What if god hates fangs?

I just finished the first season of True Blood and am kicking myself for not jumping on the fan-wagon sooner. Now I have to wait for season 2 on DVD! This will be more tortuous even than hearing the thoughts of Andy Bellefluer…

I am impressed that the series brings the themes of social oppression even more into the foreground than the Sookie Stackhouse book series on which it is based. Touching on racism, white privilege, homophobia and prejudice against non-humans, the show offers an intriguing, culturally aware, satirical take on the various ‘isms’ our world labors under.

The “God hates fangs” sign, present in the opening montage, is indicative of this titillating look the privileged/oppressed matrix. Yet, “vampire privilege,” written about here, is more “vampire oppression” in True Blood, with vamps representing the non-heterosexual, the non-Christian, and, ironically enough, the non-white.

9 thoughts on “What if god hates fangs?”

  1. Hm, from the way this series is marketed I had no idea. I used to be totally uninterested in it (I thought it was a cheap rehashing of Anne Rice with more sexual overtones), but now I will have to suspend judgment and check it out. Though I can’t right now, because I have no TV (it died a spooky death when the carved pumpkin I put on top of it melted. . . yeah. )

    Christina

  2. This actually is quite a good show. I was surprised. But I am so tired of the “main characters” romance. (I felt the same way with Buffy/Angel so maybe I just don’t like the whole relationship drama thing).

    The best part of the show, so far, was when (I can’t remember his name) joined the evangelical cult. You could have replaced “fangs” for “fags” that whole story line.

  3. Professor, I disagree. I think the metaphor is weak, especially if the lesson is “we should accept those who are different.”

    In TrueBloodLand, vampires recently came “out of the coffin” revealing themselves to the rest of the world, saying, “don’t worry, we have TrueBlood, a synthetic blood to sustain us, you’re in no danger”.

    When Bill Compton, introduced himself to the BonTemps, claiming he was in the civil war, why doesn’t anyone ask, “what did you eat before TrueBlood was invented?” A follow up question would be, “dude, don’t you think you’re a little old for Sookie?” (Am I the only one bothered by the age difference between Buffy-Angel, Belle-Edward, Sookie-Bill?…If you’re more than a hundred years older than your date either you are incredibly immature, or there’s not much in common besides TheSex.)

    The average human citizen of TrueBloodLand at least knows that vampires need human blood, and only recent have access to a synthetic replacement. And presumably some average humans would know that vampires have killed to get blood. Would we trust a person that hid their need to consume human blood? HBO shows us that vampires have murdered humans throughout history, continue to do so today. We in the audience know their true nature is predator.

    Just because vampires look and act human, doesn’t mean we have to accept them, especially if they pose a threat. For instance, tigers and chimpanzees by their nature are dangerous, and as a society we take steps to keep them away from us.

    – I prefer Anne Rice, she shows that vampires are dangerous monsters, not mopey misunderstood immortals. I am enjoying the Sookie-books, as for the show, it’s alright, but “Buffy” was much better.

    -Issues they should bring up:
    Under the VampireRightsAct, would vampires be allowed to collect social security at 65?
    Would the military/CIA draft vampires?
    Would human Hollywood stunt folk be put out of work?
    Would there need to be more night courts?

    PS I hope my comma usage was decent.

    1. Thanks for your reply and astute analysis.

      Love your points about the age differences! The older man paradigm is so pervasive — not only do 100+ vamps ensnare much younger women, but both celebrity and non-celebrity pairings in real life follow this dynamic. Harrison and Calista? Michael and Catherine Zita? What’s his name and Anna Nicole? As to your “not much in common besides TheSex,” I would think “TheSex” wouldn’t be happening all that much when said dude (vamp or human) is 100 years plus!

      I am not a fan of Rice (though admittedly I only read Interview, and did so years ago). Her male-focused plot-lines rub me the wrong way. I too am enjoying the Sookie books, and I do think they offer far more progressive messages/critiques than some of the other vamp stories out there. Have not seen too much Buffy – only bits of episode 1 – but from what I have seen, this is the most feminist take on vamps yet.

      Nice ideas for issues TB should cover. I would add Same Sex Marriage to the list.

      As for your focus on vamps as killers, well, what about humans as killers? We humans seem far more adept at killing than vamps or tigers!

      And, your comma usage was lovely!

  4. I’m a bit late to this thread, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a female or POC or LGBT vampire as the main (and sympathetic) character in a show like True Blood? If the show is about fighting oppression and highlighting all the isms, I think it would hit home more if the oppressed character had other oppressed characteristics. I think I would like to see this show from that character’s point of view, instead of Sookie’s point of view.

    Although, it would be interesting to see Sookie as a male character (but with the same characteristics – the good child, empathic, reluctantly hearing other people’s thoughts, living with his grandma (& grandma waiting up for him) etc.)

    1. Check out The Gilda Stories or The Vampire Tapestries!!!
      I think the Sookie books make the exploration of isms more apparent — at least in ways.
      And, sorry, but I don’t need another male protag — let’s keep Sookie a woman!!! But, she could be a lesbian…

  5. I watched True Blood and I liked, I watched Vampire Diaries, but for me it is a bad imitation of Twilight and Twilight, a awful imitation of Buffy and Angel. None can beats Whedon’s criation. Boreanaz could kick Pattinson’s ass and Gellar could kick Steward’s ass too.

    1. Victoria,
      Thanks for your comment. The book series True Blood pre-dates Twilight, so do you think Twilight is perhaps the imitator (eve if you find the imitation superior)? Meyer claims to have not read other vampire texts (or seen movies) but there are MANY themes and even characters that seem perilously similar… However, to give her the benefit of the doubt, vampire mythos is well known and much vampire work is derivative.
      And out of curiosity, why are you so interested in ass-kicking? (and between the actors rather than the characters?)

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