I'm addicted to True Blood. I've read all the Southern Vampire series it's based on, too (missing only the last book, but I'll read it in a week, woot!). I have many people ask me how is it that I like these books and I don't like Twilight and the other books written by Meyer and I look at them and say: quality? They snort. I laugh.
I have always read horror and sci-fi. Even since I myself was a tween reading Ray Bradbury, Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe. The whole vampire thing is no new for me (as it is to many of those people who read Twilight and think it is 'literature'. hah!) and I think that I like it because it talks both to the side of me that is 'different' an to the side of me that likes the idea of a 'supernatural' lover. Supernatural in the sense that it is beyond what the mind considers 'natural' or coming from the known world. I think the idea of having someone who loves you even though they are not 'human' automatically implies that you are special and thoroughly amazing. Hence the success of Twilight with all those delusional tweens and their mothers even though the books suck ass and are marginally entertaining. And the odd gay man, of course.
As gay men, we tend to be acculturated by moralists to believe that we are not worthy of being loved (either in a romantic or sexual way) by other men. Horror and sci-fi usually break all the logical barriers that society and science impose on human beings and frees us to 'feel' the way we want to feel. Of course, this vicarious experience is fleeting and it ends as soon as we put down the book or turn our television set off. But the sense of well-being lasts. Just like a drug-induced high (think acid or ecstasy) or the mellow feeling you get after a few hits of pot (btw, I am not a good pot smoker, it makes me gag and it gives me a headache. So much for mellow) you get the feeling that you want to go back to that high (or low) and enjoy it all over again, fantasy takes you to the realm of Never-Never where everything is possible. Even your hidden desire of being desired by a supernatural being. And I guess that's why I really like queer horror and sci-fi. And when that is not available, well, straightforward straight fantasy. Like True Blood.
I like the development of the plot in the books and in the series. The characters are fleshed out and have weight and the mythology Charlaine Harris created is consistent. It also helps that Sookie (the heroine) is a telepath. Sweet, huh? A misfit in love with a misfit (vampires are persecuted and discriminated against in the Sookie Stackhouse novels, just like gay people are in real life) and you are in misfit heaven. I actually like the series because it combines horror and sex in a very intoxicating way. Just listen to that song that plays during the opening credits. SEXY! It puts you right in the mood for something unexpected and surprising. Also, the men in the series are most of the time out of their clothes and they tend to be in touch with their feelings and give great sex. Talk about fabulous and utterly unusual. And even though the series on cable do not follow the books word by word, the essence is still there and the vampires have been almost perfectly cast to comply with our most demanding fantasies (the producer is a gay man, go figure). Sugar on a stick. And I have a crush on the actor who plays Bill the vampire. Double whammy.
So I'm going to be glued to my television set as soon as the series comes back in July. May even get the DVDs for Season 1. Because a boy needs entertainment. And also needs to feed the romantic in him with the best of eye candy...