August 25th, 2009

apocalypse

Vampires

 I'm not sure what to say about this sudden explosion of vampires on tv.  I could be all academic and talk about Nina Auerbach and how Vampires seem to be a natural human way of expressing cultural anxieties about modernity, sexuality, disease etc.  but seriously, WTF?

I think it's actually pretty awesome that they're making the Vampire Diaries in to a series (it's like custom made for the CW).  i was a crazy LJ Smith fan when I was... twelve.  I used it as a jumping off point to get into some really crazy stuff: 1.) Fanfic 2.) Fin de Siecle French Literature 3.) Pat Califia.  

I always thought vampires were sort of important developmentally, romantic vampires especially.  I'm sure i could write a term paper on how the Night World Series deals with all the fears of gaining an awareness of your place in the world.  Vampires solve all the problems of death and aging.  The concept of Soulmates assuages fear of loneliness.  Witches deal with female impotence.  Hunter Redfern and the council are the embodiment of social and parental authority that must be overcome.  Weres are always about freedom and passion, even if that comes with rejection.  And the stories are all about blood, sex (if only symbolic, thank you blood sharing) and uncontrollable desires, so they feel real to teenagers who are in the middle of all that horrible teenager shit.  And weirdly, every book had to end with the girl showing her strength and independence from the male character.  So seriously, they were awesome books.  (And of course each one had a side character who was probably gay, although it was never allowed to be explicitly stated.  Lupe from Soulmate?  Come on.  And Jaqui was it?  from Dark Angel?  And then there was the weird Keller, Galen, Illyana threesome, plus the (almost) explicit Winnie/Nissa relationship.  Galen never actually struck me as very male, unlike Ash, Quinn, the idiot Morgead from Huntress.  Hmmm.)

The Vampire Diaries were never my favorites.  they had good atmosphere, but i can't say i really cared about Elena, and Damon was always more interesting than Stefan, yet, still not very interesting.  What they should do is make a movie of the Forbidden Game.  that one scared the crap out of me.

But, of course, the whole reason i started thinking about this, was that there was this incredibly shitty article about the Vampire Diaries in the New York Times.  After reading it, i had no idea what the show was about, whether or not it was based on the LJ Smith books, nothing.  All i knew was that the author of the article thinks that vampires are overdone right now, that he thought the producer was a bit of a dumbass, and that the CW is for unspohisticated tv watchers.  i knew more about the author than i did about the show.  it wasn't an editorial.  That is what i call bad journalism.

Yes Twilight is bad (girl abandons college plans for bloodsucking stalker).  I was really disappointed by the production values in TrueBlood.  The books are basically comedy with a good dose of action mixed in.  And Bill is wooden and sort of lame, so they got that right (although they forget how lame he is sometimes).  Eric is a charming asshole.  at least Anna Paquin looks the part even if the scriptwiters drained the whole plot of life.  (Talk about vampires).  And Pam is actually an improvement over the first two books.  (She was getting better in the 3rd, but then Eric made her leave.  Seriously, everything would be better if Eric never existed and Pam took on his role.)

But the truth is, there is something about humanity that needs vampires.  So that columnist better suck up his wangst and deal with it.  Vampires don't die, and they aren't going away.