24 November 2008
The first season ended last night, and I was pretty happy with the finale. It's been a very enjoyable show. It's a bit of an oddity in the vampiric drama, as it's more of a socio-political satire than anything. It's not full of the greatest acting, nor writing, but it has qualities that make it still a good show. These include an interesting take on vampires, and a bunch of hot girls on an HBO show.
The satire part of it uses vampires as another target for racism and bigotry. They still include other examples of this, with both black and gay (in one case both) characters going through the usual routines. Well, the blacks aren't really targets themselves but some think they are, thereby showing their own racist tendencies. However, the vampire is the most prominent oddity, as would be expected by the title. You've got lynchings, religious outrage, and all that jazz.
The vampires themselves are pretty cool. They have most of the traditional traits, like adversity to sunlight and silver, and of course the affinity for human blood. They differ in that garlic and crosses have no effect, and they don't necessarily sleep in coffins or hanging from rafters. They seem to be trying to keep most of the weird stuff in as much of a scientifically plausible context as possible, although this gets a bit hairy later on in the season. The main vamp, Bill, often tries to pass off vampiric weaknesses as fairy tales only to have them surface as truth later on (burning in sunlight, maybe some other stuff I forgot). A bit of a neat thing is that the vamps can move really fast when they want to. This was actually a development that occurred during the editing for the show, as they were trying to cut down on the length of some scenes. It looks cool and saves time. The retractable fangs kind of tick me off but I don't suppose it matters much.
It's a good show. I like Anna Paquin.
08 November 2008
A friend of mine nagged me into reading this. It's been sort-of on my list for a while, but I finally got around to reading it. Like Sandman and Watchmen, it's held in high regard by a lot of people. It really is very good.
The main thing about this comic is it is extremely sacrilegious. It reduces all of the Christian spiritual figures (God, Satan, angels, etc.) to much less than lofty heights. It makes God out to be a self-serving ass-hole, and much of the heavenly host to be a bunch of morons. This is pretty different from anything I've ever read/seen before. It definitely worked; a lot of time it was quite funny.
Another important aspect is the violence. There is some gosh-darn gruesome stuff in this thing. Sometimes it seems there is scarce a page without a depiction of somebody's head being blown away. Again, sometimes this works out to be comedic.
Of course my favorite part of it (as usual) was the characterization. The characters were well defined and likable. One in particular, Cassidy the vampire, is fleshed out very well. Parts of his character are exposed throughout the story in a way that makes him the most believable vampire I've ever read. Great stuff.
Apparently there is currently a movie being planned, to be helmed by Sam Mendes. Sam did stuff like American Beauty and Road to Perdition, so I think he could pull it off well enough. Of course, it isn't definite yet. There's no script, and this story has gone through development hell on a number of projects before, so it might not actually happen. Considering the subject matter I wouldn't be surprised if it gets scrapped due to protests. I'll watch it if it happens though.