I’m in no way a Twihard, but damn… vampires are hot!
Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlain Harris, True Blood is a drama about a small Louisiana town called Bon Temps (literal translation: Good Times), and the struggle between vampires and humans to coexist.
The story centres on the characters Sookie Stackhouse, a young telepath/waitress and vampire Bill Compton. Bill is the first vampire to come to Bon Temps since vampires “came out of the coffin” after the invention of artificial blood by those clever Japanese scientists.
Naturally, the town is weary of Bill, partly because he’s a vampire, but also because he’s not part of what society considers the norm. True Blood draws some interesting comparisons between the fight for equal rights and respect for vampires, the fight for equal rights and respect for gay/lesbian/transgender persons, and also to some degree the fight for African Americans to equal rights and respect. As Tara, whom I will introduce shortly, said in one episode: “People think that just because we got vampires out in the open now that race isn’t the issue no more”.
True Blood is very much targeted at the adult audience. Being produced by HBO, there is a high level of course language and sex scenes. Some might argue that it’s not necessary, but isn’t it a reflection on today’s society anyway?
Season 1 of True Blood is about the search for whoever, or whatever, is killing the local “fang bangers” (a fang banger is either a man or a woman who enjoys the “company” of vampires). Initially a bit slow to start, a story line soon emerges that is captivating, dramatic and features some (in my opinion) top quality acting which we’ve come to expect from HBO. After saving vampire Bill’s life, Sookie soon develops a relationship with him. Not because she’s attracted to vampires, but because she can read everyone else’s thoughts except for vampires. She finds comfort in that.
It seems everyone (female) around Sookie is being murdered, and when her own brother is accused she uses her telepathic abilities to try and track down who the real killer is. I didn’t see it coming until the second last episode of the season. Well done HBO!
Season 2 kicks off where season 1 finished, and oh boy! they have packed in quite a lot!
With the fang banger killer well and truly out of the picture, two new story lines develop. The first story line is Jason Stackhouse (Sookie’s brother) being taken in by a church/cult called The Fellowship of the Sun (FOS) and its Light of Day institute. FOS is pretty much the anti-vampire version of the Westboro Baptist Church – do not get me started on those freaks. If you know anything about WBC, you can understand that FOS is not a good thing! The story line also involves Sookie tracking down whomever or whatever has abducted a vampire named Godric – one of the oldest vampires in the US, and also Eric’s maker. This all culminates in a showdown between the FOS and a league of vampires, with unexpected results.
A second storyline continues from the first season where we were introduced to the mysterious character Maryanne, which involves Tara and pretty much the rest of the town of Bon Temps. Ancient Greek mythology, supernatural beings, cannibalism and hedonistic orgies – it’s quite the ride, so strap yourself in and enjoy!
Season 3 will kick off with the search for Bill Compton, who mysteriously vanished at the end of season 2. I can’t wait!
Sookie Stackhouse: (Anna Paquin) – Telepath and waitress at the local bar & grill, Merlotte’s. In the first season she save’s vampire Bill’s life, which sees the beginning of their romantic relationship.
Bill Compton: (Steven Moyer) – Civil war soldier, turned vampire, Bill was an original resident of Bon Temps over 170 years ago. He returns to town looking for a place to live and to “mainstream”, setting up house in his old family home of which he is the only surviving heir. Bill abstains from drinking human blood in search of a way to coexist with mainstream society.
Jason Stackhouse: (Ryan Kwanten) – Sookie’s brother. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he tries to do the right thing, although he’s often misguided and always ends up in hot water one way or another. He has a libido that would give Hugh Heffner a run for his money.
Tara Thornton: (Rutina Wesley) – Tara is one of my favourites. She doesn’t take crap from anyone. She brash, streetwise and has trouble trusting others. You’d love to have her as your friend, but never as your enemy. Her personality is the result of a neglectful upbringing by her alcoholic mother. She’s Sookie’s best friend.
Sam Merlotte: (Sam Trammell) – Owner of Merlotte’s Bar & Grill, he’s a mysterious character who just showed up in town one day and began buying up real estate. He has no record of a past… for a very good reason. He’s infatuated with Sookie, which explains his contempt for Bill.
Lafayette Reynolds: (Nelsan Ellis) – Lafayette is Tara’s cousin and short order cook for Merlotte’s Bar & Grill, road crew worker, drug dealer, gay prostitute and emerging pornographer. He’s loud and proud and has no problem with who he is. He can hold his own, cross him, and you’ll regret it.
Eric Northman: (Alexander Skarsgård) – Eric is the local area vampire sheriff, directly in charge of vampire Bill. He was a Swedish Viking warrior who now owns a bar called Fangtasia in nearby Shreveport. He’s also interested in Sookie, with not so honorable intentions, which makes for some very interesting conflicts with Bill.
Winning more than 27 awards and receiving numerous nominations, True Blood is set to become the next cult classic of the vampire genre. Even if vampires only slightly interest you, I implore you to check out this fantastic series – it’s so much more than just another vampire show.
Season 3 is scheduled to begin airing June 13th on HBO. Other syndicated networks will more than likely air Season 3 shortly after the premiere in the US. Check your local subscription provider for details. Seasons 1 & 2 are available in stores now.
Already a fan of this show? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Who’s your favourite vamp? Where do you want to see Season 3 take us?