ABC's newest camp-vamp drama is a whirlwind ride of suburban life, crime solving, high school drama, daytime soap and scary movies complete with vampires, werewolves and witches. The only thing it doesn't have—yet—are mummies and clowns.
This might not come off as a ringing endorsement since I'm the guy who ruins every scary movie I go to: "Oh no, don't go in there. You're gonna die, the killer's in there. This idiot went in and died. I can't believe you didn't listen to me. Maybe you'll listen to me next time." Regardless, The Gates follows our hero, newly annointed Chief of Police, Nick Monahan, after he and his family move to The Gates from Chicago. This lovely gated community attracts residents for what seems to be two reasons: they're predators or they're prey who were lured in by The Gates' wrought-iron gates and deceptively minimal crime rate. But beware, vampires with SPF Three Billion, because there's a new sheriff in town and he, unlike his predecessor, intends to do his job.
Here's a glimpse into the nightlife of primary antagonists, the Radcliffs:
In less than two minutes, it turns out that not only is Mrs. Radcliff continuously putting the entire family in danger but a husband and wife have marital issues to end all marital issues. If she has blood from her husband's biotech firm, why can't she stop hoarding blood in the wine cellar? The first step to recovering from blood-oholism is admitting you have a problem. The next step is not killing everyone in the vicinity of your house.
This is spinning out of control, let's just get back to some good old fashioned high school drama. The Chief's son has met a girl on his first day and they like each other. But she has a boyfriend; the tension is tangible, it's as real as high school gets.
But wait! Her boyfriend's a werewolf with super-hearing! The lovers meet later in secret, not knowing super-ears is in the bushes:
And there you have it. The Gates has gay werewolves, tweeny love scenes, and the kind of drama decent human beings would wish on no one. Some might try to tell you it's just a mishmash of Law & Order, Desperate Housewives, and The Vampire Diaries—but those people would be lying. This is the summer show you want for all the catharsis you need.