Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The joy of my Sunday nights

Only two months into this blog thing and I've already become the stop-and-start kind of writer. I don't really have that much of an excuse other than that since we got back from vacation I have felt sooooo lazy and unwilling to go back to anything routine.

The other reason for my blog hiatus is also the topic of my blog post today, two words: TRUE BLOOD. Seriously, I haven't been this hooked on a television show in years. I figure the show is legitimately connected to all things New Orleans because the story is set in a fictional town in Louisiana called Bon Temps (I swear I started the blog before I had watched the show). The show is bizarre, as many good shows are, and the first time I caught an episode by accident I really wasn't sure what to make of it - next thing I know I'm up at 3 am and I can't sleep until I watch every single one.

The show is based on a book series called The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris which are just as good (if not better, still debating) as the show, though I won't get into them now since I discuss them in length in my book blog, A Sequestered Nook. For a more detailed review of the plot and such you can go check out my review of the series.

The director is Alan Ball, who wrote and directed Six Feet Under for HBO and also wrote the screenplay for the movie American Beauty. The show follows the same general plot line of the books (with one book taking a whole season of the show) but instead of just the one perspective of the main character, the show follows several characters and creates all sorts of new side plots.

Definitely a hard show to summarize in a few sentences but the basic premise is that two years before the start of the story, vampires have come out the coffin so to speak, with the invention of a synthetic kind of blood that can sustain them without having to feed on humans. The vampires would like to be given the same rights as humans and to be integrated into society. The metaphors are probably pretty obvious (human intolerance, segregation), especially set against the backdrop of the deep south. The main plot follows a young woman named Sookie Stackhouse (I'm not kidding) who is a waitress at the one and only bar in Bon Temp and who also happens to be telepathic. The trouble begins when the small town gains a new resident: its first and only vampire, Bill, who has inherited his previous family home now that vampires are out in the open. As she gets to know Bill, Sookie begins to be drawn into the rather creepy world of supernaturals, all of whom would like to take advantage of her mental gifts.

The show definitely earns its R rating: the show blends sex and violence in a really twisted sort of way, a reflection of the whole atmosphere of the show, I think. The main credits alone will make you feel creepy and I really think that if there were an award for best credits on television, True Blood would win hands down.

They include a lot of details that are pure Louisiana (you always see the characters brewing Community Coffee or pulling a pack of Abita out of the fridge) but one of the part of the show that I'm sure would drive locals out of their minds is that the accents are not even close. RJ says they sounds like maybe they could pass for Mississippi accents if you were feeling generous. They at least try to have the whole cast be consistent with each other. As a northerner I can understand that most of HBO's demographic doesn't live in the South and just has a general idea of what a southern accent should sound like: basically, Blanche DuBois in Streetcar named desire ("Ah have ahlways rahlied on the kindness of strangers" - that sort of thing). I don't think it's something that would bother the average viewer.

What more can I say? This show is amazing and so worth checking out: watch watch watch!

Bill: "I don't think about it. It's just sustenance, that's all."
Eric: (Laughs) "If you're their poster boy, then the mainstreaming movement is in deep trouble. 'True Blood: It will keep you alive but it'll bore you to death.'"

Little Boy: "Mama, he's so white!"
Arlene: "No darlin'. We're white, he's dead."

Arlene: "Oh my Lord! Suppose she gets pregnant? How in the world can she nurse a baby with fangs?"

Tara : "School is just for white people looking for other white people to read to them. I figure I'll save my money and read to myself."

Eric: "The vampires here, they're like cowboys. If they don't get Godric back they'll want justice. They'll start attacking people."
Bill: "Open aggression against humans? That's insane."
Eric: "Well, it's Texas."