A Few Thoughts on True Blood and Being Human

The new season of True Blood is just as entertaining as previous seasons. This year we get to meet the werewolves, which had me a little worried. It's hard to do werewolves convincingly on film. Lots of times they end up looking awful, or even worse ridiculous. It's a shame when a funny looking half-man half-wolf makes you laugh and ruins the dramatic tension of a scene.

These werewolves are pretty good and the wolves themselves are very realistic. But even more important is the casting of Alcide. If you're a fan of the books you know he's an important werewolf character that shows up this season. He's handsome, he's tall and he's charismatic. Just like the actor chosen to play Eric had to be tall and look like he could be a Viking, Alcide needs to look sexy, difficult to resist, and strong enough to be chosen as a protector for Sookie. It's easy to write those traits down on paper; not so much to find them in an actor that's going to make everyone happy.

Judging by the reaction on Twitter, Joe Manganiello, the actor cast as Alcide, is a wildly popular choice. He's got that brooding look that many viewers find appealing and he can definitely portray the deeply conflicted nature of his character. Alcide is attracted to Sookie but still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Debbie, who has dumped him and embarked on an exceedingly dangerous course of events.

Speaking of which, the casting of Brit Morgan as Debbie Pelt is inspired. Here is another character which requires a deft touch. Debbie is a woman who has wrapped her man around her fingers then cast him aside, spit on him and treated him horribly, but still views him as her property. She is a wild woman, attacking any other woman who dares to look at him. The character is given to excess and hysteria but has to be completely convincing, while avoiding turning into a caricature or a laughingstock.

One of the reasons it's so critical that the actors on True Blood don't step over the line into silliness is because the show is already bordering on camp. The hyper real cinematography, the fast motion used to show how quickly the vampires move, the gore; all of it combines to put the show on the edge. But the one thing that really pulls me out of the show, that strikes me as completely ridiculous is the way the vampires wander around and conduct business with a giant bib of blood on their faces.

Not only does this look absurd, it doesn't make any sense. No matter how much someone loves a particular food they don't wander around with it smeared all over their faces. (At least not once they get out of say, second grade.) This would be like a CEO taking a meeting with chocolate or Alf redo sauce masking the lower half of their face. I just can't see it happening. Maybe we're supposed to think they love blood so much they practically bathe in it, but I still think cleaning up after would be part of the dining experience. I'm enjoying this season but this one thing is jarring. So keep up the good work cast, crew and production staff of True Blood, but be careful!

Also back for another season (playing on BBC America) is Being Human, a fantastic show about a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf living together and trying to be good while surrounded by monsters. In season one we learned Annie, the ghost, was murdered by her abusive fiancé, who continued to treat her badly even after her death. George, the werewolf, who is a bit shy and awkward socially, is completely at odds with his wolf half at the beginning of the series, doing his best to pretend there's nothing different about him, and gradually comes to a kind of acceptance. Mitchell, the vampire (who has a yummy accent) is trying to stop killing people, but is beset on all sides by a vampire cult set on taking over the world. Mitchell is a cult figure to them and they desperately want him to join them. This is one of my favorite shows and I'm quite excited about season two.

One-Paragraph Review

This week's one-paragraph review is from metawhat, who says, "Watching Eureka is like eating diet Oreos. It's okay, even entertaining, but I feel like something is missing." Do you have a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me for consideration. You can reach me at feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com.