It’s time to accept that human beings are becoming a principle food source for a growing percentage of the TV character population. The nation’s eternal vampire and zombie obsession, coupled with the recent rash of fairy-tale inspired shows, means that we now have a limitless spread of televised people-gobbling. Let’s ignore what this says about the health of our collective consciousness and dive right into meeting our most popular predators.
Vampires are the cool kids of the human-consuming crowd. All that TV has taught us definitively about the undead is that they feast on human blood and are, as a rule, extremely sexy. After that, it gets deliciously complicated. Our fascination with vampires, although back with a vengeance, is nothing new – who could forget Buffy and her pinched-face friends?
Whether paired with other creepy creatures in “True Blood,” hiding out in the suburbs in “The Gates,” or sparkling their way into our hearts in the “Twilight” series, these attractive ancients appear to have entertainment by the throat. Now that The CW is on Hulu, we’ve also been watching “The Vampire Diaries,” where the vampires vacillate between regularly gutting each other with pointy sticks and worrying about what to wear to the homecoming dance.
We’re not the only nation swept up in the craze – Japan’s “Vampire Knight” has been sucking in anime fans since 2005.
And if all the small-screen blood sucking doesn’t satiate you, never fear – “Breaking Dawn” is in theaters now.
Werewolves, with some help from JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer, have recently emerged as front-runners in the televised people-eating arena. Although they are often seen riding the pop-culture coattails of their bloodthirsty vampire brethren, they are no less ravenous for man meat. The “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series presented a softer side to the creatures, and “Teen Wolf” fed off of the Team Jacob frenzy, but the original malevolent werewolf is still getting airtime. “Grimm’s” pilot puts the moon-struck species in the spotlight when a werewolf-like creature or “blutbad,” tries to fatten up an abducted girl for his feasting pleasure. Not all blutbads are wicked in “Grimm’s” monster-infested version of Portland – our good detective meets one that is willing to help, and, like any good Pacific Northwesterner, share a beer.
Beloved for generations, zombies usually appeal to exactly the opposite kind of people who are into vampires (having their flesh fall off in chunks as they walk detracts from their sex appeal). These foul-smelling fiends are even hungrier for humans, although they are usually partial to brains over blood. In fact, they are probably portrayed as the most single-minded and determined feasters on our flesh, and crawled back into theaters everywhere with 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead” and 2009’s “Zombieland.”
Zombies are usually found dragging their decaying feet across the big screen, but that changed with 2010’s popular post-apocalyptic TV saga “The Walking Dead.” This ghastly gore-fest borrows from the Romero school of slow-moving, bite-happy zombie (think “Night of The Living Dead.”)
The lesser-known but equally gruesome “Zombie Roadkill” puts a campy, comedic spin on the genre.
This list far from exhausts the supply of popular people-eaters that are taking over primetime. In shows like “Supernatural,” not even our souls are safe from consumption. For many of our small screen denizens, we are what’s for dinner.