Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

True Blood is turning out to be a true blue series worth biting into

Vampire fans have had to deal with the loss of more than one promising TV series(Blood Ties,Moonlight)about their favorite children of the night,so one can understand the reluctance of some to sample HBO's long awaited True Blood. Fortunately,the ratings and the fan reception has been good enough so far that the show already has a commitment from the network for another season.

It does help alot that Alan Ball is the big guns behind this show,since Six Feet Under was a major hallmark series for HBO,both in popularity and in critical acclaim. Another bonus was using Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels as the ground floor upon which to build from,which brought in a number of ready made fans.

As one of those Sookie fans myself,my main concern was in how close the show would be to the books and what changes would be made to the characters.

So far,most of the important elements are intact,mainly the growing relationship between Sookie,the emotionally isolated mind reader and Bill, a Civil War era vampire trying to mainstream himself into a society that now officially acknowledges the existence of his kind.

That acknowledgment comes with it's own set of risks,such as humans seeking to destroy all vampires,even those who agree to only drink the commercially branded artificial blood on sale everywhere and people who like to get high off of vamp blood. Sookie starts her friendship with Bill by using her telepathy to save him from being drained by a pair of sleazy blood dealers and finds out that her mind powers don't work on him,a pleasant surprise in her opinion:

Sookie and Bill's romance has quite a bit of opposition from several parties such as her best friend Tara and Sookie's brother Jason(who has more personal reasons to dislike vampires),along with Sookie's boss,Sam,who has a huge crush on her and a secret of his own to keep hidden from the world.

Bill's old vampire buddies aren't too sure about this,either,since their idea of a friendly human/vampire relationship is more along the lines of master and servant. When Sookie first runs into a few of them who are paying an unexpected and unwelcome visit,she barely manages to stay unbitten despite Bill's declaration of protection being her shield:

The show also allows other characters and their conflicts to be more expanded upon(the Sookie books are told from her p.o.v.). While Jason's raunchy love life is more detailed than I care to see(some of it is necessary to the plot),seeing Tara deal with her violence prone drunken mother,along side her unrequited love for Jason and instant kinship with Sam is just as compelling as Sookie's struggles are to view and connect yourself to:

There's been some talk about the various accents the actors have been using not being that good,but the story telling has been so well done that it doesn't bother me at all. Anna Paquin was a great choice to play Sookie. She makes the natural sweetness of the character come alive without turning her into a cardboard cliche of a damsel in distress.

Rutina Wesley nearly steals the show in her feisty yet vulnerable take on Tara and other stand out performances include Nelsan Ellis as Layfayette,the flamboyant cook and cousin to Tara,Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte and Lois Smith as Sookie's grandmother Adele who wants Bill to speak about his past experiences to her Civil War society group.

Looks like us folk who take kindly to vampire lore have a new nest to roost in out there in TV Town. Whether or not you like the books or just want to check out the scary stuff lingering on the story horizon,True Blood has plenty of variety in it to satisfy the thirst of one and all who stop in for a drink of drama.

Have a few sips with these tasty clips:




1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

It's making me want to re-read the books! I loved them and I think they're doing a pretty good job with the show. I'm trying not to get too attached to one of the characters you mention :(