True Blood is a show that after watching the pilot, I wasn’t overly impressed. Interesting concept, good acting, but nothing to go crazy over. I was actually very disappointed. This is produced by Alan Ball for crying out loud! The man who created Six Feet Under made this?! (which is quite possibly the most brilliant, complexly written series I’ve seen ) However, I felt there was room for potential in the series and decided to bite my tongue (no pun intended) and keep watching.
I’m on the second season now. I’m proud to say this one of the few TV shows I’ve actually made an effort to stay on top of and I haven’t missed an episode yet. My girlfriend and I are now True Blood addicts and discuss on the phone the episodes we’ve seen and what situations the characters will get into like two giddy high school girls.
The storytelling feels organic. It doesn’t feel like something borrowed (despite being based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels written by Charlaine Harris) and cliche. It has a mind of its own and it’s constantly surprising. The story just keeps getting more interesting between characters. Things get so crazy that you have doubts the writers can pull it off. They haven’t failed yet. The show carries on the myths about vampires (stakes in the heart, silver, crucifixes, day light) and brings attention to overlooked perspectives on vampires. Such as their memories, their place in history, and how that has carried over to the way certain vampires behave in the present.
It also features some new abilities such as retractable fangs that allow them to blend in with the human population (if someone tells them to say cheese, they’re not totally fucked). Vampires can “glamor” their victims and control their mind. If vamps were Jedis they would’ve won the war against the Empire in no time. Darth Vader would’ve pissed his space pants. Vampires are now organized in their community with sheriffs, kings, and other leaders who govern sections of states.
The undertones of the show are also fascinating. At the very start of the show, vampires have now “come out of the coffin” and have revealed their existence to the world. No longer working behind the scenes, they’ve now become a part of society. That’s not to say that they’re no longer taboo to humans. If anything, the human race is having an even harder time accepting vampires as something real and not myth. Because of this vampires are now in the civil rights spectrum fighting for equal rights and tolerance. Religious and racial persecution all play parts and motives within the show with such groups as the Fellowship of the Sun–a religious group that condemns vampires and supports violence against the vampire race.
The two main characters, Sookie Stackhouse played by Anna Pacquin (a human with telepathic abilities), and Bill Compton played by Stephen Moyer ( a vampire who struggles to regain his sense of humanity) are perfect examples of victims of persecution. Bill and Sookie are a couple to the dismay of both vampires and humans within the town. It may sound like something from a cheesy emo vampire novel (no sparkles included) but their story is mostly about the burden and the danger that come with being a human and vampire couple (an interracial couple during a time of extreme intolerance).
The characters all have their strengths and weaknesses as well as their good sides and bad sides. They all have their share of troubles, but the troubles these characters face would make Bernard Madoff blush. You’ll be saying to yourself, “Oh fuck…” a lot. All characters are likable, even the bad ones. Some you’ll cheer on more than others, like Lafayette. A bad ass cross-dressing gay cook who deals V, vampire blood that is trippier and will get you higher than the blood of Keith Richards and Jerry Garcia combined!
He’s funny, he’s loyal to his friends (whether it’s in his interest or not) and he’s not afraid to tell someone to fuck off. He gives cross dressing cooks like Barefoot Contessa a run for their money.
The action is also very good in this show. Violence is depicted raw and somewhat jaw dropping. I haven’t seen a character die of old age, disease, or in their sleep yet. We’ll put it that way.
The only problem I have with the second season so far, is the cliffhangers. Lately it’s been cliffhanger after cliffhanger. The episodes seem to stop when something insane happens (or an “oh shit!” moment, if you will..)and then you curse at the ending credits.
Then you salivate at the next episode’s preview. The second season is doing a mighty fine job of keeping you wanting more. It’ll reveal you some major plot points but not expose them completely. I’m also very excited to see the other supernatural elements in the show such as werewolves , shape shifters, and the vampires in other areas. If you haven’t seen the first season, I highly recommend you give it a watch and check out season 2. This show if taking off big time and has quite a large fan base.
Alan Ball is very good with producing shows that are far from the norm with some very intriguing story telling. You can’t go wrong. I mean, what else is out there featuring vampires? Twilight? HA!—Joe G/
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