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HBO's popular television series based on Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books.

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Diary of a mad fanger

  • Nov 13, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5

I was determined to resist HBO's True Blood, a Southern Gothicky romp through Bon Temps, Louisiana, where, thanks to the invention of synthetic blood, vampires have "come out of the coffin" to mainstream with humans. One such creature of the night is Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a 173 year-old reluctant vampire who has all the candor of a good heart but the physical attributes of the netherworld. Bill is enchanted by Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Pacquin), a waitress at Merlotte's, the town watering hole. Tormented all her life by the ability to read other people's thoughts, Sookie and Bill stare at one another across the crowded bar like Maria and Tony in their memorable scene from West Side Story, the world falling away before the two of them. Hopelessly attracted, yet fearful of Bill's bad boy side (after all, he is a blood-slurping vampire), Sookie vacillates, her heart telling her this is the one, her mind screaming, "Are you crazy? He's dead!" But- unexpected joy- she can't read his thoughts! Certainly, these two will never be able to gaze lovingly at one another across the breakfast table. 

 

As the opening credits suggest in Alan Ball's clever and ambitious series, the south harbors the gamut of human- and inhuman- behavior, superstition, faith, love, hate, folksiness and generosity, charm and the KKK, all God's children frolicking in a world both dark and light. While vampires lurk in the night, seductive in their dangerous otherness, humans range from good ol' boys to southern belles, a mélange of the dramatic and the demure, the cast a surprising mix of eccentric and fascinating personalities: Sookie's brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), a relentless sex addict who loves a mirror almost as much as the willing ladies her pursues; the foul-mouthed, yet endlessly appealing Tara (Rutina Wesltey), as unable to govern her emotions as she is to cast out the "devil" who inhabits her soul; and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), a real scene-stealer, gay short-order-cum-"V"-dealer (the potent and coveted vampire blood) who owns his scenes, his talented barely contained by the small screen.

 

Unfortunately for the incipient romance between virgin and vampire, a series of recent murders has focused the town on the vampires' tendency toward blood lust, although, as Bill informs local law enforcement, "Surely a vampire would have drained a body of every ounce of her blood." Still, the residents of Bon Temps are reluctant to cast suspicion on one of their own. Bill's seduction of Sookie drives the series, but the town is filled with such a delightful mix of characters that, like "V", there is never enough. Highly addictive, like the one-step-behind law enforcement team who bicker from crime scene to crime scene, there is always another volatile contretemps to charm, amuse and shock the willing viewer. Pacquin is stellar in her portrayal of Sookie, Moyer barely one beat behind her performance and closing (fangs extended). I have been bitten. I willingly drank the vampire's patented Tru-Blood and freely admit: one taste of "V' isn't enough. I crave more. Luan Gaines/2008.

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December 17, 2008
Anirul, I so agree with you. There are so many levels of appeal to this series, not the least of which is the impressive acting. I was familiar with only one of these actors and have been impressed with many of them- especially Lafayette, who nearly steals every scene he's in unless he's sharing the screen with his cousin. Now I am waiting until next season to find out Lafayette's fate.
 
December 14, 2008
You're right, Stephanie. That was one of the first things I noticed about the show- it isn't as frivolous as might first appear. It's a very clever way to get regular viewers into the heart of social issues w/ the vamps anologist to real life. Bizarre as it seems, this show is socially relevant! HBO was smart to cash in on the current vampire rage and turn it into something more than a fad. Early into the first season, HBO renewed for next year. I was so resistant- thought it was stupid to tell the truth. But a friend of mine said I had to try it. I was bored one night and tuned in- and was bitten. Then I went back to the earlier shows available on my cable and wallowed in the ones I had missed. Too rarely is television truly relevant but this is one of those exceptions. I came reluctantly but soon gave myself up to the story, fangs and all.
 
December 09, 2008
I've only seen a few episodes of this just because my friend was RAVING about how great it was. I'm usually a bit skeptical when it comes to shows about vampires. However, I was suprirsed at how many issues this series touched on - many issues that we are experiencing in real life America today. Like with the whole prop 8 situation in California where gays/lesbians are treated as second class citizens and not offered the same rights (which will be something I think everyone will regret a few years down the line when they realize what they've done. similar to when interracial marriages where looked down upon) .. Anyways, trueblood touches on the issue of gays, the issue of segregation between the blacks and the whites in the south, AND the issue of relationships between vampires and humans. I've been told by my friend that they recently legalized marriages between vampires and humans on the show, which I can help but think how close it resembles what California is currently going through with Prop 8!
 
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About the reviewer
Luan Gaines ()
An artist/writer, I have traveled the world, walked on the moon and learned the complicated language of humanity, the enormity of the universe... all through the written word. My first passport was a … more
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Wiki




Thanks to a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures "coming out of the coffin." Religious leaders and government officials around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out. Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), however, knows how it feels to be an outcast. "Cursed" with the ability to listen in on people's thoughts, she's also open-minded about the integration of vampires — particularly when it comes to Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But as Sookie is drawn into a series of mysteries surrounding Bill's arrival in Bon Temps, that tolerance will be put to the test. 

A new drama from 'Six Feet Under' creator Alan Ball, True Blood delves into the meticulously-crafted world of novelist Charlaine Harris. Described by the Emmy®-winning Ball as "popcorn for smart people" and featuring a colorful cast of local misfits, 'True Blood' promises an intense ride.
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Details

Premiere Date: September 7th 2008
Description: HBO series about Vampires who have gone public and want human rights
Genre: Drama
Studio: HBO
Original Air Date: September 7th 2008
DVD Release Date: May 19th 2009
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"Diary of a mad fanger"
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