True Blood: The Story So Far...
What Is It?:
For those of you that arenít familiar, True Blood is an HBO show based on a series of books called The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. The book and the series follows an alternate reality where not only are vampires real, but following the invention of synthetic blood, vampires have come out of the closet, some wanting to live a more normal life. The series takes place in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps and follows the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who finds herself drawn to the townís new vampire resident, as he is the one person in the town whose mind she canít read.
The Good: The Southern town of Bon Temps provides a fun backdrop for True Blood. Take out the vampires, and you still have a whole town full of colourful characters, shape shifters, exorcisms and other weird goings on. Iím also excited about the premise of the story with the idea of vampires fighting for equal rights and some even mainstreaming.
The Bad:Despite a fascinating premise and a cool backdrop for the story, season one still relied on too many familiar motifs. The Sookie-Bill-Sam love triangle rang a little too close to the Edward-Bella-Jacob scenario in Twilight. Sookie occasionally comes off as a little frivolous as she bounces between Sam and Billís attention, and to be honest, during the first season, I never really saw any reason why we should care about Sookie and Billís relationship aside from the fact that according to the script, ďtheyíre supposed to be together.Ē
The vamps on True Blood were a little uninteresting through the first half of the season. They either wanted to reform and were thus completely dull, like Bill, or they were stuck in some seventies or goth version of being a vampire. The plotting in the final couple of episodes went a little too typical Hollywood for a show that is clearly not typical, particularly with the chase scene between Sookie and the real murderer.
The Sex: Hmm, anybody who watches True Blood knows that the sex scenes can be surprisingly off the chart even for HBO. Most of course seem to occur between resident sex maniac Jason Stackhouse, and, well, women who mostly end up dead later. While Iím all for amping up the sex scenes, this is a Southern tale with vampires after all, sometimes itís a little distracting.
Characters We Love:
The town of Bon Temps is filled with kooky characters worth checking out. Jason Stackhouse is a character I was on the fence about but lets face it, heís so stupid he makes the show entertaining; His brief girlfriend Amy was also another entertaining character as she swings wildly from being flower child to psychotic junkie; despite only being in the show for a few episodes, you gotta love how the first thing Sookieís Gran wanted to know from Bill was about the civil war; Sam Merlotte obviously has his secrets even now with his biggest one being known by Sookie- itíll be interesting to see what else there is; other Bon Temps residents Iím loving are Arlene, detective Andy , Sookieís best friend Tara whose mouth and parental issues get her into more trouble than anything and Lafeyette, TaraĎs gay cousin who is decidedly too large a character for the small town of Bon Temps. Vampires Iím loving are Eric, owner of Fangtasia, his assistant Pam, and the newly made vampire Jessica, Billís ďdaughter.Ē
Characters We Hate:
Thereís few characters I despise in this show, but itís probably a bad thing when your leading characters are on that list. Bill needs to get a personality. The one and only thought he seems to have is protecting Sookie. Heís just not that interesting. Sookie meanwhile occasionally shows spunk but still feels to much like a damsel-in-distress/love interest and less like a character in her own right. Even her first sex scene with Bill felt right out of a ridiculous Barbara Cartland novel.
Despite not being overly impressed with the first season, season two does have some new interesting things to ponder. First, who or what is Maryann? Second, who or what is this new evil that likes to rip out peopleís hearts? Iím also liking an apparent end to the love triangle, with Sam essentially wanting out. Hereís hoping it stays that way.
The appearance of Jessica, now living with Bill, has also turned on a more comedic side to Bill. Who knew he recycles?! She should also be an interesting foil to Sookie whoís relationship with Bill at least seems to have matured a little as they seem more able to withstand hurdles like oh, say, your boyfriend killing off your pervy uncle.
True Blood seems to be still finding its feet. The characters are becoming more solid and less like an amalgamation of every other vampire-erotica/horror story youíve ever read. I still canít help wishingthat a certain Billy Idol inspired vampire might roll into town and shake things up, but the story seems to be coming together and thatís a start.
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