True Blood is an American television drama series created and produced by Alan Ball. True Blood is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries a series of novels by Charlaine Harris, season one of the True Blood television show is based on the first novel Dead till Dark and details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a small northern Louisiana town two years after Japanese scientists create synthetic blood and vampires ‘came out of the coffin’ and made humans aware of their existence. The series centers on Sookie Stackhouse, an incidental sleuth and telepathic waitress at Merlotte’s Bar and Grill, who falls in love with vampire and civil war veteran Bill Comptone.
Christian ideology, in regards to film and television, is an ideology based on Christian beliefs and values. Christians believe in absolute truth, meaning there is a definite right or wrong in regards to all morality and actions. The Christian ideology seek to search and identify the deeper values in a film or television show and if they line up with the values conveyed in the bible, on which all Christian ideology is based.
These values include love, justice and a lack of sexism and racism. All the values are Christ centered. The only difficult with using the Christian ideology to explore and explain films is that because Christian beliefs are very personal and no two Christians will have exactly the same belief or values because each person belief has been coloured and affected by there personal experience, background and culture. True blood will be analyzed using a Christian ideology, exploring the value and themes in the context of this ideology.
In season one of True Blood the audience is slowly introduced to all the characters, many of these characters in are supernatural or have supernatural powers. The main character Sookie Stackhouse is a telepath; this ability allows her to hear other people’s thoughts. Her love interest is Bill Comptone is a vampire, a creature that was once human but now is a ‘living dead’ with superhuman strength, speed, healing and mind control powers.
Along Bill there are many other vampires in the True Blood episodes. Other supernatural characters include wicens; witches who follow a particular brand of witchcraft, shape-shifters; humans that can change shape to look and move like a particular animal and were-panthers; humans that transform into panthers. The inclusion of these characters is not inline with Christian ideologies. Shape shifters, vampires and were- panthers are discounted as part of simple myth and legend in Christian faith in contrast telepaths and witches are talked about in Christian beliefs but they are always spoken of in a negative way, describe as evil and people are commanded to stay away from people who are connected to these practices.
Like every television show, True Blood season one conveys its own sense of morals and belief through the beliefs and morals of its main character. Every character in True Blood is searching for fulfillment and happiness. Each character searches for it in different places. Sookie and Bill search for it in each other and their relationship, Jason (Sookie’s brother) look for in drugs and sex, Tara (Sookie’s best friend) and Sam (Sookie’s boss) looks for it sex, 1other vampire characters look for it in sex and feeding off humans. Happiness and Fulfillment from a Christian perspective are both good and worthwhile2 things but the way the characters seek to secure their own happiness and what they use to make the feel fulfilled would be viewed as wrong or futile.
The use of language and sexuality is very dominant in True Blood season one. The language in this series is very strong. Every scene has a number of swear words in it which makes it very offense to some audiences. The sexual component in this series would also offend many audiences. Sex scenes are frequent, graphic and sometimes violent. This put True Blood in a contrary position to Christian beliefs.
True Blood is promoting that swearing is expectable and fashionable where the Christianity would take the stance that language should be used to build up people which swearing does not do. In the same way Christianity would view sex is within the boundaries of marriage and should be a intimate lovely experience not something that is expendable there this series conveys that sex isn’t special, but its just a basic animal instinct that has to be fulfilled. Sex is so entrenched in the show that the opening sequence has many sexual and sex scenes in the title sequence.
The True Blood series is based on the Southern Vampire Diaries. Series one is based on the first book of the series. The book and the television show are mirror each other in many ways the most notable difference except in one major way. In the book there is homosexual content but in the show it a major feature. Many people have speculated that because Allan Ball, the shows producer and director, is openly gay and is very influential in the gay rights movement that he was using the vampires journey and struggle in society as a metaphor for homosexuals in America today. Alan Ball doesn’t agree that this metaphor is not directly link to homosexual Americans but anyone who has been misunderstood for being different.
‘I really don’t look at the vampires as a metaphor for gays in a very specific way. I mean, part of, for me, part of the joy of this whole series is that it’s about vampires, and so we don’t have to be that serious about it. However, they totally work as a metaphor for gays, for people of color, in previous times in America, for anybody who is misunderstood and feared hated for being different. I think, because of the cultural climate that we exist in today, it seems like, oh, well, they are a metaphor for gays because gay marriage and gay rights and that kind of thing. But I think it’s a bigger metaphor, and at the same time.’
This addition of this story line has put been controversial for many group. From a Christian perspective being a homosexual is not a sin, but to act on those sexual desirers is wrong. There is a large component of homosexual sex in True Blood. This again puts the series of True Blood in opposition to Christian beliefs. Based in the southern state of Louisiana, Christianity is intertwined in a small way in the first season of True Blood. The title sequence, designed by digital kitchen uses a large amount of shots from typical, fanatical, deep-south churches. The shots show both Anglo Saxon and African Americans in all different religious activities many are fanatical in nature.
These images show a visual representation of the attitude in the show towards Christians. Christians are represented in True Blood as judgment and bigoted or uneducated and stupid. The first Christian character that is introduced is Reverend Theodore Newlin. He is an opponent of the Vampire Rights movement, in a televised debate with the leader of the Vampire Rights Movement, Nan Flanagan, refuses to talk to directly with her because she is a ‘creature of the devil’ (Theodore Newlin True Blood, season one, episode two). He portrays Christians as bigoted, single minded and aggressive.
The second Christian character that is introduced to the audience in True Blood is Lettie Mae (Tara’s Mother). Lettie is an abusive and neglect mother due to her alcoholism. It the first episode Tara is talking to her cousin about her mother’s problem. ‘Mama says she doesn’t need A.A cos’ she has Jesus’ (True Blood Season One Episode Two) The show portrays Christians, especially Christians from the southern states as idiotic and bigoted.
Viewing True Blood season one through the lenses of the Christian ideology is an interesting and helpful way to analyses this very popular television drama from HBO. From the use of supernatural characters, different themes, language and the portrayal of Christians allows the conclusion to be drawn that this television show no way adheres to Christian beliefs and if a Christian was to watch they would come be able to identify that it did not align with their faith. Even though it doesn’t align with the Christian faith it does have value in watching, it gives an amazing clear and concise insight into secular values in society