The traditional HBO collection True Blood has lately joined the TNT lineup. Nonetheless, the episodes have seen their content material edited and censored to satisfy common cable tv air requirements. This longstanding observe for HBO exhibits goes again properly into the ’90s when well-liked HBO exhibits made the leap to cable or common networks. It began when a later season of Dream On aired edited for primetime broadcasts on the Fox Community within the mid-90s. It additionally occurred when Intercourse and the Metropolis started airing on primary cable within the 2000s. True Blood will seemingly not be the final case this happens, with Silicon Valley additionally receiving cable tv edits for TBS broadcasts.
Regardless of the established historical past of enhancing HBO exhibits for cable tv broadcast requirements, for True Blood, the observe is particularly detrimental to each the collection and the viewers. Here is why enhancing such a groundbreaking and iconic present detracts from its distinctive, grownup, and mature viewing expertise.
The Maturity of ‘True Blood’
True Blood was groundbreaking for its time, not simply as an grownup drama, however as a darkish, trendy fantasy story. True Blood advised a fantasy story, however with a contemporary, grounded, and sensible lens. Fantastical and magical creatures, vampires, shapeshifters, and werewolves all exist on the planet of True Blood, however the collection at all times had a grounded, plausible viewpoint. The grownup content material, conditions, and thematic materials added to that as a result of there had by no means been a present like this packaging collectively the grownup drama, horror, and fantasy components. Take note, True Blood on HBO predated such exhibits as Spartacus, Sport of Thrones, Westworld, and Outlander. True Blood helped pave the way in which for different premium exhibits that might combine grownup dramatic thematic materials together with extra fantasy story components and settings after which packaged them to enchantment to extra mature audiences. The present’s distinctive mix of fantasy, horror, drama, and comedy was successful, and True Blood turned one in all HBO’s highest-rated exhibits since The Sopranos.
True Blood’s groundbreaking, progressive tackle sexuality and sexual relationships contributed to the revolutionary present. All through the collection, characters have been open concerning their sexuality and sexual relationships. True Blood depicted adults in grownup conditions and creator Alan Ball represented the grownup thematic materials with maturity and subtlety missing in lots of exhibits of that period. Regardless of the present’s premise with fantasy creatures, the gothic Southern setting rang true and was genuine, because of Alan Ball’s private experiences as a homosexual man who grew up within the south. Charlaine Harris, the unique writer of The Southern Vampire Mysteries novels additionally grew up within the South and framed the vampires as an allegory for a minority group preventing for its civil rights and LGBTQ+ rights. True Blood was unflinching in its depiction of sexuality and variety in sexual relationships. Enhancing the present’s sexual thematic materials detracts from the present’s distinctive and progressive imaginative and prescient.
All through the collection, Ball did an amazing job fleshing out the forged and depicting a various forged of characters of the fictional Louisiana city, Bon Temps. The present put LGBTQ+ characters and relationships entrance and heart, with characters similar to Pam Swynford de Beaufort (Kristin Bauer van Straten) and Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley). They weren’t the exception within the present’s depiction of LGBTQ+ relationships, since different characters similar to Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Jesus Velasquez (Kevin Alejandro) performed sturdy roles within the collection. The present’s villains would show to have attention-grabbing sides. Lead characters, similar to Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and Invoice Compton (Stephen Moyer), have been flawed. Audiences resonated with the characters of the collection, which averted the usage of stereotypes.
True Blood was not solely an “grownup” collection, nevertheless it handled grownup subject material in a mature, clever style. Because the present’s creator and government producer Alan Ball as soon as advised NPR, the collection is about “how we take care of our primal wishes. How do these components of our psyche manifest themselves in a world the place monsters have been actual?” The enhancing of the grownup components in regards to the primal wishes Ball described alters the material and that means of the present.
‘True Blood’ Is Going From TV-MA… to TV-MA
Finally, it is ironic that the TNT model of True Blood remains to be rated TV-MA. That’s the tv equal of an R-rating, so the present is usually recommended for ages 17 and older. So, the collection has been edited down from a TV-MA ranking… to a ranking that’s nonetheless TV-MA. In 2023, there can be found choices for the unique unedited episodes. Most AT&T subscribers have entry to HBO Max and each season of True Blood. There are cheaper choices for viewing the unique, uncensored HBO variations of True Blood slightly than watching it on TNT via cable or satellite tv for pc. Even when youthful viewers try to sneak in some edited True Blood viewing on TNT, they’re nonetheless watching a present that’s above the advised age vary.
Finally, it’s as much as the viewer to determine learn how to watch and revel in True Blood. Nonetheless, True Blood, in its unique type, turned such a prestigious, award-winning present for a cause. It was distinctive and particular for its time, not only for the way in which Alan Ball introduced the world of Charlaine Harris’ books to life, however via its mature and progressive depictions of grownup subject material. Enhancing the present is like censoring or defacing artwork in its unique purest type. WarnerMedia is just enhancing the present to cable broadcast requirements which have lengthy been out of date because of the widespread availability of streaming, premium content material. One might watch the edited variations of True Blood on TNT, however why? That will be a disservice to the present and the viewers. Of be aware, a deliberate reboot of the present that started growth at HBO beginning in December 2020 lately fell aside in February. If one way or the other one other reboot or revival does materialize once more, hopefully, the present won’t depart from the sensible, mature thematic materials that made True Blood such a groundbreaking, distinctive, and distinctive collection when it was initially on the air.