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In addition to its quality maple syrup, Canada also produces a lot of cheese.

DVD Review: Blood Ties – The Complete Series

Imagine, if you will, a show along the lines of The X Files: one wherein a firm believer in the world of the occult teams with a skeptical investigator to solve supernatural mysteries. Now then, also go ahead and envision what said series might look like if it was fused with the defunct cheesy Canadian TV series, Forever Knight, and add a bonafide vampire to the fray. The result? A little something we like to call Blood Ties.

OK, so first off, Blood Ties is not to be confused with HBO’s True Blood. Nor is it to be compared to the aforementioned cable-TV series from Alan Ball. That would be bad. Very bad. So let’s just get that out of the way right here and now.

Set in modern-day Toronto, Blood Ties follows the adventures of Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox), a police detective-cum-private investigator whose world is turned upside-down when she happens across a brutal murder one fateful night. The assailant turns out to be a vampire, tossing years of common sense on Vicki’s behalf into the trash. Fortunately, the case introduces her to Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid), a centuries-old vampire and graphic novelist. From there on in, Vicki and Henry form a slightly unholy crimefighting duo, playing the Mulder and Forever Knight-guy’s parts, while Vicki’s ex-partner Mike (Dylan Neal) playing the skeptical Scully role.

Now, it might sound a little hokey. It definitely falls into the Canadian Cheese category. Yes, in addition to its quality maple syrup, Canada also produces a lot of cheese! And Blood Ties is most assuredly fromage. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, Blood Ties is actually quite a joy to watch — so long as you’re the type of person that delights in watching guilty pleasures. The dialogue has that “Hey, did George Lucas write this episode, perchance?” quality about it, the characters tend to be as deep as an empty wading pool, and the special effects rank right up there with…well, any other Canadian television show.

Once again, though, these factors only add to Blood Ties’ charm. If you’re looking for something like True Blood on the other hand, you might be a bit disappointed, especially if you‘re a regular bloodsucker groupie (the whole “vampire” aspect of the series is not as intense as some would prefer it to be).

Previously released as separate seasons, Eagle Media has repackaged Seasons One and Two of Blood Ties and issued them on DVD and Blu-ray. On the DVD end of the spectrum, Blood Ties: The Complete Series presents all 22 episodes of the now-defunct series on seven discs and in non-anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen transfers. The video quality is pretty good here (considering it’s a Standard Definition issue) and boast some vivid colors throughout, although there is a fair amount of grain and fogginess present, particularly in the series’ darker moments (which there are a lot of!). Audio-wise, this set boasts a Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack. On the whole, the sound here holds up just fine for SD-DVD.

The biggest downfall here is a lack of decent special features. Season One includes a behind-the-scenes promo piece, with cast and crew talking a lot of shop. A trailer for the series is also included. A second trailer is featured in the Season Two line-up, along with a photo gallery.

And so, the bottom line here: Blood Ties: The Complete Series is a very silly show. But you should give it a shot anyway. You never know if this will become your next guilty pleasure or not.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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