TV Review: True Blood - Season One.

So I finally gave in and started watching True Blood. I don't have HBO (at least at the moment), so I had to Netflix Season One. Of course, I heard the Twilight comparisons, but I figured they were just there because both are popular vampire stories right now. If only I had known.

The show follows the life of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a waitress in a southern Louisiana bar/restaurant with the ability to read minds. In this alternate reality world, vampires have come 'out of the coffin' and shown themselves to the world after a synthetic blood mix known as Tru Blood hit the market. Sookie soon meets her first ever vampire, a southern gentleman named Bill (Stephen Moyer) who she immediately falls in love with, especially after discovering she can't read his mind. Of course, he, too, becomes enamored with her due to her unusualness from the rest of the human population, including her scent. (Sounding familiar yet?)

But then there are the other characters, including Sookie's vampire-hating and sex-craved brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten). Of course, he's wanting to bang every girl out there except for Sookie's best friend, Tara (Rutina Wesley), who has a thing for him. There's Sookie's boss, Sam (Sam Trammell), who is in love with Sookie, as well.

I haven't read the books this is based on, but I imagine that the show is similar to at least the first book, which was released back in 2001. I'm surprised that there hasn't been some kind of lawsuit (or maybe I just haven't heard about it) between Charlene Harris and Stephanie Meyer for the latter totally ripping off the former. Granted, with Meyer, the mind-reading switched to the vampire and the inability to be read switched to the girl, but the (plot) point remains. Of course, there's also the specific love triangle similarity, which is really suspicious on Meyer's part of being specific that they are more shape-shifters than werewolves... but I digress.

But besides the obvious similarities, everything is completely different. True Blood has more violence and more sex (lots and lots of sex). But this might not be a good thing. I mean, I'm all for sex in a vampire story, but there's a line between just right and too much, and the show constantly teeters that line (if not completely crossing it). However, still in comparison, the characters are infinitely better, the writing is infinitely better (at least show-wise), and even the setting is more interesting.

Sookie is actually scared of vampires and makes logical choices unlike Bella. Bill, on the other hand, shares a few too many similarities with Edward. Both are quiet gentlemen with an almost bipolar disorder when it comes to people being...untoward with their female counterpart.

Something else I like about the show is that, similar to shows like Dexter, the secondary characters are interesting, as well. Even characters that are only on screen for less than 5 minutes an episode are remotely interesting and fun. And I was so surprised and (yes) upset I (in the good way, I suppose) when the big reveal at the end of the season is shown.

It isn't just some vampire love story, either. There's an interesting murder mystery at the heart of the plot. Somebody is killing "fang-bangers," people (in this case girls) who like to get off with vampires. And Sookie is at the top of this list. Of course, her brother Jason is at the top of the suspects list, as not only does every girl he hooks up with end up in a bad state, but he clearly has a distaste for vampires.

That is, until a bit of character development comes about in the latter half of the season. I got a bit rocky with Jason throughout the season. For the most part, he was just kinda annoying. But then he started to redeem himself toward the end, although still making idiot decisions. But when he starts to bond with a certain character, it's great. But then he starts making stupid decisions again, and his final character twist of the season seems completely out of character based on the development he had just finished making.

Overall, though, it was a captivating show. I can see why people are into it, and if I had HBO, I'd definitely DVR it. Once I can get my hands on season 2, I'll do so. It's so much better than that other vampire story that's popular right now. I loved the setting, the characters, the music... it was just a heck of a lot of fun... even if every other scene dealt with sex.

1 comment:

  1. Love this show! The first season is very close to the first book, except for Tara and her drama. I'm really surprised Harris hasn't sued Meyer either, but maybe she just doesn't care since she's making her money too.

    I agree with pretty much everything you said, especially the bit characters and the Southern setting (of course I'm Southern, so go figure).

    Just so you know, there is a big difference between Sookie falling for Bill so quickly and Bella falling for Edward. It's not stated till S2 though, so I don't want to spoil anything for you.

    As for the sex, it doesn't get a lot better in S2. Well, it depends on how you look at it. Hate to ruin anything for you, so I won't go into detail. Unfortunately, S2 is really awesome for the first 9 episodes, then the last 3 go completely off the map. The show picks itself back up in the final 30 minutes of the last episode. Totally my opinion of course. Hope you keep enjoying the show once you can get your hands on S2.


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