Before HBO debuted the latest season of its hit original series, True Blood, the premium cable network released a set of six online minisodes as way to whet viewers’ appetites. The only problem was, they sucked.
Dubbed A Drop of True Blood, HBO was not shy about publicizing how the series of minisodes was written by showrunner Alan Ball and features the main True Blood cast. But the installments provided viewers with little action, foreshadowed nothing of the events in Season 3, and altogether look like the pet project of an HBO intern who was assigned to compile and upload deleted scenes picked up off the cutting room floor.
I said as much when I wrote about the series. A Drop of True Blood is disappointing because True Blood has a history of innovative marketing techniques and in seasons past, provided its fans with great supplemental content. The series has sweet characters and a rich mythology, which viewers are more than willing to engage in if given a good opportunity.
That good opportunity can be found at babyvamp-jessica.com.
The site is the online home for True Blood’s Jessica Hamby (played by Deborah Ann Woll), a newly turned vampire who resorts to videoblogging for the same reasons many a teenage girls are drawn to the medium. She’s trying to navigate the bumpy road of adolescence, negotiate the relationship between her own physiological changes and social mores, and find a few online friends for support.
And support, Jessica has definitely found. Each of her weekly video entries regularly receives hundreds of comments, as do her written blog posts. The comments range from moderate vitriol (“You act too much like a teenager”) to adoration (“I just love you Jessica! and I love Pam too I enjoy your blog and thank you for allowing us on your journey of being a baby vamp”), but all are a testament to how much hardcore fans will engage with compelling content.
Jessica’s vlog maintains its relevancy to True Blood proper (Jessica usually comments on the events of the previous episode) and lets viewers dig deeper into one of the show’s most interesting characters. Here’s hoping HBO keeps up the good work with similar supplemental content and doesn’t let Jessica meet the true death anytime soon.