Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review: True Blood and Philosophy

So, I promised I would give a review of my birthday present True Blood and Philosophy ... well, I have to tell you. If you really want a deconstructed insider "revelation" about the show, go to Love True Blood and forget the book. This book takes on a very conventional deconstruction based on historical philosophy and modern feminism. I always hope for a deeper look at a piece of work that pulls back the veil between me and the storyteller to help engender a greater understanding of the story -- whether it's on TV or a book. The website really accomplishes that goal while the book is just too, well, boring. It didn't give me a deeper meaning to the characters. I wasn't at all enlightened and frankly mostly bored by it. Now the website written by very literate fans of the show is much more intriguing and revealing.

Also, there is a mention on the Love True Blood site today about how Charlaine Harris doesn't map out her books and focuses primarily on one book's story at a time. Note to the other writers: As a writer you may have a general overview of where you want to take your series. I know I have a general idea of where California Girl Chronicles is heading, but in the storytelling process, the story often organically starts to tell itself. You may think, for example, your primary love interest might be one couple, but then through reader feedback and your own feeling about the story itself, it evolves differently. I'm sure that while Alan Ball's writing team might keep a tighter rein on the storytelling process, they still allow stories and characters to speak for themselves. I know many non-writers may not understand this idea, but the story and characters respectively take on their own direction and voices.

In book one of California Girl Chronicles while I suspected that Brea and Kale were the couple to root for, it wasn't until the readers vocalized their specific feelings about this couple that I was more certain of what to do with them throughout the overall series. Remember, fans you have to drama in your storytelling. If Alan Ball and team didn't keep you dramatically hooked on the Eric and Sookie romance, you would quickly grow bored. Add to that the need to fully flesh out these characters and their trajectory in the story and how they grow and change. I will say this over and over again. Every metaphor, foreshadowing technique and blimp in this romance is met to shove them together. Read that fan site. They are very astute in their observations about the subtle messages about Eric and Sookie. I have no doubt, this couple is the true heart of the show no matter whether their do or do not bring in Quinn or make Alcide be Quinn. It's not going to be anything other than Eric and Sookie. You can take that to the bank.

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