Did you guys watch the premiere of True Blood last night? It’s the new gay-metaphor-meets-cautionary-tale-about-energy-drinks project from Alan Ball, who is best known for writing American Beauty and also creating Six Feet Under. The basic storyline is that vampires have always lived among us in secret but now they’ve “come out of the coffin” (seriously, they said that) thanks to a Japanese soft drink called True Blood that synthesizes the elecrolytes vampire bodies crave or something. The show is set in Louisiana (NATURALLY), and focuses on Sookie (Anna Paquin), a waitress at a dive bar who falls in love with a vampire named Bill. But also she’s psychic and maybe telekinetic.
Sure, my only question is: um, what?
Now, the show is based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris that I have admittedly not read. So I don’t know if it’s in the book that Sookie has a horrible southern accent or if that was just something Anna Paquin brought to the part. But based on this one episode I can say at the very least that Alan Ball continues to be one of the most over-rated writers in entertainment. American Beauty was, as one friend described it, “an ‘edgy’ movie for boring people,” and as unpopular as I know this is going to be: Six Feet Under was not very good. YIKES. Sorry, guys, it’s just that when I watch a TV show I like to have at least one, just one character that I can root for. Everyone on that show was so gloomy and disgusting, EVEN DAVID, SORRY. I think the reason the series finale was so popular was because we finally got to see every last one of those dopey creeps go to hell.
It would appear with True Blood that Alan Ball has torn another page from his Urban Outfitters bathroom book on “how to be quirky.” I support “alternative narratives” and shows that are brave and ambitious, but TAKE A CHILL PILL on the overly-complex conceits (telekenese nuts) and the brow-beating metaphors, this show. Who do you think you are, Carnivale? I could be wrong. I would be happy to be wrong. Maybe this show will surprise us and turn out to not be a 15-year-old goth girl’s idea of the most beautifully fucked up thing she can think of.
We will see.