguerite Hanna as Ashley — (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)

It’s crazy. So much happened in this episode, and yet so little happened in this episode. Again, I’m stuck on Reginald the Vampire having over 40-minute episodes when they could easily be half-hours with the amount of plot written into them. This episode very much felt like a middle episode. Like, in between two major events for the season, we get this episode about Reginald’s first time and Maurice’s possible queerness.

Harley Peyton does keep hammering Reginald’s (Batalon) fatness into the coffin. I don’t understand why everything has to be about fat-shaming him. Like, when Reg tries to bite a girl running in the park but runs out of breath trying to keep up with her.

That’s ridiculous; he’s a vampire!

Or, when Reg tries to bite a different guy in the park, and he catches Reg and makes fun of Reginald’s weight. It’s so unnecessary; there are plenty of other ways to show that Reg hasn’t quite got the hang of being a vampire yet than constantly pointing to his size.

You can have the base concept of a show be about a unique phenomenon like a fat vampire, but constantly making his fatness the butt of the joke is overkill.

Angela standing on Maurice's door step waiting to be invited in -- (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)
REGINALD THE VAMPIRE — “The Hunger” Episode 102 — Pictured: Savannah Basley as Angela — (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)

I’m hoping Angela has a redemption arc when she meets Reginald because I think her character could be really interesting to get to know throughout the series. I know it’s unlikely, but I want to root for her. We still don’t know how Maurice and Angela fell out, they keep hinting at some disagreements in the past, but nothing has been fully explained. I look forward to that.

What Peyton did to Reginald and Sarah’s story in this episode is kind of weird. It felt like they backed themselves into a corner with the pilot and then decided they wanted to make the two cutie-pies a slow burn, so they had to find a way to backpedal. It was an easy, convoluted out for the vampiric coming-out conversation Reginald will eventually have to have with Sarah.

I think these episodes are missing a third plot. There needs to be something else we’re following because, so far, they really cannot fill the full 40 minutes the way they’re going. At points, scenes feel like filler or drawn out too long.

Hopefully, in the next few episodes, Peyton will find his stride with the storylines and characters. Sometimes the characters say things that feel less character-driven and more plot-driven, making any character work elsewhere hollow. Marguerite Hanna’s character, Ashley, has a great deadpan delivery, but for some reason, they needed her to be sincere, which felt completely off.

If anything, I’m still enjoying the lighthearted messiness of Reginald the Vampire. It still reminds me a little of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but this episode felt half-baked.

Written by Isobel Grieve

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