Romance is undead…

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Well, it certainly seems that way. I’ve been wondering why almost every show has to feature a helpless (but ‘independent’) female falling for something undead. The evidence just piles up. Firstly, there’s this guy:

 

He kinda started it off. Although everyone goes on CONSTANTLY about Buffy kicking ass, there’s no denying that she went all swoony and girly around Angel. And then Riley. Both turned out to have bad consequences for her. She took all her awesomeness and then got destroyed by a vampire; instead of physically, the damage was undoubtedly emotional. Is that any better?

Then of course, there’s the vampires of True Blood, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and even Being Human. 

Whereas before, there were vampires, and there was romance, but there was also a darker, deeper subplot, now there’s just….romance. And ‘vampire-type drama’, which inevitably comes from vampires struggling with their true nature. Some have read this, particularly in the case of Twilight, as a way to broadcast a Christian message, namely no sex before marriage. But in reality, these relationships equal danger, exoticism and special treatment…So I think that in itself is a pretty good answer. These vampires are the archetypal ‘bad boy’, except, they’re trying to be better. And then vampires got a little too human, so now the age-old dramatic device of the romantic triangle is back in play, with one ‘good’ monster, and one ‘bad’ one. This is evident in all the shows listed above.

So now the whole romance thing is more than romance….it’s about romance SO STRONG you’ll overcome your natural tendencies (both for humans and vamps) to be with the one you love, or in these cases, the one you’re ‘drawn to’ because of their ‘magic blood’. FYI, the comparisons between True Blood and Twilight are ridiculous (in the sense that the similarities are so strong in some cases). But that’s not the topic here. Why aren’t more of us asking the question – ‘why is the central storyline of these vampire narratives all about romance’? Surely the undead are fascinating enough as it is without having to make it all about the unrealistic, devoted pursuit of one human? Maybe that’s just me. I wonder how many watch these shows with the undead nature being a subplot. Any responses would obviously be welcome…and I leave you with some more pictures of ‘romantic vampire interests’:

 

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The Halloween monster of choice

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Recently, I was looking at a local Festival Listing (Bournemouth Arts by the Sea), and a Shaun of the Dead Party was advertised, which included the option to dress up like a zombie. Then it somehow became a browse onto a site for a Halloween ‘Scare Park’, which also included people dressed up like zombies….

Yup, there’s no denying it; people love dressing up like zombies on Halloween. And why not? It’s easy – it requires gross make up, and little explanation over what exactly you’re ‘supposed to be’. Everyone knows, because it looks like half your face is rotting away. The choice of Halloween costume is very interesting, and if you’re a celebrity, it gets scrutinised by the press (at least, it does on the sites I look at anyhow).

Once, people used to dress up as monsters on Halloween, or ‘All Hallows’ Eve’, because of the nature of it. A festival somewhat hi-jacked by Christianity (the festival has pagan roots, despite the Christian etymology of the name), the whole ‘dressing up as something scary’ probably came from the idea that the day after was the celebration of souls recently departed. Dressing up as something undead, and possibly death inducing, fits the overall feeling.

Anyway, getting sidetracked here: according to my sketchy internet research, the top 10 Halloween costumes are something like this. And with anecdotal evidence (ie from trips out at Halloween), I’d say I’ve seen far more zombies than vampires. But that’s if people even dress up like monsters anymore. It’s become something of a fancy dress free-for-all rather than any adherence to the original meaning. Are monsters becoming too unattractive to dress as? Obviously there are swathes of people dressed up as zombies on Halloween, but there are still vast amounts in very little, with a touch of fake blood to make it ‘Halloween’. The best costumes are the ones you can completely become something else in. And sadly, with vampires being so much like humans, there’s no real difference. For those fans of Halloween, the zombie is the ultimate costume – physically and mentally you can look sub-human, and take the night off from thinking. What’s not to love?