We're counting down to Sunday's third-season premiere of True Blood with new pictures, miniepisodes, and objectifying its male characters, but that hasn't given us a chance to go over the show's layered meaning.
Vampires were created as a metaphor for sex and have always been a vehicle to talk about something else. Stephen Moyer, who plays Bill Compton, told The Daily Beast the show is all about metaphors. “The show is so multileveled. You can watch it and think of it as pure bubblegum for the eyes, but you can also completely immerse yourself in the subtext, the metaphors, and the underlying mirroring of society," he said. "It is all things to all people.” So what is it actually about?
- Gay rights: The most pervasive metaphor in the series, vampire rights as gay rights makes nearly all subsequent metaphors possible. From the back-woods bigotry to vampire's quest for equal rights with lobbyist groups and sympathetic legislators, the outline is the same — right down to a "God Hates Fangs" sign in the pilot to vampire Bill suggesting he and Sookie go to Vermont to marry in season two's finale.
- Racism: Set in the deep South, vampire rights could just as easily stand in for civil rights if this show was made 50 years ago.
- Christian fundamentalism: The Fellowship of the Sun took up a lot of air time last season. Except these religious zealots don't hate gays, they hate vampires and the "fang bangers" who love them.
- Ecstasy: It wouldn't be complete without creating a new drug out of vampire blood. By enhancing consciousness and heightening arousal, vampire blood works just like E — with Viagra mixed in — and is conveniently called V.
This is barely scratching the surface — can you think of what I missed?