true blood

I just wrapped up watching True Blood, Season 4. To tell you the truth, Sunday night, utterly convinced my office was closed on Monday for Columbus Day, I stayed up late to watch all the episodes (it was due to the library yesterday), had some wine, and made a lasagna that I started baking at 12:30 a.m. Earlier that day, I had been to my friend Etta’s birthday party (she just turned two) and I made fun of all the parents who had to work the next day. Around 2 a.m., I remembered an email about a Monday meeting and I wondered if maybe I had to work after all. I texted a co-worker, and yeah, I did. Doh!

Doesn’t matter. My point is I like True Blood (but emo, don’t watch it. you won’t like it — a lot of sex, violence, and supernatural species). The actors are all stunning looking and like 12-pack abs, but even the most beef-cake-y of them have degrees in acting from such prestigious institutions like Carnegie Mellon and Julliard. The first season involved vampires and shape shifters, and they eventually added additional concepts — psychics, black magic, fairies, witches, mediums, and like a half-horse-half-man character. It’s a high-budget show, and essentially, the basic story is a love triangle, but I am impressed in the way the series juggles multiple story lines and brings in all these other-creatures-ideas but isn’t confusing. Like I watch someone with pointy ears, I’m not mistaking them for a vampire, you feel me? That seems very skillful to me. The characters go through the ringer, surrounded by danger and unpredictable violence ever single moment. My only beef is that none of the major characters ever die. Every time a major character receives a mortal wound, they drink vampire blood, which has incredible healing powers, and bingo, they walk with an extra bounce in their step. To have no characters expire, when the writers have so convincingly built a world full of threat, just feels like a cop-out.

Anyway, this is a product from Alan Ball, the guy who came up with Six Feet Under, a terrific series about a dysfunctional family in the undertaker’s business. It was a show where each episode opened with someone’s death. In interviews, he has said that he came up with the idea when his sister died and he needed a way to cope with that. Death is inevitable, Six Feet Under posits, we all gotta go some time, but curiously, with True Blood, he has opted for an almost completely opposite approach where everyone lives forever. It’s his world. Maybe he got tired of loss. Can’t say I blame the guy.

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