Monday, July 4, 2011

“True Blood” Sucker Punch: Season 4, Ep. 2 by Mark Blankenship

Mark will be my co-host on Talk Blood radio next week!

I’d like to begin the discussion of this week’s installment, “You Smell Like  Dinner,” with a word about nudity. And no, that word is not “delicious,” despite the physiques of the cast.
This week, I was struck that the show’s relationship to nudity is very complex. Sure, nakedness always comes with a sexual charge, but when characters are naked, they are more likely to drop the conditioning of human society and start spilling inner secrets or behaving like animals. That’s a fairly standard metaphor, I guess—frenzied liberation makes the characters in the musical Hair get naked, too—but True Blood complicates things by letting nakedness reveal different things in different folks. Not everyone is releasing the same kind of wild honesty.

Take Luna, one of the shifters in Sam’s new support group/Run Like A Pony club. Early in the episode, we see her finish a pony run with Sam. They’re both lying on the ground, panting and nude. and since they’re really into each other, there’s obviously frisson. However, they don’t get freaky in the dirt. Instead, they talk about their attraction to each other, about their desire to be honest with each other, and about the difficulty of opening up when you’ve got a lot of big secrets. And when Sam does goes in for a kiss, Luna runs away, in horse form. The suggestion is that Luna, at her naked and vulnerable core, is likely to bolt.

read on