Don’t say we didn’t warn you – the Rolling Stone cover that features three of the main True Blood cast members isn’t exactly work friendly unless you work in a pretty lax environment. It shows Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman), Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse) and Stephen Moyer naked, with blood on them. The blood isn’t just spattered. It seems more…drippy.  See, instead of clothing, blood seemed the more appropriate choice. And the cover does what it’s supposed to do: shock you when you first see it. But what about after that? After you say, ‘Wow, cool – they made it shocking!’ – what then?

I think it’s an unattractive cover. I understand that blood plays an important part in the show, and the gruesome scenes in True Blood happen quite often. The the idea of death can be sexy to some, but this seems to be making a statement about how blood is sexy, and it just isn’t. This isn’t the kind of cover you’re going to want to save, make fan graphics from, or frame. They could have done something really artsy, but instead they went for the shock factor. It’s predictable, it’s been done. More than that, they didn’t compose the bodies in the best way possible. (And no, I’m not saying they should have had everyone spread eagle.)

Anna Paquin is posed in such a way that it looks like she hardly even hasbreasts. We know she has them, we even see them (bare) on the show from time to time. But here, one is hidden behind/against Skarsgard, and the other is lifted up into Moyer’s hand in such a way that it makes the breast seem flat. And Paquin, who has the task of covering up the naughty bites of both cast mates, is standing awkwardly. Maybe if she’d tilted her head up and to the side she’d look better. As it is, she looks like a long pole with hardly any neck.

Not to mention (oh look, I’m mentioning!) where’s the story to this picture? Yes, we understand the character dynamics of Eric wanting Sookie and Sookie wanting to stay with Bill, mostly. But what about the blood? Where did it come from? Why isn’t it telling any sort of story? I could have gotten on board if the blood was coming from Sookie’s neck, and it was obvious that they’d both fed on her. Here it looks like someone took a paintbrush and just flicked it at them in Jackson Pollack style.

I hope America’s Next Top Model re-creates this … oh wait. They already did. And they used dead animal carcasses, to boot!

P.S. I am happy that in the interview Alan Ball gives to Rolling Stone, he insults Twilight. “To me, vampires are sex. I don’t get a vampire story about abstinence. I’m 53. I don’t care about high school students. I find them irritating and uninformed.”