Monday, June 17, 2013

True Blood: Is Tara Thorton in For Another Hellish Season?

If what HBO's True Blood revealed in season previews following last night's premiere of Season 6 is the true story's course, then black vampire Tara Thorton (Rutina Wesley) is in for another run of victimization. The preview indicated that humans will be torturing vampires in order to learn how to kill them efficiently in the vampire war.

All ready there's some double-crossing going on, too. The fictional Louisiana governor on the show, Truman Burrell (Arliss Howard) is pretending to help the vampires while also trying to exterminate them. It seems he will be as treacherous in the True Blood world as Gov. Bobby Jindal is in ours.

Last night,  Tara was well on her way to being captured by the governor's troops with her maker/lover Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten). The last we saw of the young black vampire, she was writhing in pain on the floor at the Fangtasia vampire night club after attempting to save Pam, the same Pam who had just told her that their relationship as not a romance and that her loyalties remained with Eric, her maker.

In the past, bloggers such as Tami of What Tami Said and Rene of Womanist Musings have been critical of how True Blood writers have handled race and noted that often Tara's character has been put in the position of victim to face some of the worst brutality on the show. Other writers have discussed specifically problems they see in the shows handling of Tara as a gay woman of color. Last year, Gabrielle at AutoStraddle wrote:
Much like last season's attempt to heal Tara's soul wounds by making her a lesbian, this season so far says that the only way for Tara to be a survivor and rise above all she has been a victim of is to make her a VAMPIRE. To the margins of society with ye, O damaged woman! It seems the writers couldn't conceive of a female character who could survive several seasons worth of enslavement and rape and still be a successful human. So time to try a different form of existence. And time to Other her even further.
Ah, well. I guess if this season plays out as it appears it may, with Tara tortured again, some blogger's keyboard will be on fire again regarding True Blood's handling of black females.

Regarding other events last night, Lafayette didn't have that much to do in the season opener other than get drunk and take care of the wolf child. Sam spent the first ten minutes fleeing, as did Sooki, Eric, Nora, Pam, Tara, Jessica, and Jason. Jason came face to face with Warlow, the powerful vampire chasing Sooki. Andy's fairy babies cried a lot and started growing quickly.

The creepiest thing of the night, Bill Compton's resurrection at the opening and possession at the end. The way he called Jessica, his progeny, and nearly killed her was also pretty intense. I hope the season lives up to its dramatic promises.

Related: The Indisputably Black Vampires

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