I <3 Vampires, in fittingly meta fashion, is much more about fandom than it is about vampires. The prototypical scene sets Corbin, vlogger and webmaster of Iheartvampires.net, simultaneously speaking to her fan followers via webcam, while we follow the action from the vantage point of a bat on the wall in her best buddy Luci‘s bedroom.
Though the real ‘meta’ here would probably have to be Disney: ultimately I <3 is a subtle form of viral marketing by way of a whodunit.
Launched last month, the first four episodes of I <3 Vampires (FYI, the <3 is Internetese for “heart”) take us quickly to the moment where real fan interaction begins. The series features alpha-girl Corbin (the now blond Cherilyn Wilson), who runs the site, and her shy and more intellectually inclined sidekick Luci (Erin Way). Presumably of high school age, the two are tightly bonded thanks to their obsession with The-Hils-meet-Anne-Rice book series Confessions of a High School Vampire, which we get glimpses of in the trailer and first episode.
The yin of Corbin’s preening and vamping for their fanatic cause is set off by the yang of Luci’s more literate bent. She wants to make sure their undead obsession is all about benefiting the books.
As Corbin vlogs, Luci gets a mysterious email which includes the first five chapters of the final book in the Confessions series, written by one Siona McCabre (Get it? There’s almost as much clever nameplay as a Goth Sesame Street.).
After Luci convinces Corbin that the mysterious offering is sacrosanct, Corbin – fame-whore that she is – goes ahead and posts it on the site, leading to a temporary best friend impasse. After blood-sucking cupcakes mend the fence, the duo catch a TV interview with Siona declaring the leak and vowing to cancel the book’s release.
Corbin is spared a comeuppance for her lust for fame. Instead, she and Luci become partners-in-crime, to first find Ms. McCabre, then to somehow to convince her to resume her book release. This is the setup for the show’s future and the entry-point of fan interactivity, a trademark of Take180.
How should Luci and Corbin find Siona? goes the I <3 Vampire mantra (which sounds a lot like Blue’s Clues for tweens, no?). This is where the fan’s ideas will dictate the show’s plot, of which a third character – Luci’s neighbor Wyatt, the charmingly awkward boy-next-door – joins the hunt (he’s got the wheels).
As for those vampire and/or interactivity-obsessed enough to play the game, it’s more than likely it’s the notoriety and the glory, not the prizes, that are the lure for the contest’s many submitters. Get in on the action at Take180.com.