Losing Jill still pangs me even to this day, 3 years after the series was cancelled. She was a paragon of the pretty vampire ideal; a nice, wholesome looking girl with fangs. She could appear smokin' hot when she wanted, but for the most part she was the kind of girl that effortlessly, casually exuded sexyness, all served with an easy smile and great hair. I've got at least a dozen ad agency executives, stylists, directors and other media types who thought so too because she's the spokesmodel for Mercury cars and trucks. For as long as Mercury may be around, that is. She's the type of woman who's aspirational (as they say in the marketing biz,) pretty, yet non-threatening enough to keep the women buyers interested, but can also stop the men in their channel-surfing frenzy with her immediately impressive looks.
Jill has an athletic body (not the Madonna overly-yoga'd, sinewy kind) with those womanly curves in all the right places (read: great tits and nice ass.) She also has nice teeth and lips, the kind that when enhanced with a great set of fangs makes me swoon. Add to all that she graduated with a BS in Management (i.e., she's practical too) from NC State (...not too shabby) and I think I could love her. I can see it now...she would wear a simple black dress to the restaurant, her white pearls offset by the glint of her fangs behind a subtle shade of red liptick. The candles softly illuminating her face as she sips a glass of sparkling wine gently meeting those full lips. Just then the waiter brings over a plate of extra-rare, bleeding steak. Her eyes light up, she delicately touches both sides of the plate as if it were a present from Tiffany's and her broad smile fully reveals what I swear are even longer and sharper fangs than before. I didn't even know she could do that. But I digress.
Jill's transformation on Blade: The Series was paradoxically both brutal and pretty hot. After the usual vampire seduction-resistance cycle we've all seen, Jill is FINALLY bitten, but before she turns into a vampire she has to be killed before she dies from the bite. So the vampire takes her to a rooftop and simply drops her. She plunges the several stories and smashes through the roof of a car breaking glass and setting off alarms. Now that's a unique transformation technique!
Except when she wakes up fully vampirized she's encouraged to dress like a cheap French whore by the other vampires. Which is a fine thing if I was in love with a cheap French whore, but this is Pretty Vampire Jill Wagner and I liked her in her casual wear. It also smacked too closely of the faux-Goth conceit that for some inexplicable reason tends to associate itself with vampires when instead of Goth they should be all pretty and they instead look like fourth-rate extras from an Anne Rice movie, which in itself defines what fourth-rate actually is. I know I just alienated a whole bunch of people with that statement so let me reiterate it for those of you whom might of missed it: Anne Rice is crap. It's droll and plodding and boring and not a pretty vampire to be seen in any of her movies unless you count the very cute auburn-haired chick Marguerite Moreau in "Queen of the Damned". But she played such an idiot (which is ironic considering in real life she graduated from Vassar College...again, not too shabby) that when she was vampirized it was for way too short a time, her fangs were too small, she had crappy makeup on, and worst of all she was supposedly hot for Stuart Townsend who just creeps me the fuck out anyway, so I could barely care. But getting back to Jill Wagner, the cheap French whore look didn't work for her.
But like the Hollywood hooker with a conscience, Jill became a vampiress with one too. That meant she had the standard modern vampire conflicts we've all come to know and cherish like killing to eat, loving or hating her vampire sire, etc. So she hooked up with the eponymous Blade (wretchedly portrayed by the artist known as Sticky Fingaz -real name?, who must surely have been a primary cause for the shows' cancellation) who supplied her with a synthetic blood substitute to quell the cravings. The net effect was that every time Jill got hungry, whether it be in the shower or in front of her mom, out popped her beautiful fangs and she would moan and writhe or otherwise become so emotional it sounded like a cross between a woman in the throes of ecstacy and childbirth. In any case, it was totally hot. Especially when she was naked in the shower. Or when she vampirized her mom. With her hair pulled back. Wearing sweatpants and a strap t-shirt. With huge fangs. You don't see that too often. Incredible.
This show had huge potential, there was room for character growth and the writers could have had a great time with it. Especially interesting to me was Jill's frenemy relationship with fellow vampiress Chase (Jessica Gower, a beautifully translucent actress/model.) Early on their relationship was rife with behavior that could only have resulted in hot, sucky-sucky lesbian vampire action had the series gone on. But thanks to a worse-than-shit choice with that crap lead Sticky (ugh!), high expenses (read: good acting and writing), and low ratings (i.e., Spike TV) the show was sadly....sadly cancelled.
Still to come:
Jeri Ryan (Dracula 2000)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dusk Till Dawn)