Monday, June 28, 2010

True Blood vs The Gates: You Know Who the Winner Is

Well, last night's episode of True Blood was fucking insane. And last night's episode of The Gates was totally boring. I think I sense a pattern forming...

[This blog contains SPOILERS of both shows, but really, only the True Blood spoiler warning matters because who cares what happened on The Gates, am I right?]

But yes, last night's episode of True Blood was off the hook. There was not one, but two crazy sex scenes. (One of which was kinda hot, the other of which was just... yuck.) There were crazy twists and lots of blood and plenty of violence and the introduction of a new hottie, Joe Manganiello as the werewolf Alcide. I really like the way the show has made the vampires and werewolves physically very different - that is, the vamps are all sleek and sexy and goth and kinda metrosexual. The wolves on the other hand are like tough guys and bikers, all muscley and beardy. (Last season we learned that maenads are upper class hippies and so far most shape-shifters are white trash... can't wait to see what comes next.)

The Gates, on the other hand, was less climactic. This episode opened with a scene of two wolves running through the woods towards a sweet little deer. After seeing werewolves and vampires kill real life people just a few moments ago on True Blood, it's hard to be shocked when you see a couple of werewolves chowing down on a dead deer. (And I really expected the deer to turn into a blonde chick or a big pig or something.)

Then there's talk of a terrible upsetting murder... that's not nearly as terrible and upsetting as the murders we just saw on True Blood. (The body they found on The Gates still had a head, for instance.) And then there's a vampire-on-vampire sex scene that doesn't come close to what we just saw Bill do to Lorena. (Not that any show on TV should have scenes like that, ever ever again.) Now I know this is ABC, so you can't really expect the kind of stuff they show on HBO... but it's hard to care about Desperate Vampire Housewives when you've just seen the crazy shit that just went down in the past hour on True Blood.

Even if you haven't just watched True Blood, everything about this show still just feels unoriginal. I'm not sure if the series creators intended to make certain allusions or what, but everything about this show just makes me think of what else that came before it (and in this case, that's not always a good thing).

Even the name of the show makes me think of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's artwork in New York City, which in turn makes me think of those dumb AT&T commercials. And what a dumb thing to name your gated community: "The Gates"? It's surrounded by gates... let's just call it "the Gates", get it? The Gates! Talk about lazy naming. This ranks right up there with The Happening and Fighting for "all the other good names were taken so we just stopped trying" titling. Unless the actual physical gates turn out to have some magical powers themselves (because that would actually be kinda cool). This week's episode was called "What Lies Beneath" which was also the title of the 2000 supernatural horror/thriller film starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer which itself was full of allusions to Hitchcock films like Rear Window. (It is also vaguely reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "from beneath you, it devours" theme from season 7.)

So when Devon pressures Claire to give her a vial of her blood, we're not curious what that's all about... we just assume she's a V-head or something. That's probably not it, but you know it's not going to be anything as interesting as the Lafayette-Eric-SophieAnn blood-dealing set-up... so it's just really really hard to care. That's how I feel about The Gates. It's not a bad show... but I just find it really hard to care what happens. Meanwhile the second an episode of True Blood ends I'm counting the minutes until the next one (which is also the only reason I end up watching The Gates).

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