‘True Blood’ a Genuine Phenomenon28 Jul, 2009 By: John Latchem
One of the notable news items out of Comic-Con this past weekend was confirmation that HBO’s vampire hit “True Blood” would spawn its own beverage.
On the show, TruBlood is a synthetic blood that weans vampires from feeding off humans, allowing them to join society openly. In real life the drink will be blood-orange soda, served in bottles like the ones on the show.
The marketing gimmick should come as no surprise and takes full advantage of a spike in the show’s popularity. Ratings for the second season are more than double that of the first, and the first-season home video is among the top TV DVD sellers ever, according to tracking site TVbytheNumbers.com.
And on the heels of the show’s success, author Charlaine Harris, who wrote the books upon which the show is based, signed a contract to write three more books through 2014.
A casual observer might assume “True Blood” is riding a new wave of vampire popularity sparked by “Twilight,” but I don’t think so. Judging by the negative reaction to “Twilight” at the “True Blood” panel at Comic-Con, I think the show benefits from being the perfect counter-programming to the vampire romance films. While there is undoubtedly a sizeable overlap in the fan bases for each franchise, I suspect old fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (and I count myself among them) are gravitating toward Alan Ball’s show, which is nearly as smart and seems to employ a more similar and respectful vampire mythology than the Stephenie Meyer novels.