In Los Angeles, the wristband is king. Encircled with the right color, your wrist can get you into anything. Doors will magically open for you; frowning, burly men in black with earphones snaking into their ears will step aside and let you past the metal barricades, where smiling women in sensible skirts and clipboards will direct you to where you want to go. Meanwhile, the hordes on the other side of the barricade, the ones in T-shirts and baseball caps, who will NOT be eating cake, are craning their necks to YOUR side, extending their cellphone camera'ed arms up and forward like a protest, like a collective question: where can WE get a band to adorn our sadly impoverished wrists?
My wristband last night was sparkly and blood red, with three magical letters that granted you wishes: H.B.O.
So I had a certain amount of trepidation, but my love for True Blood, my loyalty to Denis and the threat of divorce won out. Our friend Maiya tsk-tsk'd over my wardrobe and got me into something suitable, even roped some silver around my protesting neck. Doug, of course, had no such sartorial timidity.
People spill a lot more popcorn when they're not paying for it.
Free drinks and popcorn in the lobby. Lots of schmoozie schmoozie going on. We're with Denis' hubby Hugo and I've had a margarita, so I'm okay. In the vast Cinerama Dome, a gi-hugic blue "HBO" shimmers on the screen, and we're shown to our reserved seats. There are, like, five ushers per person, each with seating chart. It's like a military operation. We're close to the screen in the tony section. In back of us is Werewolf Alicde (Joe Manganiello, woof) and across the aisle is Sookie, Tara, and Vampire Eric. I'm in this alternate reality, where the citizens of Bon Temps have lost their accents and have WAY better clothes. You really have to appreciate the illusion of movie making. Everyone is a lot smaller or a lot bigger than you'd expect, except for bar owner Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammel) who appears exactly as he is in the show, when he's not shifting, of course.
Tara's Mom (actress Adina Porter) looks almost as young as the woman who plays her daughter. "It shows you what a bad weave can do" she tells me. We shake hands with Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgaard (who is, if possible, more sylphlike than on screen) We meet Deputy Sheriff Andy and that human who works at Fangtasia and screams a lot. Everyone is extraordinarily nice and friendly. Of course, we were under the aegis of the Vampire King of Mississippi, so that helps. And we have on our magic wristbands.
As far as the episodes go, they were pretty exciting. We'd been cramming 2 seasons worth of the show in a month so we were pretty stoked for more. What happens is... oh dear, I'm under a Vampire Glamour, and so cannot reveal any spoilers. You ordinary mortals will have to wait until Sunday to find out what happens. Suffice to say that there are a lot of new Fanged Ones, plus hunky hunky werewolves who manage to get nekkid very quickly. Denis is great, malevolent and quirky at the same time. I didn't think it was possible for him to be any paler than he already is, but he was. The show actually looks great on the big screen (hey, anything that makes Jason Stackhouse's biceps even bigger than they already are is a good thing)
Afterwards it's more enforced mingling, and then a car pulls up for Denis and we drive three very short blocks to the nightclub which is absolutely crammed packed. More metal barricades, more wristband flashing and we're in, milling next to a diorama of wolves and a huge True Blood display. O Positive Martinis and plenty of food. This is where things get very dicey for me. Too much hobbing and nobbing, as Doug calls it. Luckily, I find a very nice Vampire's wife to talk to and actually run into some friends there. I manage to stay for more than an hour before tugging at Doug's sleeve and giving him the Sad Eye.
Our babysitters congratulate us on staying out past eleven.