REGINALD THE VAMPIRE S2 Review: Forget the Stereotypes, Bring the Slushies

Jacob Batalon stars in the SyFy horror-comedy series, created by Harley Peyton, based on Johnny B. Truant's 'Fat Vampire' book series.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
REGINALD THE VAMPIRE S2 Review: Forget the Stereotypes, Bring the Slushies

Want to lower your body temperature? Drink an icy-cold slushy! And then have some blood.

Reginald the Vampire
The first episode of Season 2 debuts Wednesday, May 8, on SyFy and will be available to stream next day on Peacock. Season 1 is available to stream on Hulu.

Reginald (Jacob Batalon) is working at a slushy shop in Akron, Ohio, when he becomes a member of the tribe that is known as vampires.

Friendly and personable, Reginald has been crushing on his workmate Sarah (Em Haine), who reciprocates his interest. Before anything serious happens, though, Reginald is attacked by nasty vampires; only quick thinking by a blood-sucking new customer, Maurice (Mandela Van Peebles), saves his life. The price: Reginald is now a vampire, cursed to forever walk the night, etc.

As familiar as that premise sounds, Harley Peyton freshens it up tartly. Based on a series of books by Johnny B. Truant, the televised adaptatation, which aired its first season on SyF in late 2022, manifests Peyton's experienced authorial voice in the writing; his credits include most recently SyFy's Chucky series, but stretch back to both seasons of David Lynch's Twin Peaks.

The series is bouncy and airy and bloody and funny and touching. Jacob Batalon gives a very solid lead as Reginald, who stands out for his kind nature and outgoing disposition. (Especially for a vampire.)

Although I have not yet seen all of Season 1, I have watched the first five episodes in Season 2, and Batalon is very good at supporting the other characters, who are not always mindful of how and/or why he is supporting them. Reginald is the center of the story; while all the action revolves around him and his actions, his character is also mindful of everyone else, so he is also the glue that holds them together in their odd little corner of the universe.

In the small ensemble cast of supporting characters, Em Haine is also good as Sarah, the workmate who, notably, does not become a vampire. Sometimes, it seems that the entire universe is filled with vampires, so her character provides welcome, human vulnerability to events as they transpire.

It's a quality that should be especially helpful during Season 2, as a mortal threat arises from an unexpected realm of activity. Maurice takes on new, challenging responsibilities; former vampire chieftain Angela (Savannah Basley) moves in with Reginald -- don't worry, it's very platonic; Reginald's best friend Claire (Thailey Roberge) must deal with family issues, as well as strange new superpowers; and a new arrival in town takes a moon-eyed interest in Sarah.

Even with all this going on, each episode is easy to follow. The show displays a winning, modest sense of humor, as if to acknowledge that its approach and execution may not be groundbreaking or sensational, yet it's sufficiently self-aware, avoiding ever taking itself too seriously. That makes it easy to watch and appointment television and/or streaming.

Reginald the Vampire

  • Harley Peyton
  • Jacob Batalon
  • Mandela Van Peebles
  • Em Haine
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Harley PeytonJacob BatalonJohnny B TruantPeacock TVSyFyMandela Van PeeblesEm HaineComedyHorror

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