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DIY funding : Sequoia Emmanuelle Photography Book

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The way artists get their work out to the world is dramatically changing. More and more artists and musicians are choosing to fund their next project or their next album through crowd funding rather than traditional methods of the past. When large publishing houses and record labels are becoming more problems than they are worth for independent and niche artists, crowding funding is becoming an important tool for creatives.

Long time Auxiliary photography contributor Sequoia Emmanuelle has recently launched a crowd funding campaign with Kickstarter to fund her first photography book. Emmanuelle designed the book with award-winning book designer Eli Morgan and the book will be full of her stunning and lush photographs. You can pre-order the book through Kickstarter or help fund her endeavour in various other ways.

Sequoia Emmanuelle Book

Just some of Emmanuelle’s stunning work to be published. Can you spot 3 photographs from Auxiliary?

You can support this project by visiting www.kickstarter.com.

- Jennifer Link






film review : Vampire Academy

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Vampire Academytheatrical release : 02.07.14
director : Mark Waters

The director of Mean Girls teams up with the writer of Heathers to create a film adaptation of the New York Times Bestselling series Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. For everyone thinking, “oh, this is another version of Twilight,” I can assure you, this series is nothing like its predecessor. Mead crafted a kickass world in her series of books and this world transfers to screen with absolute perfection. Fans of the book series have been overjoyed with this interpretation of the story.

Welcome to the world of Vampire Academy, where the student body at St. Vladimir’s Academy are like no other. In this world, there are the good and the bad vampires. The Moroi, co-exist peacefully among humans and only take blood from willing donors. This special breed of vampires also possesses the ability to control one of the four known elements: water, earth, air, or fire. The protectors of the Moroi are the Dhampirs, who are half-human and half-vampire. Dhampirs are trained to be guardians to protect the Moroi royalty and are taught clever moves to make epic Strigoi kills. What the heck is a Strigoi? They are the big, bad guys that both the Moroi and Dhampirs’ fear. Strigoi are more in rhythm with the classic version of a vampire. The red-eyed, blood crazed monster, without any of the sex appeal that was included in Dracula. The exception, these vampires hunt other vampires instead of solely just humans. Strigoi drink to kill and strive to cause corruption and chaos in the Moroi world.

Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) is a Dhampir-in-training who protects her best friend, Vasilisa Dragomir (Lucy Fry). Lissa is the last member of the Royal Dragomir family, which makes her pretty special, and a huge target for enemies. It is up to Rose to protect Lissa from those who wish to harm her and use the princess and her growing powers for their own means. In addition to being an ultra-secret school for Vampires, St. Vlad’s is also a high school and with that brings the usual high school drama, so sometimes, Strigoi aren’t the only enemies the Moroi and Dhampirs have to contend with.

Following true to the books, Rose serves as the narrator to the story as the action and adventures center around her. This sarcastic and hilarious character has to chime her two-cents into every conversation. The film begins with Rose and Lissa being escorted back to the Academy after a prolonged period of hiding out, mostly undetected in a big city. Rose is less than pleased to be returning to the Academy. Her displeasure leads to fantastic dialogue, and many memorable one-liners. Back at the Academy she has to catch up on her guardian training and is paired with Russian badass, Dimitri Belikov (Danila Kozlovsky). You guessed it; this is where the angsty, lusty, teen targeted emotions come. Rose and Dimitri have wicked chemistry in training as well as outside of the classroom. The movie-version of this “forbidden love” story is low on the cheesiness factors that claim most teen centered movies. Its appeal translates to viewers of all ages, not just love struck teenagers.

Overall, this film is not what one would expect from a motion picture inspired by a YA book series. It seems that Twilight has metaphorically killed the Vampire stars, Vampire Academy has resurrected the Vampire. A refreshing take on a teenage love story centered around the world of vampires.

The film is filled with mayhem, lust, adventure, and a healthy dose of violence interjected by the comedic snarkiness of Rose. The casting director did a phenomenal job of bringing these characters to life. This is trickiest part of movies inspired by books: getting the characters just right. Each character owned their role and couldn’t have been better cast. I particularly liked seeing new faces on the screen, further allowing the viewer to identify the actor with the character. The costume design was absolutely brilliant, again creating a bigger target audience than just teens. To really enjoy a movie, you need to feel a cathartic connection, and Vampire Academy delivers.

- Lisa Lunney






artist spotlight : Jennifer Jelenski

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Los Angeles pop-surrealist painter, Jennifer Jelenski, has a heaping spoonful of sugar ready to help make the medicine go down. And if she’s snuck a few grains of arsenic into that delicious sweetness melting on your tongue, so be it. Clearly the world as Jennifer sees it is far from black and white. Riotous with candy-colored details, at first glance each canvas seems to depict a Garden of Eden. Adorable woodland creatures frolic across the greenery-filled space. But her work has more layers than an onion. As the viewer shifts focus from processing the big picture to the smaller elements, it’s quickly apparent that the honeyed aspects are doing battle with violence and disorder. Those cute little bunnies? They’re menacingly wielding swords. Jelenski’s ability to create work that is both incredibly inviting and foreboding is unique. In the following interview we discussed her new series, Let’s Get Lost, her meticulous artistic process, and the sophisticated symbolism in her deceptively cute artwork.

Aux31_JenniferJelenski12

interview by : Dahlia Jane

view the full feature in the December/January 2013/2014 Issue






artist spotlight : Chet Zar

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Southern California artist Chet Zar is a master of giving our fears a face. For the last ten years he has relentlessly produced images of ghastly creatures with names such as Corpse Licker and Spiderface and features to match. His designs are pure monsters. They embody the word’s ancient Latin origin, monstrum, meaning abberant or unnatural. Chet’s works, though dark, are not straightforward presentations of evil. Grimacing against backdrops of apocalyptic colored skies and rocky landscapes, each monster has a personality ranging from charming to pitiable.

They match our stares with their own outward facing penetrating regards as if to say we are the unfortunate ones. Being a monster is fun. It is evident from his work that there is nothing Chet enjoys more than making monsters. He is an accomplished oil painter, sculptor, and special effects artist and his work in every medium explores the haunting and bizarre monsters that populate his mind. Chet paused his efforts in his home studio to discuss his new show Ego Death, the concept of the artist as shaman, and what drives him to create.

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interview by : Dahlia Jane

read the feature in the October/November 2013 Issue






on this day : The Phantom of the Opera premieres in London – October 9, 1986

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

There are plenty of interesting birthdays today: PJ Harvey, Al Jourgensen from Ministry, Guillermo del Toro. But why not pay tribute instead to that most melodramatic of musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. It had its premiere in London’s West End on this day back in 1986 and has since become the most successful stage musical of the modern age, including the longest running on Broadway. Because who can resist a romance between a hideously deformed organ player and a gorgeous opera singer? The chandeliers! The gondolas! The masquerade ball! The Phantom is gothic on the grandest scale.

- Liisa Ladouceur






on this day : Neve Campbell born – October 3, 1973

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Happy Birthday to Neve Campbell, Canadian-born Scream queen. She’s 40 today! Campbell is best known for her role as Sidney in the Scream horror franchise but is probably best remembered by weirdos who went through high school in the 1990s for her part in The Craft. Since then, she’s been married three times, guest starred on The Simpsons, acted in more film, television live theater, and had her first child. All perfectly respectable, grown-up things, but in our minds she will always be a wicked teenage witch.

- Liisa Ladouceur






on this day : The Munsters premieres – September 24, 1964

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

It’s hard to imagine a world without Lily Munster in it. Before September 24, 1964 there was Vampira, and the Addams Family had just debuted on TV the week previous, but with the premiere of The Munsters on CBS, TV viewers now had a seriously sexy vampire to spend their nights with.

The black-and-white monster sitcom also featured Herman and Grandpa and Eddie too but it was Lily (played by Yvonne De Carlo) who made the family from 1313 Mockingbird Lane one of the funnest, macabre things to ever happen to TV.

AuxiliaryTheMunsters

image source munsters.com

Watch the season one opener at : www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TTIqK9nFH8

- Liisa Ladouceur






artist spotlight : Cam Rackam

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Aux29_CamRackam12

interview by : Dahlia Jane

Southern California artist Cam Rackam has made a career out of pillaging sacred iconography, from “The Last Supper” to the American flag, and corrupting it for his own twisted purposes. His work and lifestyle are steeped in subversive, anarchic punk influences. One could follow the stickers he sneaks onto telephone poles, buildings, and vehicles like a trail of breadcrumbs retracing his steps in an urban landscape. Yet Cam paints with a technical mastery of styles like chiaroscuro, the interplay between light and dark in a composition, that evade more reverent, serious-seeming artists. He is the consummate example of one who works hard to play hard, finding time to perfect his craft and party like a rockstar.

view the full editorial in the August/September 2013 Issue






tv review : True Blood – Season 6 Episode 10 “Radioactive” Quiz

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

true blood sookie, warlow

image source hbo.com

Since it’s taken me about three weeks to get here, I thought it would be fun to do my recap in a different way. And what could be more fun than a multiple choice quiz covering both the tenth episode and the season as a whole? This is a very serious quiz with clear right and wrong answers. Take your time and check your work. The answer key follows the quiz.

Questions :

1. You’ve just survived a concentration camp for vampires and you can be out in sunlight for the first time since you were turned. Do you?
A) Dance the Charleston in your underwear
B) Go on a target run
C) Play volleyball
D) All of the above

2. How do you kill a vampire fairy hybrid that’s been on the planet for thousands of years?
A) Infect him with HepV.
B) Lure him into a bathroom where there’s a portal to a scary plane and hope your fairy godfather breaks through the portal so he can hold him down while you stake him.
C) Have an ancient vampire suck him dry during the daytime when he’s mostly fae.
D) Feed him to the werewolf pack.

3. True or false? Losing his Lilith blood and powers gave Bill a strong sense of humility and a desire to put his loved ones above all else.

4. Mayor Sam wants every healthy human to enter into a monogamous feeding relationship with a vampire in exchange for protection from the roaming bands of HepV infected vampires. If the Bon Temps population is 150 humans and 1/8 of the world vampire population has become infected with HepV; oh hell, math is hard. Are there really an even number of vampires and humans now in Bon Temps?

5. Tara’s mother tries to make amends with her daughter by allowing Tara to feed on her in the barn. This gesture is:
A) Touching. I was hoping those two would make up.
B) Clearly a trick. Tara obviously wasn’t listening to the safe-feeding speech and she probably just got HepV from her mom.
C) The creepiest thing I’ve ever seen next to all those articles in the media earlier this year about five-year-olds breastfeeding. Were those porn-like feeding sounds really necessary?
D) Complicated. Surely these two will need to do a lot of work to reconnect in a healthy way.

6. Speaking of parents, whose parents most dropped the ball this season?
A) The little fairy Bellefleurs. Their father Andy’s lack of supervision and inability to keep track of the girl’s rapid aging leads to three of his four daughters being eaten by Jessica before he’d even named them.
B) Sookie, whose father comes back from the dead to kill her so that she won’t end up with Warlow.
C) Willa, who becomes a pawn in the war between human v. vampires when she’s stolen from the governor’s mansion. She’s clearly got some deeply rooted daddy issues because she pretty quickly pledges herself towards team vampire.
D) Willa (again) and Tara whose makers Eric and Pam abandoned them just after they all made it out of the Vamp Camp even though Willa’s never been a free vampire and Tara is still very green.

7. Favorite new character introduced in the sixth season of True Blood who will most likely be back for the seventh season?
A) Nicole (hint: snooze)
B) Willa
C) James
D) Violet

8. What was the best True Death scene of the season?
A) Nora succumbing slowly to HepV hundreds of years after she almost died from Black Plague.
B) Steve Newlin being prevented from feeding on Bill like a runt of a litter and introduced to the sun by his ex-wife Sarah.
C) Warlow being staked in Sookie’s bathroom thus allowing Jason to save his sister and avenge his parents’ murder.
D) Nude Eric sunbathing on the Alps when the fairy blood wears off.

Eric-Northman-main

image source ew.com

9. True or False? Sookie is a danger whore.

10. Whose new romantic relationship will go the distance?
A) Sookie and Alcide
B) Sam and Nicole
C) Jason and Violet
D) None of the above

Answers :

1. You’ve just survived Vamp Camp, must be time to… D) All of the above! Because what could say, “I’m so happy to be alive and in the sun,” better than underwear frolicking and a Top Gun style volleyball scene?
2. How do you kill Warlow? B) You get really really lucky and at just the right moment that character that we’d all kind of forgotten about since he spent half the season trapped in another dimension reappears and helps save the day (errr night).
3. Did the end of Billith lead to a more humble Bill? Judging from his bestselling book, And God Bled, his TV appearance, and his interference in Sookie’s life, I’d say no, FALSE. He’s so not humble that when the interviewer asks him if he’s concerned about being tried for murdering the governor of Louisiana, he laughs the question off as absurd. Good old Bill.
4. Is the ratio of vampires to humans really one to one? I don’t know the answer to this question, but I guess it must be since Sam’s town meeting advises everybody to get their own personal vampire bodyguard.
5. The scene where Tara feeds on her mother is… C) The creepiest thing I’ve ever seen! Ick!
6. Whose parents really dropped the ball? That honor goes to… B) Sookie. Her father is such a dick he actually comes back from the dead to kill her since he didn’t get to finish his first attempt when she was just a little girl.
7. Best new character we can’t wait to see more from? D) Violet. She’s jealous to the point of extreme paranoia, possessive, and extremely selfish in bed. She’s turned Jason into a human oral sex slave and he’s barely protesting. Plus her bedroom is gorgeous. Teach us oh wise one.
8. Best True Death of the season? B) Steve Newlin. When Steve looks up to the heavens and proclaims, “I love you Jason Stackhouse,” to the chagrin of both his ex-wife and Jason as he’s devoured by flames, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. If you said… D) Eric, you’re extra wrong. For one thing, HBO has already made the announcement that Alexander Skarsgard will be back for the seventh season. But even before they said that, it was obvious that such a silly death scene was un-befitting to the most splendid specimen of vampire-kind on the show.  Pam is going to save him or an avalanche of snow will cover him; he’s fine.
9. True, Sookie is a danger whore which is why…
10. Sookie and boring Alcide will not go the distance. But… C) Violet and Jason may. I see that codependent and unhealthy relationship working out. I’m a romantic.

jason violet

image source trueblood.net

How did you do?

- Dahlia Jane






on this day : Tim Burton born – August 25, 1958

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tim Burton! You’re 55.

What even is there to say about Tim Burton at this point? The filmmaker and storyteller who brings the wacky, romantic, gothic worlds of our fantasies to life. The world would be a whole lot duller without his vision. In honor of the King of Misfits on his special day, enjoy this music video he directed for The Killers. Because: skulls.

- Liisa Ladouceur






tv review : True Blood – Season 6 Episode 9 “Life Matters”

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Bill Compton, vamp camp

image source Gossip On This

During medieval times, evidence from medical and religious records indicates that many Europeans believed vampires spread plague.

Just last summer archaeologists unearthed a skull in Venice in a mass plague grave from 1576 with a brick shoved in its mouth. The brick was a measure taken to kill a vampire who was caught eating his or her way out of the grave.

Scientists now contend that this superstitious practice was a misunderstanding of how bodies decay, and not proof of vampirism. But the connection between vampire-kind and pestilence persevered for hundreds of years. Pale, insomniac consumptives (tuberculosis) wielding bloody handkerchiefs were also occasionally mislabeled as vampires.

article-0-13673155000005DC-646_634x475

image source Daily Mail

In True Blood’s sixth season, the relationship between vampires and plague is explored through HepV. In episode seven we watched Nora be made into vampire as an alternative of succumbing to the black plague only to die a devastatingly horrific death caused by a new plague engineered to wipe out vampires. And in episode nine Eric and Bill rampage against those who would so cruelly wipe out the vampire population.

The HepV storyline is one of the most compelling devices the show has ever employed. Unlike sunlight or staking, which generally require direct human contact to take deadly effect; HepV can be placed in the vampire’s food. And once contracted there doesn’t seem to be an antidote.

Eric Northman, vamp camp

image source Gossip on This

Eric’s return to the vamp camp, powered by Warlow’s blood, is as much about an eye for an eye as it is about rescuing his brood. His first act after ripping apart a handful of camp guards limb from limb, is to wrench off the penis and balls of the doctor who injected his sister with the disease that killed her. This act gets my vote for all time goriest scene in True Blood history; surpassing the scene where Eric rips a heart out of a witch’s chest and drinks from it as though he’s sipping through a straw (at least that guy got to die an instant death). As blood gushes out of the doctor’s groin like a waterfall, Eric proceeds to release vampires to run amok and kill all of the humans.

In fact it’s Bill, not Eric, who gets to our favorite vampires in time to save them from meeting the sun. As an unhinged Sarah Newlin cranks open the ceiling she finds all but her ex-husband feeding from Bill in a Renaissance-worthy messiah tableau. Hottttttt.

We almost witness the demise of the Newlins. Steve meets a hilarious end, disappointing the forever delusional Sarah, and making Jason uncomfortable with his dying proclamation, “I love you Jason Stackhouse.” I found myself holding in my breath, waiting for the gunshot in the brilliant tension-filled confrontation between Jason and Sarah. I doubt her freedom will be long-lasting. But I hope she gets in one or two more evil acts before she pays the ultimate price.

As caught up as I was in the whole fantastic revenge slaughter in the Vamp Camp, I felt confused that we only saw one truly sick vampire in a morgue drawer. For the last few episodes we’ve seen most of the vamp camp population down contaminated TruBlood. So why weren’t there more sick vampires?

The half of the episode not devoted to carnage at the vamp camp, Terry’s funeral, was heartfelt and violent-free blah blah. Why did we devote so much time learning the backstory of a character who is already gone through flashbacks? This felt very manipulative, as though the writers were saying, look at this great character whose humanity you never even appreciated until it’s too late. Cry bitches…

Sookie goes public with her telepathy. No one gasped or even looked confused. But anyway her pretty speech about the fact that Terry loved Arlene from the moment he saw her and that Arlene was blessed to be loved like that amused me because she has a man who has loved her since thousands of years before her birth and she doesn’t seem all that appreciative.

Unfortunately there’s only one more episode of this season. I’m hoping mostly for some resolution to the whole decimating vampire plague issue. Okay, I’m hoping mostly for Jason to have a sexy dream about Eric since Eric healed him in the vamp camp, but I’m hoping a little for some resolution to that plague thing.

I’m wondering if Bill is going to survive the season now that Lilith’s bloody goons have already come for him once. And I’m also wondering if Sookie will keep her word to become a fairy vampire queen.

Bill Compton, Jessica, True Blood season six

image source Hollywood.com

What did you think of the ninth episode? Were you moved by the funeral? Did you have a favorite moment of vampire vengeance?

- Dahlia Jane






tv review : True Blood – Season 6 Episode 8 “Dead Meat”

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Sookie Stackhouse

image source Xemest

There’s a creepy little tale that originated on the Isle of Man. According to legend, if inhabitants didn’t leave water out at night for fairies to drink, the fairies would quench their thirst with the blood of those asleep inside. In extreme cases, the fairies would collect blood from the humans and bake that blood into a special fae cake. Then the fairies would cunningly hide the cake somewhere on the premises. And if it wasn’t found and consumed by the person whose blood was a main ingredient, then that person would waste away and die.

Charming? Isn’t it.

There’s something extra-twisted about combining vampires and fairies to get blood-sucking fairies. And in the eighth episode of True Blood’s sixth season, Warlow almost forces Sookie to become one. He gains the ultimate leverage when Sookie reveals that she and Bill need his blood to save their vampire friends.

Sookie refuses to be bullied into becoming a vampire. She even seeks solace with Sam Merlotte. Sookie’s confession that she always thought she and Sam would end up together came out of nowhere. Since when?! I shared Sam’s outrage. She’d had plenty of opportunities to be with him, but she waited until he had moved on with his life. Now Sam has a new girlfriend who is expecting his child and the last thing he needs is to get mixed back up in Sookie’s drama.

Sure it’s been less than a week since the last love of Sam’s life died in front of him. And Nicole’s serious boyfriend was ripped apart by werewolves even more recently. But we can’t control whom and when we love. I’m sure this will work out great (major eye rolls). But while we’re discussing Sam’s love life, I say bravo to Nicole’s mother for pointing out that Sam has a slightly predatory pattern of going after girls almost half his age.

Seems Sookie is surrounded by predators at the moment. And by the end of the episode, she’s resigned to the fact that she can’t keep fighting her destiny. She can’t opt to be with Sam just because it would be easier or release all of her light in an empty gesture to give up her fairy identity. I’m not convinced that Warlow is her destiny, however. For one thing, the Warlow we’ve met doesn’t gel with the other Warlow Sookie has encountered menacing her from another dimension in her bathroom. I don’t think we’ve learned everything we need to know about Warlow yet.

But also, beneath his boyish good-looks, Warlow is one sick bastard. He clearly hates vampires. When Sookie tells him she wants his blood to save them, he’s appalled. He hates a big part of his identity. Yet he wants nothing more than to turn Sookie into a vampire to reign as his eternal queen. If he gets his wish to turn Sookie, would his love for her survive?

meet the sun

image source Policy Mic

I don’t think we’ll get a satisfactory answer to that question since Eric’s renegade entrance to the fairy sanctuary and theft of Warlow’s blood probably eliminates any need for Sookie to make that ultimate sacrifice. And Eric’s intervention comes not a second too soon. By the end of the episode we see all of the vampires we know in the camp herded into the room where Bill has seen them meet the sun.

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image source The Vine

Any question of Sarah Newlin’s commitment to the cause of vampire genocide flew out the window when we watched her chase down and brutally beat to death one of the top TruBlood employees. That scene has to be the sickest girl fight I’ve ever seen. Sarah viciously slams the other woman’s face into the grated floor and thrusts a stiletto into the back of her head crying, “Thank you Jesus.” Not even one of the Ten Commandments, “thou shall not murder,” can stand in the way of her righteous cause. Oh Sarah, you have emerged this season as one of the best villains in the history of True Blood.

Once again, True Blood poses the provocative question, who is the monster? Is it Terry, who was in so much pain everyday of his life that he took a shortcut and deprived his wife and kids of his love? Is it Warlow, who believes that he must turn the woman he’s waited 6,000 years for into a creature he despises? Is it Bill, who watched Nora die, thinks nothing of Sookie giving up her life for Warlow’s blood, and hasn’t actually intervened to save the imprisoned vampires up to this point? Or is it Sarah Newlin, who is so committed to her war against the vampires to save humanity that she’ll stop at nothing to win? Are we all monsters? Are we making the cake or consuming it?

- Dahlia Jane






tv review : True Blood – Season 6 Episode 7 “In the Evening”

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

sarah newlin true blood governor rapidmoviez

image source Rapid Moviez

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

When the sixth season of True Blood began, I predicted that Billith would be the primary threat to our beloved Bon Temps crew. Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong.

But I never, never would have guessed that the number one villain would be little, sassy Sarah Newlin.

Now I can’t think of a more satisfying arch for her character. She’s despicable!  Scheming, heartless, vile, self-righteous, two-faced cunt!

Sarah’s macabre farewell scene with her lover and ride to the top, the late-Governor, where she caresses his decapitated head and promises him he did not die in vain, was Shakespearean. Her manipulation of the senator to get him to play along that the governor was still alive so she could follow through on the plan to systematically wipe out all vampire kind was masterful.

But she really got my attention when she took a slice out of Jason’s arm and sent him bleeding into female general population of the vampire camp. I guess she’s given up on his soul.  Who among us wouldn’t jump at the chance to watch an ex ripped to shreds by ravenous harpies? We so rarely have an opportunity to make that happen. I love it.

And she accomplished her sneaky coup in fabulous style in a baroque print power dress by Cache.  Perfection from her golden curls to her feisty pumps. Though I see this ending very badly for her, I’ll root for her from now until the bitter end.

I agree with other bloggers who have called “In the Evening” a transitional episode. There was a lot of rehashing information we already know. And characters were shuffled around in ways that seem to be setting up the rest of the season (Eric gets to Bill. Bill convinces Sookie to bring him Warlow. It looks like everyone we know in the vamp camp is in female general population now. Sam is headed back to Bon Temps where Alcide is facing mutiny in his pack.)

Now that I’ve seen it, I never want to return to a time before I saw the flashback of Eric meeting Nora during a bout of plague in London. The art direction and costumes were so decadent and over the top I was salivating (plague doctors! Eric in ruffles and a silly wig!  Come on!  So good!).

nora trueblood hep v hollywood gossip

image source Hollywood Gossip

Despite my anti-Nora stance. I found myself won over by both of her splendid death scenes. When she tells Eric at their first meeting that she won’t be moved to the house provided for her by the king because she wants her death to be her own, she won me over as completely as she won Eric over. And I loved the symmetry that he saved her from one fatal disease only to see her succumb to another centuries later. Perchance I misjudged feisty little Nora.  May she rest with Godric.

Nora wasn’t the only character taking stock and making dying wishes. Jessica realized that if she was going to die in the vamp camp, she didn’t want to die before having sex with hunky new vampire James. And I don’t blame her one bit. But asking Jason to stand guard over her tryst in the conference room was a little cruel. Not cutting his arm and pushing him into a room with a nest of hungry vampires cruel, but still cruel.

jessica vampcamp true blood zimbio

 image source Zimbio

And speaking of cruelty, Billith had the gall to walk right into the Bellefleur house where the whole family was gathered to mourn Terry, including Andy and his one surviving  fairy daughter. He somehow cleared the air with Andy, both of them agreeing that the welfare of their daughters superseded any further conflict. But I was impressed with his cajones.

Sookie’s reaction to Bill’s day walking, that the day wasn’t about him even if he was somehow able to survive in the sun, was priceless. It was a genuine response to an ex showing up somewhere he wasn’t wanted.

If you really think about any of these plot lines on their own, they’re pretty much one hundred percent absurd. But this season of True Blood has turned into a beast of a thrill ride machine.  Who are you rooting for as we round the bend towards the end of the season?

- Dahlia Jane






tv review : True Blood – Season 6 Episode 6 “Don’t You Feel Me”

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

True Blood season 6 episode 6, Arlene, Merlottes

image source TVfanatic.com

Everybody is talking about episode 6 of season 6 as the episode that kills off Terry. Two things: One, after learning before the season even started that a major character was going to die, I’ve been feeling very protective of my favorites. (The following was running through my head all season: please please please don’t let it be Pam, Jason or Lafayette, they wouldn’t dare kill off Sookie, Bill, or goth freaking forbid, Eric, would they? If they kill Eric I will gather all the Truebies I can find and create a violent Waco-style rampage.)

After they set up the cage match between Eric and Pam at the end of episode five, I had a very sinking feeling that Pam was done for.

So the fact that we lost Terry this week came as a relief (that Waco thing was going to involve a lot of effort). If I hadn’t known someone was going to die, I probably would’ve mustered up some grief. I’ve always liked Terry. I didn’t want or expect him to die. But given the choice between Terry and the other characters I listed, fine, take Terry.

Two, the real, oh no they didn’t moment of this episode and probably this whole season up to this point, was the reveal in that creepy vamp camp compound that the government is contaminating the supply of TruBlood with a new strain of Hepatitis known as HepV.

HepV.

Yikes! From what we’ve seen of HepV through Nora who seems to be Patient Zero, it involves a slow and agonizing wasting death.

Eric Northman, Nora, HepV

image source Gossip on This

Let’s think, what sexually transmitted blood disease targets a minority group and turns the infected people’s bodies against them?

HIV/AIDS.

Which means that the show is not too subtly exploring the controversial conspiracy theory that HIV/AIDS could have been a plot to eradicate homosexuals.

Kind of amazing, right?

And I don’t know why this isn’t the ONLY thing people want to talk about from this episode. Because it’s insanely provocative, reckless, and sensational.

If I wanted to go really conspiracy theory on you, I’d say the Terry death and even the references to a Holocaust concentration camp were a misdirection to keep the main focus off of this twist because it’s too frightening/polarizing an issue for a mainstream audience to deal with.

But we are not a mainstream audience, are we? And not the lamentable loss of Terry; the touching gift Andy Bellefleur gave his surviving fairy daughter of a four part name; Jason being forced to watch Jessica degraded in the copulation chamber; the breathlessly hot surrender of Sookie to Warlow; or even the deliciously satisfying moment when Bill ripped off that asshole governor’s head can divert me from the really juicy reveal of HepV.

Sookie, Warlowe, fairy

image source Gossip on This

Before True Blood premiered on HBO in 2008 (there was life before True Blood? I don’t remember those dark days.) series creator and former show runner, Alan Ball, told reporters, “I really don’t look at the vampire as a metaphor for gays. For me, part of the fun of this whole series is that it’s about vampires, so it’s not that serious. However, they do work as a metaphor for gays… for anyone that’s misunderstood. At the same time it’s not a metaphor at all.”

Alan Ball may have been outright lying. I’m sorry, but either he was deliberately obfuscating an agenda by saying there wasn’t one, or he’s somehow been unaware of the number of creative choices that scream vampires are a metaphor for gay people.

From the very beginning of True Blood there have been countless obvious parallels between contemporary gay issues and vampire culture. Off the top of my head, you’ve got “God Hates Fangs” on a church sign in the opening credits of every single episode (um one letter away from fags, a derogatory term for gay men, not a big leap). Vampires talk about coming out of the coffin instead of closet. The vampires have their own nightclubs such as Fangtasia where there’s a pervasive promiscuous hookup culture. Since the rise of HIV, gay men aren’t allowed to donate blood. Similarly, in True Blood, people fear contamination of powerful V.

And now on the show we’ve got the undeniable link between a disease that targets vampires, HepV, and HIV, a disease that in the US has disproportionately claimed gay men.

There’s also a long history of vampires in literature as symbols for homosexuality. Until the recent True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and yes, even Twilight (ick) trend of strong, macho vampires, a lot of the early twentieth century vampire incarnations were very effeminate.

Dracula, Nosferatu, the lesbian vampires of Nightwood, all became more horrific because of their homosexual traits. It was in the way they dressed and moved. And they didn’t want to have intercourse with women. They wanted to suck fluid out of them (oral sex used to be something only depraved people did). They had the ability to infect or turn normal people into vampires (I’m not saying homosexuality is contagious. I’m saying idiots thought/maybe still think it was/is.)

The HepV plotline is risky. It’s controversial. And it’s got me on the edge of my seat.

What do you think? Is the HepV contaminated TruBlood heavy-handed, agenda-pushing, conspiracy hokum? Or daring, brilliant television?

- Dahlia Jane