True Blood and Society’s Vampire Fascination

August 1, 2009 by  

_46111602_trueblood1_226apPeter Bowes from BBC News looks into society’s fascination with Vampires in his article titled “Vampire Show Goes For The Jugular”.  He looks into the genre using True Blood as an example for the continuing fascination we have with, as he calls it “bloodsuckers”.   In his overview he starts with a synopsis background of True Blood:

In the wake of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel, society’s enduring fascination with vampires has spawned another US TV show about bloodsuckers. Based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels by Charlaine Harris, True Blood is the brainchild of Alan Ball – best known for writing the Oscar-winning film American Beauty and producing Six Feet Under. Set in Bon Temps, a fictitious small town in northern Louisiana, it is a coming-out story in which vampires are striving to be accepted in normal society. Having recently emerged from their coffins, the bloodsuckers co-exist with humans with the help of a synthetic blood substitute.”

Anna Paquin (who plays Sookie Stackhouse) talks about her feelings on “the crazy rideTrue Blood takes:

“All sorts of odd, weird, creepy and scary stuff starts happening as soon as vampires start emerging,” explains the 27-year-old, who admits her violent, sexually explicit show is not for the squeamish. “If you have a weak stomach you may need to close your eyes a few times.”

On the author’s intellectual perspective of the show:

“The storyline focuses on the conflict between man and vampire and the varying degrees to which the monsters are accepted in society”

To which Stephen Moyer (who plays Bill Compton) responds:

“I was just blown away by how funny and brilliant the script is,” says British actor Stephen Moyer, who plays Paquin’s 173-year old boyfriend. “Alan has built this framework which just looks like a vampire story. But underneath it’s a very intellectual take, in a very popcorn way, on what the vampire mythology is.”

On Mr. Moyer’s perspective of the parallels of Twilight and True Blood:

“By the very nature of the overused term ‘zeitgeist’, when two things are thought of at the same time there’s a friction in the air and everybody jumps onto it,”

Nelsan Ellis who plays Lafayette Reynold gave a bit of a different perspective stating:

“That True Blood “is not a family show”.  There is a lot of blood, a lot of guts and a lot of nudity,” he says. “Twilight is very safe and you can bring the kids.”

Stephen Moyer shares his take on what the attraction is for vampires:

“They are incredibly powerful,” says Moyer. “They have a magnetism and they can hypnotize.”Women are treated quite well but quite roughly at the same time. I think that’s very romantic and sexy.”

Anna Paqiun finishes up with her opinion on the subversive story line of True Blood:

“I didn’t set out to push the boundaries, but I’ve never been particularly conservative in my taste,” says Anna Paquin. “If you’re going to commit to a job for possibly seven seasons, it had better be something like this where there’s a lot to engage.”

To read the for the full article:
news.bbc.co.uk

(photo credit: HBO)

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  • Anonymous

    I also think the
    various relationships explored in the “True Blood” television series relate to
    the sexuality and homosexuality issues of present times.  I think people enjoy seeing homosexual
    relationships portrayed on a popular television series as being acceptable
    loving relationships rather than “alternative lifestyles.”  I think it’s incredibly interesting to
    determine which is more acceptable: a heterosexual relationship with a vampire
    or werewolf or a homosexual relationship between two humans.  In particular, “True Blood” speaks to a wide
    variety of viewers because of their extensive examples of “alternative
    lifestyles.”  The series is centered on a
    telepathic human who falls in love with several “super naturals” – including
    two vampires and one werewolf.  She feels
    she cannot relate or explore a relationship with a human because she can read
    their thoughts.  A vampire or werewolf
    register to her as an entity but with no thoughts.  I think females in particular can relate to
    the female lead because they are in constant search of their perfect mate, whom
    they will understand and be understood in return.  In addition, I think homosexual viewers are
    fascinated with the series because it explores a loving, intimately sexual
    relationship between two men.  Such
    relationships are rarely explored in popular culture and mainstream television
    shows, so this series attracts more viewers because it plays to a wider variety
    of people.  Similar relationships are
    explored in the “Vampire Diaries” series. 
    A female human falls in love with two vampire brothers, a female vampire
    falls in love with a werewolf, and a male human falls in love with a female
    vampire.  This series covers the gamut of
    relationships, including one male viewers could relate to.  This makes it unique and it is also offered on
    network television, a station anyone can receive as long as they have an antenna
    and a television.

  • antonio

    In this Post-Modern and Highly conflicted world We need This More than EVER!!

  • antonio

    This fascination with the undead may appear morbid to some,But, I think it goes deeper than that. There is a certain appeal about an Anti-Hero..Someone who fights to make a better world for himself and the ones he loves. Also I think there is a fascination with someone who is fighting the “inner conflict”
    I think it helps Us to put things into perspective in our Own lives! This is why I think that films like The Dark Knight were So popular Is He Good OR is he Evil?? Can We trust him??
    Why is he SO conflicted? These are questions We may ask from time to time about Ourselves Andthe world arond Us.
    Its may be always comforting to think that there IS a Batman out there protecting people from the criminal element Or that there are creatures like Bill Compton and Eric Northman trying to redeem themselves and look for love.

  • antonio

    I can understand this “new” fascination with vampires. There seems to be a huge trend towards it. First off,I’d like to state that I am a TB fan all the way..Having said that I will move on.
    In Twilight, Edward Cullen writes and plays a song for Bella Swan. The song “Bella’s Lullaby” Is EC’s way of expressing his deep feeling for Bella. Bella’s Lullaby,written by Carter Burwell is 1 of my favorite pieces of music. I like the Twilight soundtrack as well.I think Many of the tracks would work for TB just as well. Certainly, Decode and Eyes On Fire.
    Edward Cullen uses music as a way to convey his deep devotion to Bella. In the book, you read several times about his “sweet lullaby”. Of course, it goes without saying that i think TB is much better,However writing and playing music for someone you love sounds like a very romantic notion.

  • vampirebelle

    I have always loved the vampire .I can remember as a little girl sneaking into the living room to watch dracula .The vampire has always had my full attention, but now they are portrayed as a very sexual person and my love for them has grown . If I were to run into one I would have to follow them any where they went.Sick maybe but happy!

  • I never really was, into..Vampires, before “True Blood”..I kinda liked “Interview With a Vampire”..but, this show is So-o-o-o..much better! It’s funny and sexy and scary…I love it! Oh, and Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton…OMG!! He is so, good…and bad…Love him…Then, there is Tara and Lafayette.. Perfect…And Stephen Moyer was ride on, I think..About, why women are into the whole attraction to Vampires…The Idea of it…HOT…