Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘charlaine harris

True Blood: A Quandary *Spoiler Alert*

with 10 comments

Yesterday, I watched the finale of season 3 of True Blood and was curious about how they chose to end the season. The multi-cliffhanger ending really wasn’t a good step for the show in my opinion. However, who am I to say what will work or what will not.

In the show, I am glad that they spared Russell Edgington because I like him as a progressive villain. If they had wasted him this early, I would have felt left down in the storyline. He is an interesting character that they have created, and I want to know what they plan on doing with him in the future. Let’s face it; he is not going to stay locked in that cement for very long.

I’m glad that the whole thing with Bill being a deceitful bastard finally aired out. I don’t like Bill…he is a shell of a vampire. I don’t necessarily want to see him die (as in the fight between him and Sophie Anne); however, he is one of those vampires that I don’t care for as much because he is whiny and lackluster.

The whole Sookie going to be with the fairies thing does not set with me. I don’t like the whole thing…I don’t know what exactly is going to happen because they are playing fast and loose with the books. I am wondering what the hell they are planning on doing with the books as a whole…are they planning on following the books or are they divulging from the storyline entirely.

Honestly, these are my gut shot reactions to the finale…I don’t know what is going to happen. However, when Bill said to kill Pam, my heart sank, and I thought that would be the end of the finale. I was glad that they proceeded to screw all the characters’ personalities in the show…I wonder what their thoughts are for the next season. Will they go with what the books predict or will it be something else?

Advertisements

Written by barryr22

September 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Weird Reasons that I Like Vampires in Fiction

with 4 comments

So, there are a lot of reasons out there why people like vampires. They’re sexy, powerful, etc. However, I would like to say that I liked vampires before the whole True Blood/Twilight/Vampire Diaries phenomena entered into the picture. Why? Because I like a creature that can span the millenia, blend in, and tell tales about it. It’s interesting for me to read about a character who cannot die by normal body degradation. But here are some of the reasons that I like them that are weird.

1) They practically like superheroes–They bridge two of my loves superheroes/comics and folk lore. I find it fun when a vampire uses their powers for good or evil and becomes a hero or villain of sorts. It also intrigues me  because although superheroes and villains are bound by natural laws vampires are not due to being something other than human.

2) Just like in the first season of True Blood, I would like to be able to have an actual “living” being to ask questions about the past. I am somewhat of a history buff when it comes to certain eras. This would allow me to actually hear and catalog actual events from a survivor of the event which is pretty amazing because some events happened lifetimes ago.  In theory, it would be pretty cool.

3) The idea of something that is not human that exemplifies certain human needs and desires. Any vampire in fiction in the past 150 years has feed off blood and been the monster. However, since Anne Rice, there has been a movement to humanize the creatures. We are allowed to see into their world which is something that Bram Stoker or Sheridan le Fanu didn’t do. We see that they need companionship and feel to sometimes higher degrees the feelings of loneliness because it stretches out before them for all eternity.

4) The fact of how their deaths make me feel. If I’m watching a television show or movie or reading a book, I always feel a little sad when an immortal character dies. Why? They will never be able to make more history or influence anything else. They have been found by the “true death” as True Blood calls it. I guess in some ways it makes me wonder about my own mortality and what I might get accomplished in the brief span of life that I have…whereas that creature may have done nothing but maim and cause carnage for its existence.

Sookie’s Milkshake Brings All the Supes to the Yard

with 2 comments

So, I’ve recently been reading a lot of the Sookie Stackhouse books and watching the new season of True Blood and a question popped into my mind. What is it about Sookie Stackhouse that make all sorts of supernatural creatures fall in line to die for her. I mean seriously, it’s a veritable who’s who of creatures that begin to interact with Sookie as the books go on (and the series if they decide to keep making it).

*SPOILER ALERT*

If any of you have read the books or watched the show, you know that everyone asks what is “different” about Sookie or “What are you?” They seem to be popular questions that are haphazardly answered within the framework of the narrative. First, Sookie is attractive by mortal standards. She’s blonde, has a tan, and has enough bosom to go around. She is the ideal American woman (kinda coming across as a bit of a “Barbie” in some ways).  These looks keep getting continually enhanced by the vampire blood that she consumes throughout the course of the books. All this would make her attractive in some sense. However, it does not explain the corpses, dust, and muck of the creatures that seem to keep laying down their lives for her.

Two, if you’ve read the books, you know that Sookie is at least partially fairy. In the books, the fairies are a race that humans find intoxicatingly beautiful and are drawn to. The vampires and some other supes find their scent irresistible. The would love nothing better than to snack on a fairy. Yet, even with this factoring in, does Sookie have enough fairy in her to tip the scales to her favor? The reason I say this it the fact that not all the supernatural creatures seem to notice her in the same way that others do. The vampires seem to have an attraction to her. However, this may all be a pissing contest as to who can nail the human and have her telepathic powers to themselves. The weres have an attraction to her because she seems fresh and otherworldly. The fairies know that she is part fairy…it’s just an increasing conundrum of what might cause this loyalty to a mere mortal.

While everyone agrees that Sookie is something more than human, I am not inclined to believe that she is simply attractive because she is partially fairy. This ideal does not seem to connect all the dots for me. It seems like to quick and reasonable of an answer to deal with the larger idea that is floating about that Charlaine and HBO have not touched yet. Is she going to be something that is exceptionally rare in the world? Or will she turn out to be just a sheer victim of circumstance? I don’t know. However, I am interested to see what happens as the show and the books continue to be produced.

True Blood Season 3

leave a comment »

So, I’m not going to post spoilers in this post. However, I am excited by the beginning of the 3rd season. This is partially because I have been reading the books. I am really wanting to see what they do with the whole 3rd book Up till now, they have been following basic story lines of book 1 and 2. I’m intrigued to see what they are going to change and keep the same. I’m also interested in a few other things.

Pam’s character development. In the books, Pam’s character is much more well-rounded. In the first episode in an exchange between she and Lafeyette, you see a little more of this. I can’t help it. I love a woman who is powerful and dangerous. Pam is this. Also, her character has subtext that makes me wonder more about her.

Werewolves. I’m interested to see how they show werewolves within the frame of the show. In the books, the werewolves are pretty scary and vicious. I hope that they show this to the fullest within the framework of narrative. Will they be scary like the show has built them up to be? Or will they fail?

Will they follow the biggest plot development in book 3 or will they continue to make everything semi-happy. If they do introduce the “betrayal” as I’ll call it, it will make an interesting change in the dynamic of the show. Eric will become a much bigger player and thereby Pam. I would like this change…not that I don’t like Bill, but I like Eric better.

I guess that all my questions will be answered as the season progresses. I can hardly wait to get my True Blood on. It will be an exciting few weeks of waiting and watching.

Written by barryr22

June 15, 2010 at 12:10 am

Vampires that I Like And I’m not Talking Twilight

with 3 comments

I am an ardent fan of vampire folklore and interesting tales of vampires that spring up now and again. I don’t know why, but since my younger years, I have been fascinated by the sentient undead. I mean sure you have other creatures that some consider undead that are sentient too, but overall, the vampire is the only “undead” creature that has potential for something other than mindless carnage (yes, I’m talking about zombies…they are just mindless killing machines…).

Vampires interest me because they have potential beyond the need to feed on humans for sustenance. They are capable of much more evil or good in some cases. They also don’t have the whole rotting factor that most other undead have (which causes them to have a finite shelf life). Vampires to me have potential within the realm of film and literature that no zombie ever could. However, I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of vampires and zombies. Like I have said many times, I enjoy reading about vampires and watching movies that contain them. Over the course of many books and movies, I have developed many favorites…some for obvious reasons and others for less.

Dracula–As the quintessential  vampire novel of the 19th century, the character of Count Dracula springs to the pages of the book and into our minds as a fully realized, fully evil creature. He is vicious and stands tall in the face of his enemies. Based on the actual historical figure of Vlad Dracul, Dracula’s heartless attitude and demeanour are mirrored by actual fact. Dracul was cruel and heartless. He committed many atrocities and was (and is) revered by his people of Transylvania as a hero. This character can transform into other creatures of the night, has power over people, possesses super strength and heightened abilities, and can go out in the daytime (see Edward wasn’t the first). Dracula is a first-rate vampire who has lived for centuries and continues to thrive until he meets one who is knowledgeable of him. Dracula was the first vampire character that I was introduced to and therefore holds a special place in my heart.

Pandora and Marius– A couple who were born and turned to serve greater purposes: Marius to be a God of the Grove and later protector of the vampire king and queen and Pandora because Marius loved her. Anne Rice in all her glory created these two eccentric characters (well, maybe not eccentric but a little peculiar). Marius is a renaissance man, term man being loosely used, and floats through the Millenia (2 to be exact) protecting the king and queen and by his constant examination of life, art and the people around him. He is intriguing to me because as much as he stays the same throughout the course of his existence he changes to fit in with the time (save his red velvet which never leaves him).

Pandora is also an interesting character. Also a Child of the Millenia (a name given to the vampires in Anne Rice’s universe that are of age one thousand or greater), she is extremely powerful and independent. This is why after 200 years of living together she and Marius part because of a fight. She then goes out to seek what she will of the world, trying to find companionship and love. She never seems to find either and remains eternally lonely as a result. She is quite a vampire as shown in Queen of the Damned. For the most part, she is a proper lady. She looks and acts like a normal person should. However, this is what sets others at ease. At one point, during an orgy of followers of Azim, an Indian vampire and her child, she tears out the throat of a victim draining him and then rips out his heart to gain the last bit of blood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vampire_Chronicles

Anne Rice’s vampires all have interesting personalities and are very different. They are all believable which is why I appreciate and love the characters she creates.

Eric and Pam–In the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries by Charlaine Harris, I also have a male and female vampiric duo that I enjoy. Pam and Eric have got to be the most interesting of the main vampire characters that she creates. Eric is a 1000-year old viking, and Pam is his Victorian English Fledgling. They develop nicely over the course of the books (Eric more so than Pam because he closer to the central character of Sookie). They both have that desire and intrigue that make vampire characters interesting. While the seem to fit in with the time, they both are out of place in their own right. Each is exceedingly beautiful which leads to them being so much more dangerous than some of the other vampires. Along with their banter back and forth and the comedy that comes out of their mouths (especially Pam’s. She has such a dry sense of humor), they seem to be what you would want your “out” vampires to be.

Honorable mentions:

Bill from the Sookie Mysteries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Compton_(The_Southern_Vampire_Mysteries)

Sophie-Anne Leclerq–Louisiana’s Vampire Queen in Sookie Mysteries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie-Anne_Leclerq

Armand from The Vampire Chronicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_(The_Vampire_Chronicles)

Lestat from The Vampire Chronicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lestat_de_Lioncourt

Louis from The Vampire Chronicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_de_Pointe_du_Lac

The Near Future

with one comment

So, with the closeness of senior thesis defense looming at the school I work for, I begin thinking about the endeavour I’m about to undertake and the culmination of another thesis which is kinda scary but at the same time it gives me an opportunity to stretch my writing muscles again.

My biggest issue with the whole thing is this, I have no clue what I want to write over. For those of you out there that don’t know, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the symbolism of the monsters in Dracula and Frankenstein which I found interesting because gothic literature dealing with creatures is kind of a passion on mine. I have quite a base of research when it comes to this topic and also have this thesis to use as a jumping off point. However, I don’t necessarily know that this is what I want to do at the end of the next two years. While I don’t feel my views on the literary body of work have changed (gothic literature with a focus on creatures/monsters) still interest me, I don’t know that I want to something that has necessarily been done. I like originality and know that anything I am likely to do on either of these subjects is going to be a compiling of others’ data and works. My thoughts may be in the document itself…however, it is not new contribution to the study of literature.

Yet, I have been pitching some ideas around in my head that intrigue me, but I don’t know how easy it would be to break the new ground…or if it’s new ground at all.

1) Comparative study of contemporary vampire/horror fiction with emphasis on the creatures of myth and folklore contained within. My focus would mainly be on vampires since they’ve made a resurgence in popular literature. Hopefully, I would follow the vampire from folk lore to the short stories “The Vampyre” by John Polidori and “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu to the quintessential vampire novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. What I would mainly focus on would be newer works of “good” vampire fiction which would include the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I think that it would be interesting to see how the myths have evolved over the years to become the “vampires” that people read about today. I would also discuss the conceptual myths/communal ideas that spurred the rise of the vampire in folklore and how the conception and meaning have changed.

2) Analyze a musical with in the framework of literary relevance. I think this would be an interesting spin on the idea of contemporary analysis. We analyze television shows and movies as “contemporary literature.” Why should musicals be taken under this heading? Now, I know that someone out there is saying that the whole play analysis thing has been done, and while that is true, I believe that this idea would be a little different than that simply because in the musical you cannot simply divorce the music from the text of the piece. The music is as much part of the literature as the written words are…I think this would be an interesting concept to write about and would bridge two of my greatest loves: music and literature. My main drawback with this idea is that most people do not see musical theater as a “academic” theater medium. Why? Because most people think of musicals and think of fluff like Wicked, The Producers, anything Rodgers and Hammerstein, etc. The evidence of fluff musicals shouldn’t eliminate all of them from being studied. I mean my God some of them have won Pulitzer Prizes and other very prestigious awards. So, I know they should not be ruled out simply because they’re a different form of artistic expression.

3) My third idea is probably the one that has been on my mental back burner for a while: Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. However, while most people would deal with Lestat, the “main” character, I believe I would focus on the auxiliary characters because they interest me more than the “brat prince” does. I think if I followed this idea I would discuss the characters in terms of the time periods in which they were “born” into the life of vampirism. I would also discuss the historical accuracy with which Rice portrayed these characters and the reasons she may have chosen to be more accurate or less accurate with some. I have always been enthralled by Rice’s writing, and at some point, I know that I will write over her in academic circles. I just wonder if now would be the right time to start trying to build more of an academic base to formally criticize her work.

So, as most people’s minds turn to the ideas of finals at my school. My mind begins to ponder the future and what it may hold for me in terms of my “contribution” to the world at large. Maybe, I will find my nicht to throw myself into mind, body, and spirit.

To All the Vampires I’ve Loved Before

with one comment

 

With the increase of vampire related media in an already saturated world, one begins to wonder if the idea of the vampire has been overused. Has the vampire been overdone? This is a question that I constantly ask myself with each new vampire book and movie that appears in the mainstream. Why is this saturation of vampire paraphernalia so astronomical?

I believe that it deals with the appeal of being a vampire. In most modern vampire stories, the characters of the vampires are romanticised to a point that makes them seem like less of what they are. I mean come on people they drink the blood of living, breathing creatures to survive (whether they be animal or human). If you look at the Twilight series, I feel that you get a good representation of this. In the books/movies, you have a vampire “family” trying to be normal. They live in a place with cloud cover (Washington State) to prevent their “sparkling” in the sun (pretty dumb if you ask me) and feed off animals to survive…The Cullen family is seen as a group of “good” vampires because they don’t feed on humans…However, this idea of a “good” vampire is problematic. Stephanie Meyer who wrote the books seems to want to purely humanize the creatures and fails as a result because vampires are as much humans as a chair is a refrigerator. I believe she sacrificed the ideas behind the vampire folklore/mythos to try to create a Romeo and Juliet story between species….and doing so, her story becomes weird. It seems to lose sight of the creatures that vampires are which really irks me.

I like the stance that Anne Rice takes with writing her vampire chronicles. She seems to take the stance that she is writing about a supernatural creature in a real world. She also portrays her characters very well-roundedly by making each of them sympathetic in their own right but keeping us aware all the time that these are creatures that are monsters…they are not human and thereby are not bound by the rules that humanity sets. Anne wonderfully develops her characters and sets them into actual places…she also seems to have a great deal of respect for the folkloric creature the vampire is (instead of flippantly using them).

Charlaine Harris also does this same thing (to a lesser degree but still intriguingly so) in her Sookie Stackhouse novels. Harris creates a world where vampires and other supernatural creatures exist side by side. She develops nuances and continually keeps up with her mythology that she creates which keeps the coherent flow of her novels (given that in later books things do get a little crazy when fairies, werewolves, witches and other supernaturals come into play).

I think my main point that I have been rambling on about is this: vampires (while they may be visually appealing creatures) are not beautiful creatures to be admired or admonished. Meyer and others have set them up to almost be angels in their own right. In my opinion, this glazing over of their true nature isn’t being true to the original concept of vampirism. I like the models of Rice and Harris better because they allow us to see these vampires as beautiful creatures, but through scenes of violence and heartlessness, they allow us to see the true creature at heart. Afterall, who says that you can’t have sympathy for the devil?