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Small Screen, Big FeelsTelevision and Cultural Anxiety in the Twenty-First Century$
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Melissa Ames

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813180069

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813180069.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

A Country (Still) Divided

A Country (Still) Divided

How Recent Vampire Series Use Nostalgia to Comment on Current Issues Related to Gender, Race, and Sexuality

(p.121) 6 A Country (Still) Divided
Small Screen, Big Feels

Melissa Ames

University Press of Kentucky

Supernatural shows by their nature often incorporate themes such as survival, community, revenge, resurrection, and (the dark side of) humanity -- themes which take on a new meaning in the post-9/11 period. Chapter Six analyzes how these are incorporated into 21st century vampire narratives, such as HBO's True Blood (2008-2014), CW's The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017), and the film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). Through a recurrent focus on "us versus them," these storylines bring attention to the cultural divides within the United States caused by things such as continued racial conflict, progress in the LGBTQA rights movement, and ongoing (religious and political) debates concerning family values. This essay also analyzes the ways in which the Civil War backstories present within each of these narratives reflect problematic nostalgia for bygone eras (and societal orders).

Keywords:   vampire, young adult, television, Twilight Saga, True Blood, LGBTQA, masculinity, nostalgia, adaptation, anxiety, The Vampire Diaries

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