'True Blood' Is Actually a Period Piece About 2011

We all know that HBO's True Blood has officially gone cray-cray. So much insanity has happened over the past six seasons. Vampires came out of the coffin, quickly followed by shifters. And werewolves. And werepanthers. And witches. And zombie-vamps. People have died. People have come back from the dead. Characters have been burned, staked, bled, turned, exploded from the inside out by flies who were really Sam Merlotte in disguise. So it's easy to forget that not much time has actually passed for the fictional citizens of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Spoiler alert: we're currently living in the year 2014. Why, then, is it only 2011 in the world of True Blood? The show premiered on September 7, 2008. Surely six years of craziness have happened since then, right? Wrong. Although the first season actually took place slightly in the future — in the summer of 2009 — the final season is currently taking place in the past.

So where exactly did the show depart from the real world's timeline? During the hiatus between the first two seasons, to be exact. The twelve episodes of True Blood's first season took place over the course of only sixteen days , if you can believe it. Yes, that means that vampires went public, Sookie and Bill fell in love, and Rene killed the entire female population of Bon Temps in just two weeks. And if you remember, Season 2 began exactly where Season 1's cliffhanger left off, with Miss Jeanette dead in the backseat of Andy's car.

Season 3 similarly picked up in the same place Season 2 ended, with Sookie dismayed to discover Bill had been kidnapped post-proposal. This means that by the time True Blood had been on the air for three years, fewer than two months had passed for the characters on the show.

The first significant passage of time occurred between Seasons 3 and 4, when Sookie took a vacation in Fairy Land. Time passes differently in that alternate plane, which means when Sookie returned to our world after mere minutes (for her), it turned out that she had been gone for a year in our time. However, this time jump was too little too late to help events on the show catch up to real-time. The gap between Seasons 4 & 5 and Seasons 5 & 6 continued the trend of beginning in medias res (with Tara being shot in the former and Bill being reincarnated as "Billith" in the latter).

What all of this boils down to is the simple fact that True Blood is now a period piece. 2011 is but a distant memory in most of our minds. Do you even remember what the world looked like three years ago? Here are a few of the major events that happened in 2011: We killed Osama Bin Laden. Steve Jobs died. Joe Paterno was fired from Penn State. And Anthony Weiner resigned after a sexting scandal.

So when you're watching Sookie & Co. do battle against the Hep-V vamps this Sunday night, think about the fact that somewhere else in the country, at exact the same time, Anthony Weiner is sending explicit photos to a 22-year-old woman under the alias "Carlos Danger." You're welcome.

Images: HBO (3)