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I Suffered Through TRUE BLOOD Till The Bloody End

Oh, I can’t believe it! I’ve lost my “Atomic Sub” card!..
 Oh no! I bet I wrote that fake number on the back of it
when I gave it to denim vest!
I’ve eaten 23 bad subs, I just need 1 more! It’s like a 
long, bad movie, but you want to see the end of it!
No, you walk out.
Alright, then, it’s like a boring book, 
but you gotta finish it.
No, you wait for the movie!

Elaine’s determination to see her “Atomic Sub” card through to the bitter, awful end pretty much sums up my reason for watching True Blood until this week’s final episode. By Season Three my interest started waning, and by Season Four I was a hater, but I stuck with it hoping that there would eventually be some kind of payoff to make it all worth it.

In retrospect, the show was probably always doomed to jump the shark.

At the time it first aired Season One was great because there was so much mystery. You didn’t know who to trust, everyone had secrets, and the full extent of the supernatural world that existed wasn’t clear.

In fact, I remember that the show was originally advertised (or explained to me by someone – I cannot fully remember) as a telepath and vampire teaming up to solve mysteries in Louisiana, which is more or less what happened in the first two seasons. And, vampires would be used as a metaphor to explore contemporary social issues á la Star Trek and the future.

But as the show progressed and the stakes inevitably had to be raised, the show was flooded with supernatural characters.

The surprises and revelations from the first two seasons just weren’t there anymore after werewolves, werepanthers, and fairies were introduced. The fact that anything was possible made everything seem mundane.

It was a kinda deus ex machina approach to solution to when things got slow on the show – when in doubt, just introduce a new supernatural character.

There are lots of other things I could complain about, but there is no need to because plenty of other people have said the same thing, so let’s skip to the end — did I get the payoff I was holding out for?

Sometimes the show’s social commentary interesting, most of the time it lacked any subtly. But the final episode left me thinking if it was really appropriate to use vampires as stand-in for minorities — namely LGBT people — when vampires do in fact do bad things. That is, minorities are discriminated against because of baseless prejudices.

Vampires, though, do in fact do bad things — a point made in the pilot episode when Bill Maher plays himself:

Yeah but… come on. Doesn’t your race have a rather
sordid history of exploiting and feeding off innocent 
people? … For centuries?
Three points: Number one, show me documentation. It 
doesn’t exist. Number two, doesn’t your race have a
history of exploitation?  We never owned slaves, Bill,
or … detonated nuclear weapons.  And most importantly,
point number three, now that the Japanese have perfected
synthetic blood which satisfies all of our nutritional 
needs,there is no reason for anyone to fear us.

Now of course, humans too do bad things.

But on True Blood, all of the major vampire characters live by their own moral code, meeting out justice as they see fit — how many people do Bill, Eric and Pam kill and glamor over the course of the show? In fact, vampires do not answer to the laws of the United States, but instead the Vampire Authority.

My point is that for all of the allegorization, vampires really aren’t like you and me. There does seem to be some reason to fear them.

And Nan’s point about not needing to fear vampires anymore thanks to “synthetic blood” – well that clearly proved not to be true over the course of the series. Plenty of vampires still indiscriminately fed off of humans.

And in the final episode, the show completely gave in to the notion that vampires and humans aren’t compatible. One of the principal reasons that Bill “sets Sookie free” is because he can never provide her a child.

Have the show’s writers forgotten that we live in the 21st century where same-sex couples overcome these biological issues by adopting?

Also consider the treatment of Eric at the end of the show. He is absent from the Thanksgiving dinner table, instead at Fantasia, having returned to his isolated and lonely perch on the throne. Over the course of the show he became less and less of a loner, but now he’s reverted back to his old ways.

Further, his decision to keep Sarah Newlin chained in his basement, pimped out to vampires willing to pay $100k for a one minute suck is pretty freaking chilling. Of course Sarah was a genocidal maniac with messianic delusions, but Eric’s decision to be judge, jury and executioner, and deliver a punishment that is incredibly cruel and usual makes him no better than her — he’s as bad as the worst human.

And again, it reinforces the idea that vampires should be feared.

And when you compare that scene to the Thanksgiving dinner scene of almost all humans with Sookie pregnant, the show leads you to conclude that humans and vampire should be separate.

And that’s what I stuck around for?

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