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True Blood: Season 1 (2009)

Anna Paquin , Stephen Moyer  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,631 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Ryan Kwanten
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, Subtitled, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 720 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,631 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001FB4W0W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,206 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "True Blood: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • In Focus: Vampires in America: A mockumentary about vampires in America
  • Tru Blood Beverage Ads: French and American "Tru Blood" beverage ads
  • Vampire Service Ads: Ads for vampire dating, vampire hotels, and lawyers that service vampires
  • Public Service Announcements: Both pro- and anti-vampire rights
  • Six audio commentaries with the cast and crew, including executive producer and creator Alan Ball, Anna Paquin (Sookie), and Stephen Moyer (Bill)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

True Blood: The Complete First Season (DVD)

Amazon.com

Alan Ball’s True Blood series works well for television, as it has enough sensationalism to tantalize and enough story girth to make the viewer care about the characters. That one can finally invest emotion into monsters, including an undead Civil War victim, a transformer who can shapeshift into various animals, and a female mind reader, speaks volumes about America’s willingness to accept fantasy. Of course, television has always produced good fantasy shows (I Dream of Jeannie), but True Blood’s Southern Goth brand of fun horror is more macabre and more perverse, not to mention gorier, than most shows of its kind to date. Adapted from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, True Blood thrills because of its equal blend in each episode of erotica, humor, tragedy, mystery, and fantasy. 

Set in a rural, swampy Louisiana parrish, the show centers around Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her clan, sweet grandmother Adele (Lois Smith) and air-headed brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten). Illicit love is spawned early on, when Sookie saves vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) from having his blood stolen in the parking lot of Merlotte’s diner, owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) who completes what will form a complex love triangle. As tensions between Sookie’s suitors loosen or tighten, many side plots, such as her African American best friend Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) struggle with an alcoholic, Bible-thumping mother and her brother’s dangerous crush on drug addicted hippie, Amy Burley (Lizzy Caplan), keep one wondering who will succeed in this podunk place. The main tension throughout, however, is a race war waged between vampires and humans. As murders of “fang bangers” occur (human girls who let vampires bite them) and dumb policeman Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) fails to find clues, one sees the metaphorical implications of vampirism and feels deeper resonance with what can be a downright trashy show. Gossip galore, especially about what kinds of babies interbreeding will produce, is rampant. One of the funniest characters is Tara’s flamboyant cousin, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), who deals drugs, works as a fry cook, and services the local white politicians, while making sure he’s always up in everyone’s business.

What makes True Blood smarter than pure soap opera is the parallels it draws between its monster mash and actual, familiar societal problems. Sookie and her friends watch the news, where Evangelicals bash vampires and prohibit mixed marriage, and everyone is addicted to V, a.k.a vampire blood, that effects like psychedelic heroin. Even its gore reflects a mix of serious and silly, as vampires explode into red, sticky goop. Though it may not be attempting to qualify for the best vampire footage ever shot, True Blood is as addictive as that substance the town’s youth obsesses over, which is a metaphor in itself. --Trinie Dalton



Stills from True Blood (Click for larger image)








Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
367 of 413 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely addictive. Even if you don't watch television November 18, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Rabbit ears on pawn shop televisions are about my speed; needless to say, I don't watch television. However, kind friends mainline this series two or three shows at a time, and they got me hooked: were I to be completely honest, I might have to admit to giving serious thought to obtaining this by less-than-legal-means. It actually might be worth jail time.

Speaking as someone who was born in America's deep South, this series captures everything about Louisiana that is appealing. (Spanish Moss, vampires, latent racism and homophobia, the dichotomy between Christian Southern values and patriarchal, brutality-enforced poverty, sassy Southern women who know how to fight with chains, etc.)

What it makes it really stand out, though, is the casting: there isn't a bad actor in the bunch--and they are all believable as Southern archetypes. Nelsan Ellis as the short order cook/drug dealer Lafayette and Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin as the romantic leads give mesmerizing performances.

True Blood, or possibly the original series of books from which it arose, is an arresting set of stories: Faulkner says that the only thing really worth writing about (or thinking about, by extension) is the human heart in conflict with itself. The Southern United States depicted in True Blood is conflict embodied--you are a supposed to be a good Christian, and follow the rules of an established society, but you live in the middle of a swamp so dense and wild that it believably could be home to minions of Satan, like vampires.

It's a lot to think about. If you are one of those artistic/professional types with too much to do, don't start watching this; it becomes an obsession.
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171 of 200 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I'm not sure that any good series on the supernatural has ever tried as hard to be simply good fun. It isn't the masterpiece that BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER was, but I don't think Alan Ball set his sights that high. While Joss Whedon strove in BUFFY to create an icon and redefine television narrative, Ball just seems to want to tell a compelling story filled with memorable moments.

TRUE BLOOD is, of course, based on the series of novels written by Arkansas writer Charlaine Harris. The series was originally known as the Southern Vampire Mysteries, but has since come to be better known as The Sookie Stackhouse novels. The premise is that a Japanese corporation has successfully created artificial blood, a product so like the real thing that vampires, previously relegated to feeding off humans in the dark, come "out of the coffin" and into society, intent on living off the new fake blood. The series' title comes from the name of the artificial blood marketed and sold in stores. The television series wisely does not try to hew too closely to the novels, though for the most part Sookie's story does. And the way things turn at the end of the season, it is clear that Season Two (the show was renewed very early in the season) is going to pick up with the second novel in the series, though the action most likely will be in Bon Temps and not in Dallas (the second novel is entitled LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS).

The major difference between the novels and the TV series is that while the novels focus almost entirely on Sookie, the series has elevated a number of secondary characters and padded out their story. The focus on Sookie in the books is inevitable given that she is the narrator.
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135 of 165 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If it's not broken, don't try to fix it. November 17, 2008
Format:DVD
It was fascinating---at first---to watch the Sookie Stackhouse books brought to life. Her developing relationship with the vampire Bill was wonderfully compelling, and Eric's strength of character is flawless.

Unfortunately, an excessive amount of time is spent on unappealing secondary characters, and the main characters consistently get lost in a lot of tedious filler.

As well, the show's writers need to collaborate. The inconsistencies that keep showing up have turned Sookie into a wishy-washy, unlikeable person who changes the facts to suit her mood.

*SPOILERS* She's in love and makes love with Bill, then flirts and makes out with Sam in the next episode. Wasn't she supposed to be uncomfortable kissing one man and then moving on to another? As well, to work that scene into the show, Sookie states that Bill is more concerned with politics than with her---yet she knows his absence has nothing to do with politics. Geez! He's on trial for staking another vampire to save her life, and she's supposedly aware of that fact.

The writers need to read the blogs. The show's audience has been objecting---even those who haven't read the books.

Charlaine Harris created a world sufficiently rich, well-paced, and filled with drama. There's no need for lame side stories and inconsistencies that demean the main characters. When you try to fix something that isn't broken, inevitably, it deteriorates until it does, in fact, get broken.
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48 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
True Blood is the HBO adaptation of the popular Sookie Stackhouse vampire novels. While I have not read the books, my wife has and she says that at least the first episode (Strange Love) is somewhat more graphic sexually and is more violent than she thought it would be. On that note, this show has a lot of nudity (both male and female, but mostly topless women), graphic sex scenes (human and vampire), bondage, occult references, graphic violence (somewhat bloody), homosexual characters, insensitivity to overweight people, and even a murder... so if any of those things are not to your liking you might want to pass on this series.

If you are still reading this, you will want to know that this is also a very clever and well produced series that does seem to work combining the harsher elements with a good bit of humor and surprisingly well developed characters.

Set in Louisiana after vampires have "come out" because they can now get a synthetic blood to curb their thirst of humans, this starts off with most people's impression of what a "hick" town is like in the more remote parishes. The main character, Sookie, is a fairly straight laced "good girl" who works as waitress in the local bar. She also happens to be able to read minds (not a spoiler, this is stated in the show "synopsis" and is obvious very quickly). Things get interesting quickly when the bar gets it's first vampire customer ("Bill") and around the same time, Sookie's handsome brother finds himself in some legal trouble.

The casting was fairly good and the actors are mostly believable, which is a relative term in reference to a vampire themed HBO series. The special effects have been kept to a minimum, so far, so the plot is mostly story driven.
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Topic From this Discussion
Who is Sookie Stackhouse?
i think the rape she refers to is in a later book.
Mar 12, 2009 by C. Sinha |  See all 16 posts
5 Discs?
There are not a ton of extras, HBO has just always been retarded with their DVD sets and don't utilize the space they have (most likely so that True Blood's dvd set could be bigger, and thus more expensive), but it's kinda ridiculous when 3 out of the 5 discs on this set have only 2 episodes on... Read More
Jun 9, 2009 by Arg! |  See all 7 posts
What the H***
It's similar to Dexter the first Season is based on the first book but of course there are many differences but after that they just went their own way and didn't follow the books. I haven't read the books so for me it's no big deal I love True Blood the show though.
Jun 19, 2009 by Jason Adamczyk |  See all 7 posts
Extras on the DVDs?
On the regular DVD set, not many. There's a mock-umentary about how vampires came 'out of the coffin', some TV ads for vampire hotels, lawyers, etc., and some audio commentaries. But, it's really just the episodes, which are presented quite nicely and make the set more than worth buying just by... Read More
Sep 22, 2009 by T. A. Kleinhans |  See all 2 posts
what the heck
The show has adult topics. You folks make it sound like the sex is the biggest part when in reality a 60 minute show includes a whole 60 seconds of actual sex scenes. Vampires are portrayed in both the books and the show as being sexy. What I find really funny is the complaints about the sex... Read More
Oct 25, 2009 by Amazon Customer |  See all 6 posts
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