Monday, August 15, 2011

More Than One Way to Trade Identities on 'True Blood'- The Atlantic

This season, True Blood has been using (to good effect) the kind of character switcheroo that one would normally expect to find in acting classes—an actor playing one character playing another character (very Shakespearean or, if you prefer, Freaky Friday-esque). The actor playing Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) has to play little heathen Tommy trying to act like older brother Sam—he did a great job with accent and body language in the previous episode. Dale Raoul (Mrs. Fortenberry) had a somewhat harder time of it this week, but got the point across by having very badly done hair and swearing a lot while selling away her land rights—really, it seems like Tommy isn’t even trying with his identity theft this time.

Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette) performs a spin-off of this acting exercise: Instead of being Character A acting like Character B, he has to suddenly just play Character B with no reservations, but still in the clothes and with the props of Character A. He does a great job of letting the ghost Creole lady sink into him, tweak his shirt primly, and walk out of his house humming, and continue on with whatever she’s up to. Why is the nice creepy sad singing lady taking a gun, and where did she hide it on Lafayette? Will holding the baby briefly be sufficient, so she can then replace Mikey and go to whatever afterlife awaits, or is this plot line going to get even creepier?

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