Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sookie Vs. Sookie

SPOILER ALERT! If you have not read Dead Until Dark or watched the first season of True Blood there are spoilers in this essay.

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So, I recently re-read Dead Until Dark, since I wanted to read the next two books, and my memory is rusty (one of the good things about having a bad memory is sometimes if I haven't read a book for years, I actually forget big things, like who the killer is in Dead Until Dark - it's like reading a novel for the first time again!). But I also wanted to read it because I just started watching True Blood. Again, I point out my crappy memory. When watching True Blood, I struggled to remember how it compared to the book, and it was driving me batty - the weirdest things drive me batty. And there are always differences from book to screen, so it's no surprise that this is the case in this instance. Some things are more drastically different than others, but the thing that made me think the most were the differences between Sookie Stackhouse in Dead Until Dark and True Blood.

Now, I usually prefer the book over the TV/movie version of things, and that's true here. I'm actually kind of astounded how different Sookie's character seems to me, though, even if many of the lines in the show are taken straight from the book. I like it when there are differences if there is at least character consistency between the book and the show. However, I feel Sookie is nearly two different people, similar lines or no.

Keep in mind, I still have the final two episodes of Season 1 of True Blood to watch. I'm also halfway through reading Living Dead in Dallas. And if anyone disagrees with what I say here, feel free to speak up and tell me what you think.

I like Sookie in the books more than I like Sookie in the show. Here's the simplified reason why: Book Sookie seems like she has a better head on her shoulders, and Show Sookie doesn't seem to think things through. Now, I know one of the reasons it might seem this way is because you can't really get into Show Sookie's head. The book is in first person, and we are always in Book Sookie's thoughts. Still, I think the differences leave a pretty wide gap.

Examples? Of course I have examples! My first is Sookie's show of professionalism. Book Sookie acts the perfect waitress in the first book. Even when Bill is there and she is waiting on his table, she doesn't plunk herself down and dreamily stare into his eyes and chat about personal business. She asks him to speak with her when she gets off work, so she can ask him for the favor for her Gran. Show Sookie on the other hand walks into work, the second time Bill was ever in the bar, and gets this weird look on her face, walks to him like no one else around her exists, plunks down and talks with him - yup, here comes the dreamily staring into his eyes. It's like she has no thought in her brain but, "He's a vampire, and he's so hot!" Book Sookie at least clearly battles and debates her feelings over Bill - both Sookies are naive, but Book Sookie doesn't just fall head over heels without considering the implications.

One more example, and this is the biggie for me. When Sookie first has sex with Bill - in both instances, this happens after her Gran's funeral (although in the book, it's a few days later), but the differences in how it happens shows the differences between the Sookies. Show Sookie is driven much more by lust and hormones than Book Sookie is. Book Sookie wants to be alone after the funeral. She showers and gets into a Tweety Bird nightgown, not intending to head to Bill, to sleep with him. But he shows up at her place, combs her hair out for her, and one thing leads to another. It's a more natural progression, in my opinion, and she isn't frenzied with things like, "Oh, I must sleep with Bill to help me forget my Gran's horrible death!" And that thought is exactly how I feel about Show Sookie. She gets home from her Gran's funeral, eats Gran's last pie, and then changes into a frilly nightgown to run across the cemetery and into Bill's arm. First, the nightgown differences are a big thing that demonstrates what type of character Sookie is in both the book and show. Second, in one instance the sex isn't planned, and the other it's fully intentional. I have more respect for Book Sookie because unlike Show Sookie, she doesn't want to drown her loss in sex.

Do you see the differences between Book Sookie and Show Sookie? Are there any other examples that support my claim? If you disagree with me, why do you think they are more similar than I believe? And what other differences between Dead Until Dark and True Blood do you see that you either like or that bug you?

It's always interesting to compare differences. For me, I like the book better, but I know that can be completely different for others. I just hope as I continue watching True Blood, Show Sookie gains a little more sense!

NEXT UP: Magic Is Reality, Reality Is Magic - Imbolc

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