Monday, June 1, 2009

An Ode to Vamp obsessions

 I can’t quite explain my fascination with the idea of Vampires.  I don’t even know why I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (anyone wants to by me the DVD's I am so game) in the first place.  But what I do know is that if I hear buzz about some vamp show/book/movie I will most definitely check it out.  It’s like telling me to not push the big red button, now I have to. 

So I heard buzz about Twilight, tried to resist.  I bought the books then waited around nervously for them to show up in the mail.  Then when they didn’t show up when intended I proceeded to drive everyone around me crazy.  Got the books. Devoured them in a week. Then proceeded to annoy the crap out of everyone in anticipation for the movie.  Which was poorly done by the way, but I still own it, so that says something about vampire’s and their allure and me. 

(By the way, just went and watched the new video trailer for New Moon - really good.   Already I am anticipating significant improvements from Twilight).  That went horribly.  I caved so fast you would think Oakleys were on Sale for 90% off one day only.  (Something of that magnitude and extremity)

Next while I am jonesing for a lack of vampires, I stumble across Charlaine Harris.  Actually I stumble across True Blood.  And find out that it is based on books.  So I proceed to check out all of the books from the library.  LOVE IT!  Mind you I loved them for various reasons.  I don’t know much about the South (states south).  I am purely Canadian.  So this was a venture in getting to know a bit about it, in a fun and entertaining and completely non realistic way. 

I liked Sookie.  And I like her varying love interests.  A part of me was disappointed she never ‘really’ hooked up with Alcide.  But a part of me gets that she couldn’t.  I am a Quinn fan when it gets down to it.  Don’t know why, but I like the passion and the idea that they could have a real future together.  With the whole package of family and growing old together.  She can’t get that with any vamp man no matter how much she loves him. 

And even if she decides she wants to turn to be with them forever the evidence presented in the books suggest that eventually they will get bored of each other and go their own way.  That doesn’t exactly express romance or true love for me, so vamp love while all lusty doesn’t seam like a solid foundation in Charlaine’s world. 

Now I did read the books out of order.  So that may have affected my ability to like/love certain characters.  For example.  Since I didn’t read the first books till the end, my ability to love Bill, just didn’t happen.  I already disliked him for cheating.  Couldn’t love him after that.  And while Eric might have the sex appeal of a God, I just can’t take him seriously as a love interest.  And what I mean is a real foundation of love kind of guy.   I can take him seriously as a sex toy.  That I can totally manage. 

The books were good.  They had an interesting idea that I totally would have loved the opportunity to run with.  But what I would have writin would have been totally different from what Charlaine has written, based on my love of high fantasy and the fact that I am not from the South.  The books have this strangely addicting quality, and I bet that if you read them in order it would be even more compelling, like a snowball gathering momentum down hill. 

But what I really really really want to blab about in this post is the TV show.  After reading the books, I got a little interested in seeing the TV show.  But it never reached that frothing frenzy level I can get obsessed to.  I was at the book store one weekend (two weeks ago to be precise) buying up a collection of books I would need to rearrange my bookshelf to accommodate, and I thought to myself “isn’t True Blood supposed to be released on DVD soon?”  And while at the cash, there it be behind the counter.  So I bought it.  Probably paid too much for it, but I wasn’t in the mood to shop around as I am on a tight time schedule right now with the play, and the times were I have a car and stores are open doesn’t always correspond. 

Anywho, I get True Blood Season One.  I pop it in the DVD player when I finally get home that evening…. And I am hooked.  At first I was like.. “who is this older dude playing Bill?”  And then he kind of explains that the years were different back then.  Time took its toll more clearly and he was younger when he was turned, but just looks older.  And I found his accent a bit strange.  And the way he treats Sookie a bit strange.  Like he wants to be possessive like in old days and court her properly, but is working in a time he isn’t familiar with.  Also the way he says her name, I thought was a little off, however the more I watched it the sexier that became. And I had already disliked him from the books.  All those quirks on screen and my previous dislike from the books, and still the more time I spent watching the series the sexier he became. Truly…. I am all frothy over him now.   Now that is good showmanship.  

I then wrote a paragraph in regards to the show and its effects/involvement in my sex life, and then deleted it. Really there is such a thing as too much information.  It was kind of funny, and a wee embarrassing.  Doesn’t pertain to duplicating anything scene on TV nor doing it while watching the show.  Just don’t need people trying to picture things in the wrong direction.  Nor in any direction for that matter.

So after watching the whole first season I really liked the changes made.  Her books were short and very one sided and I wasn’t sure how well they would translate to the screen.  I knew it would be necessary to take some liberties and generally I am against liberties being taken with print material.  Translation from book to screen normally goes horribly awry because what can be accomplished in print effectively doesn’t always manage on screen. 

However, I liked the liberties taken.  I like the fact that we got to experience other characters and their POV as well.  I like the changes in the story arcs.  I found them effective and added depth to the characters I felt was lacking in the books.  I felt like in the books there was more to the characters that just wasn’t written.  That loss feels fleshed out on screen.  But it also allows for a more dramatic interpretation from the books, were as the books were more light and playful. 

I also realize that if they continue down the path that they are taking in regards to translating the books to the screen they may vary severely off that path to a point were Season 9 doesn’t resemble anything like Book 9.  And I think I am prepared for that.  It’s like watching an alternate reality.  Like if we had these characters set up here like this, but they made this decision differently, how would it affect the outcome of the whole series?  Would we still end up down the same path?  Or would we wind up somewhere similar but never the same? 

Other aspects of the show that I really enjoyed was the soundtrack and the score.  The score was beautiful and leaves me tingling a bit all over.  They use theme music for Bill and Sookie when they are going to have a romantic encounter and that leaves you all set up with anticipation and makes it a beautiful experience.  I like it because it reminds me of Buffy and Angel – they have beautiful theme music that would make me cry.  Sookie and Bill’s given the right kind of dramatic tension has the possibility to make me cry too.   Mind you I am not the same sappy high school girl who is watching this, so I can’t make any guarantees. 

The opening credit sequence is effective and I understand it (after watching some of the show with audio commentary on) however, I do not enjoy it.  I don’t like the dead possum and the decaying fox, found it a bit gross. 

I am so looking forward to seeing the development of this series and its variation to the books that I can’t wait for it to be released on DVD.  I have gone and gotten myself all set up with the movie network package and an extra TV adapter (for high deff ) to be installed in my house.  Yes, score one for HBO, score zero for my ability to wait it out (because inevitably I will end up buying the DVD too). 

This would also be a good time to give you a solid reviewing on Book Nine of the Series.  I had to wait damn near 3 weeks to get it thought the library and I had one of the first copies reserved.  I could have went out and got it new in hard cover but this seams to me like a soft cover collection for me anyways.  Buy them to match the DVD release covers or something to that affect, as I don’t really like the art on the originals.  Too kidsy picture book for my tastes and the books are so in the opposite stream of child oriented. 


Book: Dead and Gone

Author: Charlaine Harris

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pass or Fail:  Pass

Stars:**** (a solid 4 Stars)


To be perfectly honest the book was good but not great.  I haven’t found anything that truly compares to the sweeping story arcs, world building, and character development brought to me in high fantasy.  So whenever I am reading a book, somewhere in the back of my mind it is being compared to high fantasy and what the genre represents to me.  The only other variant that can truly distract me and allow for some weakness in those regards is if it is freaking hilarious.  And while Charlaine has humor she has humor in a manner that doesn’t always connect with me.  It is I packaged up in these tight little bundle that hit me sometimes, and I will just laugh.  However, other times it completely misses the mark for me.  It may be that I don’t get southerner humor.  All that being said I still enjoy her series and love the idea of it.

I sometimes find her terse and short in her writing.  Like they went from point A to point B and brushed over some of the details to the journey.  But I feel like there is more to the details and therefore the characters and it would make her a much stronger author if she were to write that missing information. However, it would also invariable change the tone of her books, and then they wouldn’t be what they are.  And while I think it may improve them, she may loose her audience too because of that.  Take them for what they are.  That is how all books must be taken.  Either they work for you or they don’t for your own personal reasons.  Not everyone is a character lover like I am.  Some people like more description, some more dialogue.  Personal tastes. 

DAG.  This adventure in Sookie land involved the shifters/weres coming out of the proverbial closet. That is the opening of the book.  What sets the tone is Crystal’s murder.   Sookie’s brother, Jason, is a prime suspect (yet again) even though she is certain it wasn’t him so she tries listening in to no avail.  It is odd to me that she has this power but that she can’t seam to use it effectively.  If I were guilty of some crime that would be all I would be able to think about, but that is me.  I have guilt bred in to me.   

There is some backlash in regards to the shifters/weres coming out, but the main focus of the story was on the events in Sookies life, that may or may not be related to one homogonous group or another.  Some may suspect that it is related to the were/shifters coming out, and certainly the author perhaps wants us to think down those lines for a little bit at the start anyways. And for a little bit too we suspect the Fellowship of the Sun behind the orchestrated mess, but they are just too stupid to be that smart. 

However there is trouble a brewing in fairy land and soon after we know without a doubt who the culprits are. 

There is also Eric’s claim over Sookie and her righteous indignation against it.  There is the sexual tension and the culmination of said tension to keep one amused.  But that isn’t a foundation for a solid relationship.  I am a relationship future type girl.  So when it comes to my books I like a relationship development over a tryst development.   There is more meet to a relationship, it is solid, and warm and comfortable and it consists of doing laundry and groceries and not just fucking like bunnies.  I like that comfort of being able to be completely oneself and dealing with the day to day mundane with someone you desire by your side.

There is a confrontation with Quinn and his claims on her.  And I totally get what he is saying and was mad reading that part that Sookie couldn’t grasp it.  She lets her vampire lovers get away with not putting her first and understands that they can’t to an extent.  But her human suitor (kind of… shifter) gets the short end of the shift, and told to kick it when he puts her second in place of family.   Now a man who puts family first would be a good man to set up shop with for the rest of your life.  I still harbor feelings for Quinn and hope that he wins her in the end. After she is done her love affair with Eric.  Cause you know… I don’t mind reading their trysts.  Plus I want Sookie to get Eric out of her system. 

And while were at it lets discuss Sam.  If Sookie isn’t ever going to consider him seriously, please, please Charlaine write him a happily ever after, throw the dog a bone (sorry couldn’t resist myself).  The man deserves it.  He is so kind hearted. He shouldn’t have to sit on the fence forever; he is worth more than that.  But then maybe that is what wins him Sookie in the end.  That he is willing to put up with her shit and wait it out till she is ready for him.  The always a friend, never more, finally getting the more.   Mind you I think he should always shift into a Basset Hound.  No biases here.  Just complete honesty. 

In conclusion the book is a fun read.  I got through it in a couple of days (would have been shorter if I had some solid back to back reading time).  The story line and the time line are kind of blurring together for me now and it has only been about a week (at the time I wrote the review), but I remember the overall just of it.  I would definitely pick it up again, but would probably do it in conjunction of the release of that Season to HBO.  Here’s to hoping that the series gets to this story arc.  I definitely want to meet Nial on screen.