Tuesday, July 14, 2009

True Blood

If you've been reading my recent posts, you'll know that I love Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels. It only made sense that I'd be excited about the release of True Blood, the HBO show based on those novels, which was recently released on Netflix. Yet, with half the season watched, I'm still not sure what to think.

I love the novels for their great balance of imagination, horror, action, and humor—humor being a big part. The voice of Sookie is enjoyable as much because it is so strong as it is for her particular quirks that are both amusing and relatable. Seeing Sookie on the small screen doesn't always translate.

I think my biggest hangup is simply a result of the network that produced the series. Had PAX or even ABC produced True Blood, I think they would have made more of an effort to balance the emotional elements of the story. HBO, however, is a dark network, happy to parade the worst, pile on a little horror/violence, a little sex—okay, a lot of sex and a lot of violence—and they're light on humor. They did a great job of capturing the drama of the characters' lives, and of exploring the horrific, but in the process, they lost a bit of the lightness that is classic in the tales.

I really wanted to like this series. I really wanted to see certain scenes and how they would interpret them on screen. But every time I finish an episode, I feel off. It was the way I felt when I would watch a Deadwood episode. Like the negative of humanity had been presented as all there was to people, like that rawness was the only truth there is, and it didn't sit well with me.

I haven't watched an episode in two weeks, and I'm still debating whether to continue it or not. What was your take?

1 comment:

TikiBird said...

I haven't seen this series, but I feel a similar way after watching Mad Men. I really WANT to like it. I love how it looks, I love the actors, I love its style, I even love the opening credits...but I almost never feel BETTER after watching an episode than before I started watching. It's just kind of bleak.

Season 2 just came out on Netflix, and I still haven't added it...but I do want to find out what happens. I keep thinking, Maybe THIS will be the episode that turns it all around!