True Blood

Bubbling beneath the surface of Alan Ball's gothic melodrama drama is a sexual energy and an unsettling feeling that horror lurks around every corner.

trueblood2Everything Alan Ball touches turn to gold: American Beauty, Six Feet Under and now True Blood – his television follow up. Produced for HBO, it’s already got street cred and industry awards. This here is the hot new thang.

Set just a few years into the future there are vampires amongst us. But since the widespread availability of synthetic blood, they no longer need to devour humans. Instead they fight for respectability and advocate acceptance. Vampires suffer prejudice, simply for being different. Are you getting the metaphors here?

Based on the book The Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris, the setting is the small town of Bon Temps in deepest, darkest Louisiana. Visually, this small town is a southern sister to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Small road diners, dilapidated shacks, savannah trees and night critters abound. The ‘indie’ opening credits feature everything from Baptist revival meetings to the Ku Klux Klan with a rockin’ bluegrass theme. Ball’s world is gothic working class – raw and steamy.

Front and centre of the story is Sookie (Anna Paquin), a cafe waitress who has telepathic abilities. Serving unfriendly customers who are always longing to grope her is a daily chore. Working alongside her are bartender Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), a gay cook who turns tricks for money.

When Sookie meets Bill (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old vampire, she is drawn to his magnetism and intrigued by the fact she cannot hear his thoughts. These two misfits are a match made outside heaven. “You can never find a human man you can be yourself with,” he insists.

Australian Ryan Kwanten (Home & Away, Summerland) plays Sookie’s brother Jason, a road worker and horny bad boy who finds himself as the number one suspect in a murder case. Someone is killing young women and they’re usually his recent conquests. With a ripped bod and rabid naked scenes, Kwanten is sex on a stick.

Ball marks his territory slowly in True Blood. This is a grand melodrama built on character, concepts and tone. Bubbling beneath the surface is a sexual energy and an unsettling feeling that horror lurks around every corner. The performances are superb, with Paquin shifting from strong and sexy to vulnerable with consummate ease.

Previously, Alan Ball has proven he is prepared to defy conventions with his storytelling. Methinks he’s just warming up here.

45_starsTrue Blood premieres 8:30pm Tuesday February 10 on Showcase

24 Responses

  1. I have recently heard that they are going to axe True blood?
    I really hope that this is not true .I have been watching since season one.
    And a lot of my friends and family also enjoy the show immensely
    Kerrie Aussie.

  2. Totally locked on this show. It’s been a killer start. As for the comparison to Twighlight…thank goodness it’s not like that pretend vampire movie. At least the vamps in this one stick to the rules of not being out during the day. And Sookie is a perfectly good red-neck name just as Leanne is a perfectly good Aussie beach name. The sex is what you’d expect and fits in well with the whole thing. I think the writing on this one is brilliant. I’m not sure about the posing that ‘Mr Crompton’ does through it. Basically it has all the hallmarks of a great show.

    Now try: Bad Men, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, The Seeker and Californication. They’re all different but great shows.

    Happy viewing.

  3. I have seen all of season one and think this show is great, but then vampires are all the rage at the moment with the Twilight series and the cult following that Moonlight got. Pity that FTA doesn’t value these shows that are slightly left field.

  4. The first ep was awesome! I’ve read the books and Ball has done a great job of moving the typical vampire vs mortal idea into new territory. Don’t get me wrong I loved Buffy & Angel, but this is definitely the more grown up version. New addiction? For sure.

  5. She is called Sookie as this series is taken from a series of books by Charlain Harris Called the SouthernVampire Mysteries or Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries.

    FTA could not cope with this show, they would only cancel it after 2 eps anyhow if it didn’t rate.

    Wait til you get a load of Eric the vampire played by ALexander Skarsgard in a few more eps.

  6. I love this show … have seen all of Season 1 and it is addictive. Ryan is not the only hot guy either … Should be on free-to air!!! There are other shows that are on free-to-air that are far more “offensive” than this!

  7. I agree with mikey this show is too good for fta (but then in my opinion all TV shows are too good for AU FTA), but sadly I haven’t got pay telly, but I’m loving the show anyway. I also agree with Hornygoat, Im loving Twilight too,and for me “never the twain shall meet”

  8. Sometimes I wish I had Pay Tv.

    I have seen the first couple of episodes, it is fantastic , wonder how long it will take to get it on normal TV , but probably won’t have the more adult scenes in it.

  9. Yes the sex scenes are strong but it’s all about atmosphere. Set in the hot, steamy Southern climate with backwoods people coming to terms with the unbelievable fact that vampires exist and socialise at their local bar. They are afraid. The people have to get back to basics – sex. Lots of it. All the time. Phew – someone get me an iced water!!

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