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True Blood: This use of “Teenage Dream” feels oddly familiar

13 Aug

While we wait for the fall TV season to begin, and I wonder how many shows I’m actually going to manage to keep up with, one of the things I’m also watching right now is True Blood. It’s not intentional, it’s just that Patty is a fan, so it’s on, on Sunday evenings, and I keep up on it for the sake of household conversation — much the way she really can’t stand Glee but knows everything about Kurt and Blaine and insists she actually cares when I tell her about it (what can I say, she’s a generous soul).

Last night, however, as Tumblr was melting down from spoilers from the Glee filming in NYC, True Blood gave us a moment I can’t really help but share with you all, despite offering a lack of analysis, because it’s a darkly delightful use of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” that’s actively funnier if you read this blog.

The scene features Russell Edgington (take a minute with that name, would you?), recently returned from the nearly permanently dead to undead vitality and epic bad behavior, dancing to the strains of “Teenage Dream” with the Reverend Steve Newland, former anti-vampire hate preacher, who’s now a vampire himself. And just in case that wasn’t clear enough, for bonus gay allegory, they’re now an item — Newland having left his perfect blonde wife, and Edgington’s former partner being brutally dispatched in the midst of an ugly vampire feud a couple of seasons ago.

The “Teenage Dream” lyrics, of course, are perfect — two vampires dancing amongst blood and gore as Katy Perry sings about staying young forever is a great way to remind us that pop-culture and bubble gum songs aren’t always so innocent. But the construction of the scene also made me cackle loudly, not just because I watch Glee, which also used the song in its own rather unforgettable way, but because of the degree to which the themes and visuals remain oddly the same from one show to the other.

Maybe it’s the wood-paneled room. Maybe it’s that I’m pretty sure the sea of corpses Edgington and Newland are dancing amongst is entirely made of men (frat house, all boys school — what’s the difference?). Maybe it’s that everything is so new and magical to Newland. Or maybe it’s, if you’ve been watching True Blood faithfully (even in the not exactly intentional way I have been), the degree to which a major plot point currently revolves around the faerie kingdom, and how Edgington wants to enslave it for his own in order to enable himself and Newland, and their kind, to come out of the shadows and walk in the day.

The degree to which it felt like a corruption of the Glee scene (and while True Blood often plays hard with other pop-culture, I wouldn’t trust myself to hazard a guess on the intentionality of this) — from the dead men to the alcohol to something that is anything but the glorious romance of children — was not insignificant.

Regardless of why this scene exists, it gave me a good and disturbing laugh last night, and I imagine it’ll merit an odd chuckle from many regular readers of this blog as well. Enjoy!

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6 Responses to “True Blood: This use of “Teenage Dream” feels oddly familiar”

  1. specialj67 August 13, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    I do not watch this show, but your description of this scene kinda of makes me want to start. Hmmm….

  2. chefreeni August 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    food for thought on how a slight, frothy Katy Perry song about recapturing the giddy frisson of first infatuation has grown legs, and good God, a brain. Or just maybe hangs out with the thinky theatre geeks instead of the partyers.

    • RM August 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

      It’s grown legs, a brain, and is apparently dating a queer studies major. So weird.

  3. Lola September 16, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Only just catching up on your blog, but I watched True Blood last week and I totally saw the same similarity with that scene. As soon as I saw the title of this post I was like “YES it wasn’t only me!”.

    It was cool, I thought.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Romance @ Random: True Blood | Avian30 - June 20, 2014

    […] wouldn’t say no to Russell Edgington rising from his permanent death either (him and Reverend Newlin slow-dancing to “Teenage Dream” after the frat house massacre is…, and if you watch Glee you know […]

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