'The Vampire's Assistant' and 10 other reasons why we really dig vampires in 2009

Vampire shows, vampire films -- they're all around. The nation loves them and the love affair doesn't show any signs of fading.
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Maybe it's a 21st century anomaly, but for some reason, we can't stop sinking our teeth into vampires. Vampire shows, vampire films -- they're all around. The nation loves them and the love affair doesn't show any signs of fading. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, just opened, generating more buzz. But take note of 10 other things that keep our fascination with the big V very O-positive.

10. True Blood
It sucks--in the best way. And we like that. A ratings and critical hit for HBO, it came off of a wildly fascinating if not thoroughly engaging sophomore season. Beyond the delicious creativity here in this well-produced, well-acted and well-written series, the show managed to reboot the culture's vampire cravings. But will season three, premiering in 2010, still keep us interested? Chances are ... we'll bite.

9. The Vampire Diaries
It's not quite as deep, desirable or sexy as HBO's hit, but what the heck, the CW show is worth a look, especially for the teen set. Speaking of ...

8. Kristen Stewart
On screen as Bella, she broods, she obsesses, she gets angry. And we can't seem to get enough of her in Twilight. Tweenie alert: Twilight: New Moon opens Nov. 20. (But you already knew that.)

7. Lesbian Vampire Killers
It may a little indie film, but it managed to find the right pop culture vein. Truth is, Phil Claydon's hot, often comedic tale, may do better in DVD land, but it still helped fueled 2009's intrigue over our favorite bloodsuckers.

6. Dead & Lonely
It's the IFC web series premiering at noon (ET/PST) Monday, Oct. 26 at ifc.com. The premise: Two downtrodden singles from L.A. come together thanks to a popular Internet dating website dubbed DateOrDie.net. The problem? One of them is a vampire.

5. Stephanie Meyer
Let's not forget about this prolific scribe who actually penned the "Twilight" book series.

4. Alexander Skarsgard
Hot and hunky. What's not to like? He may play a bad-boy vampire on True Blood, but by now, millions of straight women and gay men wish he can just play one in their bedroom.

3. Robert Pattinson
Teen dream and all-around hottie. That's probably reason enough to dig the pale blood-sucking stud-muffin he plays in the Twilight films. The good news, for all those tweens and teens out there, is that Pattinson has enough charm to lure in young audiences -- more than once. That usually translates into millions at the box office and that many more text messages (Best Vamp Forever!) between the puberty set.

2. Anna Paquin

She may play Sookie Stackhouse on True Blood, but Sookie, on some level, represents us -- inquisitive and so terribly drawn to the "dark" that will balance the "light." Sure, we can't read minds (not all of us, anyway), but what Paquin is able to evoke is a captivating if not rare emotional depth. There's no character like her on TV. Better still, she makes us care about what Sookie is going through. Not an easy feat for any actress.

1. Steven Moyer
Youth doesn't always win (sorry Robbie P). The fact is, Steven Moyer as HBO's hot and haunting vamp in True Blood, has done more for the vampire this decade than T. Cruise did back in the '90s. Good acting helps. But so do those love scenes. Up next: Let's hope HBO can create a believable storyline next season when it informs viewers where our dear Bill ended up being 'napped in that blood-pumping season cliffhanger. (Great last line: "Bill?")

Visit Greg Archer at gregarcher.com.

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