It’s hard not to love Deborah Ann Woll. The second she arrived on True Blood she managed to do something which had previously seemed impossible: she made Bill Compton funny. Before her, the funniest thing about him was that the locals around Bon Temps had taken to calling him “Vampire Bill.” Otherwise, he was a genteel, Southern gentlemen, perfectly suited to be the Harlequin romance novel type who could sweep Sookie Stackhouse off her feet. Then along came Woll’s Jessica, an innocent, virginal girl Bill was forced to sire as punishment for a murder he had committed while protecting Sookie (don’t get us started on True Blood’s weird vampire politics). Her forced conversion to vampirism unlocked an inner-hell hound, and she emerged as a wild child Bill simply couldn’t handle. He tried to pawn her off on Eric, who took her in only to bring her back because “There are favors, and then…there are favors.” Bill’s subsequent efforts to reign her in beautifully punctured the melodrama which had characterized his existence on the show to that point.
Instead of constantly pining over Sookie and looking ever so sad before cutting to an appropriately tragic flashback, now he was having to inform Jessica that no, they could not simply eat Sookie. He looked so thrilled at the beginning of the second season when they’d finally come across a combination of synthetic True Blood formula she could at least kind of stomach to prevent her from killing any more innocent humans.
Of course, we are now nearing the end of True Blood’s run, and although Jessica has taken some darker turns since her mostly comic relief beginnings she remains one of the show’s most endearing characters and her father-daughter bond with Bill one of the most enduring relationships. Plus, since her introduction we’ve come to know Ann Woll a little better, and delighted in nerd solidarity at how she sometimes walks the Comic-Con floor in costume.
So, I was ecstatic when I saw that Ann Woll had landed the role of potential love interest Karen Page in Netflix’s upcoming Daredevil series. There is something so immensely likable about Woll, be it in her work on True Blood or even a small role in Ruby Sparks, thus making her a seemingly necessary ray of positivity to latch onto in the notoriously grim Daredevil universe.
Actually, who’s to say for sure which direction they’ll take the TV show. The current version of Daredevil in the comics is actually getting to smile pretty regularly for the first time in his entire existence. However, if they stick with the classic comics then, daaaaaaaaaamn, things might get oppressively bleak for Woll’s character [comic book spoilers and possibly TV spoilers below].
Poor old Karen. First appearing in Daredevil #1 as Matt Murdock’s legal secretary and possible love interest, as time went by she went from one-dimensional eye candy to something much worse. Her father turns out to the supervillain Death’s-Head, she breaks up with Matt after finding out he’s a masked vigilante, she’s been kidnapped and brainwashed by every two-bit villain going, she got addicted to heroin and start acted in porn, and then after finally cleaning herself up finds out she’s HIV positive.
Not that Karen actually dies due to AIDs-related complications, though. Oh no. Distraught, she seeks out her former lover in a church in New York where Daredevil happens to be doing battle with Bullseye, his arch enemy and murderer of his other former lover, Elektra. Deciding to go two-for-two, Bullseye kills Karen too, before she can give Matt the bad news. So that’s basically a tragedy piled on top of a lifetime of over tragedies.
Spartacus/Buffy alum Steven S. DeKnight will run Daredevil, which has cast Charlie Cox in the lead role, Elden Henson as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, Rosario Dawson in a mysterious role, and Vincent D’Onofrio as “The Kingpin.” The 13-episode show is set to debut some time next year. It’s certainly possible none of the above from the comics will happen to Woll’s version of Karen Page. She could be no more significant than the version Ellen Pompeo played in the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie, though that seems unlikely. Either way, I am excited to see her on Daredevil even if I’m dreading the potentially dark road ahead for her.