HBO’s True Blood: media out of the ordinary

Anyone who knows me knows that over the summer I was….er…… bitten by a compelling vampire bug. NO, not Twilight, but HBO’s bloody/gory/sex-&-violence filled True Blood, based on Charlene Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series of books. Coming late to the series (it’s been out for 2 years already, but I just discovered it about a month ago), I had a few weeks of late late nights but then I caught up to the current series. It wasn’t too bad, considering that there are a measly12 episodes per season for this particular drama. 

(Hello, Eric Northman, vampire Sheriff of Area 5.)

But still, similar to my experience watching Battlestar Galactica 4 or so years ago, what being in any current season of any show means is that every week one has to WAIT 7 days for the next episode, torture for me, especially when there are multi-faceted, attractive and compelling characters coupled with intense plot and sly social commentary. True Blood has all 3 aspects, though the plot waxed lame at some points. But what waiting meant was that I have to get my next episode fix in other ways, and for True Blood, there was and remains a deep deep pool of media alternatives that whet, fed, and teased my imagination until the next episode aired.

It was my screaming desire to know “what happens next” as well as all the backstories about the verrrrry interesting characters that took me to a very well-done site, Loving True Blood in Dallas.  The site is linked to a weekly podcast on Talk Blood Radio that introduced me to another site,

These 2 sites are comprehensive: both are so open to community interaction and have components that can be accessed via twitter, facebook, email, via the blog, via iTunes – with forums, spoiler sections, character and cast bios, interviews, video clips, galleries and even contests to win sundry and books. I mean, these aren’t network or corporate sites: they are sites for fans, by fans.

Speaking of fanfiction, I also spent an hour or so at a stretch reading up on fans’ re-imaginings of the various series plotlines on, where at current count, there are about 1,300 posted stories based on the True Blood show and book series. Plenty there that satisfied my craving for more True Blood each week. 

More? There are TONS of YouTube videos: in addition to the official HBO trailers and clips, there are choreographed music and video remixes, usually love stories from a certain perspective between certain characters from the show. 

Why this is of any note, other than the sheer insanity in the number of media alternatives there are out there related to the one weekly show: podcasts, blogs, online contests, fan-made art galleries, videos, fiction, show clips among them, is that my media consumption had taken an extraordinary spike since the start of August till now. But now that the season finale aired this past week, I expect that my reading/browsing/listening habits will revert back to “normal” and now hours each week (probably about 6 or 7) will be freed up for other pursuits.