Friday, September 18, 2009

True Blood

Last night I watched episode four in season two of True Blood. 'True Blood' is a contemporary gothic series created by Alan Ball. Its a comedic, murder - mystery genre set in Bon Temps, Louisiana. The two central characters are a waitress named Sookie Stackhouse played by Anna Paquin and a vampire named Bill Compton played by Stephen Moyer.

John Ellis argues in "Broadcast TV as Cultural Form" (1992) that a TV series consists of connected segments (episodes) that can be viewed with ease at any part of the season. Any newcomer to 'True Blood' would not find it hard to pick up the narrative at any episode.
The characters make lots of statements about their shared history. They also display extremely strong personality traits which helps the viewer to follow plot development. The narrative develops very slowly with not much change between consecutive episodes. Frequent locations are Merlotte's Diner, Sookie's Grandmother's house, Bill's house and Lafayette's house. So each episode is mostly contained within itself.

The only nuclear family theme is heterosexual romance (although the central one is between a human and a vampire). There are hardly ever any children except for extras (background actors). Most of the women have jobs while some of the men don't have jobs, especially the vampires.

There is a juxtaposition of characters in that some of them are human and others are mythological creatures (Vampires, Demons, Shapeshifters). Good and evil characters come from both groups. Analogies can be made between the Fellowship of the Sun and evangelist Christian groups. The interesting aspect to this show is that it takes basic icons for good and evil - religion and vampires and inverts them. Some vampires and shapeshifters are shown displaying acts of mercy, kindness and love while the leader of Fellowship of the Sun is a power-hungry warmonger.

John Ellis, "Broadcast TV as Cultural Form." Visible Fictions: Cinema, Television, Video.Revised ed. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.

Website: Information archive for the HBO tv series. Available at: