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True Blood: TV Review

IN THE August 21 ISSUE

FROM THE Books & Tales,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andJesus Ibarra,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Jesus Ibarra
This show is rated M for mature audiences; featuring intense violence, graphic nudity and strong language. This is not a show for children, or even young to mid teens — strictly adult.
True Blood
Having read all of the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, I was very excited to see an HBO adaptation created by TV genius Alan Ball (creator of Six Feet Under and writer for American Beauty). True Blood is based on the people of Bon Temps, Lousiana, mainly around telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse and her love of a vampire name Bill. Yup, in this world, vampires are out of the coffin so to speak because of a new synthetic blood substitute created by the Japanese. The vampires decided to let their existence be known to the entire world and be mainstreamed with humans. And this show sticks to a more traditional view of vampires: THEY DO NOT SPARKLE!!!!! They are supernatural beings who are very different from humans. But the show is much more rich and complex than just the love story between Sookie and Bill, it has a beautiful way of threading multiple story lines for different characters that sometimes overlap. It’s fantasy, comedy, sex, mystery, romance, drama, violence and, overall, wildly addictive television that has captivated this vampire enthusiast’s eyes.

Anna Paquin as Sookie and Stephen Moyer as Bill

The first season revolves around Sookie falling for the vampire Bill and learning more about vampires, all while women are being strangled in Bon Temps. There are various subplots concerning Sam, Sookie’s boss and a shapeshifter; Jason, her brother, becoming a V addict (vampire blood is used as a recreational drug among other things); and Laffayette, the bar cook, with his various illegal exploits — all of which give another side to the show that make it great. True Blood’s first season was received somewhat well by audiences, was loved by various critics and garnered a number of awards. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are perfect as Sookie and Bill, and the other casting is equally perfect.

The series didn’t really hit its stride until the second season which ups the drama, sex and violence. I’m not exaggerating; there are dismemberments and orgies but, as with everything in True Blood, it all has a purpose. The first half of the season deals with Sookie traveling to Dallas with Bill to use her telepathy to find a powerful vampire who’s gone missing, while the secondary plot line deals with a Maenad named Maryanne wreaking havoc in Bon Temps. Season two is awesome and also features my favorite recurring guest star Evan Rachel Woods as the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, Sophie Anne Leclerq. The fandom for the show peaked in the middle of the second season and people all over became obsessed with this show!
Now, with the third season coming to a close, it hasn’t lost it touch. This season focuses on the disappearance of Bill, and why everybody wants him. There are also various subplots that are extremely good. Judging by the episodes I have watched thus far, the third season is the best. The series has found the perfect balance in storytelling and it shows since it has become the most watched program on HBO and was renewed for a fourth season after two episodes. I’m not afraid to say this is the show to succeed Buffy the Vampire Slayer for best show about people and vampires. And I’m proud to say that I am a fangbanger. :)
New episodes premiere every Sunday on HBO at 9:00pm. Visit the official site for a variety of goodies.

To read the musings of a college student living in LA, follow Jesus on Twitter.

Jesus Ibarra is 18 years old and an ongoing contributor to our Teen Talk section; with a love of all media, he’s always on the lookout for the best finds.
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