Time to confess a mostly non-rock pop-culture obsession (though you must admit that Jace Everett's theme song is a killer track). I've been firmly hooked on HBO's "True Blood" from the moment I caught up with the fangs-happy series in the middle of season one. The Southern Gothic vampire saga hits just the right mix of camp, social satire (tearing into homophobia, racial prejudices, addiction, and right-wing Christian zealotry), arch over-acting in the classic Christopher Lee/Hammer films vein, and cheesy but enticing B-movie sexuality (of pretty much every persuasion).
I can't get enough of it. (Don't call me on Sunday nights!)
Sadly, too often when you start to really love a TV show, the moment when it jumps the shark is just an episode away. (See: the last season of "The Sopranos" and, to some degree, the last run of "Mad Men." Among a thousand others.)
So far, season three of "True Blood," which aired its second episode last Sunday, hasn't let me down as superb brain candy unafraid to laugh at itself even as it delivers the goods. The vampires still are chewing the scenery. Really, Bill (Stephen Moyer)! And Eric (Alexander Skarsgƒ¥rd)! Jason (Ryan Kwanten) still is the funniest redneck blockhead ever shown on television (and he's Australian in real life!), while Tara (Rutina Wesley) is one of the strongest and sassiest women. Gotta love the new werewolves! And, yes, the show still is very, very sexy. (Anna Paquin as Sookie -- sigh. Though I admit I really miss Michelle Forbes as Maryann the Maenad.)
Nevertheless, if only in terms of corporate synergy and HBO over-hype, "Oh Sookie," the new video from aging rap star turned TV pitchman Snoop Dogg, is such an embarrassment that it makes me feel guilty for digging the show.
In the clip, Snoop -- surprise, surprise -- plays a pimp who drives from L.A. to Bon Temps to try to turn Sookie out. Among the dumbest lyrics:
"Oh, Sookie Take this mary jay cookie And roll with the Dogg, vampires can't hook me You outta Bon Temps You need a Bon pimp A real Don Juan You might get whipped Yellow cars ain't fly So hop in my jet Try to read my mind You might get wet Choose big or lose big I know all the spots Then order you a gin and juice at Merlotte's."
Ack. You gotta believe that a Sookie Stackhouse who can make quick business of vampires, serial killers, shifters, werewolves, and Maenads could deal pronto with a weak, wannabe hustler like the washed-up Snoop. Meanwhile, I'm almost ready to lose the bottle of B-positive I had for lunch.