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Friday, February 11, 2011

Buffy Vs. True Blood

 Art by Kinkei

 True Blood is a show that has been often compared to Buffy as of late, but how similar are they? Which show is the superior? I took the time analyze both shows on the things that really count to see which one of these shows is the superior vampire drama.

Opening Theme:

Buffy: The music in Buffy begins with the organ music of old and is then quickly shot down by the upbeat guitar riff of today. The theme by Nerf Herder really does a great job summarizing what the show is all about. The ways of the past are no longer relevant and new era has stepped forward. The young woman who goes into the alleyway is no longer the victim; she is now the hero. The overall theme is fairly simple, the main cast of characters have clips shown from past and the current seasons. The opening has a ton of energy and is fast paced to reflect the current generation.The music is clearly what made the intro so memorable.


True Blood: I have to admit True Blood's theme makes me a tad bit uncomfortable and at first I didn't even like it. The more I had a chance to view the opening I began to really appreciate the imagery and the moody music by Jace Everett. The opening theme shows off religious imagery along with imagery of human sexuality. The point of showing off these two contradictory themes is to show how excessive religious vigor and human sexual energy and lead to corruption in the human soul. The opening sequence in True Blood is art in its own right and manages to still stay relevant to the show.


Victor:  True Blood

Main Character:

Buffy: "Into every generation a Slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. She is the Slayer." It just so happens that this slayer happens to be a blond valley girl cheerleader named Buffy. (Odd name, right?) It just so happens that Buffy has been given the power and ability to protect the world from the forces of evil. From the sound of it our main heroine doesn't look to promising, but you'd be wrong. Joss Whedon had to rebuild his creation after the 1992 film with the same name destroyed the vision he was trying to create. She was ahead of her time when it came to having strongly written heroines for television.  Buffy was strong, but she could also be vulnerable and like many other young adults was unsure about the world around her. Like many many of the characters on the show Buffy grew as a person and matured. I don't think many forms of media at the time had a character quite like Buffy and because of that she has become a real pop icon.


True Blood: Sookie is a waitress in Bon Temps and has the gift of telepathy. So a vampire walks into a bar. (Sounds like the beginning of a joke doesn't it?) Sookie has never met a vampire before and finds out that she is unable to read his mind and thus the plot is put into motion after this single meeting. Sookie i a sweet southern girl, who everyone seems to love. Hell, I even like her and find her character endearing like everyone else. During the first season she is fairly well developed and I honestly have to give the girl props for being proactive in life and danger situations without the aid of super strength and agility. However Sookie's character seems to get pushed to the side during the second season and seems to no longer develop. It really is sad to see that the main character is no longer the shows main interest and any character development quickly begins to diminish.


Victor: Buffy (True Blood wins in the odd name category. Sookie is just so much fun to say.) 


Supporting Cast:

Buffy: There is quite a range of characters on Buffy and everyone has their favorite. The characters in Buffy might be equipped with supernatural abilities, but they seem like real people. One of the strongest aspects to Buffy is the character development. The characters on the show evolve and change over time. The character you see in the first season is not the character you see in sixth season. This character development is never forced and makes sense as the story goes on. The character investment on Buffy really pays off because the viewer comes to really know the character and really cares about what happens to them.


True Blood: True Blood also has a cast of characters and are equally as likable. The problem with True Blood is that the majority of True Blood's characters fail to progress and evolve like the characters of Buffy. More often than not a character on the show is used for a plot device and nothing else. It becomes really hard for the viewer to care about a character when the other characters on the show barley blink an eye when someone they love dies.

Victor: Buffy

Humor:

Buffy: Lets face it Buffy is a pretty funny show. The reason why Buffy is so beloved is because it never took it self too seriously and was able to convey any message the show had in a fun manner. The show was often quite serious, but there were probably more humorous moments in one episode of Buffy than one episode of True Blood. At times the show can be pretty campy, but it's intentional and the viewer is laughing with the show and not at it.

True Blood: Much of the humor seen in True Blood is mostly due to actors overacting (Namely Stephen Moyor) words and sentences that normally wouldn't be funny are now down right hilarious. The humor in the show is a bit spaced out and in the end tries to put up a more seasoned mature front. The show can be quite humorous at times,but the humor depends on the more comic relief characters, while each character in Buffy shared the comic relief responsibility.

Victor: Buffy

Vampires:
Buffy: The vampires in Buffy are apparently so bad that a teen girl must be called upon to fight them. In my honest opinion the vamps in Buffy never seemed to be all that threatening especially the normal everyday vamps. I have a problem being intimidated by something that can't even regularly bathe. The vamps on the show don't seem to be very well organized and figure out the fact that if they joined together a slayer would be little to no problem at all. They also don't have a very impressive kill count and seem to be quite careless when it comes to their actions.

True Blood: The strongest aspect of True Blood is having vampires being a treated as a race separate from humans. I love their whole vampire rights movement and I think the show accurately portrays what would happen if vampires came out of the coffin and admitted to the world that they actually exist. The world would flip its shit that is what wold happen. Some people would love vamp while other would come to tolerate them. There is of course the humans who would right out fear the creatures and them to be an abomination to god. Those who fear them have a right to be because the vamps on True Blood can start some shit up. The vamps on the show are organized and can honestly cause a lot of harm to the world around them. The vamps on True Blood are truly terrifying.

Victor: True Blood (I would honestly love to see how Buffy could hold out against a True Blood vamp.)


World:

Buffy: The world of Buffy is filled with vamps, witches, werewolves, demons and other supernatural folk. They all seem to be drawn to supernatural hot spots such as Sunnydale and are supposed to keep a low profile. I however find it hard to believe that the majority of the human race is not aware with what is going on around them. The supernatural beings on Buffy do a terrible job of keeping their existence a secret. I understand that there are forces trying to keep things under wraps, but they can only do so much. Also the world seems to be facing an apocalypse every Sunday. What did the planet do when Buffy wasn't around?

True Blood: I mentioned before that the vampires on True Blood are organized. They have a set of rules to protect themselves and to keep attention off of them. Like humans they have a source of authority and when certain rules are broken the correct actions take place. The supernatural beings on True Blood also seem to be just as low key as the vamps and try their best to keep their identity. The supernatural beings on True Blood are much more believable, but they are also more dangerous. The world also seems to not to be also facing a complete apocalypse every week.

Victor: True Blood

Plot/Theme:

Buffy: Buffy is a show known for its memorable storylines and complex themes. At face value Buffy at times seems to be a supernatural show with a lot of fluff, but it's quite the opposite actually. I don't think any show dealt with the human condition the way Buffy did. Joss Whedon decided to make a teen show that took many of the issues teens face and turn them into an allegory of some kind. The series of course progressed over time and the issues that only affect teens began to become a thing of the past. The show evolved and grew along with its audience and began to focus on issues that have to do with human beings in general. Joss Wheadon was brilliant when it came to creating story arcs. There were many times when a plot point was referenced two seasons prior to its debut. The show is still remembered to this day for being innovative and cutting edge for the time. To fully understand the show you honestly have to watch it. (Just ask and I will direct you to some terrific episodes.)

True Blood: True Blood is a show that has its fair share of admirable storytelling however the plot seems to be pushed to the background and the show's only focus at times is to just pair off characters just so they can sex each other up. The series can be brilliant at times when it's dealing with the vampire rights conflict or tangoing with a supernatural beings whose only goal is to meet her god. The majority of flaws seen on the series mostly has to do with the source material and only seems to really shine when the writers of the show decide to do their own thing. Once the series decides to do away with following the story arcs of the books; the better off the show will be.

Victor: Buffy

The Count

Buffy: 4

True Blood: 3

Legacy: True Blood is a good show in its own right, but Buffy is still the superior show even after all these years. The show was able to deal with complex themes and create memorable characters.The show was often times lighthearted, but it never talked down to its audience and wasn't afraid to bring up issues that were often overlooked by television at the time.  The lasting impact of Buffy is enormous and the popularity of the show has launched the Buffyverse. Buffy has been used in college courses across the country in psychology, women studies classes, etc. The show has given birth to a spin off series called Angel and has produced several spin offs in other medians. The legacy of Buffy is continued on in comic form and she might see a new film in the future. The old girl has even been mentioned once or twice in the show True Blood. Buffy has proven time and time again that she is going no where and she will be going on strong for many years to come putting fear in the undead hearts of vampires everywhere.

-Horrorwood Doll

3 comments:

  1. Buffy is one of my favorite shows ever. The character of Buffy is indescriptible.

    But here goes one thing: Buffy ended up killing very old vampires and defeated original evil, so she would find a way of killing a TB vampire as she always does.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You touched upon things very nicely, but fractured. If you put them together, it's even worse.

    See, there's this blonde girl with a dumb name (Buffy/Sookie) and she has a special power (Vamp Slayer/Fairy-telepath). Soon after meeting a brooding, dark haired vampire (Angel/Bill) they fall in love, but have trouble with their relationship. Said vampire has given up his vamping ways, and is working on being a nice guy (Angel's soul/Bill's Mainstreaming) and they both try to live on non-human blood (pig's blood/TrueBlood).

    We also have a strange cast of characters to help out: The Changer (Oz/Sam/Alcide), the witch (Willow/LaFayette/Holly), and the Affirmative Action Tokens: Willow was lesbian, LaFayette is black and gay. Oh, let's not forget the comic relief/useless non-supernatural trying to help (Xander/Jason).

    Back to the story. The Odd Couple of Vamp and Non-Vamp are trying to fight the evil in their world, when along comes a blonde, bad-boy who enjoys his evil side (Spike/Eric). It is soon discovered, however, that this evil blonde vamp has a soft side, and starts to fall for our heroine. To complicate matters, we have the Brooding Vamp's maker to come foul things up for us (Darla/Lorena). But, she ends up getting killed.

    Since vampires can't have children (F^%K TWILIGHT)we need a teenaged character thrust upon the heroes for the laughs that come with being a teenager (Tara/Jessica). Oh, and let's not forget the Evil Vamps unwilling sidekick (Harmony/Pam). Finally, to round the cast out, let's have someone who always gets in trouble, so the heroes can rescue them (Cordelia/Tara).

    Now, of course, we need some kind of guiding/parental figure to set the Heroine straight now and again (Giles/Adele).

    Soon enough, we get a large, faceless corporation on the hunt for the good guys (Wolfram and Hart/The Authority).

    I'll leave it at that, for now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You touched a good point but Tara (The one from Buffy) wasn't the one with teenage problems, I think you are referring to Dawn. Also Buffy never dealt with Wolfram & Hart, that was Angel's work.

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