Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sinking Our Teeth Into Season Three Of 'True Blood' by David Bianculli NPR audio

  [Spoiler Alert: This review touches on some details from the upcoming season of True Blood.]
I have a friend who teaches a college course in vampires in literature and pop culture — and he teaches a theory that at first I laughed at but have come to accept.
His idea is that on film, from the silent-screen Nosferatu to the still-creepy Dracula with Bela Lugosi, vampires were depicted as predatory creatures without a conscience, with a thirst for killing as well as for blood. Then, in the 1960s, along came a screen vampire who changed all that, who injected angst into the mix and presented a vampire haunted by his own immortality and appetites.

This new approach, of course, worked well for Frank Langella's swoony vampire in the '80s, and for every undead sex symbol since. On TV, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel wouldn't otherwise exist. Nor would the hunky antihero of TV's Moonlight, or the brooding teens of the cinematic Twilight saga. And who was this pop-culture vampire who changed the undead zeitgeist in the '60s? According to this theory, it was Barnabas Collins, the moody vampire played by Jonathan Frid in Dark Shadows.

read and listen