In “True Blood” ’s first season, Jason Stackhouse — the protagonist’s goofy and charming brother who famously remarks that people only like him for his athleticism, good looks and “sex abilities” — struggles through a crippling addiction to “V.” V is the ecstasy of True Blood’s magical alternate reality, a single drop of vampire blood strong enough to cause euphoria and (really awesome) hallucinations. Jason’s addiction leads him to a whole host of problems — he’s only happy when he’s tripping on V, is sad whenever he’s not and desperately craves the next hit.
My relationship with “True Blood” was no different than Jason’s with V. I was happiest when watching the show. I found myself thinking about it all the time, following the characters on Twitter, explaining its brilliance to people at lunch every day, taking online quizzes to figure out which character I am (Arlene). I couldn’t get to my brother’s apartment fast enough to watch the next episode.
It’s easy to pinpoint the two worst moments of my summer — when the third Netflix DVD was delayed and when I caught up to present day midway through season two and realized I’d have to wait a week for each fix.
The show is truly brilliant — as smart as “Mad Men,” as juicy as “Gossip Girl” and as profound as an episode-ending Meredith Grey monologue is supposed to be. It also may be the most important item on TV right now — a brutal referendum on prejudice, fear of change and the pervasive dangers of convention.
The addiction is powerful, and the withdrawal is painful. But who cares about all the trouble Jason got in because of V? I don’t want to learn my lesson.