Thursday, July 28, 2011

Film Fest - True Blood Binge

I'm having a bit of a TV-athon here, catching up on the latest True Blood DVDs.  I'm enjoying them, but think I like the books better.  Comparing the two fascinates me!

The two forms of the stories run parallel, not identical - the general direction of the plot is shaped by the Charlainne Harris's books, but with substantial differences.  (The TV show includes one great character killed off in the first book.)  The TV show is an ensemble, with multiple characters and interlocking plots, while the books follow Sookie Stackhouse.

The show AS a show?  Stylishly done with appealing actors and constant surprises...  but "gory" just doesn't describe it.  The gore has reached such sticky depth it distracts me, pulling me out of the story.  Vampires die in a messy way that has me calculating clean-up and how many buckets of faux blood the prop master mixed - how many gallons of corn syrup? of Hershey's?  In one episode, no two episodes!, when non-vamps were all blood-smeared and biting and worrying at other characters' necks with wimpy civilian teeth...  I found myself wondering what that rubbery bit was meant to be... a vein?  This during what was, I assume, meant to be a horrifying and dramatic moment.

I don't think this is because I'm involved with theater.  I'm not professionally involved with any of that stuff on-stage and am the easiest target for the simplest effect or illusion - the first of an audience to gasp, sniffle, wince, or wipe my eye.  No.  I think True Blood jumped some bloody shark somewhere.

Reynard Parish was always a gory, campy, vampy, Grand Guignol of an alternate Louisiana - now it's sunk into kinda silly.

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