Confession time: I’m hooked on “True Blood.” Sure, it’s garbage, but it is gloriously delicious garbage. Last night’s episode — which was chockful o’ murder, orgies, human sacrifice, adultery, and flapper vampires screwing in a blood-soaked bed next to fresh corpses — sealed the deal for me. What can I say? I’m old-fashioned like that.
Honestly, I don’t want to like the show. I’m tired of vampire stories, and I’m tired of the way every vampire story has to branch out into the realm of other mythical monsters. The second movie of Twilight needs a werewolf. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” eventually expanded to fight every kind of monster in the world of make-believe, and that’s what “True Blood” has done. There are not only vampires but shape-shifters, telepaths, and a bull-headed three-clawed demon that gets its powers from group sex. Seriously. It’s basically an R-rated version of “Buffy” if Buffy failed out of college and ended up a waitress.
What else must I excuse? Ah yes, the accents. Half the cast doesn’t know what a Southern accent sounds like. In fact, the whole show seems written by Californians who’ve never left their state — in last night’s episode, one character reading a map instructed the driver to “turn on the 161” — apparently, the writers are unaware that calling highways “the” with a number is a Californian phenomenon.
But that’s all nit-picking compared to the grandiose heart of the show: blood and f-cking. The show is sexy and violent, period. And the writers, despite their faults, know how to build tension — from the promise of awful gore to a months-long build-up of unsatisfied sexual chemistry that leads to an immensely gratifying bathtub hand job.
And there’s your metaphor: “True Blood” is a bathtub hand job of a show. Sure, it could be better, but it’s a welcome release, and it makes for a good story.