Vampires On The TV Screen

Vampires— be they British, Nordic, or dating Marilyn Manson — are so hot right now! Over on HBO, True Blood is tearing into a third, glorious season; another shlock Twilight film is coming out June 30; and ABC has even jumped on the band-wagon with some random show you have probably not heard of called The Gates. So how should you know which of these zeitgeist-y blood baths is right for you? Here are some tips! Twilight:

Summary: Angst-ridden teen Bella loves Cedric Diggory but she also loves a tan, pig-nosed beefcake.  Dilemma! Practice looking forlorn, young Stewart, you are trying to sell celibacy to a generation where sex is so ubiquitous, there are PSAs about sexting!

You’ll buy the books if: You are a self-hating womyn. This not-so-subtle attempt at Mormon propaganda is unbelievably misogynist considering it was written by someone named Stephanie. Beyond that, it is just embarrassing how bad the writing is and how pathetic the plot devices are. The combination leads to weird situations such as Cedric/Edward deciding that Bella should not be allowed to drive her own car because it is not safe. And in all honesty, women are not really genetically capable learning science -- plus voting is so passé -- why bother? Phyllis Schlafly clearly ghost-wrote this drek.

You’ll like the movies if: You find Frankenstein attractive and Dakota Fanning engaging, and the verb “to dazzle” does not make you gag impulsively.

Final thoughts: If you enjoy the American Empire, ignore this trash. It you desperately pray for the End of Days, the popularity of this franchise bodes well for you!

True Blood:

Summary: In the show, vampires have “come out of the closet,” as it were, revealing themselves to humanity. They are now trying to integrate into mainstream society…this is the backdrop to the antics and adventures of psychic Sookie Stackhouse, her vampire boyfriend Bill Compton, and a whole host of Southern eccentrics who would make Tennessee Williams’ curse his lack of imagination. There are also maenads, werewolves, and rock-hard naked bodies (Bon Temps has one hell of a gym!) It’s HBO, so celibacy is far from encouraged.

You’ll like the books if: everything I've just said strikes you as blasé. The show's inspiration – The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris -- seems even crazier than the show. Exhibit A: the books feature twin fairy supermodels, and the guy is a fairy in both senses of the word. This could bode well for a beach read, BUT it is tough to say. I was recently on a flight and the woman next to me was reading one of them and she said it was really good. She also was flipping through a People magazine and eating DunkAroos . Where do you even get DunkAroos anymore? Has she been hording them since 1996? The whole thing seemed suspect.

You’ll like the television show if: You know you are settling in for an hour of trashy fun that does not entirely require you to check your brain at the door.

Final thoughts: This is my favorite show on television right now, and I have great taste (Death Becomes Her, hello!) so you will definitely love it too.

The Gates:

Summary: ABC, trying to cash in on this hip, supernatural trend quickly rolled out some show about a gated community with a new sheriff. Unbeknownst to the handsome lawman, his plucky wife and lovely children, this community if populated with—wait for it!—VAMPIRES, witches, and even a football star/werewolf. Not only are these gated-community folks supernatural, but many of them also are former lingerie and Abercrombie and Fitch models, so it will absolutely remind you of your high school experience. Who says Hollywood cannot come up with anything original anymore?

You’ll like it if: You are still watching “Desperate Housewives,” but you could change to Boondocks (they are black but is Japanimation and there’s also biting social commentary?!) Also, if your remote control is broken.

Final Thoughts: I was embarrassingly excited to watch the premier episode and was quite disappointed. So disappointed, I promptly when and rented Interview with the Vampire to clean my pallet. Go rent that. It has Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Tom Cruise (forget that one) and a young Kirsten Dunst. Remember her? Remember when she was going to be somebody? She was such a good Marie Antoinette in that really long music video the baby from the Godfather directed. Go rent this movie, buy a bottle of Chianti, think about what Kirsten Dunst could have been and forget all about that weird ABC show that will probably be cancelled by the third episode.