Thursday, September 10, 2009

My new boyfriend is Eric from True Blood

I told Molly when she asked me to blog that I would spend a ridiculous amount of time talking about my newest obsession… Eric from True Blood. As a single woman whose dating life is relegated to whatever I have my characters doing… I like to have “boyfriends”.

No I’m not weird or delusional or desperate… well maybe a little desperate - “boyfriend” is just my way of identifying those people who speak to me. Fictional characters, real life actors, sports figures… those who I would date if I were a super model and had my pick of all men.

Tiger Woods is my boyfriend. I’ve been steady with him for sometime. Russell Crowe used to be my boyfriend but we’re sort of on a break. There’s George Stephanopoulos when I want to be brainy. Jon Stewart when I want to be amused. David Cook and I hooked up for a while when he was on Idol because I needed to be entertained. You get the idea.

My newest boyfriend is Eric from True Blood. Please if you’ve never watched an episode just watch Season 2 Episode 9. That’s all you need. Just the sheer physical beauty of the man…. I go dreamy even thinking about it.

But of course this is a writer’s blog – so let’s take the sex and good looks out of it. (Although can we ever really?) For me his character works far better than the lead hero Bill. Bill is supposed to be a “sensitive” alpha male vampire. Sensitive, romantic, thoughtful and so so sad he has to suck blood for food. But then he snaps and yells at the heroine and tells her that she must obey and crap like that.

Eric, however, is not a good guy. Eric does what he wants, when he wants, for only his purposes. And he doesn’t seem to have a problem eating anyone…(heheheh.)

But then we see he has this odd vulnerability when it comes to the heroine. Which of course makes him a perfect romantic foil.

Beyond just his physical dominance over Bill – which cannot be ignored – he just screams the part of alpha vamp better because he’s meaner.

Of course it got me to thinking as a writer who loves to read and write about alphas… are they all jerks? Do they have to be mean? Is this just a case of my lust running amok that I’m not giving sensitive-vamp enough credit? Or does size, power and flat out ruthlessness make the alpha?

14 comments:

Maureen McGowan said...

Very interesting question... One I have to think about more.

But I was nodding when you said that it bugged you when Bill keeps telling Sookie to obey him. Sure, we know he's just trying to keep her safe, but it's when Bill is being a jerk that I don't like him.

Maybe it's about balance... Eric is alpha, self-interested, but we love when he shows a little vulnerability.

But Bill is mostly vulnerable, so we don't like it when he goes all alpha on us?

Personally, I like Sam.

Molly O'Keefe said...

FANTASTIC POST! I will have to think....

Eileen said...

Oooh. Interesting things to think about! I don't think Alpha males have to be buttheads. In fact, I think their Alphaness means they don't have to be jerks. They are naturally dominant and people (or other vampires or whatever) follow them without even thinking about it. It's not necessary for them to constantly assert their dominance. It just happens.

My thought about this as a I start a new manuscript is that I don't want to show that my hero is an Alpha male. I want to show his competence, how good he is at everything. I want to show the qualities that make him an Alpha male rather than just being dominant.

Maybe that's why you like Eric better than Bill . . . you see why he's an Alpha.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Oh I definitely "see" that he's better than Bill :).
Trust me 2.9 you will too.

The man is just so... broad and strong and tall and big and he towers over Bill.

But in other ways you're right. If Sookie wanted to do something unsafe... Bill would snap and say "I cannot have this. You will listen."

If the same thing happened with Eric he would lock her in a room.

Steph

Sinead M said...

I'm with you, Eric, by far is the sexiest character on that show for me.
Some it has to do with the bad boy appeal, but also with likeability.
Where True blood really suceeds for me is in the secondary characters, where the writers don't feel the need to make them likeable, just interesting.. flaws and all.
So Lafayette and Eric and Andy are allowed to be dangerous, self-involved, while Bill and Sookie are not..

Maureen McGowan said...

I think you've hit it, Eileen. Bill is so clearly struggling with everything in his life, (which makes him a tad weak), and the only time he shows any traits that could vaguely be thought of as alpha... it's because he's demonstrating his dominance over the heroine (or the teenaged vampire he made.)

Has anyone read Charlaine Harris? Was Bill like that in the books?

Eileen said...

I've only read one of the CH books. It didn't have Bill in it. There was another male character, though, and he was exactly what we're talking about. Totally Alpha in his strength and confidence and competence, yet very tender and gentle with Sookie which just made his strength and power more compelling.

Chris said...

I wondered the same thing. My daughters and I loved the "first" Bill - the one who defended Sookie and took destroyed a house (in the early part of season 1). Now we're stuck with love-sick, puppy dog Bill who is not only weakened, but boring.

That gave Eric a chance to move ahead in the alpha male category. But I find that sad. I don't mind men who are soft and sensitive - but I wonder if Bill's current lack of "spark" is the result of weak and inconsistent writing on the part of the production staff. I'm told Lafayette is killed in subsequent books so I wonder if the "show" follows the authors intent.

The whole Sookie/Bill relationship has become boring and overshadowed by Tara/Egg hook-up and the other townies acts of lunacy. Even Sam is more interesting than Bill, now.

Can't carry a show if people are bored watching you.

Maureen McGowan said...

Chris, I like soft and sensitive men, too... Which is why I like Sam. The writers do seem to be struggling with Bill a bit... but maybe it's all to make us accept Eric as a new love interest for Sookie?

Joanne Levy said...

Interesting post! I've only read the books (the first 7, I think), so I can only speak to those and not the show. The first couple books or so, Bill is the big hero - he's nice and strong and manly, but then it all falls apart for him. Eric steps into the forefront as the love interest and I think it's book 4 that he really shines and turns HAWT. Then, Bill is just a nuisance to be endured; he is so last year. I won't give out spoilers, but Eric is my fav character and a lot of that has to do with his attitude - I loves me a an alpha smartass.

Maureen McGowan said...

Ah, interesting, Joanne. Sounds like if they are even roughly following the books... I think we are witnessing the things falling apart for Bill and Eric taking over as the love interest stage...

Mel Francis said...

We totally have some of the same boyfriends!

Eric is just a big bag of yum. And I've liked him since his first show, but the day I fell in love with him? When Godric sacrificed himself. The love Eric showed, the vulnerability he showed...wow. THAT'S what sensitivity is. Not that crap they've done to Bill. He's not sensitive, he's a whiny hypocrit.

Molly O'Keefe said...

The earnestness of the mains is killing the show -- and Bill is getting so so repetitive - "stay away from Sookie!" constantly. If he'd just be confident about Sookie - the tension would be incredible. Eric is delicious - I think it's cause he's a Skaarsgard. Those Skaarsgards....

Sinead M said...

Eric is delicious, that actor is delicious. Anyone seen Generation Kill.
The hubby watched it and raved, and Alexander Skaarsgard is a key character in it, and completely different from the Eric character, but still compelling, in a really, quiet, capable way..

Molly, you're right, it's the Skaarsgard genes...

And the height... seriously, he's tall.

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