Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 9:48 pm

Mainstreaming the differently hemoglobined

Filed under: Fun,Weird — Lex @ 9:48 pm
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When I saw Herb tonight when I was picking V. up at Girl Scouts, he brought up a new TV series that actually went some way toward making me think there might be something on TV (besides Panthers games) that I’m missing. This is something of a revelation, inasmuch as I pretty much stopped watching TV during the last season of “The West Wing.” I mean, yeah, I hear good things about some shows from some people whose opinions I respect — Nancy loves her some “Mad Men,” for example — but, honestly, I stay so busy that the idea of appointment television’s making its way back into my life, even with the help of the VCR (yeah, we’re still analog here) is almost laughable.

But HBO’s “True Blood” (I have not yet explored the site, so, please, no spoilers in the comments) has the most intriguing concept for a TV show I think I’ve ever heard of: mainstreaming vampires. As Herb describes it, an artificial blood has been created that means vampires no longer have to, well, prey on the living to survive. And now that they don’t have to, apparently a movement among them has arisen to try to un-live something approximating a normal un-life.

Herb didn’t have time to go into great detail, so I’m not clear on what exactly this might mean in practical terms. For example: daylight activity or not? Coffin or king-size bed (and, if coffin, must it still be lined with one’s native soil, and if so, how does one keep one’s designer cape clean)? Mirror and camera, or are they still pointless? Can you eat real food, and if so, would you want to? (Herb says the series is set in Nawlins, so for a mainstreaming vampire not to be able to partake of the local cuisine would be cruel.) And do you still have that foul-breath thing going on?

Then there are the psychological underpinnings of the premise; “Dracula,” after all, was basically the first Freudian novel … and we are talking HBO here. Do mainstreamed vampires have mainstream sex, and if so, with the living or just each other, or both? And just because you don’t have to prey on the living to survive doesn’t mean you might not want to just for the thrill of it, so how does the wanting-to-mainstream community handle the outlaws? Relatedly, Herb says one of the early plot lines has to do with a series of unsolved murders, which, naturally, everyone blames on the vampires even though the victims were — hello! — not exsanguinated. Talk about your soft bigotry of low expectations.

We don’t have HBO, and I’m not going to add another channel to the cable package I already pretty much don’t watch. But the writers for this series appear to have bitten themselves off a big chunk of interesting to suck on, and I’ll be watching and listening to find out what my TV-watching friends think.

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