Vampires, once again, are a hot item in Tinseltown based on the several movies and television shows dealing with them. The big screen will have the adaptation of the Twilight series heading to theaters in November and the small screen has the HBO series True Blood. Created by Alan Ball, the man behind Six Feet Under, True Blood is probably how vampires should be portrayed with a logical premise and uniqueness that hasn’t been seen since Pushing Daisies.
True Blood follows the young Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a barmaid in Louisiana who can read people’s thoughts. The series is based in a reality where vampires have “come out of the coffin” and are living amongst humans due to a Japanese company making synthetic blood called “Tru Blood.” With this freedom comes a heightened social climate as vampires strive for the same rights as humans. Sookie’s life changes when she meets a vampire named Bill (Stephen Moyer) who takes a strange liking to her. All the while her friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) deal with their own issues in life, love and vampires.
I adored True Blood from the opening scene. This show is steeped in an alternate reality where vampires are the modern-day minorities with all the problems that come with it such as religious zealots and bigotry. It’s very logical in its story and there’s nothing that seems like it comes out of thin air. The vampires retain some of their mythology (no coming out in the day, drink blood), but really just want to be normal. The character of Sookie is very much like Ned in Pushing Daisies with her unique ability to read minds. What’s fascinating is the route the series takes with her power, making it an issue as she doesn’t want to read her friends and family’s thoughts and can hear what guys are thinking on dates with her. Ball really shows the consequences of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and for an hour long episode really flies by. Compared to other television shows with similar subject matter like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood is very much a realistic drama, just set on a different plane of existence.
A lot of what makes the series is the cast and everyone brings something fresh to the table. Anna Paquin turns in another amazing performance and its great seeing her play a young woman at her core instead of a young girl like in most of her movies. You definitely embrace Sookie and Paquin plays her as a girl you could date and be friends with depending on your gender. English actor Stephen Moyer hides his accent to play the vampire Bill. Moyer is an amazing find and hopefully this is the role that brings him to the mainstream. His chemistry with Paquin is electrifying and every time they share a scene together it’s riveting. Rutina Wesley is hilarious as Sookie’s best friend Tara. Her tirades against various customers at her jobs are highly memorable and you’ll easily be quoting her. They also give her a very in-depth storyline, more so than most “best friend” characters. Australian actor Ryan Kwanten also is humorous as Sookie’s sex addled brother Jason. He’s probably the one who’ll get the female demographic as he spends the majority of the show without clothing.
The series is on HBO and does contain heavy amounts of sex and nudity. It can get a bit excessive at times with several drawn-out sex scenes so if its not your cup of tea then you might want to avoid it.
I honestly can’t find a single bad thing to say about True Blood, it is utterly its own. I highly suggest you check out the first episode “Strange Love.” I give the series a 5/5 and can easily expect amazing things. True Blood can be seen on HBO.