This Rolling Stone cover is already about a month and a half old, but I’ve only just seen it and had to share it. I’ve also just finished watching the first series of True Blood, and now I desperately need more V. Once again HBO has gone for the same gritty, boundary-blind realism that I enjoyed seeing in shows like Rome and Carnivale. Vampires might be mythical creatures, but it doesn’t mean we can’t imagine what it would really be like to live with them. Instead of parading glossy or glittery teenage and 20-something vampires who look like models, never swear, and avoid human blood if they’re the good guys, True Blood doesn’t shy away from the violence and sexuality of vampires. Creator Alan Ball said that “To me, vampires are sex… I don’t get a vampire story about abstinence. I’m 53. I don’t care about high school students. I find them irritating and uninformed.”
Thank God. I like vampires, but it seems that to see them on film usually means choosing between gore-porn and squeaky-clean YA-fare. True Blood falls satisfyingly in between. While it depicts very graphic sex and violence, it never feels gratuitous or over-indulgent. At the same time it caters to the fact that it’s not only teenagers who find vampires interesting. There aren’t any centuries-old adults wasting their time in high school to meet teenage girls (which is both ridiculous and creepy), characters can say ‘fuck’ if they want to, nude bodies don’t need to be hidden by the duvet covers, and no one has to pretend that vanilla is the only available flavour for sex.