Sookie’s is the callousness of the bourgeoise writ large–eroticising and sympathising with the glamourous ruling class exploitation of the working class she claims to be friends with. Where Tara, Lafayette and Jesus are engaged in a class struggle against the vampires who have oppressed and tortured them, Sookie demonstrates her solidarity with the extremely pale violent ruling class at every step of the way (race and class solidarity at once – no vampires of colour last on the show). Though she has no energy to save her best friend from violence, everything involving her vampire paramours is a crisis requiring immediate action.
They want to do real bad things to you. Emily Manuel for Tiger Beatdown.
This is an interesting piece. I’m not sure the capitalist-vampire analogy is as strong as it could be… something I need to come back to. Love these closing paragraphs:
As much as Alan Ball and company have changed the Charlaine Harris penned Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, the basic system of eroticised exploitation remains the same. It’s telling that vampires are completely eroticised, but Lafayette and Jesus are not, and Tara rarely is. The question therefore is: why does True Blood stage this? It is very clearly not in the name of critique–no matter what they do, vampires remain generally sympathetic given the show’s Sookie-centred point of view.
This points to a broader, infrequently noted, problem with popular entertainment–the continual reinforcement of class structures, the way it encourages us towards towards aspirational identification with the rich, the powerful, the glamourous. We watch the rulers and not the ruled; True Blood is followed on HBO by Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm, two shows about the elite of Hollywood. In a world where the Tea Party protest for the rights of billionaires to receive tax breaks, it’s hard to underestimate the effect of capitalist ideology in convincing working people to identify with the powerful against their own interests. True Blood is just one tiny little data point in a broader pattern, but it’s a telling one.