Life After True Blood: Are Vampires Still Going To Rule The Media?
Sometimes it’s so hard to say goodbye. Fans of HBO’s True Blood recently learned that Season 7, which will air in 2014, will be the last for the show. The series, based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, has been a ratings hit for HBO and was a perfect addition to the vampire-fueled media that America has become so infatuated with. While vampires have been around for quite some time, it’s tough to deny that there’s been an abundance of our fanged friends on our screens these past few years.
True Blood debuted in 2008, which was the same year that the first Twilight movie hit theaters. With the complete saga of the latter coming out on DVD this November, it seems like the only other big on-screen vampires are on The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, which is set to premiere its fifth season in October.
But with vampires no longer hyped in pop culture to the same degree as before, it’s safe to say that we might be phasing out the blood-thirsty, sexy heroes that we’ve been swooning over for years. And being that I’m probably the only person who’d greenlight Count Chocula: The Movie, I’m sadly in no position to do so. I guess that means that Buffy can retire, once and for all.
Do you think we’re finally over the supernatural trend? If so, let’s hope that the next phase is something less – well – alarming. Teenagers often have the knack of mimicking what they see on screen, and according to a report by ABC News, biting one’s significant other became a sign of affection. “Biting is challenging because one of the things we know about sexuality and biting and vampires is that it’s passion, it’s all-encompassing, it’s wanting to consume someone else,” New York City sexologist Logan Levkoff told Good Morning America in 2010. While it was similar to a hickey, some of the appeal of this odd trend was actually drawing blood from another human.
(This is a serious topic, but poor Michael Kaplor might regret this interview in the future.)
On an even more serious note, let’s not forget about Stephanie Pistey, the teenager from Florida who killed 16-year-old Jacob Hendershot, and claimed that her bloodlust was due to the fact that she and her four co-defendants are part of a vampire cult — and that she’s also a werewolf.
“I know this is going to be crazy. But I believe I’m a vampire – part vampire and part werewolf, so it’s not really a cult, it’s more just like my personality,” Pistey said. “‘My dad did say since I was about 10 that I’m going to be in jail, and live in jail and rot in jail. Now that I’m here, I’m pretty much figuring out that I’m just going to stay here the rest of my life.” Solid parenting, right there.
Aside from vampires, zombies have had a huge impact in our viewing habits. The Walking Dead, which is one of the most popular current zombie shows, is set to premiere its 4th season on October 13th. And while its season three finale was the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history, and its comic book has been going steadily for ten years, will it eventually run its course?
Clemson University professor Sarah Lauro studied zombies while working on her doctoral degree at the University of California at Davis, and found that Americans are more fixated on zombies when they’re unhappy – particularly during times of unrest and economic decline.
“We are more interested in the zombie at times when as a culture we feel disempowered,” Lauro said. “And the facts are there that, when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered … Either playing dead themselves … or watching a show like Walking Dead provides a great variety of outlets for people.”
So if vampires might be appealing based on their romanticism and the fact that they never die, and zombie are popular based on the fact that they’re already dead – what’s next? Maybe robots? Technology that can love you back? Possibly. There is the new Spike Jonze movie coming out called Her, which documents a soon-to-be-divorced man’s longing to connect, and the attachment he forms with a Siri-like computer operating system. “The film is about technology and the way we use it to try and connect, but it’s also about this moment and the way we’re living our lives,” said Jonze.
Are you a fan of vampires? Do you think True Blood is ending when it should? Should the film and television heroes of the future be in the same supernatural category?
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