Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"True"-ly Hooked

We are usually pretty late when it comes to jumping on any TV bandwagon. In fact, we watched only one episode of HBO's True Blood series, thought it trite and moved on. The whole vampire-as-cool-love-interest story line seemed a bit thin. Neither of us liked it.

It wasn't until a friend loaned us their season one DVD set that changed our outlook. When you get to watch an entire season on DVD, you get a lot more out of it. You also get drawn in like an addict. We are as red hot addicted as V mixed with Red Bull.

The very first smart thing creator Alan Ball did was to bring the whole vampire legacy right down to earth. This is no Lord Valmont in ruffles and smoking jacket complete with castle, howling wolves and thick Slavic accents. This is vamps in Hickville, y'all!

The main focus being on the Louisiana town of Bon Temps (ironically "good times") and the central character, Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin). Sookie is a waitress at the local redneck bar and grille. Her life is very uncomplicated until Bill (Yes, you read that right) walks in. There is the inevitable scene where Bill the vamp tries to look all pale, mysterious, and the ubiquitous dark and brooding. But this isn't "Velcome to dee castle Dracoola." Vampires have come out of the coffin and want to be accepted by human society. Yep. Vamps have been "living" among the locals for a while. Hell, they even have a Republican looking publicist going on the news to argue for their undead rights.

Of course, the vamps act all imperial, emotionless and ruthless. They believe themselves to be the higher form of beings, calling people "cows" and "blood sacks." Whether they have a plan for world domination, that remains to be seen. One things for sure: they don't care about us with one exception: Bill.

As the first season progressed, the number of story lines grew and so did the preposterousness, but one thing anchors it all: the believable human characters (great cast) and the down-to-earth dialogue. When a friend confesses to Sookie that he is a shape shifter, she shouts in perfect white trash southern drawl:

"Shut the fuck up!"

If I tried to explain it, it would sound so silly. True Blood is great entertainment with some truly creepy moments, not all of which are supplied by "fangers." Fangs aren't the only deadly forces about sleepy swamptown.

But the air around Bon Temps suggests there are other equally powerful dark forces at work. The mysterious Maryann Forrester for instance. What the hell is she? Can creepy and hot exist in one body? You betcha.

Don't dare tell me. No spoilers please.

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