Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Because I Don't Read and Blog All the Time

I'm a terrible couch potato and HBO and Showtime original programs are largely to blame. My new favorite is HBO's original series, True Blood. The entire first season had already aired by the time I found it, but due to the miracle of OnDemand, Scott and I were able to watch every episode. Alan Ball, the creator of Six Feet Under and the Academy Award winning writer for American Beauty created the series. If you liked Six Feet Under and American Beauty, and if you have a thing for vampires, you'll love True Blood.

True Blood takes place in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana and begins two years after vampires have "come out of the coffin" and revealed themselves to human kind. The main character is Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress at a local bar, who falls in love with a vampire. The characters, the setting and the music are all fantastic and despite the gruesome story lines, this show is pretty funny. True Blood was based on a series of novels written by Charlaine Harris.

Here's HBO's trailer for the show:

There is something about vampires that appeals to just about everyone, even those of us who don't have much of an interest in any other form of supernatural fiction. We all grew up with Bram Stoker's Dracula, Stephen King's book, Salem's Lot brought the appeal back to me when I was a kid and I was hooked on the cheesy TV series that followed. I admit I never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For some reason that one never got my attention. I was a dedicated reader of Ann Rice's Vampire Chronicles and although I haven't yet indulged in the Twilight phenomenon, it's clearly taken a firm hold of our imaginations. I recently put Octavia Butler's Fledgling on my wish list.

The metaphor the vampire presents opens up all kinds of possibilities.

What about you? If you're a vampire fan, what was it that drew you in? Why do you think we never tire of this myth?


Anonymous said...

Not a vampire fan, per se, but a huge fan of Dracula (the original) by Bram Stoker. In fact, I am so not a vampire person, that I didn't pick up the book Dracula until I was in my late 30s and only then at the insistence of my husband (back then I actually listened to his advice ;-) ) Anyway. Dracula rocks. The book ranks among my top 5 all-time favorites.

Melissa Amateis said...

Not a vampire fan AT ALL. I didn't even like Interview with a Vampire, even if Brad Pitt was in it. :-)

Lisa said...

Kristen, I didn't read Dracula until I was an adult either. I'd never have guessed it would find it's way into your top 5!

Melissa, Either you are or you aren't into the vampires :) Naturally, I loved that movie. It was very true to the book -- and it was even better because Brad was in it -- and Tom -- and Antonio!

Vesper said...

Same for me, "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. That was a truly scary vampire story and remains like that even now.
I'm sure True Blood is a good series, and probably Twilight is a good movie/book, but what I don't like in many "modern" vampire stories is that vampires have become too mundane, a pretext more for other stories.
I loved Anne Rice's books and found "Interview with the Vampire" a fascinating movie (not to mention that it had Brad, Tom, and Antonio in it!). But have you ever seen the 1931 "Dracula" with Bela Lugosi? I find it scary even now...

Shauna Roberts said...

"True Blood" is one of the few TV shows my husband and I both enjoy. In fact, we signed up for HBO specifically so we could watch it. I had read several of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries and enjoyed them.

I think vampires appeal to women for the same reasons that "bad boys" and alpha males are popular in romance novels and that women write to serial killers in prison and fall in love with them: a deep and abiding belief that our love can redeem them and turn them into civilized humans.

Lisa said...

Vesper, I was thinking of that old movie when I was writing this post...Nosferatu? It's funny because I think that monstrous character is what the original vampire lore was all about, and then the vampire got sexualized. They're certainly very sexy in Anne Rice's books and in True Blood they actually have sex!

Shauna, Yay! You're the first person (besides by stepson, who told me about the show) who has seen it besides me and Scott.

I'd never thought of the bad boy angle before, but I think you're right. There's also something very sexual about them (True Blood is the first time I've ever seen or read about vampires having sex) that's associated with blood and of course, who isn't intrigued by the idea of immortality?

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