On True Blood

To Live and Live in Dixie

Magical Creatures and Traditional Southern Culture

By Paula Rogers

Let’s be honest–the South certainly has some skeletons in its closet. Slavery, segregation, struggles to fit into a modern economy–the list is long and uncomfortable. But for all the negative associations, there has always been plenty that is wonderful about the culture. A lot of incredible people have called the South home, and still do. As a native Texan, I proudly accept whatever part of being Southern that entitles me to. Especially the biscuits.

Part of what makes True Blood so compelling is how the show develops in its Southern setting. Imagine if True Blood weren’t set in Bon Temps. First and foremost, how would fans–true fans–identify one another without first imitating Bill’s impossibly syllabled “Suugh-kie”? Much would be lost in that instance alone. And let’s not linger on the thought of the same vampire storyline set in California. Hella Blood hits at an entirely different emotion. “Welcome to the B.T., bitch”? New York vampires would be far too preoccupied with their rents, careers, and making quips over Tru Blood martinis to spend perfectly good nights slowly wooing sweet-natured human lovers. True Blood set anywhere else just wouldn’t be True Blood.

Despite and because of its past, the South offers a ripe setting for magic. For as much as old Southern ways were challenged by the developments of the twentieth century, such drawing-room rules must be flummoxed entirely by vampires. Or are they? From the way the show takes advantage  …

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