Customer Review

389 of 436 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely addictive. Even if you don't watch television, November 18, 2008
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This review is from: True Blood: Season 1 (DVD)
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.

And Now: A Short Review of the Actual DVD--this is the regular, not Blu-Ray version, as my $100.00, cigarette-burned, pawn shop t.v. doesn't do Blu-Ray.

Price: $10.00 less than my local electronics store.

Extras: There is some very funny stuff here that was not on the original websites for the series: ads for lawyers for vampires; vampire hotels; vampire dating, all done with the appropriate levels of fake bad acting and camp.

Don't be afraid to look at the French language ad as well. It uses all of six French words which you probably already know.

There is also a short video parody of someone like Hugh Downs doing an in-depth report on vampires. Complete with bad video backgrounds for foreign locales and hokey vampire internet conspiracies, this is a well-done, satirical background take on some of the 'vampire movement's more glossed-over history.

One negative: the commentary tracks play over the original episodes; it's neat to watch for about five minutes, and then it's a little bit like dissecting a romantic relationship--the mystery dies once the magic involved gets out into the bright light of day.

However, overall, True Blood Season One is well worth watching again--particularly in the pilot episode, the acting, and the effort the cast and crew put into characterization and detail, is even more obvious the second time around.
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Showing 1-10 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 27, 2009 9:28:08 AM PST
Very thoughtful and thought-provoking commentary.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2009 9:39:26 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 27, 2009 9:48:10 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 10:31:59 PM PST
I would have to agree on almost all of this review. The only thing I had problems with when watching True Blood was Tara's accent. The actress who played her had a terrible, terrible spin on a southern accent. Over all, you get used to it and the show ends up just sucking you in.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2009 8:55:04 PM PST
L* says:
She sounds like a lot of my neighbors. But then, I live in Texas. I sometimes wonder if we're making up a terrible spin on a southern accent.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 12:23:49 AM PST
LMAO....alright already...I'll buy it...I'll buy it.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 5:54:24 AM PDT
I agree with you about the show - I also love it and am totally hooked (though sometimes their accents are a bit over the top).
But as someone who lives in Shreveport, Louisiana (the city where, on the show, the vampire bar Fangtasia is located, and in actuality, where the show is partially filmed), I am a bit offended that you list "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." as "everything about Louisiana that is appealing". Interesting topics, yes, but I don't think people come here to experience our latent racism and homophobia or see Southern women fight with chains (which I've never heard of happening in real life...).
Those things are really more what the show is about, and not real life.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2009 8:32:41 PM PDT
L* says:
In the three years I lived and studied in New Orleans as an adult, I never saw anything than an incredibly ancient, intricately cosmopolitan city. However, classmates of mine heard drug dealers spraying each other with machine gun fire on the docks; still others were treated as third-class citizens for being non-white. Louisiana is what it is, both good and bad. (Although I never saw anyone fighting with chains; they tend to use knives in bar fights.)

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 9:49:21 AM PDT
FM says:
This show had to resort to T&A to get any real action on the screen, and the acting is mostly bad. :/ I guess people who like the books can't see the train wreck this show really is.

Posted on Mar 28, 2009 9:34:59 AM PDT
Obviously someone didn't watch the show closely, Lafayette was no Pimp!

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 5:13:08 AM PDT
Joseph Carr says:
Hear hear. Well said.
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