On True Blood

From Castle Dracula to Merlotte's Bar & Grill

Some Notes on the Evolution of the Modern Vampire

By Bruce Bethke, Karen Bethke

I. Preamble

We are not your usual sort of married couple. She likes cats; I prefer dogs. I’m the software engineer and science fiction writer. She’s the bookstore owner, unpublished fantasy writer, and paranormal romance fan with a four-novel-a-week habit. I think Casablanca is the greatest movie ever made. She is the only person I know who owns a library of more than fifty vampire films, covering the entire genre from the original 1931 Universal Pictures Dracula to Ankle Biters, which is apparently the only all-midget vampire movie ever made.

As you might expect, there are some serious tradeoffs that go into making our house a happy home. Once every four years, I pretend to be interested in Olympic figure skating. Slightly less often, she pretends to care about the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff chances. Recently it was her turn to suffer through every single episode of Battlestar Galactica, from the initial series pilot to the final credits of the final episode. Currently it’s my turn to suffer through every single episode of True Blood.

Don’t let Karen know, but actually, I am enjoying the heck out of this series.

Why? To be honest, we’ve been trying to sort this one out for years–decades, even–ever since we first started dating and couldn’t do anything after school because she had to rush home to catch Dark Shadows. What is it about the vampire story in general–and Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire  …

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