Academic Writing

Thursday, June 23, 2011

True Blood Season 4

True Blood anyone?!  I don’t know about you, but I’m totally psyched for the new season.  Last Fall I caught up on all three seasons in a row (as is apparently becoming my thing: Lost and Sons of Anarchy have also come into my repertoire that way.  Thank you Netflix and Hulu!).  Watching shows this way has it’s pros and cons.  On the one hand its great because I don’t have to wait for weeks or months between episodes.  On the other hand, it’s sort of like cramming for a test – you have all the info while you are mired in it, but once it’s over all is forgotten.  I watched 5 seasons on Lost in 4 weeks, finishing season 5 just in time for season 6 to start.  By the time the series ended, I knew everything and could talk about the mythology and conspiracy theories like anyone else.  However, just a few weeks later I had forgotten many details and most of the minutiae.  I feel the same thing coming on with True Blood.  I could not for the life of me remember what had happened in the last season, not to mention the last episode.  On their website, HBO has a good recap of the final season, which definitely helped me get reacquainted in anticipation of Sunday night’s showing.  

I find it interesting that I’m so enamored with this show.  I’m generally not into the vampire genre – I have not read, nor seen, any of the Twilight installments, nor do I care to.  I have zero interest in The Vampire Diaries.  It wasn’t until someone gave me the DVDs and insisted I watch them did I begin to get into them.  I soon found myself watching 3 or 4 episodes in a row, and quickly learned not to watch them close to bed time lest I wanted some of the strangest dreams…

I find it amazing that despite its relatively limited circulation, how much attention HBO’s shows gets from the entertainment news media.  In anticipation of the 4th season of HBO's True Blood, Entertainment Weekly has created a series of covers featuring Sookie (Anna Paquin) and her three potential suitors as the classic iconography of the American Gothic statue. Take a look at them here:

I often wonder when magazines choose to do this whether they give clues to the upcoming season in the imagery.  For instance, Sookie has the same expression in the Eric and Alcide covers, but a different one for Bill.  Could that be telling us something?  Bill and Eric are both wearing jackets, while Alcide is in nothing but overalls.  (BTW, thank you for that, EW.).  Why are Eric and Bill wearing glasses?  All of these beg questions that I cannot even attempt to answer, but if you have any thoughts I'd love to hear them.

Through the network's key art they have divided the cast into three groups with the tag line "Show Your True Colors."  Take a look below:

As far as I can recall, this is the first time where all the key are had groupings of the case.  In the past it's been either individuals or other imagery such as a coffee pot with blood in it or an arm with vampire bite marks on it.  Putting the cast, more than just the three characters who have been the center of the narrative is interesting.  Maybe it hints to a big shift, but I'm really not sure.  What I do know is that it adds to the intrigue for what season 4 has in store for us! 

To further whet people’s appetites for the new season, HBO has released the first 8 minutes of the premiere episode on their site.  I've posted it here so you don’t have to go digging for it.  

Season 4: The 8 Minute Sneak Peek

It seems a little campy to me, and I really and truly hope this show doesn’t jump the shark, which this tease seems awfully close to doing.  Nevertheless, I am looking forward to Sunday night to see what the constantly evolving show has in store for us!

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