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Ian Somerhalder Is Not a Vampire in Trailer for New Netflix Vampire Series

Ian Somerhalder, Damon Salvatore himself, is … not a vampire in Netflix’s upcoming V-Wars? Error. Error. Does not compute.

Listen, The Vampire Diaries was never going to win any dramatic Emmys, but the pulpy, long-running CW show about two vampire brothers, the shiny-haired woman they both inexplicably love, and one super-cursed Virginia town sustained me through some tough times and I will always love it. Thus, Ian Somerhalder, who starred as the bad boy* vampire brother Damon, also has a place in my heart, and vampires are important. So let’s see what’s happening in the trailer for Netflix’s V-Wars, a series based on the popular IDW comic by Jonathan Maberry and Alan Robinson.

Okay, well, it looks as though V-Wars isn’t going to win any awards either, but sometimes it’s fun to just turn off your brain and watch some vampy action, and this appears to be what’s on offer. Somerhalder stars as the non-vampire Dr. Luther Swann, and Adrian Holmes plays his bestie Michael Fayne, who falls prey (sorry) to a vampire-making disease.

The trailer description reads, “A doctor is pitted against his best friend after an ancient disease turns people into vampires.” Wikipedia expands on that with “V-Wars follows the story of a scientist and his best friend as they face the evolving crisis of a deadly outbreak that fractures society into opposing factions, potentially escalating to a future war between humans and vampires.”

One of my favorite tropes is the hero fighting for his wayward best friend, and also vampires, so I’d probably watch this show regardless of Somerhalder. Judging by the YouTube comments, however, it appears the TVD folks are still out in force, with observations that will only have meaning to those of us who lost years of our life to Mystic Falls:

Damon Salvatore turned human, now he’s back in the game, but as a hunter

Bruh, next thing your gonna know he’s a werewolf

This doesn’t look like prestige TV, but it does look like watchable action with a good dose of angst and fangs. I also already love the dynamic of societal division over the vampire problem, and there’s never been an ancient disease that creates monsters that I didn’t adore. I’m not so sure why we had to include that succubus-like sexy lady vampire licking Somerhalder’s face here, but everything else seems like standard fare.

It’s also fair that after years and years of playing the on-again, off-again dickish Damon, and after his tragically short turn as Boone on Lost, Somerhalder wanted to play the straight-up hero role. We’ll let him have it. Could anyone else deliver the line “I am a doctor,” while shooting someone in the face, quite like Somerhalder? Probably, but admit it—you still get lost in those eyes.

V-Wars is set to debut on Netflix on December 5, 2019.

*Damon was the bad boy except when Stefan was, like, ripping people’s heads off willy-nilly.

(image: Netflix)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.