Wednesday, August 21, 2013

True Dud

Just to prove I can still get mad about things, how about a feel-good, old-fashioned rant about television. Hell yeah, let’s do this thing. As what feels like one of the last idiots left watching “True Blood,” I take great issue with this past season. It’s not necessarily that this past season was more ridiculous than any other past season. Vampires, werewolves, fairies, shifters, werepanthers, maenads, witches, etc. etc. etc. But this season was a true dud (See what I did there? See, see, see?) when it came to its LGBT relationships. The series has long been the kinky party girl of positive LGBT visibility on television. The show has had LGBT characters – Lafayette, Pam, et al – from the start. And the show has been open, so very open, to fluid sexuality. I mean, all vampires are essentially a little gay, right?

Here’s what pissed me off this season. At the end of last season, after Tara came through being shot in the head and sired by Pam, the two lady vamps sealed their relationship with a pretty fucking hot kiss. And in that moment we were all Jessica when she screamed, “I KNEW IT!” Hot damn, we knew they were hot for each other. Yay gay and a round of (non-Hep.V spiked) True Blood for everyone on me.

But then this season came and we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some damn more to see just the tiniest of sliver of affection and, you know, hot lesbian action between these two and instead were given nothing. Nada. Bupkis. Zilch. Pam snarled at Tara. Tara snarled at Pam. Then Pam slept with the gross pervy shrink to get what she wanted and that’s pretty much it. And not only did the show completely ignore their relationship storyline, they completely ignored the storyline of Bon Temps’ other resident gaymo, Lafayette. How bad was it for us gays this season? This picture of Pam and Tara kinda, sorta adjacent each other was the only production still of them I could find where they’re in the same frame.

Which begs the question, why have Pam and Tara act like they were in love/lust with each other at all at the end of last season? Why go there if you had no intention on following through? I mean, besides just general sloppy storytelling. Ending the season as they did sets the audience up with certain expectations, which then leads to disappointment and general feelings of extreme annoyance. Was this all just for stupid, simple titillation? Really, I watched all this summer for this? They missed a golden opportunity to add layers to both Pam and Tara’s characters by delving into their complicated bond and intertwined affections. Instead, I’m pretty sure the entire point of this past season of “True Blood” was to get Alexander Skarsgard to go full frontal. As with Eric and his Little Viking, I was not impressed with the results.

Say what you will about me (and you do and that’s cool – everyone’s got an opinion), but I have always championed more and better LGBT representation on the screen. And I have always railed against tokenism (you know, that sweeps week shit). So for a show that has, for all its flaws, never trafficked in the latter to suddenly indulge in easy exploitation of temporary girl-on-girl action is discouraging, to say the least. You can do better, “True Blood.” Or maybe not. I mean, did you watch this past season? Perhaps “better” is entirely out of your reach at this point.


Carmen SanDiego said...

I was ready to quit True Blood last season and the kiss made me keep going,
Although they did have sex off-screen in episode 2 or 3. I remember seeing Tara buttoning up her pants after a talk with Pam on the beach.
I took a chance and gave up after episode 4. Looks like I made the right decision

Ashlynkat said...

Thank you for calling out True Blood! Yes, we NEED voices like yours to do that.

But we also need your voice to call out Angie Harmon and Rizzoli & Isles for their queer-baiting which is even more harmful to our community than True Blood dropping a dud.

Every week you have a platform to provide this needed service, especially with the wounds of another Angie Harmon backhanded slap interview still fresh.

Please Dorothy. We need more Snarker and less surrendering.

Kaz said...

^^ I agree with Ashlynkat about calling out Angie Harmon. She is no friend of the gays and seems very concerned about being perceived as being anything but STRAIGHT and REPUBLICAN.

DS ... I love your blogs and recaps etc ... and even when I don't agree with you I still respect the hell out of you. You are generous with writing fun and thoughtful gay orientated articles that is devoured by us Snarker Groupies. You keep us gay ladies smiling.

Anonymous said...

^^ I agree with Tristen, about the nice things she said about DS. And I agree about True Blood. It was soooo annoying that the gay disappeared and was replaced by random ass storylines that I absolutely did not care about. Please end the show now, oh god, please let it end.

Erin said...

Calling out Angie wouldn't do anything and she's not that bad in my opinion as you guys seem to think. Sasha thinks we're a joke and when she's on talk shows that is made abundantly clear. She plays to her audience though, so when she's interviewed on lesbian sites she pays us lip service. I think that's just as annoying.

Anonymous said...

Why vent all this to the internet winds? You are a "journalist" for an online LGBT go ask some of tptb, like Angela Robinson, these questions.

Anonymous said...

I agree ^ Isn't Angela Robinson co-exec producer on True Blood? Why isn't she being taken to task by you or someone else on AE?

What's the point of queer entertainment sites if they don't speak up for their queer readers and ask the questions we can't?

A lot of people tuned in to see Pam and Tara this season and won't be tuning in again with the blatant snub they received.

Anonymous said...

Time to stop watching. I stopped two years ago. Very sad that the show morphed the hell out and turned into crap. But really you have more going on in your life than to waste time watching it!!!!