Are you sitting down? No? Oh, okay. Well, still…it’s time for the most mildly anticipated TV premiere of the summer! True Blood is back. And (to make the umpteenth variation of the joke today on the interwebz), let’s hope this fifth season of the HBO bloodfest doesn’t bite.
Once a devoted fan of the vampires-in-the-modern-world show–which used to be far snarkier and a cooler allegory for the culture wars–I now watch the show as much out of habit as commitment (or bloodlust). Sure, there were glimpses of greatness in season four–and I’m still quite fond of the cast, even when they are battling cartoon covens…
…but overall the show has been losing its luster for me since the credits rolled on season two. However, what True Blood has never lost for a second (which may explain why it hasn’t lost that many of us as viewers)? It’s serious devotion to porniness.
Guy on girl. Guy on guy. Girl on girl. Wolf on sprite.
True Blood‘s camp relies as much on buckets of bang as it does on buckets of blood. Every meaningful glance, every loaded statement…hell, every time someone asks for the blue plate special at Merlotte’s, it oozes sex. And we’re grownups. We can handle it. It’s not like we’re so repressed about sex and sexuality that we get all hopped up at the hint of kibbles-to-bits contact.
But what if you’re minding your own business, digging on True Blood, your hand in a bag of Pepperidge Farm Milanos…
…and in walks your child or niece or godson or babysitting charge? What do you say? What do you do?
Now, I was not raised by “oh, my virgin ears!” sorts of parents. I don’t remember being particularly sheltered or coddled when it came to exposure to language or sexual content or violence. I mean, it wasn’t like we were all watching 9-1/2 Weeks on a shooting range calling each other douchebags. My parents played the Hair soundtrack, didn’t turn off Richard Pryor when we came downstairs, and didn’t hide their copy of Clan of the Cave Bear behind back issues of National Geographic.
And when we did see wacky adult-ish entertainment, my parents typically used it as an opportunity to explain why it was silly, over-the-top, inappropriate, or happening in the first place.
Okay: I am overstating. Lest we forget the “Let’s All Say Penis At The Dinner Table Until Dad Remembers He Has Someplace To Be” incident of 1992. And even with open-ish parents and attitudes, it is weird to co-witness salacious content with the kids in your life. Period. So, in preparation for Sunday’s True Blood season premiere, I have come up with this cheat sheet of what to do if a kid busts you watching vamporn.
Kid Asks: “Why are they naked? In a forest? And biting each other? Everywhere?”
You Answer: “To suck out the venom. Copperhead bites are nasty business. And sucking venom through your clothes will give you Tide poisoning. And then your arms will fall off.”
Kid Asks: “Why are all those people in line to take a nap with that sweaty blonde boy tied to that bed?”
You Answer: “Well, this was right after the annual Halloween jamboree. He went dressed as a turtle and since he is just a poor boy from Louisiana, strapping a cot to his back was the best costume he could find. wouldn’t you know it, he tipped over. Those nice ladies are taking turns trying to pull him upright again.”
Kid Asks: “The naked man keeps turning into a doggie and hugging that other doggie.”
You Answer: “Would you like a doggie for Christmas?”
Kid Asks: “Why does that pale man with pointy teeth keep saying, ‘Oh, Sook-eh!’ over and over?”
Your Answer: “Because of a writer’s strike.”
Kid Asks: “Why is that man licking that lady’s knee?”
You Answer: “Because she works in a Smuckers factory, kneeling in grape jelly to make sure it has just the right consistency.”
Kid Asks: “But why is he wearing a collar like Spot wears?”
You Answer: “Have you ever met a puppy who didn’t like grape jelly? Did I already mention that your birthday’s coming up and I think you’d look mighty fine with a puppy on your arm?”
Kid Asks: “Why does that red stuff pour out of her eyes when she kisses that man?”
You Answer: ”Because she is sad.”
Kid Asks: “Why?”
You Answer: “Because of that thing you did yesterday.”
There. You should be fine as wine to watch your True Blood vamporn in the proximity of children.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I will be going back in time to blog about why not to watch Summer of Sam while you’re home from college. And to call a Blockbuster circa 2000 to ask them to please consider shelving it and other films not in “New Releases” but under “If You Feel Like Watching Extensive Doggy-Style Action With People Who Used To Give You An Allowance.”