Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston.
Season 3, Episode 9: "Everything is Broken"
Before it all went poopy, there was that magical first season of Heroes where we all watched enthralled as the fate of the world was decided by a handful of superhumans against one monstrously powerful threat. And we do so now on True Blood.
Vampire politics and Eric's (Alexander Skarsgaard) quest for vengeance against the three-millennium-old king of Mississippi and now Louisiana, Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) has resulted in an all-out war on the movement for vampires to be accepted as full citizens of the United States. Believing that the American Vampire League sponsored Eric's murder of Edgington's lover of seven hundred years, Edgington storms a newscast and murders an anchorman live on the air in order to derail the mainstream movement and begin his ultimate quest for subjugation of humanity.
Gothtopia has two points to make.
One, that Alan Ball has made it clear in this season that a lot of vampires are at least bisexual. A lot. Especially the old and powerful ones.
This, combined with a series-wide struggle for acceptance of a people with a predisposition that is inherent and cannot be changed, makes for a potent and interesting allegory to the world we are currently watching on the news. It's an ultimately flawed metaphor, kind of like the third X-Men movie. Homosexuals can't manipulate magnetic fields and do not require ingesting human blood to survive, but it's there in the subtext if you like.
But the second point comes from our utter hatred of Edgington's Magneto-esque ramblings of vampiric superiority. (See, it all tied together.) We are immortal, we are like wolves among sheep, blah blah fangity blah. We have heard this before from the mouth of Mark Metcalf on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Edgington is no frickin' Master!
We've read a lot more vampire books than we are comfortable admitting, and the one thing we think is laughable is how many vampires claim to surpass humans. It. Is. False.
With thousands of years at their disposal, where are the vampire artists, architects and scientists? Where is a cure for the weakness against sunlight? Where are the subterranean metropolises where they could live as kings?
No, make no mistake. With a very, very few exceptions in vamp pop culture, vampires are as deluded as Lex Luthor. They can't live without us, can't reproduce without us and even in torture and murder we are consistently the better race. They fall in love with us, and they hunger for the culture we produce. It's a sad, sad sack of an unlife and every one of them can bite our crank.
Which is why when Kenny Wayne Shepherd came on singing "Everything is Broken" after Edgington's little melodrama + spine rip, we got the true meaning.
Broken lines, broken strings Broken threads, broken springs, Broken idols, broken heads, People sleeping in broken beds. Ain't no use jiving, Ain't no use joking, Everything is broken.
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Sure, maybe Ball included this awesome little Dylan cover from Shepherd's incredibly awesome Trouble Is... ("Blue on Black," you remember?) as a sweeping statement to how incredibly monkey-wrenched the situation is in the True Blood universe, but we prefer to look at it as a reminder.
Sure, the bad guy is old, pissed off, fast, and capable of killing a poor man's Anderson Cooper in less time than it takes us to type the word "hootenanny," but he's still just a vampire. Even Dracula bit the big one at the hands of one Texan with a Bowie knife. Hell, Santa Anna put up more of a fight than that, and he was just a guy who masturbated to Napoleon stories.
It's gone be fine folks. You'll see. The enemy is defective.
Be sure to visit the Loving True Blood in Dallas blog, where Jef With One F will be a semi-regular contributor to the podcast this season.