Friday, September 16, 2011

‘Charmed’ Is Better Than ‘True Blood’*

Charmed, the WB’s attempt to bottle the lightning that was Buffy and sell it to grown-ups by dressing Alyssa Milano in outfits that were wildly inappropriate for work at a newspaper, has long been one of my guilty pleasures. In recent months, I’ve joked that it’s one of the few pieces of pop culture that I can watch at home and for pleasure because it’s so feather-light that there’s no risk that I’ll accidentally slip into analyzing it. No more. After Sunday’s True Blood finale, I realized something: we’ve reached a point where Charmed is actually a better show than True Blood. Here’s why:
Gaining power changes people’s lives.
One of the things that bothered me most about this season of True Blood was what happened to Lafayette and Tara when we and they learned they had magical abilities: pretty much nothing. Okay, sure, Lafayette got himself possessed multiple times and killed his boyfriend, and Tara was slightly less passive than usual and was rewarded for it with a shotgun to the head. But what did it mean for their, and our, understanding of themselves? Not a damn thing. There’s an interesting story to be told about the gay black man in a rural community who tells himself his whole life that he’s special and then finds out he actually *is*. There’s another story to be told about a woman who has been routinely disempowered and finds the strength to build a different life. Hell, there’s even a story to be told about someone like Marnie, who found safety from a world that judged her in a quirky magical enclave and decided she wanted to make everyone who ever mocked her burn. But True Blood didn’t tell any of those stories, throwing out Marnie’s motivations in single lines, condemning Tara and Lafayette to the usual messed-up relationships black people are doomed to on this show

read on


Rita said...

I beg to differ with you Charmed was
great in its own right as is True Blood
they are different shows.

" Dallas " said...

Well I think the writer was just expressing her opinion ( as are you Rita) and I've heard lots of folks describe TB decline this year in terms of what their other shows were doing right and how they felt TB was not doing as well.
That's why I chose to include this essay and I like a little controversy now and then ;-0)