By Anthony D’Alessandro
Hollywoodnews.com: After watching “True Blood” for the first time, what struck me was how well Alan Ball and co. nailed the atmosphere of the suburban swamp communities outside New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Having lived in the Crescent City for a period some years ago, the town of Bon Temps in “True Blood” reminds me of Mandeville, a town across Lake Pontchartrain.
Mandeville is the type of place that has its own Merlotte’s, a Jimmy Buffet-like venue for guys to cry over their lost shaker and salt and flip flops; a bar where Southern Belles can flex their sexual prowess in a game of pool. Off-roading jeeps through the swamp is a pastime that far surpasses a visit to the multiplex.
I even think “True Blood” is sincere with its portrayal of rural Southern characters, i.e. former debutantes who are now out of the ball’s limelight, getting by and cherishing true love in a small town. Imagining the past lives of Sookie, waitress Arlene Fowler, season 2’s Sarah Newlin (who probably married her high school sweetheart) and to a certain degree Jessica Hamby (she had a few debutante balls left in her before getting turned into a vampire); all of them fit the bill of Southern Belle tragic heroes.
It comes as no surprise that Alan Ball would have an affinity with the South since he’s an Atlanta boy.
However, survey a few “True Blood” fans and a consistent gripe you’ll hear is that Ball’s actors literally drop the ball when it comes to putting on a decent and true Southern accent, in this case a Louisiana one.
I was reminded of this so-called nuanced dilemma in last night’s episode “It Hurts Me Too” when vampire Eric criticizes Sookie for not recognizing a werewolf’s twang (I wasn’t aware that dogs speak in dialects).
“He had a Mississippi accent,” Eric tells Sookie, “Can’t you tell the difference?”
Apparently, a number of die-hard fans can tell the difference when British/Australian/non-American actors don Southern accents. Which essentially encompasses a number of the show’s leading protagonists played by Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, and the list goes on….
(Aspiring U.S. actors and actresses complain the most about this since it’s not fair that non-Americans are landing roles meant for them). One of the reasons why a number of offshore actors have landed parts on the show […]