The writer of The Mamafesto and I are watching True Blood together because everyone should watch TV with someone else and then talk it to death. We’re doing our best to occasionally apply some feminist analysis to what is otherwise just mutual lust for the character, Eric.
And proceed no further if you don’t want spoilers for episode 4.
blue: Soooo, this is the episode where I promise not to drag us down by talking about sex constantly. I am maturing as we speak.
Mamafesto: haha, not at all. The episode kind of (sadly) dictates that we talk about something else. I have to say, it was pretty Sookie-centric, in that she made it all about herself.
blue: If Sookie annoys the shit out of you then this is your episode. She gets her comeuppance, doesn’t she? A whole lot of characters realising that Sookie somehow always comes out of impossible situations intact, everyone else doesn’t and everybody is basically in love with her, too.
Mamafesto: Right, they realize it, but they don’t do much to change the way they deal with her. Well, Lafayette tries to kill her, but it’s not actually him, so I don’t think that counts. 😉 And despite having admitted to killing his ex, Alcide is still fawning/pawing over her, while Bill makes puppy dog eyes from the window. At least Eric maintains some dignity in that regard. 😉
blue: Yes, Alcide.. worst ‘rebound’ decision ever. And that’s true about Eric, it makes him even more attractive doesn’t it, he won’t wait around for you?
Mamfesto: Is he ever not attractive? Even in his matching track suit. sigh.
blue: He’s lookin’ good and if this wasn’t the discussion where I promised to behave like a mature woman..
Mamafesto: Oh, I actually made a note – Alcide (Joe M) ain’t that bad an actor.
blue: Like Jason he plays the role with a lot of knowing looks.
Mamafesto: And it made me feel just a wee bit guilty for noting that. Especially in light of the whole Magic Mike/objectification conversation we’ve been having.
blue: Objectification of Joe M.
Mamafesto: I definitely think it’s an important conversation to be having, and it sort of hit home as I watched him have that conversation with the Pelts
blue: Hmm, how so?
Mamafesto: Oh, just in the fact that he was actually acting. And wasn’t growling/grunting/fighting/shirtless. It felt like the longest stretch of “straight acting” I had seen from him in the show.
blue: Hmm yes.
Mamafesto: And it dawned on me, he’s good, you know? More than just easy on the eyes.
blue: Interesting.. sexual objectification seems to be a natural part of sexual desire, kind of hard to not do it.. but then it also comes with a certain power, right? I mean it flattens the person you’re doing it to, takes away some of their full humanity. The whole Joe M craze is interesting because he is becoming famous for being objectified, it’s kinda his thing right now.. and in a lot of ways it is a refreshing representation of sex appeal for everyone because he’s very manly. And not a ‘boy band’ kinda guy. Not that there is anything wrong with ‘boy band’ guys but if objectification can become a power imbalance then it is interesting when the man you’re doing it to is so very Alpha Male.
Mamafesto: Yes! I definitely appreciate that. (See!? There I go again…).
blue: Hah, Joe M really does things for you.
Mamafesto: Well, I mean, he’s no Eric… but he’ll do.
blue: Don’t start me on Eric, I am not going there this time because apparently I sound like a giggly teenager in our chats. This is my serious face.
Mamafesto: Ha! Fine. I guess I’ll be the one to drag us down.
blue: I was going to say that maybe women feel safer objectifying Joe M because he is so masculine. He’s not really young or really vulnerable looking. It seems less exploitative to women audiences?
Mamafesto: I can see that. It also doesn’t help that he has taken roles that play that up as well (i.e. Magic Mike). And, to be fair, I feel like TB is an equal opportunity objectifier.
blue: Yes, it is something TB does extremely well. I noticed that in the fairy burlesque scene. Hooray for women and gay men in senior positions in Hollywood giving us equal opportunity perving.
blue: Fairy burlesque had a bit of a homoerotic vibe, didn’t you think? It looked like a place for gay and straight men to hang together.
Mamafesto: It was their sexual fantasy land. Although it started out a bit heavy on the “rich men out for a good time with ‘paid-for’ women.” When clearly the women (aka fairies) have some sort of ulterior motive and seem to be the ones in control.
blue: Why are men not ever more suspicious of women blindfolding them in films and TV? Does anyone else in that trio of men have fairy blood besides Jason, like the corrupt guy leaning on Andy?
Mamafesto: Oh, you think he’s a fairy?
blue: I don’t know, just curious about why he knows about fairyland.
Mamafesto: Which is why they had to wear those bags over their heads?
blue: Yeah, so why are the fairies wanting those buffoons in their fairy burlesque fun palace?
Mamafesto: Yeah, that’s what I couldn’t figure out.
blue: .. how about The Authority? Good to see that they are not all true believers, it’s such a corporate culture of ‘group think’ in there. I’m disappointed with the leader at this stage; all that power dressing and not much else to prove he’s the big scary guy, yet. How did you feel about the kid vampire getting necked?
Mamafesto: I totally called it! In my notes I said…”Bet it’s the kid” and then…BAM! only because I knew Alan Ball doesn’t hold back any punches. Even kids aren’t immune.
blue: Hah. Plus, kids are annoying on-screen, generally speaking, adorable off-screen. And he got to deliver a blow-job joke before he went! Probably unknowingly.
Mamafesto: I know! I was wondering about that. Like, how much did they have to explain to him to have him deliver it well. I wanted to note about Tara, she finally speaks! And to Bill, of all people
blue: Yes. Bill, he’s something of a frustrated community organiser, I think.
Mamafesto: I feel like while we obviously know her feelings on the whole vamp thing, we haven’t heard from her truly.
blue: Yes.. that development is quite intelligent. About Tara’s scene..? When she is forced to feed on that human and she looks all greedy and satisfied at the same time.. don’t you think blood-feeding face often looks like breastfeeding face?
blue: I first noticed this when I started watching TB and I think Cormac was just born and I saw all these parallels between breastfeeding and blood-feeding.. but I was also sleep-deprived.
blue: I have a note here about the Terry storyline.. lone gunman does art.
Mamafesto: Oh yes. That storyline tugged at my heart.
blue: It’s interesting just how cynical we are about war now. I mean, they depict these men getting high in a mosque in the middle of a war and killing a civilian.. and that’s just back story.
Mamafesto: But it shows a side to war (well, at least the soldiers getting high part) that we rarely see, I think
blue: Ah, that’s interesting that you perceived it that way.. I saw it as the exact opposite. That we are so used to seeing this kind of scene about modern-day warfare that we can have it spliced into a camp show about sex and vampires.
Mamafesto: hm… I can see that as well. Either way, it was still hard to watch.
Mamafesto: Oh! Did I mention already how Bill made me laugh? When he called Jessica out on her hosting a party. And he finds a joint, smells it, and goes “this is no quality shit” in his proper southern accent. It just cracked me up.
blue: Interesting how TB puts adults in these parent-child relationships with the vampire characters. Gives me vague baby-play heebie jeebies. And speaking of parent-child vampires.. Pam resolved her co-dependency issues right after we mentioned them last episode?
Mamafesto: Do you think she really did? Or is it all a front?
blue: I was hoping she did. She spent a few days freaking out with Eric away, thinking about how unavailable he can be, and how she was locked into waiting for him and thinking about him as her rescuer, but also he is this workaholic, self-serving person, and how they’d once had great sex but now he is addicted to fairy-vulva, and she just thought, this is it, I’m going to grow up, it’s time to leave home.
Mamafesto: addicted to fairy-vulva, snicker. See? You’re the mature one, and I’m all giggly.
blue: Sorry. I think Pam called it fairy cunt, even. Ok, final thoughts?
Mamafesto: This episode definitely provided a lot of food for thought. While not as high on the skin-index it moved a bunch of important plot points forward (Tara, Terry, etc…), and got me thinking wtf the fairies are up to… you?
blue: We need to see Alcide and Sookie get it on to see if I should start objectifying Alcide in a serious way and be all conflicted about it as a feminist. Next episode, if that happens, I’m back to giggly teenager.
Mamafesto: But, I think we might then need a reminder of Sookie and Eric.
Just for comparison’s sake.
Mamafesto: <—Equal opportunity objectifier.