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Saturday, July 31, 2010

"I wanna do bad things with you": Thoughts on True Blood and the vampire genre

I've been watching True Blood since it first aired and own the first season on Blu-Ray. It is by far one of my favorite shows on television and I hope that it continues to shine in its brilliance.

I was a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels before the tv show began and while there have been some major differences between them and the show, I am a fan of both and regard them somewhat separately. Without any major spoilers for either, I am happy with some of the changes they have made especially in regards to certain characters they've chosen to keep around. I also like the way they've managed to take the vampire genre and perform some interesting twists.

The integration of vampires with the real of the so-called real world is probably one of my most favorite themes of the show. It reminds me a lot of X-Men and how people handle the mutants, and how mutants view themselves in the rest of the world. In both scenarios I really do think it's an analogy for minorities in our culture from race to LGBT.

That being said, I think one of my biggest pet peeves in True Blood is about race. The cast is pretty white for a show about the South. I am happy that Tara and Lafayette continue to shine as major characters, and I will say up front that Lafayette is one of my favorite characters in True Blood. I really think that more can be done in regards to racial makeup on the show, and I'd love to know why there haven't been more black vampires on the show--and in fact, I can't recall a single one. Wouldn't it stand to reason that the older ones in the South would be black? I'd love to see a better racial mix on the show. Not all vampires have to be pasty white and it doesn't make sense that they are!

All that aside, I'm fond of how the series is progressing. The characters are evolving and I'm curious to know where they are going to wind up. From falling in love, to handling death, to dealing with PTSD the people in Bon Temps have dealt with a lot and it's shaped their characters uniquely. I'd love to see a few of them, particularly Tara, rise above their situations and find a way to gain strength and shine. Then there are the vampires on the show and how they have each handled their "vampireness" in relation to both themselves and how they regard humans.

The vampire genre is both beloved and enduring; every time I hear a publisher, critic, or writer declare that it is no longer en vogue a new vampire book or movie comes out and suddenly the public is crazed once more for vampires. It will not die; like the vampires themselves, it is immortal. People want their bad boys, their naughty girls, and they want the anti-heroes who struggle with their natures in the face of the everyday world. Some want them to be redeemed and support "Team Bill" in True Blood as a result, the vampire who declared he wanted to mainstream and refused to feed on humans. Then there are the people who want the complicated bad boys and go for "Team Eric", the increasingly complex Sheriff of Louisiana is who not all he appears and it is uncertain if we can trust him at all.

Vampires have long been an analogy for the forbidden fruit, sexuality in general, and the concept of immortality-with-a-price. How many would trade in immortality for the need to feed off others' life force in order to sustain said immortality? Some would say yes if it meant that they wouldn't have to kill in order to obtain it; vampire fiction argues with itself on this one. In some works, vampires must kill in order to feed. In some, they don't need quite so much blood and can take from many humans and thus feed without causing harm. Hell, in some cases they even have volunteers or "donors"! Then there are the "vegetarian" vampires (oh as a vegan how I hate this phrase!!) who only feed off of animals.

Then there is the sexiness, the allure of the "bad" men and women, the sexiness of the creature who goes out at night, bites on necks, and seduces their prey. How many people here want vampires to "do bad things to them"? Probably quite a few of you, given how popular paranormal erotic romance with vampires continues to be!

My questions to all! What do you think of the True Blood season so far? Are you Team Bill or Team Eric? Are you a fan of the vampire genre, and if so, what are your favorite movies/tv shows/books in the genres? Do you enjoy the sexy, modern day concept of the vampire or do you prefer the classic horror of the undead bloodsucker?

After this post, I will be sharing an excerpt from my own vampire work, Blood of the Dark Moon, the first novel in the Dark Moon series and my debut published work as an author. It is a tale of a young woman, a Classics graduate and occult student who, unbeknownst to her, falls for vampire whose interests mirror her own. The story surrounds a secret organization of vampires who both study and practice magick, and while it contains familiar elements to the genre, does for vampires what I think Spiderman does for superheroes: presents them in a real-to-life way with the day to day struggles as they deal with their superhuman powers.

Love & Magic,

Please Note: I am blogging on behalf of the Boston Rape Crisis Center, and if you wish to sponsor me in any dollar amount--none is too small, every bit counts!--please go here: then email me your receipt at so I can keep a running total. If you don't know what to put down for the donation, just put "Adrianne Brennan - Blogathon".


Lakota said...

"Not all vampires have to be pasty white" - loved this comment and couldn't agree more. I've only seen the first season since i don't have HBO and haven't been able to lay my hands on the 2nd season yet but totally loved it. Also have been reading Sookie's stories since the first book hit the market - believe it or not it was the unique art on those books that made it jump off the shelf at me. Read the story and i was hooked. I don't know if the tv series has made it to the New Orleans storyline yet but you would think that there would HAVE to be more diversity in the vampires in those scenes. Thanks for posting this - totally stealing and reposting on FB. :P

Adrianne Brennan said...

I'll be among the first to say that if they make it to the NOLA storyline and the vampires are still lily-white as all get-out, I'm going to be annoyed as hell. Heck, I'm working on a vampire story set in NOLA and believe me when I say they won't all be white! It'd actually make a great deal of sense for them to be at least 50% colored if not more.

Steal and repost away, and thanks for stopping by! :D

Victoryfaust said...

Dag, this makes me want to go out and watch it... :)

Adrianne Brennan said...

Do! It's a really good show, and not just because it's sexy. It has a wide variety of characters on there, is VERY LGBT friendly, and because it's on cable has very little censorship so typical of American media.

Cyndy said...

Blog! Blog! Blog!

Adrianne Brennan said...

Blog? Blog! Blog, blog! Blog.


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