Remembering True Blood, HBO's Camp Vampire Fantasia

In 2008, at the height of HBO’s dominance as the national purveyor of prestige television, Alan Ball’s True Blood premiered. Ostensibly a show about vampires learning to adapt to modern society, Ball’s vampire fantasy was also a camp classic, injecting some humor and a whole lot of bare-breasted, smooth-skinned, HBO-style sex into a tale as old as time: hot vampire from the Civil War falls in love with a waitress who can read other people’s thoughts, and hijinks ensue.

Remembering 2008 is almost as difficult as remembering last week, but revisiting True Blood was a nice and nostalgic trip into the past, when television felt like an event rather than a matter of course. Join us for a journey to Bon Temps, where the good times have never stopped rolling and when the wind blows through the Spanish moss at night, you can hear Stephen Moyer whispering “Sooooookieeeehhhhh.”

Senior Writer, Jezebel

DISCUSSION

What a walk down memory lane — it seems so recent but so long ago! I was a diehard True Blood viewer. My friends would even get me True Blood swag as gifts, like a set of pint glasses brand with Merlotte’s, Fangtasia, and Bon Temps, LA logos. We had a blood-themed part for the series finale.

In 2019 I was relocated to rural Texas for work for 3 months. I was lonely and bored, and the local library had True Blood DVDs. I was like “sweet!” and started to watch them. From the first minute of Episode 1 I thought, “oh my god was this always this cringey?”

Loved your quick glimpse at this pop culture juggernaut, and how swiftly we’ve moved past True Blood. Especially appreciated “True Blood walked so Game of Thrones could fly” !!

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