Archive for the ‘True Blood’ Category

Noooooooooo Godric!!!

August 19, 2009

This week’s True Blood was freaking awesome. I am so tired of Bill and Sookie and so in love with Eric (who I privately think of as the vampire of Kurt Cobain) that I was very pleased by the romantic development and Sookie’s hot sex dream, though I am a little retroactively annoyed that I was taken in by the Comic Con promo shot of Sookie and Eric in bed together. It’s like the time they promised me steamy kisses between Annie Camden and Rabbi Glass on Sev Heav but it all turned out to be a wacky misunderstanding.

So Sookie drank Eric’s blood and is now attracted to him. (Ann Paquin was hilarious when she ran up to Bill and was all ‘That was disgusting and horrible!!!’ with that big grin on her face.) She has way fewer questions about this than I would have in her shoes. She drank Bill’s blood on like the second day she knew him. Shouldn’t she wonder how much of her attraction to him is “real” and how much is the blood? Doesn’t she feel like it’s a little bit of a violation that Bill never told her about this effect? I hope this is just the first step to Bill and Sookie breaking up because their paternalistic smug relationship is getting a little old.

I feel a little let down by the fact that we only really got to have Godric for two episodes and change. What a let down. He was shaping up to be an interesting character, and his relationship with Eric was something I would have liked to see a LOT more of.

I was also interested in the implications for True Blood’s parallel to homosexuality. Godric said a couple times that he was more evolved than other vampires, and it seems he, like Bill and Eddie, was another non-practicing vampire, at least he turned down Eric’s offer of a human after being “rescued” from the Fellowship of the Sun. I also have no idea why he thought burning in their ritual would help human/vampire relations. I’m not blind to the Christ symbolism, but I think the FotS folks would be.

Over in Bon Temps, I was thrilled that Lafayette stood up for Tara to Eggs. If your cousin comes into the bar with a new relationship and a new black eye, more than nine times out of ten Lafayette would have been correct, and in a way, he was in this case. Eggs did hit Tara, and Tara is in a dangerous situation, just not the exact situation Lafayette thought. I don’t know what Maryann’s deal is, but I feel like Daphne was incorrect, Maryann is no god. Her monologue about blacking out being religious ecstasy seemed… ill informed. Yes, a lot of religious worship requires a trance state or the contemplation of nothingness, but that’s hardly the same as having no recollection of what you did the night before. There’s a big difference between a mindful loss of control and the complete recklessness Maryann inspires. It’s good to see that Eggs and Tara, both of whom have good reasons to worry about substance abuse are worried, even if they can’t resist Maryann. It will be really interesting to see what happens when the grown-ups (boring Bill and Sookie) come back to town.

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Gay Vampires

July 29, 2009

Fratty Jesus Dude(FJD): Some sins are bigger than others.
Jason Stackhouse: Like What?
FJD: Well… let’s say you’re gonna do it out of wedlock, you gotta make sure the girl you do it to ain’t married either.
Jason:Right. Cuz adultery’s bad.
FJD: One of the worst. Up there with incest and bestiality.
Jason: [Look of huh gross]
FJD: But all of them put together ain’t half as bad as if you do it to a vampire. [Pause] Or to a dude. Or a vampire dude. That’s cream della cream bad. Straight to hell.

Oh True Blood. Given my penchant for vampire romance as a genre it would be impossible not to like you, and the fact that you’re so excellently written and acted means I don’t have to even try to resist. That said, you do bring up the problem of art you enjoy with whose message you do not totally agree.

Doostyn and I have had many talks with our friends in which they say something like, “I love True Blood‘s message about gay civil liberties!”

And we’re like, “Reeeeeally?”

The show makes a deliberate parallel between vampires and the gays. For the first, the opening credits feature a Church sign reading “God Hates Fangs” for second, girls who have sex with vampires are “fang-bangers” like “fag-hags.” Now, I would argue that fag hags (or, as I prefer to call us, fruit flies) don’t actually want to have sex with their gay friends, but Dan Savage disagrees. Next up is the fact that the US is torn over a Vampire Marriage amendment in (IIRC) Massachusetts. And finally, there are the vampire bars of corny names like Fangtasia. (“Vampires,” says Bill, “Are so old they still find puns amusing.” Incidentally, so do I, my favorite gay bar name is The Manhole.)

But, unfortunately, the picture is not one of rosy acceptance. Every vampire who appears on the show so far is actually murderous and pretty much amoral– with the exceptions of Bill, one of the main characters, and Eddie. Bill is a vampire who doesn’t act like vampire, he only feeds on synthetic blood (and the blood of his girlfriend), separates himself from other vampires, and seems to despise them. To the point that Sookie, the other main character, and his girlfriend, has commented on his self-loathing. Bill, basically, is an ex-gay, someone who defines vampirism (gayness) as an act rather than an identity.

Eddie is the actually gay vampire whom Lafayette exchanges sex for blood with and whom Jason Stackhouse later kidnaps. Eddie wanted to be a vampire to be cool and to pull a bunch of young boys, but ended up being a shut-in. He’s another non-practicing vampire/gay, though this time not by choice. And he’s completely sweet and sympathetic.

Other than that, like I said, the vampires may be interesting, and may be attractive, but so far they are all evil.

In this sort of heavy allegorical air, it’s also important to look at how actual gay characters are portrayed. So far, unless I’m forgetting someone, we only have Lafayette, the jack-of-all-trades of Bon Temps. Lafayette is a very positive character who, as far as I can tell, doesn’t conform to many gay stereotypes. He’s beautiful and wears makeup, but he’s also heavily muscled. He works as a cook, but also as a construction worker and a stripper (not to mention a drug dealer, specifically of V (Vampire Blood), hence his relationship with Eddie). Lafayette is definitely the object of prejudice, but he’s not a victim: when some good ol’ boys say they won’t eat food prepared by him because they are afraid of AIDS, Lafayette pulls out his earrings (nice touch!), storms out of the kitchen, tells them all they had to do was order the burger without AIDS, and then licks the buns of the burgers! It’s AWESOME.

Basically my assessment of True Blood is that I think the producers and writers didn’t fully think through their portrayal of gay people or the vampire=gay people allegory. I can certainly hope to be proven wrong, but that’s my assessment so far.

A lot of people get defensive because they love a show and cling on to any evidence that it’s not prejudiced in the way it seems if read right. Personally, I think it’s easier to acknowledge that art you enjoy doesn’t always live up to your beliefs.