Saturday, November 29, 2008

Favorite True Blood quotes from episode 9

Eric: Humans. Honestly Bill, I don’t know what you see in them.

Eric to Bill: Come. I’ll buy you a blood.

Eric: Tru Blood. It keeps you alive, but it will bore you to death.

Eric: Not smart, Bill. Not smart at all.

Jason to Amy: Cause any woman with a purse that big is bound to have something in it I don’t wanna know about.

Pam to Sookie: There’s vampire in your cleavage.

Tara to miss Jeanette: My soul don’t wanna get ripped off.

Lettie Mae to Tara: Men only bring flowers if they already slept with you and looking to again. That especially go for white men as black men are less prone to grovel.

Sam: Morning Sookie.
Sookie: Ain’t nothing good about this morning.

Sookie: Sometimes I wish I smokes, you know? So you could sneak outside without anybody knowing there’s something wrong with you.

Jason to Eddie: For a vampire you sure are a doughy fuck.

Bill to Pam talking about Eric: Tell me, do you enjoy it, living half way up his backside the way you do?

Bill: I liked Longshadow better.

Bill: Try to behave yourself.
Eric: Don’t I always.

Eric: Tick tock, Bill.

Pam: If I had any feeling I’d have the chills right about now.
Eric: Not me.

Love Bites: What Sexy Vampires Tell Us About Our Culture

By Sarah Seltzer , RH Reality Check

November 28, 2008

Teen vampire flick and pop-culture juggernaut "Twilight", like "Mama Mia!" and "Sex and the City" before it, shattered records this weekend and made female moviegoers hard to ignore.

"Twilight" is far from a feminist triumph, though: it's been interpreted by more writers than this one as a purity allegory perfectly tailored for a (hopefully fading) era of abstinence-hype and hand-wringing about "hook-up culture." With a heroine who yearns to both be ravished and bitten, and a hero loath to rob her of either soul or virginity, the "Twilight" plot arc sells a pseudo-empowering fantasy (men as the sexual and moral gatekeepers, leaving women free to express their desires) while wholeheartedly embracing patriarchal norms.

The film somewhat mitigates the book's rabid antifeminist message, providing more room to chuckle at the smoldering pouts of its young protagonists (whether that campiness was intended is unclear) and downplaying the extent to which human Bella's singular fixation with vampire hunk Edward precludes everything else. But the basic storyline of "I won't bite you, it's for your own good" can't be changed. It's the core of the tale.

Putting a Stake in Victorian Mores

This not the first time vampires in pop culture have been a perfect expression of the currents and anxieties of their time. In fact, one might argue that that is their purpose.

With immortality, a killer instinct, and a life on the fringes, Vampires are a perfect conduit for musings on the human condition. "Vampires have long served to remind us of the parts of our own psyches that seduce us," writes Salon's Laura Miller (in a superb analysis of the "Twilight" books). But the metaphor is often less existential than that, as the vampire bite is easy shorthand for sex. Vampirism allows consumers to take vicarious pleasure in rule-breaking couplings, while also justifying phobias about sex-because the seducers do have lethal fangs, and their condition is quite contagious.

Bram Stoker's Dracula, the most prominent sire of today's fictive undead, was a repository of post-Victorian fears: syphilis and shifting gender roles. Thus the book is full of bizarre sexualized imagery that equates gender-bending with evil. Hero Jonathan gets attacked and nearly bitten by a gang of wanton vampiresses. Lucy, an ill-fated flirt, juggles three suitors; by story's end all three of them must stake the undead Lucy in a scene that critics compare to a gang rape. Mina, the less transgressive woman in the story, is forced to drink blood from a wound in Dracula's chest, a reverse-breastfeeding image that emphasizes the feminine qualities of the Count.

The entire book feels like a last gasp of Victorian purity -- as well as an anticipation of the sexual revolution that was around the corner. It's probably no coincidence that the first film version of "Dracula" was a huge hit just as the Depression ushered out the Jazz Age and its socio-sexual upheaval.

Vampires in the Modern Era

Indeed, pop culture vampires have always adapted to rapidly shifting sexual politics. A film remake of "Dracula" in the late 1970s (starring Frank Langella) gave the Count a real romance with Lucy, no longer a doomed Edwardian flirt but instead an independent woman. In her history of vampires, Nina Auerbach describes this new Lucy as "everything a feminist vampire should be. Her romance with Frank Langella could be one of the swoonier inserts in Ms. Magazine. He loves her strength and self-assertion ... "

Anne Rice's beloved vampire hero Lestat (in books from the 70s onward) is a rule-breaking iconoclast (even a rock star) whose lack of gender preference when it comes to victims and vampire companions give bisexuality that familiar terror-and-titillation combination. In the 1994 film adaptation of Interview With the Vampire, more than a few reviewers noted the AIDS metaphors now found in a story conceived before the disease was known.

In the 1990s we had Buffy, a kick-ass vampire-slayer struggling both to save the world and grow up -- all while wearing hip, form-fitting outfits. She's the embodiment of the third wave feminist ideal, and the field of feminist criticism of Buffy is an intensely crowded one. Her very human struggles to "do it all," rid the world of demons, take care of her friends and family, and maybe meet a nice soulful vampire, interrogated the limitations of the "girl power" mantra and gave the world a truly multi-dimensional heroine. Buffy's protracted love affairs with two male vampires-Angel and Spike-range from sublime to abusive to egalitarian, reflecting the complex dynamics of sex and power in the modern world.

Today we have the HBO series True Blood, whose lusty vampires have started drinking fake blood, and are struggling for social and political equality. Comparisons to both racial and sexual civil rights battles are unavoidable, but the fact that some members of this oppressed minority don't want their rights -- they just want to eat humans -- complicates the metaphor.

And then there's "Twilight". If Buffy was the teen vamp tale of the Clinton years, "Twilight" is definitively its equivalent for the Bush era. Rather than kicking ass, "Twilight's Bella stumbles into danger, excusing her vampire-love-interest Edward's creepy protectiveness. Sigh.

It's unfortunate that the story, like the past decade has been, is so old-school. But before we feminists concern-troll "Twilight's" besotted teenage fans, let's remember this: the part of the formula that appeals so widely is not the story's morality, but rather its adolescent hunger. It's the sexual budding, the fraught glances across the cafeteria, the craving to be singled out, and in Dana Stevens' words "the grandiosity that can make self-destructive decisions feel somehow divinely fated." It's teenagedom. Edward gives younger girls a chance to express their nascent desires en masse, loudly.

Just as Dracula's reactionary plotlines failed to bring back Victorian mores, "Twilight's" unfortunate gender roles will join abstinence-only on the trash heap of history. Some of its screaming young fans will grow up to be sexually empowered, some won't, and some won't end up fancying men (dead or undead) at all. But they'll all share the fact that "Twilight's" dangerous liaison turned them on. And that's what Vampires, even sparkly ones, are for.

Sarah Seltzer is an RH Reality Check staff writer and resident pop culture expert. Sarah is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published in Bitch, Venus Zine, Womens eNews, and Publishers Weekly among other places. She formerly taught English in a Bronx public school.

© 2008 RH Reality Check All rights reserved.
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Exclusive: FEARnet talks Vampires with 'True Blood's' Michelle Forbes!

Fri., Nov. 28, 2008 1:00 PM PST, by FEARnet

We recently spoke with Michelle Forbes, the actress who plays Maryann on HBO’s True Blood! The lovely vet of such shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation (what sci-fi fan can forget Ensign Ro?), 24 and Homicide – and such films as Kalifornia and Escape from LA – shared her thoughts on vamps, and the possibility of her re-appearing as Admiral Helena Cain on Battlestar Galactica. Read on for our interview!

Your character on True Blood isn’t necessarily a huge fan of vampires, are you?

I haven’t been, [but]… It’s interesting as I’m exploring this world. The big question is why are vampires so big? It really is this wonderful mythology that keeps creeping through everybody’s consciousness and people are just so attracted to vampires and the world of vampires. Now I am. I’m a big fan of vampires. I’m beginning to understand what the appeal is.

How do you think True Blood’s approach to vampires differs from the many other TV shows and films on the subject?

For me, being new to the realm of vampires, it’s a very unique voice. It’s very, very funny. It’s very dark, it’s very sweet, it’s sexy, it’s Southern, it’s a mystery. It’s got a little bit of everything. It’s a very unique voice and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Had you read the books?

Yeah, I started reading them. They really are fun, they’re definitely page turners.

You’re known for playing quite strong women, and your character on True Blood is pretty much in that vein.

She is, indeed. I have yet to see where it’s going to go. But when it starts off, yes, she really has her own strength. But I have to say, having done In Treatment, it was really nice to play a repressed woman, a housewife, with no self esteem. That was actually a great luxury and gift to me. It was really fantastic to play someone who was not leading everyone and knew what was best, it was nice to be a woman who was like every person, who, you know, doesn’t know all the answers. You’re in a muddle, and you make wrong decisions. And she was all sort of elbows and knee joints emotionally. It was great fun to play, because I normally play very smart, together people, which I’m not.

Any chance we may get to see Cain again somehow on Battlestar Gallactica, if only in flashbacks?

Well I would always be happy to revisit that cast. I have so much respect for Ron [Moore] and David [Eick]. I would always go back. I don’t know, I think that story’s been told. But I said that the first time and came back for a film [Razor], so I don’t know, but I do feel that story’s been told and there are so many stories to explore. I mean it’s one of my favorite shows I’ve ever done.

Have they spoken to you about working again?

We’ve had conversations, and there might be something down the line but these aren’t the right ones.

What’s your greatest fear?

Oh, where do I start? This is going to be a lame answer, but physical suffering. Having to watch physical suffering. I always want to turn away, but you have to be there to help. And I think my own physical suffering – broken bones, car accidents, that sort of thing.

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"True Blood" Review and Interview with Creator Alan Ball

byBrian Juergens

Of course, fans of Six Feet Under know that Ball has a history of bringing to life unconventional and diverse gay characters. And there are similarities between the shows: both have eclectic ensemble casts that integrate gay and straight stories, both are unapologetically, almost aggressively sexual, and neither is afraid of shedding light on the darker corners of the human condition.

But while SFU was, in Ball's words, "existentially exhausting" in its unflinching discussion of life in the presence of death, True Blood's take on life in the presence of ... well, undeath ... is much lighter fare. Structured as a series of delicious mysteries (in the first episode alone we're tipped off that everyone has their secrets and that there's a serial killer lurking in their midst), this is thrilling, engaging, and more-than-a-little-dirty good fun.

I had the chance to speak with Ball about his approach to his first genre project and learned that, first and foremost, Lafayette is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gay characters (there will be others appearing later in the season) and gay storylines (there will be gay romances, and Lafayette will have more to do than flip po'boys and shovel gravel): "Certainly the vampires have this pansexual sort of thing. There's Lafayette, and later on we'll meet some more gay characters, and some more straight characters. There's something for everybody."

read on

Also watch Brian's fantastic True Blood episode reviews on Bloodwork

'True Blood': Q&A with Alan Ball

Alan Ball on True Blood ( upstart)

True Blood Gossip- Prive party Hollywood

It’s a "True Blood" weekend at Prive inside Planet Hollywood this weekend. To celebrate the finale of the HBO hit series, He-Man hunk Ryan Kwanten promises to keep his shirt on to host his party tonight at the hot nightspot. Then tomorrow, "True Blood" vampire Alexander Skarsgard will host his co-star Kristin Bauer’s birthday celebration at Prive.