Sunday, February 1, 2009
Article from Box Office Prophets from January 12th by Eric Hughes
If movies like Freddy vs. Jason, Kramer vs. Kramer, Alien vs. Predator, Ecks
vs. Sever and King Kong vs. Godzilla have taught us nothing else, it's that everything is somehow better in battle format. We here at BOP recognize this fact, but at the same time realize that our breed of super-smart readers
sometimes yearns for a touch of the intellectual at the same time. And since Hollywood and television networks have a certain obsession with turning literature of all types into moving image adaptations, we're afforded the
perfect opportunity to set up grudge matches galore.
Three years after bringing his superb drama, Six Feet Under, to a close at HBO, Alan Ball resurrected himself on the pay cabler with True Blood, a TV show based on Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries. The book series kicked off in 2001 with Dead Until Dark and continues strong to this day with book nine, Dead and Gone, slated for release in May.
Both the book and TV series, set in a fictional Louisiana town, focus on an unlikely romance between a young woman, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) at a time when vampires have "come out of the coffin" and are more or less looking to peacefully enter into mainstream society.
After debuting to a disappointing 1.44 million viewers - considering the extensive marketing campaign HBO undertook in promoting the series - True Blood's audience grew week-to-week, with its season finale airing in front of 2.4 million pairs of eyeballs. (That number grew to over six million viewers once HBO took into account the series' multiple airings in the same week). Not bad for the struggling network, which was in need of some fresh programming after most of its 2007 programming slate, including Tell Me You Love Me and John From Cincinnati, failed to live past its debut season.
Though initial impressions of True Blood were mixed, critics grew to like the new HBO series, which even earned award nominations from the WGA and the Golden Globes. But which is better: the book or TV show?
Sookie Stackhouse, a parentless 20-something who resides with her grandmother a few miles from work, narrates Dead Until Dark in the first person. Her only sibling, Jason, lives close by. And unlike nearly everyone around her, Sookie likes vampires. She's attracted to them - especially to Bill, whose mind she fortunately cannot read. That's right. Sookie can read
what people are thinking. Well, everyone except Bill, which is one of the reasons she enjoys hanging out with him. Because with Bill, Sookie's mind is at peace.
Soon after they get acquainted, a series of seemingly innocent people are murdered. At first the cases appear to have nothing in common, save for the method of death: strangulation. It's then discovered that the victims are people who have ties with the vampire community (be it a relationship, casual sex or some other connection). That's when the string of deaths hits
a bit close for Sookie Stackhouse. Does her friendship with Bill put her in the line of fire?
In the book, which is the basis for the first season of HBO's True Blood, Harris developed an interesting idea and firmly wrapped it inside a tightly written narrative, helping to move the plot along at a rapid pace. Harris' language is simple, yet engaging enough to maintain a reader's attention throughout the course of the story. There are no dead spots here. Actions
lead to successive actions. A person winds up dead, and then another. The story relentlessly keeps moving.
Discerning readers will pick up that The Southern Vampire Series sounds a bit like Twilight, at least in its central love affair between a female human and male vampire. But if any copied premises are at work, Twilight's Stephenie Meyer is actually at fault here, given that Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark debuted in bookstores four years prior to the first Twilight
The TV Show
Alan Ball remains rather faithful to Harris' first book by translating nearly all of the story's main actions to his HBO series. At the same time, however, the creator smartly opens up the Bon Temps world a bit, eliminating Sookie as series narrator and breathing life into the novel's secondary characters (and some of his own, too, like Sookie's new childhood friend,
O.K. here's a good question from AS
Q: What about the hands choking Sookie that we see in the Episode 6, Bill's nightmare scene.
Do we think they are Sam's ? Does Bill still think Sam might be the killer ?
A: Who knows how vampire's dream - I don't think Bill still suspects Sam at that point but this series of scenes are some of my favorite scenes of the whole season. I have posted about the "changing motivations and Bill now being trapped by love " before. Read it here
What do you guys think ?
You can watch it again here
There is a really fun men's fashion article in the LA Times this morning -it's discussing how the runway fashion shows for men fashion seem to be very dark and how they may be reflecting global economic concerns.
I also noticed that the same issue of BUST magazine that has the Charlaine Harris interview also has a huge layout on Steampunk fashion...you know Bill in his epaulets and Henleys is a little steampunk, don't ya think ?
It may well be that the duo of darkness is too many fall seasons ahead, but they could be on to something. These are dark times indeed, and vampiric overtones abound. Movies like "Twilight" and TV shows like "True Blood" capture the imagination of a generation whose social lives exist in the matrix of the Internet, an existence back-lit by the cathode-ray tube.
Forget "comfort" and "safe" -- Owens and Pugh exult in what the creatures of dark know all too well: When the sun drops below the horizon, and the winds become gale force, a pin-covered leather jacket or multilayered tunic under a severely belted trench coat is the kind of armor you really need.
Of course, if you'd prefer to weather the mother of all socioeconomic turbulence in a cardigan sweater, you'll have plenty of choices.
Read entire article
Steampunk Moves Between 2 Worlds - NYTimes