Suburbia sucks...your blood: ABC's "The Gates" cashes in on vampire-mania

ABC had "Lost." ABC has the insanely (and inexplicably) popular "Dancing With the Stars." ABC has the very funny (and hopefully long-running) "Modern Family." The one thing that ABC has failed to have is their own piece of real estate in the exploding vampire market. Until now. Anybody with a pulse (or not, as the case may be) knows that vamps are way hot right now. "Twilight", "True Blood", the "Vampire Diaries" and a whole slew of interchangeable YA Books about high school kids balancing the woes of zits and fangs have set a very distinct precedent. But has ABC's "The Gates" come just a little too late to the party?

Three episodes in and the jury is still out. The premise: a world-weary, over-worked ex-fed moves his family to a chichi gated community where he'll try his darndest to be content patrolling the manicured grounds as a glorified rent-a-cop. Relax, spend time with the fam, take care of his lawn, that sort of thing. Only problem is, the development is rich with both money and all manner of inhuman creatures posing as staid bankers and lawyers. See where this is going? And you thought the Real Housewives of Orange County were the scariest thing to come out of a gated community.

Some formulaic problems arise. One hot vampiress trying to settle down as a suburban housewife just can't seem to squelch her cravings for excitement...and blood. The high school quarterback slash resident hunky werewolf's hormones are raging out of control...can he keep his grimy paws off his unsuspecting girlfriend or will he lose her forever? Not to mention the two witches vying for best spa cum magical apothecary are stirring up some serious drama. Basically it's One Tree Hill meets Desperate Housewives meets all aforesaid shows.

There may yet be a glimmer of hope for the show, however, lest it go the way of some past ABC flops. Ahem, Caveman. For one thing, the acting isn't altogether terrible and one or two of the characters are engaging. For another, this show has got a succubus. A succubus! How freaking creepy is that? A vivacious high school debate team captain who morphs into a demon and violently seduces slumbering men by night beats the hell out of your run-of-the-mill vamp if you ask me. Also, a presumed-dead (or retired) Devon Gummersall, of Brian Krakow fame, returns to the tube to play a framed ex-cop. Stay tuned.  

The Gates is on Sundays at 9 p.m.

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