I'm not very well versed on the whole Twilight phenomenon, but I'm also pretty sure I don't have to be in order to fully grasp what's it about. This isn't because I think the books/movies are all that one-dimensional (well, okay, it partly is), but really because I was into angsty vampires when the current crop of Twilight tween fanatics were probably still learning to read. It's nothing new. Sure, this version of vampire lust seems to have moved slightly more mainstream emo than the alternative goth edition I remember, but essentially, still the same. It's really too bad I didn't have these books back then, because I would have likely been, embarrassingly enough, the biggest Twilight fan ever.
At this point, however, I think it's a little behind me, much like the days of rereading Poppy Z. Brite novels*, constantly spinning The Downward Spiral and watching The Crow for the 300th time. But nostalgia is fun, and the mention of Twilight does seem like a good opportunity to dredge up my favorite vampire saga from my own misspent tween-hood: Forever Knight.**
This show, with its not-particularly-rich production and deliciously dated early 90's look, is even better for kitsch value these days, but it was a fun show on its own. It chronicles the quest of vampire Nick (surname, Knight - subtlety not being one of this series's strong points), who has decided being evil isn't fun anymore and who want to repay his debt to society. So he becomes a cop, partners up with the janitor from The Breakfast Club, and goes to town being tortured and denying his true nature. He has a sweet, uber-modern bachelor pad, drinks animal blood from wine glasses, and carries on an innocent flirtation with a city medical examiner, Natalie, who knows he's a vampire and is totally okay with it. He also hangs out at a goth club called The Raven (seriously), which is run by his vampire "sister" Janette and "father" Lacroix (the latter also provides delightfully creepy commentary as the "Nightcrawler" on a radio show).
Episodes generally ran along the formula of a current event mirroring an event from Nick's past (which provides many opportunities for flashbacks with puffy shirts and contrived encounters with historical figures), and due to the wisdom Nick has gained over the past couple of centuries, the current event ending a little better than the past one. A charming, competent cast and decently-written, if often predictable, stories made up most of the show's appeal. I honestly have a lot of fondness for Forever Knight, and a lot of has to do with the fact it never took itself too seriously - which is also why I'm turned off by Twilight. So, if you're in the market for angsty vampires without the impeccably-styled hair, I recommend this.