10 Reasons I’m Not Ashamed to Love True Blood

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True Blood is by no means a perfect show, and it does have a history of starting strong and fizzling out at the end of a given season, but it’s still one I enjoy and think doesn’t get enough respect. To that end, here are 10 reasons I’ve stuck with the show and think you should check it out.

  1. It’s well made. From cinematography to costumes to stunts, this is a well produced show. It looks gorgeous and Bon Temps, the town at the center of the show, feels lived in and complete.

  1. It takes risks. Sure, not every risk pays off, and the end result can be a bit scattershot, but True Blood commits to storylines and doesn’t pull any punches.

  1. It rocks the cliffhanger. Almost every episode ends on one hell of a cliffhanger, leaving the viewer breathless to come back next week. Not everyone likes this style, but I’ve always been a fan, from Classic Who, to Alias, to True Blood.

  1. It’s Gender Equal. Both men and women are strong, both men and women are damsels in need of rescue. It’s one of the most balanced shows on television in this way; it’s also one of the more gay-friendly, with dynamic straight, gay, and bi characters who avoid caricature.

  1. Its protagonist is just as interesting as its side characters. It’s surprising how often the lead character of a show, particularly a genre show, is one of my least favorite characters. Often the lead ends up saddled with plot, wracked with drama, or acts as a foil for the more colorful side characters, making him/her a drag to watch (Buffy, Lost, HIMYM). Not so with True Blood– Sookie is smart, resourceful, and certainly not one to whine.

  1. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Dramas, particularly those with genre elements, can easily fall in love with their seriousness, even if only for an episode or two. True Blood keeps its tongue planted firmly in cheek and maintains a certain perspective about itself.

  1. It has a great guest cast. Sure, the main cast is strong, but the guest cast is just as good, if not better. Previous guest stars include Stephen Root (Office Space, NewsRadio), Michelle Forbes (BSG, The Killing), and Denis O’Hare (Michael Clayton, Milk), and this season we’ve already seen Gary Cole (Office Space, Talladega Nights) and Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter, Tree of Life).

  1. It’s not chained to its source material. Like Dexter, and unlike other series (Game of Thrones comes to mind), True Blood is a separate entity from its source material. It draws inspiration from the Sookie Stackhouse novels, but diverges from them when the need arises and allows the writers more creative freedom. This means that fans of the books don’t necessarily know what’s coming and people who haven’t read the books (like myself) don’t need to worry about being spoiled by accident, either online or when perusing the shelves at bookstores.

  1. It has great music. Each episode is named after a song featured either in the episode or played over the credits. The music selections are great and give the show a very different character and tone to other shows out there.

  1. It’s fun. After a long day or even just a mini-marathon of more intense viewing (Breaking Bad comes to mind), it’s nice to watch something fun. It’s popcorn- light, addictive, and, if you don’t slather it in butter (or, in this case, over-scrutinize it), a pretty healthy snack, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Kate Kulzick

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