The new queen of vampires, Stephenie Meyer, has quite the cult following thanks to her internationally bestselling “Twilight” saga. Her books are chock-full of romance, excitement, danger, and moral questions. While fans are loyal to her stories about Bella and Edward, it seems like HBO might sway them to try something a bit more…mature.
HBO’s latest drama “True Blood“ is wild and sexy, pushing the limits of what people define as acceptable in society. “True Blood” asks the question, “What if vampires came out of the coffin?” What if vampires made their presence known and tried to coexist with humans peacefully? Naturally, there are two warring sides in the country. The American Vampire League supports vampire rights while the Fellowship of the Sun condemns them. The show is satirical in many ways, dealing with acceptance issues, hate crimes, politics, and counterculture. The AVL is the liberal to the Fellowship’s conservative.
The viral campaign is delicious, packed with extras that show just how far the “True Blood” universe spans. Vampire bars like Fangtasia, online dating sites like Lovebitten, radio stations like WDED Radio…the list goes on and on. Great attention to detail is really what made me appreciate the pilot episode. For example: a marquee reading “GOD HATES FANGS” (close to another hateful cry in our own world, eh?) HBO.com and a special feature on On Demand also display fake news reports and bulletins. Alan Ball (“Six Feet Under”) and the creators of the show have gone above and beyond to make their world seem tangible.
“True Blood’s” hold over “Twilight” is that television can go places that a book simply cannot. The power of online media and the depth of what a camera can capture knocks Meyer’s universe on its ass. Meyer can make her characters seem believable by explaining the depth of Edward and Bella’s love, and how far Carlisle and his family have gone to maintain peace and humanity. But where Meyer fails to gain a mature audience are her Mormon values. Her books are all about resistance while “True Blood” isn’t afraid to go all the way (and boy, do they!) However, in many ways I appreciate Meyer’s sense of modesty to the overt sexuality of “True Blood.” Maybe it’s a ‘why have the cow when you can get the milk for free’ thing? I like the cow. I like the free milk…er… blood, too.
It’s pretty clear that vampirism is hot. Vampires are sexy, sensual, and unattainable. People can’t get enough of it. From the beginning with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, to Joss Whedon’s “Buffy” and “Angel” and everything in between and beyond: vampires are here to stay. That being said, let’s just say that there’s a reason “True Blood” is on HBO and not the CW. This show is not for the kids, so wait until they go to sleep before catching the next episode.
What do you think? Did you catch “True Blood” this past week? If so, do you think it can capture that same “Twilight” magic for adults?