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True Blood:' season 3, episode 9

Does 'True Blood' have a sociopolitical agenda?

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  • Rolling Stone
  • Yes, we're naked, but there's a point to our nakedness. The current cover of Rolling Stone

This week's episode of "True Blood" sort of felt like what it would be like if Bill O'Reilly or some other Fox News personality guest-wrote an episode. There were all sorts of social and political subtexts - abortion, environmentalism, big government vs. small government. In some ways, I kind of think O'Reilly and his ilk probably see the world like an episode of "True Blood" — full of bloodsucking liberals out to annihilate mankind.

But this week's episode was actually written by series writer/producer Alexander Woo, who could be lampooning not only certain right-wing conservative viewpoints, but also some passive-aggressiveness on the left's side. Even the episode's title, "Everything is Broken," (perhaps after the Bob Dylan song) could be taken as an assessment of the current state of the union. Yes, "True Blood" is full of porny sexcapades and boobies, but there's also (sometimes) an undercurrent of social commentary - it's like hiding a kid's vegetables in the mac ’n’ cheese. In any case, it's fun to watch this theater of the absurd as social/political fears play out in the backwoods of the deep South.

Take, for instance, Russell Edgington. We know that he's a madman; a murderous, power-hungry ball ’o crazy with a syrupy Southern accent. His agenda? Destroy mankind as comeuppance for its destruction of the environment with its SUVs and copious wastefulness; its obsession with money, status and McMansions. See, Edgington is, at his heart, an activist with a liberal agenda. And here, basically, the devil, not to mention the show's only fully gay vampire.

What does he do this episode? He shows up to the nightly news, rips out the anchor's spine, spreads his arms and declares, "Mine is the true face of vampires! We are gonna eat you, after we eat your children!" Replace the word "vampires" in that sentence with "Democrats," and it becomes the kind of thing that probably keeps O'Reilly, et al up at night. On the other hand, it could be taken as a wake-up call for the Dems. Not to eat babies, of course, but to at least take some action on something.