Weekly Watch: “True Blood”
Alexandra Lowery | Monday, February 16, 2015
With “Twilight,” “The Vampire Diaries” and all the glamorized supernatural inspired fanfiction in between, we as a generation are collectively over the young adult bloodsucking craze. After one too many human-vampire “ships,” “#Team_______” campaigns and inevitable werewolf involvement, we are begging Hollywood to hang up the proverbial fangs and find a different phenomenon to run into the ground.
However, in the mess of failed attempts to dramatize the undeniably interesting world of undead sanguinarians, there is one ray of hope that shines brighter than Edward on an uncommonly sunny Seattle day – “True Blood.”
Roughly “Twilight” for grown ups, the HBO series created by Alan Ball takes the entire genre up a notch, creating a world where vamps have “come out of the coffin” after Japanese scientists were able to successfully synthesize human blood and bottle it for living-dead consumption (“Tru Blood”).
Set in the fictional small Lousiana town of Bon Temps, the world of “True Blood” immediately strikes you as unbelievable – everything from the plot to the acting is seemingly over-the-top, giving the show a unique vibe that works well. The series, unlike its predecessors, does not attempt to mimic a realm just like ours where vampires just happen to exist but instead allows the viewers to immerse themselves in an incredible universe where supernatural beings are the norm.
Despite the large departure from the reality, the show still holds cultural relevance. Many critics have described the vampires’ fight for equal rights among humans as an allegory for LGBTQ rights in America today, referencing lines from the show such as “coming out of coffin” and “God hates fangs” as clever word play.
The show never takes itself too seriously. It commits to integrating dark humor into the never-ending vamp drama. I found myself laughing while ridiculous acts of violence were committed on screen, which, I assure you, is a testament to the show’s wittiness and not my possible psychosis.
Sookie Stackhouse, the show’s protagonist and resident telepath played by Anna Paquin, is a fresh departure from the love struck teenager that is seduced by the dark, mysterious vampire world. Having special abilities of her own, she has lived her whole life being misunderstood by humans and feeling the need to hide who or what she really is, much like her bloodsucking counterparts. We can’t really blame her for falling in love with one of them. Or a few of them.
So, no, you can’t escape the thematic love triangle, but given that this is HBO, it turns out to be more of a love pentagon and focuses a lot less on teenage angst and a lot more on sexual deviance, which we all know is way more entertaining.
You may think that the last thing you need is another vampire-ridden TV show in your life, but that’s where you’re wrong. “True Blood” is the vampire show to redeem all others with its smart writing and endlessly entertaining plot lines. Once you’ve had a taste, you can’t get enough. Much like vampires and blood.
“True Blood” is available to stream on Amazon Instant Video.