Communication ETDs

Publication Date



HBO's drama series "True Blood" has been considered a unique and polysemic text since its debut in 2008.This thesis examined the series through the theoretical lenses of genre, narrative, and audience reception. Specifically, this study examined the series' adherence to the gothic vampire subgenre, the way the series functions as an allegorical narrative, and the audience reception principles demonstrated by viewers of the series. Through my analysis of episodes from all four aired seasons, I established the gothic vampire subgenre, a television genre from literary and film genres, and determined that the series adheres to the substantive, stylistic, and situational elements of the genre. I also approached the series as an allegorical narrative and posited that it functions as an allegory for societal opposition and political oppression. Finally, I analyzed online audience responses to the series from the Racialicious website using Hall's encoding-decoding, Fiske's concept of pleasure, and Fisher's narrative paradigm. I determined that oppositional readings are pleasurable for these viewers and that narrative coherence and fidelity are of prime importance to them.




Genre, Narrative, Audience Reception, "True Blood"

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Schuetz, Janice

First Committee Member (Chair)

Balas, Glenda

Second Committee Member

Shlossberg, Pavel