Monday, July 12, 2010

A quick note on Jason Stackhouse

I’m only two thirds of the way through True Blood Season One and already it’s shaping up to be great blog-fodder. Talk about a masculinity explosion! And I don’t even mean Bill (or rather, “Bay-all”, if you speak Louisiana), the dark-haired sullen protector-like vampire guy, but Jason Stackhouse. So Jason is a buffed out sex maniac who’s always figured topless with chiselled muscles exposed. Initially I was disgusted by his behaviour and representation…particularly when he thought he killed Maudette and left her hanging from her ceiling while he saved his own bootie. Actually this is still pretty gross even though it turned out he didn’t kill her. And I am still repulsed by him for other reasons, such as hitting his sister after their grandma died. But I think he is also my favourite character, not only because he can be a sweetie at (occasional) times, but because his character is such an effective catalyst for ridiculing the ‘stud’ stereotype and breaking it down again and again. An example of this is when he gulps a whole vial of vampire blood (which, according to True Blood lore, has mega-drug effects for humans) that makes his man-bits so big they nearly explode, and he has to have it medically drained of blood by a surgeon. Effectively, Jason becomes his own vampire - ironic, considering how much he hates them. Even more humiliating is that the person who drags him to the hospital is Tara, his sister’s best friend who’s had a crush on him since childhood. J-Stax is here reducing to screaming and clutching Tara’s hand as the agonising procedure progresses. Strangely, I was sympathetic to him through all this…c’mon, he didn’t mean to overdose! He was just trying to avoid getting convicted for a murder he didn’t commit! In any case, I’m not saying True Blood is making any huge statements on the destructive nature of promiscuity. Rather, the cost of Jason’s own stupidity and sexual presumptuousness is highlighted as he is humiliated. This makes the point that Jason’s attempts to locate his identity in his sexual actions are fruitless, because these can be violently destroyed so easily (by his own actions besides). The “stud” label becomes nothing but a joke as its very definition has literally been drained of desired meaning and purpose.
Stay tuned for an online rant about Lafayette, my other favourite male character in the show. And of course the women in the show. And of course the relationship between True Blood and other Louisiana-based vampire narratives such Anne Rice’s novels.

PS. Does anyone else find it as cool as I do that my Benetint cosmetic blush looks exactly like a vial of V? Tubular.


  1. Jason is an incredible character. Wait until Season 2 - I think you'll be interested in his relationship with the church and how that changes his character.

    And yes - amazing, it does look like a vial of V.

  2. spot on jules. i get so disgusted by him & then step back and realise - i'm supposed to...the writers are making a POINT, and playing all at once. lafayette is my favourite (i guess it's easier to like him). it's amazing the way even though you might know a whole lot of literary and narrative tricks you still get sucked into caring about characters who have some serious 'moral' lafayette's prostitution & jason's chauvinistic self-riteousness.
    jayne's're gonna find jason's evolution in season 2 so interesting!