Netflix’s Dracula – A Few Thoughts

I watched this show on Netflix in early January when it debuted. It had two things going for it that definitely got my attention.

First of all, it looked to be dealing with the real Dracula–Bram Stoker’s Dracula–my Dracula. Secondly, it was created and written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the talented creators behind my favorite versions of Doctor Who and Sherlock.

The show had some good buzz. Critics were saying the first episode was genuinely scary, and it was! It had some quirky, funny moments, to be sure, but that first episode absolutely dabbled in the horrific and grotesque.

Somewhere throughout the three episode series, though, it became … campy? I still got a kick out of it, but it felt less scary and more wacky. There were some clever twists and turns, but the end of the series didn’t leave me particularly impressed.

Probably its greatest assets were the lead actors–Claes Bang and Dolly Wells. Bang plays Dracula and Wells plays Sister Agatha, as well as [REDACTED]. These two had incredible chemistry together and were a lot of fun to watch.

I can’t say I’m excited for a second season of this particular Dracula adaptation. I’m not sure I would watch it, honestly.


No E-Learning Yet? Here’s Our Basic Schedule For Home Schooling

As of tomorrow, our kids are officially on spring break. Bad news, kids–no spring break this year. A week of being isolated during the entire week while giving the kids free reign is unthinkable for us. Therefore, we’ll continue the same schedule we established last week, which I’m sharing with you to adapt as you see fit.

This is a very flexible schedule, but we try to achieve most of it on a daily basis throughout the school week. We aren’t necessarily designating time parameters–things take as long as they take. My wife and I also try to switch off in order to give each other some time as well. Luckily, our eleven-year-old is very independent and doesn’t need much direction with the itinerary. Our seven-year-old is a sweetheart, but, due to her age, needs quite a bit of guidance.

Of course, we have the advantage in that we are teachers, so there isn’t much to worry about in the way of mandatory conference calls and those kinds of work obligations common to the business world. We have the time to facilitate a lot of these activities. We’re also fortunate to have streaming platforms, gaming consoles, Internet service, and that kind of thing.

That being said, feel free to adapt our schedule as you see fit. Make it work for you however you want. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Home School Schedule

  • Youngest gets one morning show
  • Oldest gets one morning show
  • Math time (Leap Pad/Prodigy/IXL/worksheets)
  • Morning exercise (walks/GoNoodle on YouTube/sit ups/stretches/Wii U)
  • Arts/Culture time (online virtual museums/Mo Willems Lunch Doodles)
  • Science time (at-home experiments/outdoor observations)
  • Free time
  • Music time for oldest (trumpet/guitar)
  • Reading time
  • Afternoon exercise (walks/GoNoodle on YouTube/sit-ups/stretches/Wii U)
  • Social call time (grandparents/family/friends)
  • Writing time (journaling/letters/observations/short stories/picture stories)
  • Free time
  • Educational entertainment program (Shopclass/Nat Geo/You vs. Wild)
  • Family games (Switch/Memory/board games/card games/charades/puzzles)
  • Movie night (Disney+/Netflix/Amazon Prime Video


A Simple Science Activity For Your Student

It’s not my discipline, but here’s a simple science activity for your student. Have them pick an outdoor tree or plant that’s nearby and keep field notes on its progress this spring. Take into account animals and insects. This will keep their writing and observation skills sharp.

spring bird

Netflix’s Locke & Key – A Few Thoughts

I’m a big fan of IDW’s series entitled Locke & Key. Written by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King), this title was a little bit horror, a little bit fantasy, a little bit family saga, and a whole lot of charm. Besides the captivating writing, it also benefited from a nice blend of the cartoonish and the Gothic from artist Gabriel Rodriguez.

When I heard Netflix planned to make a series out of it, I got very excited. After a few starts and stops in production, it finally got made.

I actually watched this series after it released several weeks ago. I’ve had some time to think it over and … it’s not great.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it–I did. But I’m also a fan, you see. I’m not completely objective about Locke & Key. While I thought it looked great and had nice pacing, it just failed to capture the magic of the comic series.

This is primarily because of the actors. The acting just never quite clicked for me. I didn’t ever enter that space where I forgot that I watched people acting. They didn’t become the characters, and that’s a problem with a story like this.

Also, the show didn’t commit to its actual identity. It frankly tried to play too nicely. I think it hoped to capture the Stranger Things crowd, but Locke & Key is not Stranger Things. It’s far more violent, graphic, and intense. The themes are more mature, and the consequences more severe. I love Stranger Things, but they shouldn’t operate on the same frequency. As it stands, Locke & Key came off more like a bland imitation, which is a real shame.

Of course, I want you to watch Locke & Key because I want more of it on Netflix. It’s not too late to course correct. Like I said, it looked beautiful, and they moved along at just the right speed. They just need to get comfortable in their own skin and maybe bring in an acting coach.