Welcome to the Ladies in Your Box, where we explore the women you see every day on TV, what relevance (if any) they have to your life, and what they mean to the world at large. Today, we look at everyone’s favorite fangbanger…

I introduced Sookie (Anna Paquin) to my box last year, during Season Two of True Blood. Since then it’s been nothing but pure joy every time she shows up in there, and Sunday’s Season Three premiere was no different.

Sookie is my jam for a lot of reasons. First of all, she can read minds, which is cool. Second of all, vampires want to fuck her, which is also cool. Third of all, she isn’t afraid of anything (nothing), and if she is, she mans up and doesn’t let fear get in her way. I believe they call that “courage.” Fourth of all, she speaks her mind regardless of who will or won’t like her for it, and yet she manages to maintain that Dairy Queen Southern sweetness.

So straight out of the gate, like I said, I love Sookie Stackhouse. But we want to be fair and balanced here, and I’d be lying if I said that in the context of the show, her character doesn’t raise a few red flags. Because just like Bella in Twilight, who’s also in a female-human/male-vampire relationship, Sookie is too often the damsel in distress. No matter how ballsy she is, her ballsiness is just kind of an adorable nuisance to her vamp-piece, because she’s always needing to be saved. Fortunately, she and Bella are both dating the undead, and the undead can read minds, move fast, kill people with their teeth, and stop moving trucks with one hand. So these vampires will bemusedly let their human girlfriends stand up to the big men, until the danger gets real, at which point they inevitably need to step in and do a rescue.

Let me give you a few examples, both with Sookie and with Bella. I’ll hearken back to Season One of True Blood first. Sookie goes searching for Bill. She shows up at his house, which is full of vampires. What a brave little girl! Once there, she is immediately descended upon by three hungry blood-suckers. Just as they’re about to kill her, Bill steps up and saves her. Rinse and repeat in various situations throughout all seasons.

Now let’s do a Twilight example. This is fun. In the first book/movie, Bella goes looking for trouble when she defiantly flirts with creepy men who are way too old for her. Once she’s realized she’s in over her head, it’s too late — they’ve chased her down a dark alley where one assumes they are going to rape and possibly kill her. Fortunately, Edward has read her mind and uses his living dead speed to get to her and save her at the very last minute. Also rinse and repeat.

See what I mean? No matter how awesome these ladies are (actually, Bella isn’t that awesome) because of the decisions they make, they’d both be dead a million times over if not for the men in their lives. And while the knight in shining armor thing is annoying, what’s more annoying is that this dynamic negates all the good things about these ladies. Their courage (I learned a word today), their open-mindedness, their curiosity, their defiance, all become nothing more than silly whims when looked at through the lens of their overprotective boyfriends. At the end of the day, it translates into them not knowing how to take care of themselves.

And I LIKE these shows.

So I will continue to watch, for the entertainment value, and hope that eventually Sookie metaphorically (or literally, whatever) fucks one of these guys in the ass to demonstrate that she can also be the top.

The Ladies in Your Box will be back next week. Stay tuned.