So I spent the New Year’s weekend watching the entire first season of HBO’s True Blood with TJ.
I haven’t done a marathon viewing of a TV show since I bought the first season of 24 on DVD a few years ago. I remember my parents and I spending a good chunk of our Christmas vacation watching that show. Apparently we just couldn’t turn away from Kim Bauer’s crazy hijinks.
I’m surprised I didn’t get into True Blood earlier. I’m a big fan of Alan Ball’s work. American Beauty ranks up there as one of the most disturbingly beautiful movies I’ve ever seen, and Six Feet Under completely revolutionized my expectations of great television.
Maybe it’s because I’m not really all that into vampires. Of my top three recurring nightmares, being chased by a vampire is second, sandwiched between being chased by dinosaurs (#3) and discovering corpses buried under the floorboards of my house (#1).
Maybe it’s also because I didn’t want to join the bandwagon, especially after hype around vampires exploded with the arrival of the Twilight infestation. In general, I like eschewing the mainstream (which is why admitting to liking James Cameron’s Avatar was like eating crow), so True Blood wasn’t even on my radar.
But when, owing to sheer curiosity I saw this past season’s finale — complete with Marianne the Maenad’s Tracy Jordan Monster Claw, I knew I found another favorite show to list on Facebook. The show is a delightfully goofy guilty pleasure, but it’s a consistently well-written one. It knows what it is and isn’t. Instead of taking itself seriously (like so many other failed supernatural dramas do), True Blood languidly writhes in camp. You need only watch the show’s opening titles, a visual orgy dripping with southern gothic imagery, to know what you’re in for.
And that audience buy-in is critical, because a show about vampires, shifters, werewolves, and blue collar humans in small town Louisiana looks absolutely ridiculous on paper. But once you accept — nay, wallow in — the show’s premise, everything that follows is just an absolute delight.
Nightmares be damned. I can’t wait to see more.