Although death is still omnipresent on Alan Ball’s second hit show for HBO, True Blood, the opening sequence is far removed from Six Feet Under’s icy elegance. The humor is still dark, but more delightful. This writer has never watched True Blood, yet from the southern rock music, the odd juxtaposition of sex and religion and the mix of blood and barbecue sauce, this seems like a saucy series that one would be curious to taste.
Rising up from a bayou to get an impression on the landscape, as well as the sins of this Southern town, the sequence shows the battle of two opposing forces: the light of religious purity versus the darkness of temptation and titillation. Blending in footage of social unrest and prejudice – the KKK is featured briefly – with the HBO-friendly gyrating and nudity, the opening shows how this tug between good and evil will be a prominent force in the series.
There is a thin line between naughty and nice. Notice how both the scenes of sexuality and churchgoing build up in feeling throughout the title sequence. Both the religious service and the brief sex scenes show hints of violence and aggression within them, too. The color co-ordination is also intriguing, as the southern-fried good times are bathed in red hues, overwhelming the white-lit religious customs. The subliminal flashes and washed-out film stock is far away from Six Feet Under’s elegant opening – but it is just as memorable.