Friday, January 21, 2011

bfg on Suck It: a review of True Blood by an amateur in everything except expressing vulgarity

I am working on my thesis. Which means looking for any form of procrastination.

        Another word for culture.... tradition? No, no. Culture? No that is the word I used 8 million times... Didn't I say I was going to write a blog post on True Blood.

I was pretty sad I wouldn't be able to watch True Blood (and Dexter and Caprica and ...) with the bf but my True Blood party more than made up for it. It was a party for two with me as the third wheel; my friend K and C came over (she a fellow JET, he hopefully will be by this time next year). I had the file on my computer and they the projector. My awesome white walls were baptized with the oh-so-awesome visage of Eric. Yum.

My friend JG hates True Blood. And if you hate the site of blood... this show is not for you. But my deep affection for this show lies in the firm fact that the writers and director have one foot in cheap-stick entertainment and another in a complex social critique; a mixture that has me hooked, addicted, DEDICATED.

Point #1: Do not read the books. Garbage. Mme Harris I am very happy you are a fat rich lady but honestly, learn how to write a sentence. For the love of the English language and out of respect to your peers please try. 

The main character in the books is such a cardboard - boringggg.  And basically so is everything. It is like a soggy cake. The entire time you are eating it, you are thinking of eating something else ( I really could have used a dirtier example which is more moi but I wanted to keep this post as PG13 as possible).

This fact makes the writers and producers at HBO that much more amazing and divine.

Point #2: Setting. One of the charismatic aspects of True Blood for myself is the scenery shots. It isn't dark and creepy in the gothic style one is used to seeing with vampire folklore. Nor is it Twilightesque in the sense that it is set in a high school. With the staple wooden shack bar and pick-up trucks, TB is really set in a place that feels. The setting is so alive and so riveting that it can be considered as one of the great characters in this series.

 The graveyard is my favorite for it reminds me of home: instead of being dark and gloomy it is dark and welcoming... it feels more like a historical site than a danger zone. 

Sookies' house is another example: deceivingly large for the rooms themselves are small but there are so many that connect one after the other... shiver. I want to curl up with a book and be chased by a warewolf all at the same time! The confusion! The contradiction! Adrenaline rush that one can't help but Love it!

Now perhaps this is because I am my mother's daughter but I most point out that the fact that you see the characters rewearing outfits, mixing and matching items increases that sense that this is a living breathing place. That is life - one closet in a town with a graveyard where some dead famous uncle is buried. It makes it so that when the supernatural does occur the imagination is more willing to fall into the beauty of believing it all for the 54 minutes of HBO goodness. 

Point #3: The characters. 
Really. Let us take Jason. Arguably the best-looking of all the male beauties that have graced the TB scene, Sookie's brother is a genius when it comes to being stupid. The Santa line takes it all.

"Warewolves exist?"



Oh my God! Marry Me!

Many a time during these three seasons has Jason brought the audience on a roller-coaster ride. There are moments where he seems to be improving, waking up from his dream state of "D-U-M-B" only to so gracefully fall back to being clueless Jason. He is the Han Solo of the cast: the comic realease and hopefully the constant in this show. The unevolving character who just spins around in circles. Because people like that do exist and it is always nice to have a flatline.

Now to the villian who is.... no body. Or everybody. See, that is just it. The moment we begin to point the finger at anyone TB goes and problematizes this. What is a victim? Perpetrator? Where do we draw these fine lines? These are ideas I face a lot when reading history, especially about Japan, and with TB I love the idea of exploring it on an individual basis because I also begin to ask myself if there are different ethical standards on the micro/macro level. 

Eric probably is the best example of this point. This resent season the audience was given a glimpse to Eric in his earlier vampire days and even as a human. Suddenly, so much of the ruthless actions we have become accustomed to expect from him are ... understandable. And then what? What do we do? Love him for it? Fantasize about him THAT much more because he isn't just hot but a troubled rogue you want to save? What does that say about you!? About us? Fuck, I love this show.

Please someone buy this for me.
Speaking of Eric, I must also make something clear. I totally want to sleep with the man but I am and always will be unless something really stupud happens a Team Bill member. In fact, if you are Team Eric please stop reading, go away and don't come back.

Now that we got rid of unwanted company, I don't think I need to delve into the details of how us Team Billers support the relationship between Sookie and Bill. And though it maybe a little because we want big E for ourselves, the fact remains that lust between Eric and Sookie is natural but just that: lust. Bill and her have their own bucket of worms but the tensions in their relationship relate more to affection. And they have great sex so no complaints.

No, but really. Even Warewolf man is a better option than Eric. Warewolf Boy and Sookie are a team and are attracted to each other... something that was totally building up towards the end of Season Three and hopefully they will continue this storyline. I would like to see if they would explore the triade many of us find ourselves confused by in our love life: extreme lust which can be mistaken for love (Eric); extreme affection which can be mistaken for life-time partner (Bill); and compatibility which can be mistaken as either lust or, more likely, love (Warewolf Boy). It is a story line I would not mind they explore.

That said, I am still Team Bill. Fear not!
So watch the show. Again. And this time, you better like it.

I can't lie though. The whole Eric and Bill thing is crazy awesome. I just wish Bill was allowed to speak in his cute British accent (because let us be honest, Canadian may be the "best" accent but Brits by far have the sexiest) instead of some Southern brawl but maybe there will be a revamped edition when the show actually ends.

 Lafayette. Six Feet whatever - that black dude is one tall mother fucker. And I am very jealous at his make-up application skills. Lafayette continuously explores ideas of genderization and language. The English language, unlike other Latin languages, does not genderdize items (la  /le in French for example) but it does associate social stigmas with objects. The hoop earrings and head scarf on a man who is good in the kitchen, talks with his hands and can kick your ass any second and done so in a way where you don't make the association initially - that is the genius with this character (and speaks to how well he is played). Lafayette wears these items as a part of his person not as a public statement. The character really integrates it well.

To the left is Nelsan Ellis as himself
 and to the right him as Lafayette.
Oscar performance!
And it is wonderful to see him grow as a character. Up until this season, we were never privileged to see the affectionate side of L and it brought out some of his vulnerabilities behind the spatula and fake lashes. Yet, it didn't spill things on a table like the writers are in some hurry to get the ratings to tell a story.
Which comes to the conclusion of this: story telling. True Blood doesn't just tell a story, it shows us slowly, dramatically, rhythmically to the point where you hear the sound of your blood pounding when you discover Bill's dark secret along with Sookie at the end of this last season. True Blood brings the age old art of bonfire storytelling to the modern world. HBO, I love you for it!

PS: HBO, please be as awesome and amazing with Song of Ice and Fire because I will have a hernia if you don't get that right. Like I might come over and protest. Loudly. Violently. Etc. with love xoxo vgg


  1. I was team Bill as well until season three. Now I honestly think Eric's where it's at.
    Alcide... meh.
    And Sookie WILL fall for Eric, there's too much potential and foreshadowing there. I don't believe it's just lust at all, quite the reverse actually.
    I still enjoy Bill though, just not for Sookie and not with the same love I had for him before reevaluating the whole thing.

  2. Though I think Sookie will take a look at the dark side (Eric) and I know in the books they follow that story line, HBO would be silly to kill the awesome charisma between Bill and Sookie. Also, at a certain point they need to let go of this and move on to other things. So far, it has been going well and I can see it lasting another season but at a certain point Sookie needs to stick to her guns.