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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “An Open Letter to HBO Regarding “”True Blood”””

     Dear HBO,

    Anyone who has seen the beginning of your series “”True Blood”” knows the potential the show could have. In the beginning of the first episode, “”True Blood”” shows a different (but recognizable) world from our own where people with differences from us are persecuted, hated and feared.  Hold your horses, though. They’re not talking about SB 1070. The premise of the show is simple: vampires are real and they have “”come out of the casket,”” which is to say the public is aware of their existence. They drink a synthesized blood beverage that shares the name of the show and draws wrath from certain centers of the human population. Some bars won’t even serve it. This idea is exciting, timely and interesting.

    Unfortunately, that’s about where all the excitement dies. At the beginning, you expect conflict between the vampires and humans on a global scale as the vampires fight to gain equal rights and acceptance among the communities in which they live. Not so. “”True Blood”” quickly devolves into petty character drama and uninteresting love triangles between the citizens in the featured town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

    Here’s the issue: we don’t need a half-baked remake of Stephanie Meyer’s “”Twilight”” series. We don’t want a retread of the same boring fantasy conventions like werewolves and vampires at war or humans falling in love with vampires they can never be with. It’s boring. Don’t get me wrong, though. “”True Blood”” is a good show when taken on its own merits. The characters grow on you and the plots are strong enough to stand on their own (without spoiling anything, how about the Greek mythology tie-in in Season 2?).

    But HBO, if you’re reading this, let’s be honest. You aren’t a network known for “”good”” TV shows. You’re known for great programming on an otherwise-boring cable TV network. You push boundaries without being vulgar and make more powerful social commentary than all the rest. You’re given more leeway than anyone else on television. Currently running in your stable are “”Big Love,”” a show about polygamy and the people who practice it, and “”Hung,”” a tragicomedy about a man who has a large penis and uses it to make a profit via high-class prostitution. Tell me that doesn’t dwarf “”True Blood”” in scope (if not popularity). You can’t.   You came up with “”The Sopranos,”” arguably the best TV series of all time, for God’s sake! Why are you settling with “”True Blood?”” You can do better.

    “”True Blood”” represents the untapped possibility of reviving the fantasy genre of television and film. Whereas “”Twilight,”” a book/movie series with similar ideas, practically wrecked all fantasy for the past five years, “”True Blood”” has the chance to revive it. It’s time. “”True Blood”” is ready, and it’s up to HBO to capitalize on the chance. On a global scale, it could be magnificent. Vampires could be fighting to have their rights recognized while fighting off all the bigotry that would come with it. Let’s see an episode on the controversy that could involve different-species marriage. Throw a “”fangbanger”” abortion episode in there to ruffle some feathers. If you’ve got anything left in the creative tank, HBO, it needs to be done now. You could have the best show on television if you tried.

    As Season 3 begins on Sunday, June 13, I can’t help but have tepid hope for the expansion of the series. I must admit, there isn’t a whole lot of promise left for it if it doesn’t. “”True Blood”” will always be good, but it could be unforgettable. As of Sunday, we’ll see just how far it may be able to go.    

     

    -Joe Dusbabek is the Arizona Summer Wildcat Arts Editor. He can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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