Review: True Blood

I finally got a chance to see HBO’s new vampire series True Blood, based upon the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.? Leading up to the series I was worried about the marketing of the series and curious how this thing would play out.

After only one episode it’s tough to determine how I feel about it, just because there isn’t a lot of material to go on.? But any worries about the series’s tone are pretty much gone.? Yes, the marketing was pretty much crap, however the bayou vampire tales seems perfectly atune to creator Alan Ball’s sense of dark humor and fantasy.? The show is shot, in terms of cinematography, very much like Ball’s first show Six Feet Under.

All I know so far is that Sookie (Anna Paquin) is a telepathic waitress who becomes anamored with the 173-year-old vampire Bill.? She’s stuck in her little world with her saucy friend Tara.? Not a whole lot happens in the first episode plotwise because it needs to establish all the characters who inhabit this world.? Vampires are out of the coffin due to the Japanese product Tru Blood, a synthetic blood.? It is strange to see a vampire world where there is no slayer or vampire hunter or whatnot.? In that sense, this is a take on the vampire mythos worth watching and difficult to gage exactly where the show is heading.

A few minor caveats: if Sookie can read minds why is she a measly waitress in Louisianna, wouldn’t she put that to better use?? Bad, bad southern accents.? Also, the vampire teeth FX were pretty horrible and not the least bit believable (they are sorta like a switchblade complete with a SFX similar to when Wolverine unleashes his claws).? Finally, and this should be no surprise to Alan Ball fans, but I hope the show doesn’t keep with the overt vampires as symbolism for homosexuals.? I’m not against exploring that subtext or even having that be one level of the show, but it comes off as sloppy and hamhanded and not the work of a master like Alan Ball.

So far so good though.? And how about those opening credits?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hethr September 15, 2008, 9:31 pm

    Just little explanation for why Sookie is a waitress from someone who has read the books.

    I am hoping they address it in the show I think they tried to show how hard it is for her to concentrate with all those thoughts in her head. In the book everyone isn’t so open about her “disability” as she calls it. She says that she never did well in school because she couldn’t concentrate to study. Also she was made to feel ashamed of her “disability” so she doesn’t see it as a gift.

    I hope the actors get more comfortable with each other, I hate first shows it,s always so awkward. I think Anna Paquin makes an almost perfect Sookie so I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Just my 2 cents 😀

  • James September 15, 2008, 3:55 pm

    Totally hear you about the Cajun food and cheap beer, but I’ll raise you some good ole delta/swamp blues to listen to. I love fried gator.

  • movie buff September 15, 2008, 10:45 am

    True Blood resembles Heroes at first glance (just rented the first episode from Blockbuster), though it still feels mostly original… for some reason this show makes me want to eat Cajun food and drink cheap beer