I think that True Blood may be one of the cheesiest, most terrible shows ever, and yet, I love it. I have completely succumbed. Tonight, I even have a reminder that I set yesterday on my TV and it set up to record, even though it will be on On Demand tomorrow.
My biggest complaint is that I’m still not sure if anyone involved with that show–from the writers on down to the actors–has actually ever been to the South. So some things that have happened, I’m not sure if they’re on purpose or if there’s just no one who knows.
Take Bill Compton’s ridiculous assertion last season that he did not own slaves, though his father did. Now, we have seen Bill Compton’s family–his wife and son–standing in front of the very house he now lives in. That house, in that time, meant slaves. You could not have run a house that size without them, let alone farm the amount of land a house that size would indicate ownership of.
So, I, of course, assumed that Bill was lying, either he had owned slaves or, I don’t know, maybe his dad was still alive and lived with them and so he thought he could fudge a little–they weren’t technically his slaves. But I thought, hmm, what a strange thing to lie about, but now we know he lies.
But then, nothing really came of it. And I’m still not sure if the writing in True Blood is good enough that we’re supposed to get that he was lying or if the writers just really didn’t want to have to go there, because then you end up with this situation where the main protagonist, Sookie, is knowingly and willingly dating a guy who kept enslaved people like her best friend and that’s not really something your sweet, perky protagonist can do and still easily be the “good guy” or if they just didn’t understand what a house that big actually means.
And don’t even get me started on that thing that was supposed to be a pecan pie but looked like some kind of… I don’t even know. But not a pecan pie, that’s for sure.
The thing I love most about the show, though, is the character of Eric. Not just because he’s the kind of guy who can scare the crap out of you while wearing flip flops and foils in his hair, but because I don’t think I have ever watched a TV show with a character like him before.
Plenty of TV shows have featured a “Mary Sue” a character who seems to be the stand-in for the writer, having the adventures and solving all the problems on the show and being so widely loved in the way the writer would of course do and be, if only she or he were able to really be there. It’s like the writer wanting so badly to break the fourth wall and climb into the story.
Eric seems almost to work the other way. Eric would, I think, gladly crawl out of the story and sit down on the couch with you and make snarky comments about the other characters, if he could. And the way the actor plays him, if you watch the show, he has this way of making those aforementioned snarky comments or doing obnoxiously hilarious things (like getting Sookie to drink his blood) and then looking at the person he’s talking to in the scene but also seeming to almost look directly at the camera.
So, you often have this feeling when he’s on camera, that he is aware of you, as the audience, watching and that he’s aware that no one else is aware of you and he’d rather them not become aware of the audience. So, he can’t address you directly, but he is performing for you, a little kind of in-joke between you and him.
I get the biggest kick out of it, feeling like one of the characters senses that he’s a character and enjoys it. Some day he’s going to look directly at the camera and wink and I am going to squeal like a little girl.
So, it’s terrible. But I love it. And I can’t wait for tonight.
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