I don’t know what it is about vampires that I’ve always loved. Maybe it has something to do with an ingrained sense of kinship I feel I share with them – I, too, am a member of a tribe that cannot go out into the sunlight without severe risk of burning. Whatever the cause, I’ve been sucked in ever since I watched my first episode of Buffy many, many years ago (we’re talking 4th-5th grade here, people), and I’ve never looked back.
With that, it’s important to point out that I will not hear a word against Buffy. It will always be my favorite TV show and is, in my opinion, one of the sharpest, wittiest scripts out there that still manages to drive its point home (how many vampire-related jokes can I make in this post?????) in a fashion that is both funny and meaningful. Yes, it was campy, but purposefully so, and honestly if I keep going here I’ll never stop talking about it so I’m just going to cut myself off now.
Since then, I’ve read all the major vampire literature, both classic and pop-culture, and kept an eye on TV shows and movies featuring my favorite supernaturals in case something looked good.
This would probably be where you’re expecting me to start talking about how I found Twilight and fell in love with its characters and the plot and its different take on vampires and their culture and ohmygod Robert Pattinson is, lyke, tHe HoTtTtEsT hOtTiE eVa!~!!1!~!!1
I won’t, though. I hate the Twilight series, and before any of you say BUT OMG YOU NEVER GAVE IT A CHAAAAAAANCE!!!!, I did, in fact, read all of the books, because it’s not fair to offer an opinion on something you’re uninformed about. So, yeah. I hate Twilight and all it stands for, and my reasons could probably fill up another entire blog post or two, so I’ll avoid that for now.
After the low, low point that was Breaking Dawn, I almost gave up on finding anything good in the vampire genre ever again. I mean, once we’ve reduced vampire turf wars to sitting in a field angsting about our pasts and TALKING instead of fighting (not to mention the overabundance of glitter that must have been present during these events), is there any way we can redeem ourselves? I mean, if I wanted to read crappy fanfiction, I’d go read crappy fanfiction.
And then…I discovered True Blood. I was hesitant at first, because it’s on HBO and, come on, people. This is the channel that gave us Real Sex. They are not exactly raising the bar for quality programming here. But it got a lot of media attention and I vaguely remembered almost enjoying a few of the Sookie Stackhouse novels a few years back, so I decided to give it a shot.
Is the acting great? With few exceptions, no. Do I feel a particular fondness for the heroine of the series? Not so much. Are the characterizations original? No (and I’ll get into that later).
Are the men good-looking? YES.
I would seriously watch this show just to stare at Alexander Skarsgård for an hour a week. The man is one of the finest examples of Scandinavia I’ve ever seen – they do not make them in the US like that, more’s the pity. He’s also one of the better actors on the show, so it’s like a twofer when Eric Northman shows up. And the rest of the male ensemble is incredibly easy on the eyes as well. The girls are good-looking as well, but honestly, I find the acting sub-par at best, and Sookie spends half her life screeching ‘Bill!!!!’ in that incredibly fake southern accent, so it kind of detracts from them as a group.
True Blood is never going to replace Buffy for me, though. Buffy and Sookie are both blondes with secret superpowers trying to live a normal life while dealing with their supernatural acquaintances. Bill Compton and Eric Northman are poorly-concealed versions of Angel and Spike, Buffy’s vampire love interests. Bill is the dark, brooding one trying to atone for his past by living clean now (and is also a little creepily possessive of ‘his’ human), while Eric is the blond prettyboy who is all about fun and doesn’t feel remorse, but has a weird, demented attraction for the female protagonist that causes him to clean up his act a little and be a better man.
In other words, Buffy is, for me, the ultimate in vampire pop-culture. It was original, fast-paced and funny. Other shows and other books might come close, but they’re never going to measure up (at least not for me).
The point of this blog? Really, there isn’t much of one, but if you have to take something away from it….
Go watch True Blood if you’re not already. It’s a great summer show. Keep in mind, though, that you should try to watch Buffy, because it is severely underappreciated and the aspects that make True Blood so compelling are illustrated just as well, if not better, by Joss Whedon’s tale of the Slayer.. Also, seriously guys, try to not be sucked into the Twilight vortex if you can help it, because the fewer people that think watching a girl while she sleeps and cutting her brake lines because she talked to another boy is ‘romantic’, the better.