Are “Angels” the New “Vampires”? Why ‘Embrace’ Might Be the Next ‘Twilight’
Thanks to the efforts of literary giant Stephanie Meyer, the vampire has been forever and (using a vocab word she loves so much) “irrevocably” transformed. No longer does this mythological monster hide in the shadows of gorey horror flicks, but instead it emerges into the mainstream spotlight, literally sparkling and wanting to fall in love with young, mortal teens.
Once that first 'Twilight' book hit the shelves, the saga's bite out of pop culture spawned a bloodsucker-obsessed cult following with an insatiable thirst for anything vampire related. Luckily, they were given more in the form of HBO's ‘True Blood,’ where again our preconceived images of bloodsuckers were modified to incorporate the softer side of being a cursed immortal, followed close behind by ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and more ‘Twilight’ movies. Little did we know, however, if we were going to embrace vampires, werewolves and zombies weren’t far behind; and so began the reigns of Joe Manganiello, ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Teen Wolf’ and zombie films galore.
So, are we finally close to being done with this monster apocalypse? Are we ready to set aside vampires and move on to the next fad? If young adult fiction is our prophet, then the answer is not yet, but soon. Twihards are piddling themselves in anticipation for the upcoming 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' to hit theaters this November 16, but the end of 'The Twilight Saga' might also mark the end of the vamper. There have been signs! Some are even hinting that what we’re moving toward now is an even higher power than vampers and weres. The CW has possibly begun journey on the righteous path for us, starting with the announcement of a new TV series called ‘Embrace.’ The young adult novel on which it’s based follows a young woman named Violet Eden, and, if the name hadn’t already tipped you off, she’s descended from angels. (Ooh, ah.)
But these will not be the same entities from The Bible, much like Edward Cullen and Bill Compton weren’t the same vampires from ‘Dracula’ movies’ past. Without giving too much away, the angel mythos is similar to the ABC Family TV miniseries ‘Fallen,’ (remember that?) which starred ‘Vampire Diaries’ star Paul Wesley. In 'Embrace,' there are vengeful fallen angels seeking to open the gates of hell, and there are the half-angel hybrids known as Grigori who act as humanity’s earthly protectors. Violet is of the latter, and because it's The CW and because we're still not finished with sex-crazed youths, she has two hunky men vying for her attention -- Lincoln is another Grigori, while Phoenix is a fallen angel and a little bit more bad-ass. It's a basic storyline we've heard time and time again -- a young woman has special gifts and is crushing on two guys -- but we just eat it up every time.
Network execs are calling 'Embrace' the new ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ and it might just become that, if it in fact helps eradicate the growing vampire trend infestation. But, if you'll allow me to reference 'The Hunger Games' for a moment, 'Embrace' is just the "Mockingjay" -- there are others out there seemingly ready to deliver angels to pop culture consumers if this TV show should fail. We're seeing it all over the place in young adult fiction and a growing number of spots in the adult sci-fi/fantasy book world. I'm referring to series like Tad Williams' 'The Dirty Streets of Heaven,' Lauren Kate's 'Fallen,' Cynthia Cane's 'Unearthly,' Susan Ee's 'Penryn & the End Days' and Courtney Allison Moulton's 'Angelfire,' among others. If the young adult novel genre is the prophet, then an angelic takeover is in our foreseeable future.
Movies like 'Legion' failed to start a trend revolution back when they were hitting theaters. Even 'Fallen,' though originally pegged as a one-time movie event on ABC Family, ended up with two additional installments but fell short of maintaining its popularity. So is now the right time to introduce 'Embrace' to the mainstreamers? Actually, it seems like the perfect time. With Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah' in production for a March 28, 2014 release date, Will Smith interested in bringing the Cain and Abel Bible story to life with 'The Redemption of Cain,' and shows like 'Supernatural' introducing more angelic beings to their series, it seems like we're already prepped for an angel-centric fad.
Not only that, but the whole idea of young people wanting to throw themselves in the throngs of a love triangle while trying to maintain their purity seems to be on a lot of teen's minds, no? I think the Katniss-Peeta-Gale, Bella-Edward-Jacob, Elena-Damon-Stefan and Sookie-Bill-Eric ones have proven that already. So something like a Violet-Lincoln-Phoenix would fit in so nicely.