Okay, first things first: I bought this dvd boxset based on Amazon recommendations and the very cheap price. Yes, I was dubious and yes, some of my fears were confirmed. But in all honesty, Blood Ties is fairly entertaining (for the most part) and the show probably deserves a little higher than 3 stars.
Anyway, to briefly give you some background: Blood Ties is an odd mash up of TV shows of yesteryear - it has the obvious vampire/horror elements of shows like Buffy and Angel, plus a bit of an X-Files feel. There is a Mulder/Scully type relationship between Vicki Nelson and her ex cop-partner Mike Celluci. And then there is Henry - a cenutries old, very hot (sorry, but it must be said!) and well informed vampire who gets Vicki's blood boiling.
The formula to this show is not particularly original - Vicki solves mysterious and supernatural cases with the help of Mike and Henry and gets all confused about her true feelings for both of them. This is all topped off by doses of questionable dialogue and some dodgy special effects. Whilst the series starts off horrendously, it does progress to a point of interest and along the way there are some pretty good episodes ("Gifted" and "5:55").
However, my main irritation with this show is Vicki: I just can't sympathise with her very wooden and one-dimensional, "I'm-a-strong-willed-feminist-female" character. While Mike is interesting, with his Scully-like troubles in accepting the supernatural and Henry's suprisingly witty and likeable tourtured soul routine, Vicki's character loses out in the likeable-personality stakes (*cough!*). Although the final episode goes some way to resolving the above issues, it's all too little and all too late.
In fairness, at less than £6.00 you're not exactly risking too much. Yes, some elements are cheesy and badly done but at the end of the day Blood Ties is decent enough, especially given how ridiculously cheap it is. But if you're willing to shell out a little more dosh, check out Supernatural or those age-old classics Buffy and X-Files.