Sometime last year, I was hanging out with my friend Gerry and I brought up the topic of vampires. I was being cynical (and bitchy) making fun of the strange, new teenage craze for all things vampire. I lumped together every vampire show, movie, and book out there. They were all the same to me, which is to say awful. Vampire shows and movies were for today’s lame teenagers.
We had the goth kids growing up. And goth kids, while demented and sad, worshipped people like Morrissey (not a vampire, but possibly bitten by one at some point), Robert Smith, and Nick Cave. (Actually, Nick Cave may actually be a vampire.) Goth kids listened to bands like Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance, and The Sisters of Mercy.
But vampires? They’re not even real! The whole craze seemed silly to me, pathetic even.
I never hold back when I’m with Gerry. I often go on and on about the dumbest shit and he forgives me for it, I think. And if you add a few beers to our conversation, I will ramble on passionately until I have to pee. Anyway, that night I said something thought-provoking like, “This teenage vampire craze is stupid. And what the hell is Twilight? Have you seen it? Why are teenage virgins getting wet just by watching it?” (Something written by a teenage girl on Twitter and then re-tweeted a number of times.)
“Vampire shows suck too. How many are there now? And why do we need more?”
Gerry looked at me and with a touch of pity in his eyes and said, “Wait, True Blood? True Blood is awesome. Have you ever actually seen it?”
“No.” I scoffed.
“It’s fucking great.” He said.
“I’m serious. Erin and I watch it every week.”
He was serious. And so I filed that bit of information away.
Gerry likes True Blood. Gerry likes vampires.
I’ve known Gerry since I was 18. And probably more so than anyone I’ve ever known, when it comes to music and movies, his opinion matters the most. I’ve discovered some of my favorite bands over the years thanks to Gerry. So for him to give True Blood a great big thumbs up, and couple it with the words “fucking great” I knew I had to give it a chance. At the very least, I had to stop bitching about something I knew absolutely nothing about.
So, fast-foward six or so months. Toby Joe and I sat down and started watching True Blood OnDemand. We flew through the first season in one week. Then we flew through season two as well and caught up just in time to watch the premier of season three. We were hooked.
I admit proudly now that I love True Blood. It’s become my second most favorite TV show. (Second only to Friday Night Lights, which is constantly ignored and I can’t figure out why that is. It’s so well-written, so well-acted, it’s just amazing. Why do so few Americans realize how great Friday Night Lights is? It never quite caught on and that bums me out. But that’s a post for another day.)
While True Blood can be a gory horrific mess sometimes, it’s also hysterical. The self-conscious writing that goes into each episode, the witty retorts, the fact that so many of the show’s characters are brilliantly written and acted, has Toby joe and I coming back for more every single week. I’m already mourning its final episode.
Take Sookie’s brother, the ever so simple Jason Stackhouse. It has got to be difficult to play stupid so well. And Ryan Kwanten does it so well. Yet it’s impossibly not to love the guy, because in spite of all that simple-mindedness he’s unbelievably heroic. Plus, occasionally he says something so seemingly stupid and simple, it borders on brilliant.
“I didn’t think I was smart enough to get depressed.”
“It’s like if a tree falls in the woods it’s still a tree, ain’t it?
Sam Merlott’s outlook on everyone and life in general—that we’re all basically at different levels of “fucked up”—is refreshing and you can’t help but breath a sign of relief whenever he’s around. (Although, I’m not sure what they’re doing with Sam’s character lately.)
Lafayette Reynolds, an ongoing favorite of mine, has us laughing out loud almost every single episode with his casual delivery of one-liners.
“Them fuckers is a whole new dimension of trash.”
Eric, one of the oldest vampires on the show, has a sidekick named Pam; she steals the scene every time she appears. She too is hilarious not to mention sexy. I love Pam.
Speaking of sexy, Eric. Oh sweet Jesus, Eric! He is quite possibly the most beautiful person alive. Eric is what vampire wet-dreams are made of. It’s no wonder they wrote in the bit about having sex dreams should any vampire consume your (human) blood. I’m sure Eric made that so. And I bet message boards all over the Internet are living proof of it.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to convince someone that a show about vampires, werewolves, fairies and shape-sifters is cool? It’s impossible! And if it hadn’t been for my history with Gerry, and the fact that I hold his opinion in high regard, I’d probably still be cynical about it.
But I’m hooked. And I’ll have to buy Gerry a beer for telling me to give something a chance. I really was missing out and if you haven’t seen it, you are too.