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I'd heard about it, so I decided to take a look.

I was fifteen at the time, and the first episode I saw was the first part of "Though Lovers Be Lost." It aired around 2 AM on some obscure channel that stopped showing it after the second part. I was taken in by the opening credits, which reminded me of Phantom of the Opera, so I kept watching.

The next day, I taped the second part to view after school. Which I did, up until the last five minutes, when the tape came to an abrupt stop. I wasn't happy about that, but in retrospect, that was a good thing, because I was able to delude myself into thinking that Catherine may have survived.

Soon afterwards, the show began airing on the Sci-fi Channel, and I started watching during a marathon hosted by Ron Perlman while compiling psychology journal entries. It was February. One of the episodes was "Arabesque." I remember that much, at least.

I was a hardcore fan for the rest of the year. And even after that, I loved the series, although the show was no longer an obsession. From the characters to the stories to the music and literature, I have never encountered another show quite like it.

The series allows me to delve into a part of myself that sees the touching side of cheesy speeches, that allows itself to overflow with melodrama without restriction or criticism. If I'm ever depressed, all I have to do is push "When the Bluebird Sings" into a VCR, and my spirits improve. That episode is unique in being a wonderful story all on its own without the need for action or villains or too much sensationalizing. (Not that there aren't other BatB eps like that, but it's my favorite.) It traipses whimsically along the border of reality and the extraordinary as a carefree artist (who may be a ghost) finds a place to exist between Catherine's world-weary cynicism and Vincent's other-worldly musings.

Art for art's sake; Oscar Wilde would approve...

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The page is 1999 Shilpa

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