Apparently there’s a [mini?] series coming up this fall on NBC called Dracula. Based on the sluggish, exceptionally uninteresting preview, this adaptation shares a lot in common with the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula, including the concept of Dracula as a tragic, wronged individual, the characterization of Mina as the reincarnation of Dracula’s dead wife, reliance on expensive set dressing and costumes and casting of a sexy actor from across the pond as the titular vampire. Wow, looks like a snooze.
What is it with the idea of Mina as Dracula’s reincarnated wife? Where does it come from? To me, it appears to be a modern ploy to make Dracula less of a sicko rapist predator who just goes around collecting women and children and more of a Tragic Lover who has a flimsy pretext for stalking Mina. Whatever. The Reincarnated Lovers trope bores me to tears because it establishes intimacy between characters with no narrative work whatsoever; the author just claims, "Oh yeah, they knew each other in a past life!" and thinks that such an empty Insta-Relationship will actually be accepted by the audience.
It would truly be interesting to start off with a Fated/Reincarnated Lovers relationship that is eventually exposed as bullshit. The woman begins believing that her partner’s status as her Reincarnated Lover means that he is her One True Love. However, she slowly realizes that they end up getting together in life after life because the partner is a manipulative asshole who repeatedly engineers the protagonist’s dependence on him. He keeps her with him by using just enough niceness as intermittent reinforcement, but mostly by threatening and gaslighting her until she believes that their relationship represents True Romance As It Is Supposed To Be. The protagonist eventually figures out that just because things have happened this way before does not mean they must happen this way again and just because things have happened this way before does not mean that is the best way for them to go down. She goes off to live her own life, which of course the ex-partner can’t stand, so he begins stalking and harassing the protagonist. He breaks into the protagonist’s house and tries to rape her. She kills him, possibly with the help of her current partner. The story ends with the protagonist and her current partner watching out for the reincarnation of her ex so that they can insure intervention such that, this time, he doesn’t grow up to be a total waste of a human being. To be clear, this is not about the protagonist gentling the beast with her virtue, but declaring that somehow she would like to give her ex-partner the opportunity to break the cycle of violence.