Wednesday, June 03, 2009

He Looks Like a Vampire

Yesterday I officially hopped on the “True Blood” train, referring to the HBO series about vampires in a small Louisiana community. I’ve only watched the first episode so far, but that (and my past enjoyment of the work of series creator Alan Ball) was enough to hook me on the show.

I also just yesterday finished writing my new book How to Catch and Keep a Vampire (“CAKAV” for short), and I gotta tell you, it’s interesting being in my position. I’ve just written this book that purports to explain everything about vampires and how they work. But as you know, there are as many interpretations of vampires as there are authors who write about them. So it was funny for my husband and I to watch “True Blood” with an eye to seeing if it fit with the information in my book. Because of course, I’m the big authority, LOL.

Actually, True Blood’s mythology was uncannily the same, so that was very cool. I’m sure Alan Ball and original author Charlaine Harris will be thrilled to know they have my seal of approval. But seriously, the one thing I really appreciated about this first episode was the moment vampire protagonist Bill Compton first appears at Merlotte’s and is spotted by Sookie Stackhouse. With a single glimpse, Sookie is certain that she is looking at a vampire.

Yes, you can tell at a glance. That too is my conviction. And not because you can spot any obvious signs like pale complexion and pointy incisors. No, in my world when it’s a vampire you’re looking at, you just know.

Here’s the classic first look at Bill:

I’m sure if you saw a guy like this walk into your bar, you would know too. For one thing, he’s working what CAKAV refers to as “looking out the tops of your eyes,” something vampires make a routine practice. For another, he’s just too damn good-looking to be a regular mortal. And of course, he exudes Everything Vampire: sexiness, melancholy, menace, and charisma. And, a bit ironically, vulnerability.

Yes, Sookie, it doesn’t take psi powers to see Bill is a vampire.

You get clobbered with the attractiveness of an immortal like this and you just marvel once again at the power of the vampire archetype. Really, all the viewer got in the first minute of this encounter was (1) the way Bill looks, (2) Sookie’s mesmerized and lustful reaction to him, and (3) the knowledge that he is a vampire And All That Entails. But that’s a surefire recipe for a good percentage of women to be, like, sign me up for this guy’s fan club.

I’m not going to begin to analyze in this post why this recipe is so powerful. (Here’s where I start the chant that will, by December if not long before, make you want to conk me.) “For that, buy my book!” LOL But suffice it to say, you’ll be getting a few more posts on this blog about “True Blood” in the months to come.

I can’t wait to watch the next episode and get another look at this vampire. Swoon.


Penny Lane said...

Haven't watched the series, but I'm interested, and plan to when season 1 is released on DVD. Bill isn't my type, per say, but as a big fan of both the Twilight saga, and Anne Rice's work, I can appreciate the call of the vampire. Now, that being said, turns out Robert isn't my type of vamp. Or should I say, he isn't my Edward? I will give you one guess as to who I pictured in my mind while reading the books, long before Robert was cast in the role ;). When he was cast, and as I was about midway through New Moon, I turned teams, and began to love the wolf. Fictional boys make me fickle. What can I say?

Anyway, thanks for reminding me to watch this show. Yes, vamps do have a particular look. I can't wait to read your book!

Diana Laurence said...

Honestly, I would have preferred Hayden as Edward too! But he's too old for the part now I guess. But Robert is not at all my type and not how I picture Edward either. Although I do think he did a fine job in the role and can't fault his acting.

I am right now midway through New Moon... I have never gotten the appeal of shapeshifters or werewolves myself, but I'm hoping New Moon (as well as the rest of True Blood, for I suspect they're about to turn up) will give me more insights. I can always ask you to explain the wolf thing if all else fails! :-)

I can't wait for you to read my book, either! LOL