The Gates vs. True Blood

Since the Gates is a brand new show, it has the unfair advantage of freshness as we learn new things about each character and his or her motivations. True Blood is nearing the end of its third season, and although a few new players have been added, the basic rules haven’t changed much and the action is overall fairly predictable. Another advantage the Gates has over True Blood is the premise of secrecy. Few people know about the presence of vampires, werewolves,witches, and succubi outside of, or even within The Gates community, whereas the entire world knows about the existence of vampires at least, on True Blood. (Werewolves and shifters will have their existence revealed in the near future).  On the Gates, there’s an overall subtlety that True Blood could use more of; the cattiness of the female characters on the Gates is sheer fisticuffs, guns, and staking through the heart on True Blood. I have to say that ABC’s new supernatural offering creates more suspense and is better at keeping people guessing about what happens next than the HBO franchise. Despite the great differences between the shows, I think HBO could definitely stand to take a step back and add more subtlety, suspense, and character depth.

Here’s a good example of how the storytelling techniques differ: on True Blood, viewers see via flashback that Eric wants to avenge the death of his parents who died from a werewolf attack at the command of Russell Edgington. (Although it seems unlikely that Russell Edgington would forget a face like Eric’s, given his predilection for young men).  On the Gates, you have Teresa/Amanda Walcott pulling out a gun and giving her reasons for wanting to kill chief Monohan. Which scenario has more suspense and drama? – a fair assessment of the show.


10 thoughts on “The Gates vs. True Blood

  1. Ivan says:

    ABC is forced to add alot of drama/suspense, because they aren’t aloud to use explicit violence, gore and sex scenes. ABC won’t succeed in producing three seasons with just drama and semi-action scenes, especially if the theme of the show is vampires (or werewolves, shifters etc.). A show with that kind of creatures is determined to use a lot of action, that is why True Blood is so succesful. The lack of drama in True Blood I can’t understand either, I mean there is so much history behind all the action that you saw these last few episodes…

    I can’t answer your question, because I don’t know the show The Gates, I believe you if you say that the script is brilliant, the only thing I’m saying, is that there is enough of drama and suspense in True Blood! (Even in the Viking Eric scene, I thought it was brilliant)

    By the way, when True Blood season 3 ends, maybe I’ll start watching The Gates, while I am waiting a year for True Blood’s season 4!q

    • andy2700 says:

      The Gates has its flaws – which I’ll happily point out in another post. I used to like True Blood a lot more, but it’s becoming a bit stale and workman-like in its presentation. The Gates has action- there’s a murder in almost every episode – and lots of blackmailing and veiled and explicit threats. I’m not sure how many good seasons True Blood has left – it’s hard to convincingly play an ageless vampire forever when you have wrinkles and lines and such. (Stephen Moyer’s 41 this year, Kristin Bauer’s going to be 37, et cetera). Gore for gore’s sake is not action or good scriptwriting. It’s the difference between a carefully choreographed striptease and having someone trot out on stage in the buff and just thrust his/her crotch in your face. There is so much depth to each character that’s being underutilized this season.

      The Bill & Sookie,Bill & Sookie starcrossed romance is starting to get old. And no, I don’t like Eric. Alcide is cool, but why the hell can’t Sookie be on her own for a while and learn how to kick serious vampire ass???

  2. Ivan says:

    I agree on the ageless vampire part, although I am convinced they could easily go on for another 5 to 10 years. Gore for gore’s sake isn’t good scriptwriting, but it is when you combine it with a lot of background, great acting and the atmosphere True Blood has created over the last three seasons.. I think any action/horror/fantasy tv show would add explicit sex, violence or gore scenes into their show, if they had the opportunity. The only thing is, the creators have to combine it with other things, so that it doesn’t lose its quality.. And in my opinion, True Blood is doing that in a brilliant way… It is such a shocking, hars show, but at the same time it is filled with emotions.

    Comparing True Blood with The Gates is probably like comparing True Blood with Twilight, they are both brilliant for an individual group of people.

    • andy2700 says:

      “Gore for gore’s sake isn’t good scriptwriting, but it is when you combine it with a lot of background, great acting and the atmosphere True Blood has created over the last three seasons…”

      The acting hasn’t been bad, but the writing, plot, and character development have jumped the shark this season, as far as I’m concerned. It’s like the Bill/Sookie/Eric show with occasional interruptions some episodes.

    • jessicaclaflin says:

      YES! Nice comparison to Twilight. Every show has its strength. ABC works with what they have. I wish I could see some more guts though on both shows!

  3. Ivan says:

    I watched three episodes of The Gates yesterday… And I honestly think True Blood is a way better show, but that isn’t something you deny. Maybe the story writing is better in The Gates, it all falls down when it looks like a semi-A show. The show loses my attention in the dialogues, I think at some times it is quite boring… And in the True Blood dialogues i am constantly hooked to the TV.

    So to sum up, maybe the storywriting of The Gates is better, the storywriting of True Blood is way more convincing and it has, in my opinion, more quality than The Gates’ storywriting.

    • andy2700 says:

      I don’t necessarily think that True Blood is a better show, just a different show. My main complaint about True Blood is that the writers could do much more to focus on something other than Sookie & the men in her life. Too many episodes are about “Who’s after Sookie/Bill? Who’s Sookie in love with this week?” The dialogue of TB does not impress me anywhere near as much as it does you.

      The Gates is a true ensemble production that keeps you guessing – there’s always a detective story in the background in addition to MULTIPLE couples’ issues. TB tends to telegraph its blows. Who didn’t know that Eric was going to kill Talbot?

      You comments on the scriptwriting come across as double-speak.

  4. Ximena says:

    I haven’t watched “The Gates” as it didn’t look appealing in the promos and the reviews have been far from fantastic to boot, so trying to keeping up with one weak and struggling vampire show is enough for me.

    I read your post and watched the scenes you posted. While I agree that there’s a sense of mystery kept around the vampires in “The Gates” which adds to the tension (and I don’t doubt works better than anything on “True Blood” no matter how bad “The Gates” may be), the point is that “True Blood’s” entire premise — and the reason its different from other vampire serials — is the fact that the vampires live lives out in the open. This should make for even better and more fascinating storylines and conflicts than the old “vampires are a secret and no one really knows what’s lurking in the darkness” right? The problem with “True Blood” is that it fails by stopping at the premise. It doesn’t flesh out all the extra awesomeness that could come with a world in which vampires aren’t just a secret. I think this is why when you compare it to “The Gates” but still prefer “The Gates” even if you don’t love the show. Its like this: Apples are delicious, apple pie is better. Use a shitty apple pie recipe and I’ll just take an apple, thanksverymuch.

    • andy2700 says:

      I can respect the fact that you have limited time during which to watch tv overall. I also agree that more could be done with the “Vampires are living out in the open” premise. The Gates is kind of a hybrid of privacy/secrecy actually, since lots of folks living within this community know that vampires exist and who is or isn’t one. The Gates goes beyond just vampires and shows a variety of supernatural entities – struggling to live out their semi-private lives in a place where they’ll be accepted.

      That last episode I saw of True Blood – Season 3, episode 8 was one of the best written this season. The Gates is also getting better and better.

      As for your apples/apple pie analogy – I think we have apples and oranges here, but I will say that the True Blood writers could use a few cooking lessons;)

  5. jessicaclaflin says:

    With the shows can’t really compare. Gates i love it while the true blood I havn’t yet hooked on yet. I like how the gates has two different story lines. I am really hooked on Andy’s story line and her growing into her powers. Each show probably has it’s strengths. Because gates is only in its first season, its still has time to grow. Thats if Abc doesn’t cancel it. ABC knows how to cancel shows way to learn! We need to get more people liking it!

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