True Blood: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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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: The Complete First Season (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read the books and it's a little more gruesome seeing it on TV... I do enjoy the story line!Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Good but streaming sucks.... I just got prime but the movies I want to watch or just TV shows still cost! Do not think its for me. Still got a few weeks to decide.Published 1 day ago by Flyingklown
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