Jake Martin on "True Blood"

Is there a (ahem) dark side to all this vampire-mania in pop culture today?  Jake Martin, SJ, our prolific TV reviewer, thinks so. In this newest Culture online piece, he turns his attention to HBO's hit show "True Blood," and points out what many commentators seem to have missed:

“True Blood” reveals the dissonance brought about by writers and directors who romanticize the vampire narrative while refusing to acknowledge the inherent violence at play. Like countless tales before it, “True Blood” attempts to glamorize the sexual aspect of the mythology, while at the same time diminishing (and dismissing) what is essential to any vampire tale: the violent assault.

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Read the rest of his smart review here.

And, to preview next week's issue, take a look at our first review by an esteemed film and entertainment critic, John Anderson, who contributes regularly to the New York Times "Arts and Leisure" section.  He's reviewing "A Serious Man."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
David Patrick
8 years 9 months ago
What I find deeply frustrating about the show is the refusal of the writers, for whatever reason, to come to grips with the existential despair at the very heart of being a finite creature in a wondrously diverse but deadenly monotonous world.
 
Father Barron remarked recently about the danger of treating religion as a toy, in this I do not mean to refer to the negative portrayal of religion as represented by ''The Fellowship of the Sun'', no, rather the belittling of a tradition in vampire literature up until now of framing the vampire narrative against the background of the twin doctrines of sin and redemption. This is its chief failing.
 
 I had hoped with the introduction of the character Jessica that they would remedy this, but they haven’t even attempted to probe the deep recesses of the soul. If the writers continue to just play around with sex and violence, I can assure them that the show won’t last very long.
8 years 9 months ago
It's interesting how popular vampire storylines are.  I haven't seen this series yet (no cable) but was just reminded of a past series - Kindred: The Embraced - and of course of the numerous books like The Historian and  those of Anne Rice.  Maybe there's some attractive element in the tension between being a prey item and a love object?  :)  But I also think the idea of earthly immortality is compelling to many.
James Lindsay
8 years 9 months ago
It's an engrossing and thoroughly nasty show.  I am a bit shocked it is reviewed in a Catholic publication.

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