True Blood has received a pretty vulgar nickname. Due to its intense sex scenes and skin-ripping, fang-bearing violence, it’s rightfully coined as “vampire porn”. Well, that’s the exact reason my parents demanded I stop tuning in to the HBO series every Sunday evening.
It was 2008 and I was at the ripe age of 15. I completely understand where they were coming from in retrospect, but at the time, I couldn’t imagine a Sunday evening not spent in Bon Temps, Louisiana with Vampire Bill and Sookie Stackhouse.
I’ve always been the “goody goody” in the family. While my brother complains every Wednesday when he has to drag the trash can to the end of the driveway – sorry, Dan, I had to call you out – I never really complain about clearing the dinner table. But with True Blood on the line, no way was I going to let this go.
“Mom, I’m just going to be honest with you. I’m going to watch regardless of whatever you say. I’ll either sneak downstairs and watch on the TV while your sleeping or I’ll just stream it on my computer.”
This marks the first time I really ever “rebelled” against my parents – yes, I chose to save my teenage rebellion to salvage my television fix.
But hey, I was more than obsessed with the show (and still am to this day).
Thank goodness I stood my ground and continually tuned in. Five seasons later and a new showrunner on board, I started my summer internship atHollywood.com (not to be confused with Hollywood Journal, of course). During one of my first few days, my editor asked all of the interns if any of us watch True Blood. As a self-proclaimed “Truebie,” I excitedly raised my hand. She nonchalantly slid a few DVDs across my desk and there, right in front of me, were the first few episodes of the unaired, upcoming season. On my subway ride home, I felt like I had these hidden secrets stored in my purse. Of course, the second I arrived home from work I wrapped myself in my covers and binge-watched every episode.
After a trial run (and a bit of persuasion), my editor agreed to let me be the recap writer for True Blood’s sixth season. So for the rest of the summer, I dedicated my Sunday evenings to analyzing every gory bit of insanity as I scribbled my recap. Although I’ve always been a dedicated fan, writing recaps of the show made me pay even more attention. I began to observe aspects that previously had no weight in my mind: the superb cinematography, the fluid transitions, the clean cuts – these aspects of production began to resonate with me.
Not only did True Blood push me to learn how to stand my ground and speak up for things that really matter to me, the show also convinced me to switch my major. Goodbye are the days of studying magazine journalism, I am now officially a television, radio and film student. Who knows, maybe I’ll even wind up working on the set of an HBO series in the future – okay, come on, a girl can dream!