Center of Attention
by Sarah C. Roberts
Sundays at 9 on HBO
Sookie… Sookie, Sookie, Sookie. It’s not all about you anymore. I know, I know. It’s hard to accept, but let the others have time in the spotlight for a spell. Besides, being the center of attention is not all it’s cracked up to be when someone has murderin’ on their mind.
When last we left our fair-haired heroine, she was a pure and innocent and un-defiled young woman. Her virginity remained intact – it seemed as though the world revolved around her radiance. Things have changed a bit in Bon Temps, and not necessarily for the better.
Let’s review the subsequent death and destruction: 1 stabbed Grandmother, 1 mutilated cat, 5 dead vampires (3 burned and 2 staked), 1 torched-in-vain fangbanger, 1 home-schooler turned vamp, 2 demons “exorcised”, and most recently, 1 dead yankee…
The insanity has reached a breaking point. Suspending disbelief gets easier as you immerse yourself in the fucked-up world of True Blood. I have become more invested in and sympathetic to some of the main players, namely the male characters. The ladies are losing my affection. It is painful to say such things, but it is more unfortunate that the female characters are portrayed as self-centered brats, crazy hippies, unfortunante drunks, or “possessed” by demons.
Sam Merlotte, the creepy proprietor of Merlotte’s Tavern, has come off as overprotective of his employees and judgmental of everyone. His love for Sookie is desperate and more than a little awkward. Now seemingly mild-mannered Sam is a shape-shifter (not a werewolf as I previously assumed) and Sookie just can’t wait to learn more about her boss. It is hard to dislike someone whose parents just took off and left him to fend for himself when he was a young teen.
So sure, the shape-shifting is weird and a little off-putting but Sam and Tara as a couple? Weirder and majorly off-putting. I delicately hid my eyes every time they were shown in flagrante.
As Sam’s plight is becoming more and more understandable, Tara pushes me further and further away. Their pairing just doesn’t work and hopefully, that ship may have officially sailed. Worse was the blood-boiling pairing of Jason and former “free-spirit” Amy. Amy was… a naturalist? A slow food believer? Totally insane? All of the above?
Her legacy is Jason Stackhouse. Jason may be very pretty and a little dumb, but he means well. (In another case of major family issues as a source of bad behavior, Jason is convinced that his irresponsible behavior as a boy caused his parents’ untimely death.) Tara’s cousin Lafayette’s schoolin’ has impressed upon the chill young man that his recent actions have had and will continue to have some major consequences. His current imprisonment is upsetting, but his urge to take responsibility means he may have finally gotten it.
Amy is problematic. Yes, she’s charming, smart, and hot, but she was also a vampire kidnapping (/draining/killing) psycho. I always hate when women are written as just inherently manipulative, with no background or explanation. It’s certainly not better for Jason now that she’s gone, and her character was most definitely entertaining. We’ll probably never know exactly what she was doing down in Louisiana or who she really is.
Bill made a mistake defending Sookie’s honor, and now all he wants is to mainstream and be with Sookie and hang out in Bon Temps. He’d rather not take part in vampire politics, yet he has no choice. With creative punishment from the tribunal, Bill became a maker for the first time and he does not appear to be a fan of the process or the new, bratty young vamp. I mainly feel sympathy because even when he missteps with Sookie, it seems he’s just trying to do right by her, as chauvinistic as what he thinks is best might be.
He doesn’t fit in with her modern world and she’ll never understand the complexities and requirements of the vampiric life. This conflict between the two will surely cause an even bigger rift between their two worlds as a battle for the moral majority looms on the horizon.
Sarah C. Roberts is the senior contributor to This Recording. She lives in Georgia, and her tumblr is here.
“Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” – Neil Young (mp3)
“Down By The River” – Neil Young (mp3
portrait of the author as a vampire lover
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING
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