(This post contains spoilers about the second season premiere of “True Blood.”)
Into every generation, at least one vampire series is born. When I was a teen, it was Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, which I devoured (at least until the books started getting so bloated and ridiculous I began to wonder if she even had a book editor, or if they just immediately printed whatever she sent in). Obviously, the Twilight series is the vampire series choice of teens today, but with its weird mix of chastity and stalkerish obsession, it’s a little off-putting. It’s too bad Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books haven’t taken off quite as much as the Twilight books have. At least Sookie’s love affair with her vampire results in some hot sex, and no parasitic babies.
Which isn’t to say the Sookie Stackhouse books aren’t as ridiculous, and often troubling. Both series seem to feature the heroine getting the shit beat of her, a lot; makes me long for Buffy and her ass-kicking ways. But where Bella’s love affair with Edward is the most interesting thing about her, Sookie’s a much more complicated heroine, with supernatural powers of her own, and a desire to remain independent that’s pretty commendable.
“True Blood,” the HBO series based on the Sookie Stackhouse books, takes a lot of liberties from its source material, and in some ways, it improves upon it. For instance, Sookie’s best friend in the TV show, Tara, is not nearly as interesting a character in the books as she is on screen. The second season premiered last night, and while fans of the books might have thought they knew whose body was found in the back of Detective Bellefleur’s car, the show once again branched away from the books and kept Lafayatte alive, which is a definite good thing, as he is one of the show’s most entertaining characters. Unfortunately, he’s not exactly out of harm’s way at this point.
The second season looks like it will branch out, storywise. Instead of one season-long whodunit like we had last year, we’ve got a host of new goodies, including a creature who loves exotic fruits, doesn’t seem to age, and has a tendency to vibrate when excited; a moody teenage vampire that Bill has to take care of; Lafayette locked in Eric the Viking vampire’s cellar; and brother Jason on his road to becoming an anti-vampire terrorist. But if there’s one thing I’d like the show to take more of from the books, it’s Sookie’s active involvement in her storyline. In the books, she’s kind of a one-woman, mind-reading crime solver and supernatural clan moderator. I’d like to see her do a little more than just complaining about Bill, (when she isn’t having sex with him, of course). Don’t get me wrong. Hot vampire sex is one of the show’s best features. But if “True Blood” wants to rise above the damsel in distress cliches that haunt the genre, it’s got to make Sookie a little more kick-ass.
Did you watch the premiere? Do you think Sam the shape-shifter is hotter than Bill the vampire? Do you wish the actors would try a little harder with their “southern” accents? Are you totally over the vampire craze? Let us know in the comments!