Posthumous Humans, Modern Vampires: Re-use, seriality, chorality of horror tropes in True Blood

Giulia Iannuzzi

Abstract


Why are some of us – inhabitants of increasingly dense and complex narrative ecosystems – compulsive spectators of horrors? What determines the liveliness of horror tropes that already have a long history of being used and re-used in narratives across different media, and what favors their being used incessantly on the small screen?

This essay argues that in analyzing contemporary television series, we need to takes into account specific productive and narrative aspects, and (intra- and inter-)textual elements as well as sociological ones, starting from the theoretical assumption that the fortune of horror series (and not only of them) is in fact determined by those territories where these elements come together.

As a case in point, this essay takes a look at True Blood, which was created in 2008 for HBO by Alan Ball, and came to an end with its seventh season in 2014. Positioned within the broader context of horror proliferation in contemporary television series, True Blood offers striking examples of the new mechanisms and distinction practices utilized by the television genre which is bringing about an increasing differentiation of audience segment.


Keywords


television series, re-use, vampire, horror, HBO

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)

References


Allrath, Gaby – Gymnich, Marion (eds.), Narrative Strategies in Television Series, Houndsmills-New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Anderson, Christopher, “Producing an Aristocracy of Culture in American Television”, The Essential HBO Reader, eds. Gary R. Edgerton and Jeffrey P. Jones, Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 2008: 23-41.

Anyiwo, Melissa, “It's not Television, It's Transmedia storytelling: Marketing the Real World of True Blood”, True Blood: Investigating Vampires and Southern Gothic, ed. Brigid Cherry, London-New York, I.B. Tauris, 2012: 157-71.

Balaji, Murali (ed.), Thinking Dead: What the Zombie Apocalypse Means, Lanham, Lexington Books, 2013.

Bandirali, Luca – Terrone, Enrico, Filosofia delle serie tv. Dalla scena del crimine al trono di spade, Mimesis, Milano, 2013, ed. elettronica epub.

Boni, Federico, American horror story: Una cartografia postmoderna del gotico americano, Milano-Udine, Mimesis, 2015.

Bourdieu, Pierre, La distinzione. Critica sociale del gusto, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2007 (1979).

Brancato, Sergio (ed.), Post-serialità. Per una sociologia delle tv-series. Dinamiche di trasformazione della fiction televisiva, Napoli, Liguori, 2011.

Brembilla, Paola – Pescatore, Guglielmo, "La serialità televisiva americana: produzione, consumo e tipologie di prodotto", America oggi: Cinema, media, narrazioni del nuovo secolo, ed. Giulia Carluccio, Torino, Kaplan, 2014: 275-90.

Bucciferro, Claudia (ed.), The Twilight Saga: Exploring the Global Phenomenon, Scarecrow Press, New York, 2014.

Buonomo, Leonardo, “Six Feet Under: La morte è di casa”, I Soprano e gli altri: i serial televisivi americani in Italia, eds. Donatella Izzo and Cinzia Scarpino Ácoma, 36 (2008): 110-21.

Campbell, Peter, “Intersectionality Bites: Metaphors of Race and Sexuality in HBO's True Blood”, Monster Culture in the 21st Century: A Reader, eds. Marina Levina and Diem-My T. Bui, New York, Bloomsbury, 2013: 99-114.

Cardini, Daniela, “Il tele cinefilo. Il nuovo spettatore della Grande Serialità televisiva”, Tecnologia, immaginazione e forme del narrare, ed. L. Esposito, E. Piga, A. Ruggiero, Between, IV.8 (2014), http://www.Between Journal.it.

Casarini, Alice, "Twilight of the Grrrls: Stephenie Meyer’s Rehash of the Feminine Mystique", Discourses of Emancipation and the Boundaries of Freedom, eds. Leonardo Buonomo and Elisabetta Vezzosi, Trieste, EUT, 2015: 265-72.

Ceserani, Remo, Il fantastico, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1996.

Cherry, Brigid (ed.), True Blood: Investigating Vampires and Southern Gothic, London-New York, I.B. Tauris, 2012.

Checcaglini, Chiara, Breaking bad. La chimica del male: storia, temi, stile, Milano-Udine, Mimesis, 2014.

Craton, Lillian – Jonell, Kathryn E., “«I am Sookie: Hear Me Roar!» Sookie Stackhouse and Feminist Ambivalence”, True Blood and Philosophy: We Wanna Think Bad Things with You, eds. George A. Dunn and Rebecca Housel, Hoboken, Wiley, 2010: 109-21.

De Berti, Raffaele, “La sigla del telefilm e l'inizio del testo post-narrativo”, Il linguaggio degli inizi: Letteratura cinema folklore, eds. Gian Paolo Caprettini and Ruggero Eugeni, Torino, Il Segnalibro, 1988: 257-73.

Dunn, George A. – Housel, Rebecca (eds.), True Blood and Philosophy: We Wanna Think Bad Things with You, Hoboken, Wiley, 2010.

Edgerton, Gary R. – Jones, Jeffrey P. (eds.), The Essential HBO Reader, Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 2008.

Gray, Jonathan, Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, New York-London, New York University Press, 2010.

Gregory, Chris, Star Trek: Parallel Narratives, Houndmills-London, MacMillan, 2000.

Gwenllian-Jones, Sara – Pearson, Roberta E. (eds.), Cult Television, Minneapolis-London, University of Minnesota Press, 2004.

Hardy, Jonathan, “Mapping Commercial Intertextuality: HBO’s True Blood”, Convergence, 17.1 (February 2011): 7-17.

Harris, Charlaine, The Southern Vampire Mysteries Series (Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, From Dead to Worse, Dead and Gone, Dead in the Family, Dead Reckoning, Deadlocked, Dead Ever After), New York, Ace Books, 2001-2013.

Hills, Matt, Fan Cultures, London-New York, Routledge, 2002.

Hudson, Dave, “'Of Course There Are Werewolves and Vampires': True Blood and the Right to Rights for Other Species”, American Quarterly, 65. 3 (September 2013): 661-87.

Iannuzzi, Giulia, ”Television is Out There: serialità e sizigia”, Quaderni d'Altri Tempi, XII (March 2016), ed. Gennaro Fucile, http://www.quadernidaltritempi.eu/rivista/numero60/mappe/q60_m04.html, online (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Jenkins, Henry, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (2006); trad. it. Cultura convergente, tr. Vincenzo Susca, Maddalena Pepacchioli, Virginio B. Sala, pref. Wu Ming, Milano, Apogeo, 2007.

Jenson, Jennifer – Sarkeesian, Anita, “Buffy vs. Bella: The Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine in Vampire Stories”, Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire, eds. Gareth Schott and Kirstine Moffat, Washington, New Academia, 2011: 55-72.

Johnson-Smith, Jan, American Science Fiction TV: Star Trek, Stargate and beyond, London, I.B. Tauris, 2005.

Kavka, Misha, “The Gothic on Screen”, The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, ed. Jerrold E. Hogle, Cambridge-New York, Cambridge University Press, 2002: 209-228.

Kimmel, Daniel M., “Vampire Porn”, A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger's Guide, ed. Leah Wilson, Dallas, Benbella Books, 2010: 3-18.

Leavenworth, Maria Lindgren – Isaksson, Malin (eds.), Fanged Fan Fiction: Variations on Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, Jefferson-London, McFarland, 2013.

Levina, Marina – Bui, Diem-My T. (eds.), Monster Culture in the 21st Century: A Reader, New York, Bloomsbury, 2013.

Meyer, Stephenie, Twilight Series (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn), New York, Little, Brown and Company, 2005-2008.

Nelson, Robin, “‘Quality Television’: ‘The Sopranos is the best television drama ever ... in my humble opinion ...’”, Critical Studies in Television, 1.1 (2006): 58-71.

Nelson, Robin, State of Play: Contemporary “High-end” TV Drama, Manchester-New York, Manchester University Press, 2007.

Perna, Stefano, “Tagli nel flusso. I titoli di testa nella serialità televisiva”, Post-serialità. Per una sociologia delle tv-series. Dinamiche di trasformazione della fiction televisiva, ed. Sergio Brancato, Napoli, Liguori, 2011: 251-82.

Piga, Emanuela, “Mediamorfosi del romanzo popolare: dal Feuilleton al Serial TV”, Tecnologia, immaginazione e forme del narrare, eds. Lucia Esposito, Emanuela Piga, Alessandra Ruggiero, Between, IV.8 (2014), http://www.Betweenjournal.it, online (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Punter, David – Byron, Glennis, The Gothic, Malden-Oxford, Brackwell, 2004.

Quenqua, Douglas, “The Vampires Are Coming, but Only After Months of Warnings”, The New York Times, 15.07.2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/business/media/15adco.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1, online (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Rice, Anne, The Witching Hour, New York, Knopf, 1990.

Richenthal, Matt, “The Walking Dead Premiere Sets Series Ratings Record”, TV Fanatic, 13.10.2014, http://www.tvfanatic.com/2014/10/the-walking-dead-premiere-sets-series-rating-record/, online (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Rossini, Gianluigi, “La serie classica: istituzioni televisive e forme narrative”, Tecnologia, immaginazione e forme del narrare, eds. Lucia Esposito, Emanuela Piga, Alessandra Ruggiero, Between, IV.8 (2014), http://www.Betweenjournal.it.

Somogyi, Emma – Ryan, Mark David, “Mainstream Monsters: The Otherness of Humans in Twilight, the Vampire Diaries and True Blood”, in The Twilight Saga: Exploring the Global Phenomenon, ed. Claudia Bucciferro, Scarecrow Press, New York, 2013: 197-211.

“‘The Walking Dead’ Premiere Delivers Largest Audience in Series History With 12.3 Million Viewers”, TV by the Numbers, 11.2.2013, http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/02/11/the-walking-dead-premiere-delivers-largest-audience-in-series-history-with-12-3-million-viewers/169090/, online (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Thompson, Robert J., Television’s Second Golden Age. From Hill Street Blues to E.R., New York, Syracuse University Press, 1996.

Williamson, Milly, The Lure of the Vampire: Gender, Fiction and Fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy, London, Wallflower, 2005.

Wilson, Leah (ed.), A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger's Guide, Dallas, Benbella Books, 2010.

Wisker, Gina, “Love Bites: Contemporary Women’s Vampire Fictions”, in A New Companion to the Gothic, ed. David Punter, Malden-Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 2012: 224-38.

Sitography

Archive of Our Own, sito multifandom, fondato e gestito da The Organization for Transformative Works, http://archiveofourown.org (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Baby Vamp Jessica: Confessions of a Good Girl Gone Vampire, http://www.babyvamp-jessica.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Bill-Sookie, blog collettivo, piattaforma LiveJournal, http://bill-sookie.livejournal.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Blood Bonded, blog collettivo, piattaforma LiveJournal, http://blood-bonded.livejournal.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Digital Kitchen, sito web ufficiale, http://thisisdk.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

A Godric/Eric Community, blog collettivo, piattaforma LiveJournal, http://godriceric.livejournal.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

HBO, sito web ufficiale, http://www.hbo.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Mindevon, sito web di Yvonne Cheng, http://mindeveon.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

True-Blood.net: the #1 True Blood Fansite, sito web collettivo, http://true-blood.net (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

True to the End: The Official HBO True Blood Blog, http://www.truetotheend.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

The Vault, sito web creato da Shadaliza, http://www.trueblood-online.com (ultimo accesso 30/05/2016).

Filmography

Ahearne, Joe, Ultraviolet, Channel 4, UK, 1998.

Ball, Alan, Six Feet Under, HBO, USA, 2001-2005.

Ball, Alan, True Blood, HBO, USA, 2008-2014.

Benioff, David – Weiss, D. B., Game of Thrones, HBO, USA, 2011-.

Brooker, Charlie, Dead Set, E4, UK, 2008.

Burge, Constance M., Charmed, The WB, USA, 1998-2006.

Campion, Jane, The Piano, Miramax, New Zealand-Australia-France, 1994.

Carter, Chris, The X-Files, Fox, USA, 1993-2002, 2016.

Chase, David, The Sopranos, HBO, USA, 1999-2007.

Darabont, Frank, The Walking Dead, AMC, USA, 2010-.

Frost, Mark – Lynch, David, Twin Peaks, ABS, USA, 1990-1991.

Garris, Mick, Masters of Horror, Showtime, USA, 2005-2006, 2006-2007.

Gilligan, Vince, Breaking Bad, AMC, USA, 2008-2013.

Gobert, Fabrice, Les Revenants, Canal+, France, 2012, 2015-.

Haddon, Cole, Dracula, NBC-Sky Living, USA-UK, 2013-2014.

Hardwicke, Catherine – Weitz, Chris – Slade, David – Condon, Bill, (dir.), Twilight Saga, filmseries, Summit Entertainment, USA, 2008-2012.

Jarmush, Jim, Only Lovers Left Alive, Recorded Picture-Pandora Film, UK-Germany 2014.

Kurtzman, Alex – Orci, Roberto – Iscove, Phillip – Wiseman, Len, Sleepy Hollow, Fox, USA, 2013-.

Lieber, Jeffrey – Abrams, J.J. – Lindelof, Damon, Lost, Bad Robots-ABC, USA, 2004-2010.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2085

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17868

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Between Journal is published by the University of Cagliari - Maintenance for this OJS installation is provided by UniCA  Open Journals, hosted by Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo.

Between Journal is published with the funding of the Bank of Sardinia Foundation.

ISSN 2039-6597

CC-By lockssDOAJ seal SPARC Europe