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'True Blood' breaks the Emmy vampire curse

July 8, 2010 | 12:12 pm

One of the biggest shocks among Emmy nominations was the breakthrough bid by "True Blood" for best drama series.

True blood emmy nominations

TV academy members — like all Hollywood award voters — usually refuse to be seduced by vampires. Back in the 1990s, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was acclaimed by critics and millions of fans, but it never reaped an Emmy nomination in a lead category. Year after year, there was deafening media outrage over its failure to make the Emmy list, but the snubs continued like stakes through the heart. Finally, after the show went off the air in 2003, the TV academy aimed to make things up to its cast and crew by staging a tribute event at its headquarters in North Hollywood, but Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, didn't show up.

At last year's Emmys, some pundits dared to hope that the newest hit vampire series, "True Blood," might break through based on the usual Emmy muscle of HBO plus the Oscar pedigree of its star (Anna Paquin won best supporting actress for "The Piano" in 1993), but it only earned a few minor nominations in crafts categories.

This year, it scored four nominations in the crafts categories in addition to its bid for best drama series: art direction, casting, makeup and editing. However, Paquin wasn't nominated for best drama actress. That's odd. It's not as if voters have anything against her. She was nominated for the miniseries "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" in 2007. And it's not as if her role on "True Blood" hasn't been acknowledged in the past as being award worthy. She won best drama actress in 2009 at the Golden Globes and was nominated again this year.

Photo credit: HBO

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Comments

Maybe she's never lived up to the promise she showed in the Piano. But it's good news for those of us who are True Blood fans, and enjoy vampire TV.

I have become a huge fan of the series in DVD since I do not have HBO. I was surprised that Bill Compton was not nominated as Best Actor as well as Anna Paquin for Best Actress. The entire ensemble cast is excellent. Both Season One and Two were among the most innovative and exciting television out there. I hope that it will win amongst all of the same tired old series that seem to be critically acclaimed but lack the punch of True Blood.

Even if you don't believe she should get a nod, there is one scene in particular where I sat there thinking... 'I can not believe she can act through this.' It was episode 9 season 1 and Sookie was covered in blood at Fangtasia sitting there wet and shaking. For that alone I would have given it to her.

She's not as good in True Blood as the other Dramatic Actress nominees (except maybe for Mariska Hargitay), nor as she was in "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" - a fantastic performance.

Here's the thing about Paquin's portrayal of Sookie: it makes total sense given the show's condensed timeline (As of Season 3, only 3-4 months have elapsed since Season 1-ep 1): in a short period of time her character has developed a relationship w/ a vampire, had her grandmother murdered, been nearly killed herself a few times, been abducted by a weirdo church, had her home almost totally destroyed by a cult, and now her boyfriend has been kidnapped.

If, as an actress, you are trying to find real moments/reactions to ground a character in a crazy situation, I think it would make sense for Sookie to be on the high-strung side. Also, I don't think the writers necessarily write Sookie to be super likeable: since she can hear everyone's thoughts she has a low opinion of many of the people she interacts w/ (thus constantly accuses everyone in the town of being prejudiced), she acts first and thinks later, maniacally focuses on Bill, and is self-centered. Despite all of this, I think the southern-belle mannerisms Paquin uses succeed in making Sookie totally adorable and charming - even when she is stomping into a room to yell at or make a declaration about "Beel".

Paquin does a great job at playing all of these layers of the Sookie character: the telepathic, naive, feisty, the obnoxious, frightened, kind and sincere. I don't think Season 2 was necessarily a great showcase for her skills, but this season is shaping up for her to shine. I think she'll have a better shot for the Emmy nod next year.

I disagree with you both, I think Anna Paquin should win, she is so good in True Blood!

No way should Anna Paquin get a nomination. I love TB, but just... no.

Congrats to TB on the Emmy nomination, but I agree with Anna Paquin not receiving an actress nom., her performance is cringe worthy and spastic at best.

Way To Go True Blood!!!


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