On True Blood
The Ego, the Id, and Sookie Stackhouse
True Blood's Freudian Analysis of Intimacy
By Carol Poole
What’s a nice girl like Sookie Stackhouse doing in a place like Bon Temps, where the vampires are depraved and insatiable, and the humans are really no different?
Though Sookie, the heroine of True Blood, bears a passing resemblance to Buffy the Vampire Slayer–both are young, blonde, and quick-witted–the fictional Louisiana town where Sookie lives is no Sunnydale. Bon Temps is not a uniquely wicked or supernatural place, not a Hellmouth. It’s just an ordinary town full of ordinary human nature, and that’s what makes it so dangerous.
Fans of True Blood—creator Alan Ball’s previous HBO series, Six Feet Under, a realistic drama about a family of morticians in L.A., might have wondered how he would approach such different territory. Given how achingly repressed his WASP-y Six Feet Under characters were–people who moved as though their bodies harbored undetonated mines–how would Ball handle a supernaturally themed show set in a working class, Bible-belt bayou? Would he let the bon temps rouler? Let it all hang out?
As it happens, that is exactly what he has done in True Blood, and the result is astonishingly gross, violent, and messy. In True Blood, not only vampires feed on blood. Humans greedily suck vampires’ blood for the rush of potency it gives. When vampires die, they don’t tidily expire in puffs of dust; they ooze, gurgle, and gush, spraying the room red. Lovers bruise, bleed, drug, and save each other over and …