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I am not someone who is really into supernatural, fantasy and so on at all, and I have never been drawn to any of the vampire related TV, films books that have been out in recent years. Therefore when True Blood first came out I didn't even give it a second glance as I never thought it would be something for me. However, loads of people constantly recommended it to me over the last couple of years, including friends and relatives who normally have the same taste in entertainment as me, so when my brother gave me the DVD box set of season one (and also two which I am on now) I thought it was worth a try. Well now I am addicted!
True Blood is such an interesting TV show. It is based around vampires but it's set in a normal town in the south of the USA, not in any kind of alternative universe. Obviously the fact it has vampires at all is quite far fetched but I like the fact it is a more realistic, relatable and normal setting. Vampires have recently made their presence public and they are slowly being accepted into mainstream society, but still with some difficulties and controversy as some people are reluctant to accept them, see them as a danger and sideline them.
The main character is Sookie Stackhouse, a girl who works as a waitress at Merlottes bar. She has her own supernatural powers as she is telepathic and can hear people's thoughts. One day a vampire, Bill, comes into the bar and Sookie is instantly drawn to him. In season one we see how their relationship develops and all the drama they face. Sookie also has her brother Jason and her grandma. There are various other good characters including Sookies best friend Tara who can be really funny, Lafayette who is Taras cousin and works at the bar and is a funny flamboyant gay guy, and Andy the useless police officer. The series is based on the books of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries by Charmaine Harris, and the mystery in season one is that various murders are occurring in the town. There is some suspense due to this and also due to the various twists and turns of the characters relationships.
I was hooked on this show from the first episode. It combines drama, suspense, humour, and a bit of weirdness. It can occasionally be slightly gross but not too bad. There's a bit of violence and quite a lot of sex in it! There are lots of drug references in it. I think it is definitely not suitable for young viewers and you can see why it is rated 18.
The acting is good although I think some of the accents sound slightly fake. Anna Paquin plays the main character of Sookie and she is an actress I like. I think everyone plays their roles well.
I recommend it!
My friend kept pestering me to watch the TV series True Blood. After a year or more of it, I agreed and he lent me the first series on DVD to watch. Putting in the DVD and watching through the first episode, I was hooked. I watched the first series in 2 days and was begging my friend to bring me the second. As it has 12 episodes each 50minutes long, it wasn't hard for me to get through 11ish hours of the series.
I am a twilight fan and have watched the films several times and listening to the audio books. Of course like anyone who was watched Twilight would see several similarities between them. Human falls for vampire, someone can read minds, but not the person they love, there is a love for the human's blood as it's better than anyone else's etc, there are too many to count, but then, it's totally different.
Like twilight, True blood was a set of books turned into a TV series with some extras added and changes. I haven't read any of the books yet but I buy them as a Christmas present to myself and check out the differences. There is 10 books so it might take me a while!.
Welcome to Bon Temps:
In a world where humans are no longer at the top of the food chain and vampires have come out of their coffins to try to co-exist, the world is a different place and humans are fearful for their lives.
We are brought into the new world 2 years after vampires have shown themselves and are shown what has gone on since. There are groups of humans including the church who are all against vampires co-existing and are dead set on vampires being the devil.
Due to vampires wanting to co-exist and not killing people for their blood, many vampires are main-streaming which is drinking tru-blood (a synthetic version made to help the thirst of vampires) and going to blood banks for blood. There are also people called "fang-bangers" who want to have sex with vampires and are more than willing to let them drink some of their blood.
The vampires have their own spokes person who is adamant on letting the world know they shouldn't fear the vampires as they were once humans too. Vampires were said to have been around thousands and thousands of years ago, perhaps even before civilization.
The story set in Bon Temps, Louisiana where Sookie Stackhouse works in a diner called Merlotts. Not many vampires have come through town and the diner has never had a vampire eat there for sure.
I find it quite amusing that vampires find themselves invincible when they are so easy to kill, probably more so than a human. Shoot them with a wooden or silver bullet and they explode into nothing but goo. Wrap them in silver and their abilities are caged and they are burnt. Daylight/sunlight will burn them to ash and the older the vampire, the quicker they die.
Facts about the vampires:
Vampires cry blood.
They have to sleep or they start to bleed.
They have their own authority like humans have the law.
They can retract and detract their fangs as a warning and when feeding.
Their blood is like a drug to humans and their are people who hunt vampires to drain them of their blood because they gain abilities whilst on it. Humans call it V.
They can only go outside after sunset. The sunlight will burn their skin and even kill them so they have to hide out.
Vampires have makers which they have to abide by their rules unless they are released by their maker.
They cannot enter a humans home without being invited in. They physically cannot pass the door way. If their invited is retracted, they are pushed through the door.
Most vampires agreed to the mainstreaming agreement but there are other who haven't and still kill for blood.
Sookie Stackhouse:*** Sookie is a mind reader and can clearly hear what people are thinking. She finds it exhausting at times but helpful at the same token. She is in love with Bill Compton and as he is a vampire she cannot hear his thoughts which she finds very refreshing. As the series goes on, she can't help but be a magnet for trouble. Sookie is played by Anna Paquin who in my eyes plays the part perfectly. Sookie lives at home with her Grandma who is intrigued by vampires too and Sookie could not wait to get back to tell her Gran that one had visited the diner.
She always found it hard to go on dates and is still a virgin at the beginning of the series as the men she dates are usually thinking bad thoughts.
Bill Compton:*** Bill is a vampire who has just moved back into the "Compton house" where his family once lived just across the way from where Sookie lives. He was turned vampire on the way home to his family from fighting in the Civil war. Bill is draw towards Sookie through love and her sweet blood. He drinks Sookie's blood and even took her virginity.
Jason Stackhouse:***Sookie's brother Jason is a bit of a ladies man. Getting sex every night usually from different women. He has sex with a woman who had been with a vampire and she showed him a sex tape of them. The next day, she was found dead and Jason thought it was him. Then he had sex with another woman who then was found dead and Jason gave it up and thought he was going off his rocker. They were found strangled. In the last episode of the series, Jason is sat in a cell and we find out who the real murderer was.
Adele Stackhouse:***Sookie and Jason's Gran who bought them up when their parents died in a flash flood on a bridge. She is kind and caring and really looks after Sookie well. She helps Bill to become a member of the community by asking him to speak at the civil war group she is involved in and most of the town shows up. His story reaches out to a lot of people and a lot of people apologise to him for their rudeness. Adele really likes Bill and helps Sookie out with her feelings towards him by giving permission for them to date.
Other main characters:
Tara: Sookie's hot headed best friend who has trouble keeping a job. She starts to work at Merlotts as a bar tender and we constantly see her rudeness to customers and her irritation from other people. Her mother is a drunk and has been for a long time which is the reason for Tara's inability to be kind.
Sam Merlott: Owner of the diner and we find out later on in the series he is a shape shifter. He can turn into any animal as long as he has seen it before. He chose a dog which resides at Sam's home as his main shift and this dog can be seen running around the Merlotts plot now and again.
Eric Northman: Sexy vampire who owns the Fangtasia bar. Fangtasia is where the vampires can go and also humans who are more than likely to be "fang-bangers". Eric is the sheriff of area 5 which includes the Bon Temps area and is over 1000 years old.
The story of season 1:
The series is centred around Sookie and Bill. They are the main characters of the entire programme and for men who love action, don't worry, it's not all about the romance like in Twilight. I am not much of a fan of horror or action but this programme is very addictive and I found I had watched 4 entire series in the space of 2 weeks.
Sookie and Bill find their love for each other when Bill is silvered by some customers at the diner in the woods and when Sookie hears their thoughts she immediately goes to stop them. She finds Bill on the ground with two people standing over him draining his blood. Sookie manages to stop them and helps him to regain strength.
The next episode we see these people come back and start to attach Sookie leaving her for dead in the carpark of Merlotts. Bill to the rescue takes her into the forest and cleans her up and lets her feed from his blood to bring her back to health. When someone feeds from a vampire, they have an automatic connection and the vampire can sense if they are in trouble or when they are near. Bill now can know where Sookie is at all times and sense her danger.
The rest of the series is full of action, gore, drama, love and emotional scenes.
If you're a prude then this is definitely not for you. There is a lot of sex in this TV series and they don't leave much for the imagination.
Bill and Sookie's relationship blossoms and she ends up giving him her virginity and as she drank his blood, she could not stop dreaming and thinking about him sexually. This is another thing that happens with vampire blood. You are automatically lustful towards the vampire.
To round up the series without telling you the whole story, there is death, new characters, lust, sex, drama and horror scenes which don't really take up the majority of the series, but plays a big part. There are some scenes which have haunted me slightly and I make sure I am not eating when watching it as some scenes are a bit too graphic for that.
The opening credits really creep me out. I cannot stand to watch them and end up fast forwarding over those. It's full of little clips of horror such as, A fox carcass being eaten by maggots, people in church being rid of their demons and other such horrifying scenes. For me, that's just too much for me to handle and I would prefer not to watch them.
For a Twilight fan, I was shocked to find myself preferring this programme over it.
There is so much more action in this than Twilight and even though the romance in True blood isn't as often, it still feels as large as the love between Edward and Bella.
I enjoyed every second of this series and will definitely be buying the box set for myself. The 5th series has started in America now so I will be following along with them watching it online when I can.
my favourite character in the first series has to be Sookie. Most girls wouldn't like the sappy lovestruck girl who stupidly falls in love with a vampire, but it's hard to hate her. So far where I've watched up to, she has discovered why she has abilities and it will make you love her ever more.
I do have a slight crush on Eric Northman's character. He is a mean bad boy vampire who rubs everyone up the wrong way but his cheekiness is quite addictive.
I don't really see the attraction to Bill however. Sookie is supposed to be 22, and Bill was 30 when he was turned vampire so that's how old he will stay. There isn't an attraction for me there but the actors are actually married in reality!. They fell in love on the set on this programme and look much more suited in the real world without Bill's white skin.
I think vampires puts most people off watching things, but then people sit and watch programmes with ghosts, Aliens and talking animals, so why not vampires?
I honestly really didn't think this programme would be for me, but it really is. As I said before, I really tried to stay away from it, but gave into my friends constant winging for me to watch it. For me, it's probably my new favourite series after LOST of course.
What I do love about the series is the endless cliffhangers they give after each episode. This is what made me watch them so fast as I would be thinking "well I cant go to bed without knowing what happens next!" Sometimes it's too obvious that the main characters aren't going to die and it would be all fine in the next episode but the cliff hangers sure still suck you in.
The DVD set contains 5 disks which one of those being of extras. There are 3 episodes on each disk and the extras contain some audio commentary on the episodes but that's just annoying so I didn't bother looking into that.
You can purchase it on DVD for £10.99 on Amazon (correct of july 2012).
Thanks for reading my review.
The series started 7th September 2008 and ended on 23rd November 2008. It was then released on DVD & Blue Ray on 19th May 2009. The series consists of 12 episodes and run for approx. 55 minutes. The first series can be bought for very cheap now as was released a few years ago or you can watch it online on various websites.
True Blood is a TV drama set in fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana and is based on the vampire mystery novels by Charlaine Harris. Vampires have "come out of the coffin" and are now living amoungst us like regular people. Instead of feasting on humans, they can now rely on a synthetic blood to survive - the name of this drink is True Blood.
The Main Characters
Sookie Stackhouse: Sookie is played by Anna Paquin (also stars in X-Men). Sookie is a waitress at Merlotte's bar... she has spent most of her life feeling different to everyone else because of her unusual ability to read minds...
Bill Compton: Bill is played by Stephen Moyer... Bill is a 173 year old vampire who has just returned to his hometown of Bon Temps after spending centuries away... Sookie is attracted to Bill as unlike everyone else she cannot read his mind...
Sam Merlotte: Sam is played by Sam Trammell... Sam is the owner of Merlottes Bar - he is absolutly crazy about Sookie and he also has a secret of his own which makes him different...
Jason Stackhouse: Ryan Kwanten plays Jason Stackhouse. Jason is the only sibling of Sookie and is a well known ladys man around the town of Bon Temps. He and Sookie were orphaned as children and were raised by their grandmother.
Tara Thornton: Rutina Wesley plays Tara Thornton. Tara is the best friend of Sookie. Tara is a very angry and damaged individual after enduring years of neglect and physical and emotion abuse from her mother.
Andy Bellefleur: Chris Bauer plays Andy Bellefleur. Andy is a police detective in Bon Temps. He is incompetent at his jobs and is not respected by the towns citizens. He is also a recovering alcoholic.
Lafayette Reynolds: Nelsan Ellis plays Lafayette Reynolds. Lafayette is Tara's cousin. Lafayette is a very interesting character who is a very open gay prostitute and also works as a cook in Merlottes Bar. He is a drug dealer who sells Vampire blood otherwise known as "V".
Lettie Mae Thornton: Adina Porter plays Lettie Mae Thornton. Lettie is the abusive mother of Tara. She is a church going lady whos is convinced she has a devil living inside of her in season 1.
Arlene Fowler - Carrie Preston plays Arlene Fowler. Arlene works at Merlottes Bar as a waitress. She has been divorced 4 times and is the single mother of two young children. She becomes engaged to Rene in season 1.
Rene Lenier: Michael Raymond-James plays Rene Lenier. Rene is a co-worker and friend of Jasons. He is also engaged to Sookie's co-worker Arlene... He comes across that he is happy Sookie is dating vampire Bill but his intensions are very different.
Eric Northman: Alexander Skarsgård plays Eric Northman. Eric is another vampire who is over 1000 years old. Eric comes across as violent, arrogant, mischievous and consciously manipulative in this series.
Amy Burley: Lizzy Caplan plays Amy Burley. Amy is a serious love interest of Jasons during this season. She moves to Bon Temps and takes up a job as a waitress in Merlottes Bar. Amy & Jason meet at Vampire bar, Fangtasia and soon become addicted to taking "V" together. She is seen as someone who has experiance in draining vampires for their blood.
Adele Stackhouse: Lois Smith plays Adele Stackhouse. Adele is the elderley grandmother of Sookie & Jason. She is a widow - her husband has been missing presumed dead for many years. She lives alone with Sookie and welcomes her granddaughters relationship with Vampire Bill.
Eddie Gauthier: Stephen Root plays Eddie Gauthier. Eddie is a middle aged overweight gay vampire who trades his blood with Lafayette in exchange for sexual favours. Jason and his girlfriend Amy kidnap him during season 1 to drain his blood.
Hoyt Fortenberry: Jim Parrack plays Hoyt Fortenberry. Hoyt is the best friend and co-worker of Jasons. He is a sweet good natured boy who is always being bossed around by his mother.
Jessica Hamby: Deborah Ann Woll plays Jessica Hamby. Jessica is a young girl who was kidnapped and turned into a vampire by Bill (as a punnishment for him) at the end of season 1. She was raised in a very strict christian family and now that she is a vampire she loves the freedom that it brings her.
List of episodes
I have only given a brief desription of each episode here as I dont want to spoil for anyone who hasnt watched this before :-)
1 "Strange Love" - aired September 7, 2008
Vampire Bill walks into Merlottes Bar for the first time and Sookie is immediatly drawn to him. Jason has a sexual encounter with a woman named Maudette.
2 "The First Taste" aired September 14, 2008
Jason has another sexual encounter with past flame, Dawn. Bill meets Sookie's grandmother, brother and best friend. Sookie and Bill share their first kiss.
3 "Mine" aired September 21, 2008
Bill claims Sookie as his and she starts to doubt their relationship. Sam & Tara become close and a dead body is found...
4 "Escape from Dragon House" aired September 28, 2008
Bill & Sookie take a trip to the vampire bar, Fangtasia.
5 "Sparks Fly Out" aired October 5, 2008
Bill does a speech at the Descendents of the Glorious Dead meeting at the church and tells how things were like back in the cival war.
6 "Cold Ground" aired October 12, 2008
Another funeral takes place. Tara's mother tells her she believes she has a demon trapped inside her body. Sookie & Bill sleep together for the first time.
7 "Burning House of Love" aired October 19, 2008
Sookie tells Bill a secret from her childhood which fills Bill with hate and he goes out seeking revenge. Jason meets Amy for the first time.
8 "The Fourth Man in the Fire" aired October 26, 2008
Amy gets a job in Merlottes and Rene & Arlene become engaged. Jason & Amy later kidnap a vampire.
9 "Plaisir d'Amour" aired November 2, 2008
Eric delivers a warning to the regulars in Merlotte's about the dangers of becoming too close to vampires. Jason shows some kindness to Eddie - the vampire he helped kidnap.
10 "I Don't Wanna Know" aired November 9, 2008
Sam tells Sookie his secret. Tara has an exorcism performed on herself to rid of her own demons. Tara is later arrested. As a punnishment Bill must turn a young girl into a vampire.
11 "To Love Is to Bury" aired November 16, 2008
Bill continues with the ritual to turn the young girl into a vampire. Another body turns up and the killer is revealed.
12 "You'll Be the Death of Me" aired November 23, 2008
Sookie is attacked by the killer.
I started watching True Blood when it hit our TV screens back in 2008 - I have season 1 & 2 on DVD and have watched 3 & 4 and now eagerly awaiting the arrival of season 5 later in the year. As well as vampires there is other supernaturals which help make the show what it is. At times this can be gory but still watchable. There is plenty of scenes of graffic sex - so dont watch this with your young children! Each season so far has been left on a cliffhanger and you are absolutly dying to watch the next season which is usually a few months later! You have to watch this from season 1 onwards to understand what is going on. Recommend to everyone.
When I first heard about this show I thought it would just be another boring vampire TV series with no depth like some of the other over rated vampire stuff such as Twilight etc. I decided to watch it one day when I saw all of series one was on demand. After watching the first 2 to 3 episodes I thought this aint bad and have been hooked on it ever since.
The main thing that got me into this show was that its probably the most realistic vampire show out in this time I feel like the vampire stuff they bring out today is really cheesy but this is far from cheesy. The series has modernized the methodologies of being a vampire very well and made them seem like everything you would expect from a vampire but more relevant to today's world.
Season 1 consist of 12 episodes that are an hour long which are about a girl called Sookie Stackhouse living in a small town in Louisiana. The first series has a mystery serial killer that causes a lot of trouble and backstabbing and distrust between the characters.
Sookie Stackhouse is the main character and she has the ability to read the minds of people that stand close by her but no one but her family and best friend are aware of this. Sookie is played by Anna Paquin and I think she does a really good job at playing her role as it contains whirlwind of emotions in season one.
Bill Compton is Sookie Stackhouse's love interest in season on he is a 173 year old vampire and people around them dont take to their relationship very well. Bill Compton is played by Stephan Moyer and he is a cool laid back vampire that abides by the rules set for the town. I think he plays his role well because he gives of a creepy sort of atmosphere when he is on screen. I find is so funny the way he say's Sookie's name, Its sort of like SOOkehh.
The reason vampires are able to live alongside normal humans in this TV series is because there was a drink created called True Blood that vampire would drink to replace actual human blood. As long as vampires dont kill and drink the True Blood instead they could stay living alongside humans. However in series their is still tension between humans and vampire because of the killings of girls that happen throughout the series.
The postures, the look, the flare and the costuming for the vampires in this show is on point. I think that the makers have done a really good job in convincing the audience that, this is how a vampire should look.
The whole series is really hot, sexy the cast is full of beautiful people making it all the more fun to watch. I think that the hottest character in the series is Jason Stackhouse played by Ryan Kwantan he is a bit of a womaniser in the series.
This is more of an adult TV series in my opinion its too mature for younger viewers hence it being rated an 18.
The opening song for the series is Jace Everett - Bad Things. This TV show actually made me go on iTunes and by this song because I liked it that much. It costs 99p on iTunes.
This DVD for season 1 is available on Amazon for 11.95 plus 1.26 for delivery. Worth the money I think.
I was a bit wary of starting to watch True Blood due to the fact that there had been so many vampire themed things come out around that time like The Vampire Diaries and Twilight. Thankfully my friend convinced me that it really wasn't like any of these things, and I started to watch it. And I'm really glad she did because True Blood became one of my favourite shows! I bought the Season 1 boxset for around £10 from HMV, and this is also the price you'd find it at online.
The show is shown on HBO, which is known for having great shoes i.e. The Sopranos. True Blood is based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels written by Charliane Harris, which are equally as good as the television show in my opinion. Alan Ball, the writer of both American Beauty and Six Feet Under, is also the writer for True Blood. This seems like a recipe for success, as both Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball's work together makes for an excellent combination.
In Bon Temps, a small town in Lousianna, we meet Sookie Stackhouse. Currently the world she lives in is both home to humans and vampires, as vampires have recently put themselves in the spotlight by making it clear to humans that yes they do exist. She appears to be an ordinary girl, but as the series progresses she finds herself to be an unlikely heroinne and damsel in distress at points (even though she hates that), this is probably due to the fact that Sookie isn't all that "normal" as she has telepathic powers.
Having the telepathic powers is something that Sookie has come to find annoying, and constantly tries to block them out. So when she is working the night shift as a waitress at Merlottes, and mysterious Bill Compton walks in and she is unable to read his thoughts, she becomes attracted to him. It turns out that Bill is actually a vampire, having recently moved to Bon Temps. While most of the other people in Bon Temps aren't all that happy about a vampire coming to their small town, Sookie is excited at the prospect and the two begin a relationship.
Throughout the series, we see Sookie's and Bills relationship growing and the problems they face. Bon Temps has a series of murders occur within the local "fangbangers", leading Bill and Sookie to find out who commited the murders using both of their powers. The episodes always leave you on a cliffhanger and you are always dying to find out what happens next. Will they find the murderer? Will they ever fall in love? Will the people of Bon Temps ever accept a vampire?
Altough the series does focus primarily on Sookie and Bill, the supporting cast are brilliant to and really add to the dramatic element of True Blood. Jason is Sookies brother, and although many believe him to be the murderer, he is quite sweet and innocent and he tends to causes problems due to his hatred of vampires. Then there is Tara's best friend, who is similar to Jason in the fact that she hates vampires, but she always wants whats best for Sookie and constantly looks out for her, whatever the situation. Lafeyette, Taras cousin, is possibly the funniest part of the series, as he is always making fun of things that people do and often coming up with witty one liners.
What would a good television show be without a bit of romance? Sam is Merlottes owner and it is quite clear that he is in love with Sookie, he also has a secret quite similar to Sookies. He is quite wary of Bill and this increases tension throughout the show, as although he rarely says anything, you know in his mind he wants to protect her from Bill. My favourite of all the characters is definitely Eric though even though he is not included as much in this season as he is in season 2, he is constantly funny whenever he has scenes and his slight jealousy of Bill and Sookie adds more of the romantic tension to the series.
By the end of the series, you will not think of the actors themselves but as the characters in True Blood. Sookie and Bills relationship seems so believable in the series that you always want them to stay together and almost get sad when they fight, although this might just be to do with the fact that both Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer have been dating ever since filming the series pilot! The series introduces you to so much of the characters backstorys, which is hardly ever seen in television nowadays, that you really empathise with the characters and understand more about why they act the way they do. Each one of the actors manages to convey the emotions so much, that you get so drawn into the episode! No character is ever the same in True Blood, each have their own personalities and quirks, which means there is never a dull moment.
All of the dialogue included always flows, and each character manages to put their points across with enthusiasm and often many of them are quotable, for example, Sookeh is mine has become well known amongst Trubies! When the actors aren't talking in great dialogue, there is usually some form of action going on and this is as good as anything else. The fight scenes look realistic and are dramaticised to fit the different strengths of the vampires against humans. I never found any of the episodes to be slow, as they always had small subplots as well as the main plot.
The special effects on True Blood have got to be by far some of the best I have seen on a television show. When the vampires retract their fangs, it actually looks like real fangs are popping out of their teeth (I'm not even sure to this day if the fangs are down to props or CGI!). The gore used when a vampire is killed in True Blood is gory but not too gory, the most that happens is there will be a giant explosion of blood and guts which is all well done from the minute the vampire is staked. The makeup department really deserve an award for the work they do on True Blood, as all those playing vampires actually look like they are pale corpses! Normally when a vampire bites a human it tends to look quite unrealistic, but in True Blood, they have definitely worked hard to ensure that this isn't the case!
The way that True Blood is shot is amazing, the grim and dark shots of Bon Temps really add to the vampirey look of the show, and contrast great with some of the happier characters in True Blood like Sookie or her grandma. The soundtrack really matches all of True Blood, and I found myself purchasing after watching it, many of the songs included are from alternative rock bands with some songs score specifically for the show.
Yet, it can be quite graphic at times, mainly due to what is considered as violence (even though its just slight amounts of blood and gore in an episode) and that some of the episodes contain sex scenes. This is probably what got it it's 18 mark, but I would say at least a 16 year old could watch it to.
True Blood is one of my favourite shows and I would reccomend it to anyone that loves every element of a TV show rolled into one. It has drama, romance and action all combined with great dialogue and filmed amazingly. The actors potray their characters in such a way, you'll feel like you know all about them by the end of the series, and if you watch it, you'll want to know more!
Welcome to Bon Temps, a small town in the south (Louisiana) and the home of our favourite telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse ( played by anna paquin).
This tv series is based on the books written by Charlaine Harris, an amazingly talented author that has really managed to bring the world of vampires alive with her books.
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is a waitress at Merlottes bar and grill in the heart of Bon Temps however life can be hard for dear Sookie because she is telepathic. Although her friends and family know what she is they dont talk about it and all the town just refer to her as crazy.
2 years ago vampires came out to the world and told everyone that the do exist and not just a horror story but they can live without draining humans since the new product of True Blood, a blood substitute that gives the vampires all the nurishments they need, however they do have alot of followers (fang bangers), people the vampires keep around for sex and blood.
Since the vampires have 'come out the coffin' Sookie is yet to meet one until one arrives in Merlottes whilst Sookie is working.
The vampire Bill Compton ( played by stephen moyer) is attracted to Sookie but things turn for the worst for poor bill when he is nearly killed for his blood by drainers, people who drain vampires for their blood to sell on as drugs. The vampires blood is very addictive and is a total high for humans who will pay expensive prices for a vial of blood.
Sookie manages to save Bill from them and a relationship forms between them, but what Bill dont know is that our dear sookie is a virgin.
Sookie has had a very bad life as far, her parents died when she was very young, drowned in a flash flood, her cousin ran away from the rehab centre she was in, her grandfather died and so did her aunt so she and her brother Jason ( played by Ryan Kwanten) are raised by her grandmother Adele.
As Sookie is thrown into the world of vampires she quickly learns to keep her wits about her and to be careful because now its not only the vampires that are dangerous there is also a serial killer on the lose killing young women that have been intimate with vampires, she also loses someone very close to her by this mad person and its only a matter of time before he/she comes after poor Sookie. Is it Bill Compton or someone totally different?
There is alot of bad ass vampires in this first season. Not only do we get to meet the gorgeous Bill Compton but we also meet his boss Eric Northman, sheriff of area 5 and his progidy Pam. we also meet some very nasty vampires that are vicious and cruel.
In this season we also see the life of tara Thornton, Sookies best friend and her struggles and Sookies brother Jason and is addiction and its actually quite entertaining seeing how much trouble Jason can get himself into, and there is alot.
There is 12 episodes to the first season and each episode is roughly around 55 minutes long. Its not something for children to watch because there are alot of sex scenes, nudity and bad language in it, infact the first scene on the first episode is rather ranchy to an adult.
Its not for the weak stomached person either, there is alot of refernces to blood and you see alot of blood too, there is a couple of scenes that actually made my stomach turn just a little bit but it is an excellent tv show and Alan Balls view on Charlaine Harris first book is absolutly fantastic. If you have red the book you will obviously notice some major changes in the show but they are changes for the good and it just makes the show more interesting because even though you have read the book you still dont know whats going to happen in the show.
Each episode is ended so you HAVE to watch the next one just so you can find out what happens because it does leave you in suspense.
The characters and the acters names are as follows
Sookie Stackhouse Anna Paquin
William Compton Stephen Moyer
Eric Northman Alexander Skarsgard
Jason Stackhouse Ryan Kwanten
Tara Thornton Rutina Wesley
Lafayette Reynolds Nelson Ellis
Pam De Beaufort Kirstin Bauer
Sam Merlotte Sam Trammell
Andy Bellefleur Chris Bauer
Arlene Fowler Carrie Preston
Terry Bellefleur Todd Lowe
I could list the whole cast that actually has big chunks in the show but it would take me forever to list them all because there is that many people in it although not mas many in the first season as there is in the second, third and forth.
I would recommend you watch this show if you love your vampires and you love them on the less twinkly side and more on the evil side. The show is fast, fun and unique, its unlike anything else i have watched before and i loved the show after the first episode.
I love the way Anna Paquin plays Sookie, at first she does come across just a little on the crazy side but as the show grows you see that there is more to Sookie than you can imagine and she still contuines to grow as a character. He love affair with Bill makes your heart melt and the touble she gets herself into, you are afraid that shes never gonna get herself out of it.
Stephen Moyer plays Bills character exactly the way he is written about in the books, he is dark and dangerous but he is also very soft when it comes to Sookie and you can see the love he has for her.
I have practically seen this series being sold everywhere but the cheapest i have seen it is at asda and amazon and roughly £17 for the whole box set of the first season. If you have read the books and loved them you will love this too
The sleepy town of Bon Temps in Louisiana is the smouldering centre of HBO's latest runaway hit. A network responsible for hits like Sex and the City, it gained a reputation for its high quality writing and production values with the Sopranos. Instantly, the viewer is struck by the similar benchmark in filming in True Blood. Based on the novels by Charlaine Harris ('The Southern Vampire Mysteries'), I was sceptical at giving the series a chance. While my friends ranted and raved about it, I felt vampired-out ('Twilight' and shows such as 'The Vampire Diaries' are ineluctable parts of our pop-culture) - besides, Buffy the Vampire Slayer will always be in my heart as the best supernatural series of all time - did I have any room left? Well, I gave it a shot, and it was well worth it. Without a doubt, True Blood is one of the finest shows on television right now. The shorter series (only twelve episodes) goes to highlight that emphasis for the show's producers is not on money, but on quality.
The series is set in Bon Temps, two years after vampires have come out into the open. As America faces turmoil as to whether these individuals should be given the same rights as humans, the focus falls on telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse - an unsuspecting heroine, who must solve a series of gruesome murders in her small town. Things become increasingly complicated as mysterious yet charming vampire, Bill Compton, arrives in town - and the two find each other irresistibly drawn to one another.
Season one not only introduces us to the series' main characters, but follows a series of mysterious and gruesome murders of strangled women who have slept with vampires. As Sookie's brother become the centre of the investigation, she must race to not only prove his innocence but find out who is behind the crimes...
The show is undoubtedly character-based, and that's where it's biggest strength lies. I was initially shocked by the pacing of the show, in that I was expecting it to be wall-to-wall fight scenes and action. While the drama is high, the show uses the drama as a device to develop the characters - as opposed to using the characters as interchangeable catalysts to shock and disaster. The show moves between characters enough so that you do not get bored, yet is focused enough for you to really bond with each and every one of them. They vary so much in qualities and characteristics, that each possesses their own individual charm and appeal. However, they are not two-dimensional or unfailingly moral. I love the complexities behind each and every one of them, and by the end the season, you feel as if you have been reading a great novel - as you feel you know each one so well, and are gradually introduced to their backstories. For example, Tara, the obnoxious and loud-mouthed best friend of Sookie has some interesting sub-plots, where we meet her alcoholic mother who claims she is possessed by a 'demon'. Is she really? Or is it an excuse for her negligence? Not only is the viewer gripped by this question, you also see the layers and intricacies which explain why Tara behaves as she does.
The quality of the acting in the series is also superb. Each and every one of the cast, literally become the characters. I didn't even realise that the Ryan Kwanten (Jason) was Australian because his southern accent was so convincing. The chemistry between Anna Paquin (Sookie) and Stephen Moyer (Bill) is electric, and is a fundamental lesson to all TV producers that choosing the right cast is essential to a show's success. Just like Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz' on-screen romance sold Buffy to its viewers, Paquin and Moyer do the same. It's no surprise that they fell in-love off-screen too.
What I feel is the biggest strength of the show has to be all the layers and intricacies of the plotlines. Aside from Dexter, it is the only television programme that is currently on air that uses symbolism and imagery like an author would. The metaphors in the show are really powerful, with the vampire-rights movements meant to symbolise America's current reluctance towards accepting gay rights. Slogans such as "coming out of the coffin" and "God hates fangs" are clever allusions to such a topic. It makes the supernatural feel far more believable when its related to something so grounded in reality.
The only flaw in the series is that the early episodes are a little slow-paced. However, this is more out of necessity than anything else. The stoicism of the writers and the refusal to sacrifice characterisations for cheap thrills and special effects is refreshing. You need the slower early episodes in order to effectively establish the characters and their relationships, and so while they may be a little lethargic on first viewing, they are essential to the series as a whole.
I purchased the DVD set for only £7.99 in the Amazon sale - a complete bargain. While the prices fluctuate online, you can expect to get it for around £10, which is the perfect price for 12 episodes of television. Presented in striking packaging, it looks great on the shelf and the cover image of a woman licking blood from her lips sums up the feel of the show entirely - slightly sexy, slightly unnerving.
Normally I'd recommend a series like this to anyone who loves the supernatural, however, it's more difficult to define True Blood like that. It's not simply about vampires, it's about characters and their psychology. It has dashes of romance, dark humour and high-drama. It's so difficult to define the essence of the show, it just has that proverbial X-Factor to it. With each episode feeling like a mini-movie, it's without a doubt the best show on television right now. Buy it on DVD, you won't be disappointed.
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Vampire's recently came out of the, ahem, coffin and revealed themselves to the world to mostly fear, mixed with fascination, worship and desire. However, in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps it's business as usual, I mean why would vampires even bother going there?
How about because their old family home is there? That's the reason that Bill Compton comes to town. Whilst most of Bon Temps aren't happy to discover the vampire in their midst, waitress Sookie Stackhouse is thrilled by Bill's arrival. You see Sookie is clairvoyant and the dead (so to speak) minds of vampires are the only ones she can't hear, so for the first time in her life she feels normal around someone.
It's seems that some other female residents aren't as horrified by vampires as others assume either; some women enjoy experimenting by sleeping with vampires for the thrill [they are called fangbangers]. But someone has taken an exception to what they see as filthy and Bon Temps is about to become home to a serial killer who is ridding the world of these 'immoral' women.
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When I first heard that the Charlaine Harris 'Southern Vampire Mysteries' book series was being adapted into a television series I was excited and when TRUE BLOOD eventually debuted on UK television I was on the edge of my seat... For the first few weeks. I then stopped watching it and when my sister gave me the DVD set for my birthday, it took me months to pick the set up and watch it.
The issue I had is that the series is very faithful to the book - the whole first season is merely a breakdown of the first book and whilst it has slightly been mixed up and some new characters with their own problems have been thrown into the mix, the main storyline is the same; the serial killer targeting fangbangers. If you've read the books then there is no suspense to be had - I didn't bother becoming interested in certain characters because I knew that they wouldn't be around for long and I quickly became frustrated that the characters would be stood next to the killer and not suspect a thing.
However; when I sat down and watched the DVD box set without comparing the television series directly with the books I became involved with the characters and their additional baggage. The books are first person, so we only get Sookie's perspective and opinions, so the television version is better then the books in that respect as we get to explore what is happening with - and to - other people.
The central character of Sookie Stackhouse is just like the book. Anna Paquin is one of my favourite actresses and she once again gives a superb performance. Her portrayal is just like the character that I've had in my head for the past decade. Sookie is not a butt kicking smartass who refuses help when she clearly needs it, but she isn't a dependant wet blanket either. She's refreshingly normal.
The characters of Bill Compton and bar owner Sam Merlotte are also just how I'd always imagined them to be. Bill's character has been ever so slightly tweaked from the books version to fit in to the currently popular romantic anti-hero, but Sam is pretty true to form - Sookie's friend who harbors a deep crush on her.
For me what keep me watching the television series is the character of Lafayette. Thank god that they didn't stick to the books for him - the trouble he causes provides drama and comic relief in equal doses. Not only that but his expanded role has a knock on effect for other characters too; Jason Stackhouse, Amy, Tara, Tara's mum etc... The things he does may not seem like much at the time, but they swing back around. He's my favourite character in the television series for sure.
Tara is another character who played a minor role in the books, but who has now been expanded; in the books she appeared a few times on the arm of a couple of no-good partners, but now she is feisty, independent, dealing with her alcoholic mother and possibly trying to hide a deep depression. Also she is now Lafayette's cousin and they steal any scenes with them in - they have great chemistry together.
On the negative side: I don't really like how they've dumbed down Jason. In the books he's a selfish womanizer, but he never came across as a dumb blonde stereotype as he does here. Detective Andy Bellefleur has also been dumbed down for comic relief - which isn't needed.
Character-wise the biggest letdowns for me are Eric and Pam. In the books they are without a doubt my favourite characters, but on the screen they are the stereotypical villain and sidekick. Like with Jason they have their negatives in the books, but they are mixed with a few positives to make them more complex and not just cardboard cutouts who decorate the sets.
I think maybe I'm just expecting too much from the characters: the actors are all very able (and nice to look at), but there isn't a spark there in their personalities - they're just there. If you're turning into the series after you've already read the books you'll ultimately find fault with at least one of the characters and - rightly or wrongly - it will affect your enjoyment somewhat.
One thing that makes me go umm; Emmy, Golden Globe and Oscar winning series creator Alan Ball clearly based the human bigotry against the vampire community on his own experiences as a openly gay man; the viewers are meant to sympathise with the vampires as they are treated as second class citizens and viewed with suspicion, but the thing is that most of the vampires are cold-blooded killers who view humans as walking meals. And there is the episode when two comment on how delicious children are...
Of course the way he and other gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender people are treated by some people and groups is terrible, but trying to educate people in a television show by using murdering, blood drinking vampires to represent them doesn't strike me as the best way to go about it.
The strongly developed characters and the way we get to be involved with them all did suck me in the second time round and I did enjoy the mix of drama, action, horror and the dark humour that is woven into the script. And later seasons do stray away from the books more, so it is worth sticking with.
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This section seems abrupt, but I've skipped around the surprises and twists in order to avoid spoiling things for new viewers.
* Strange Love *
Merlottes bar waitress Sookie is about to meet her first ever vampire; Bill Crompton is a newly arrived Bon Temps resident.
But her excitement soon turns sour after she uses her clairvoyance to determine that a local couple - the Rattrays - are drainers [they capture and kill vampires to sell their blood on the black market as a powerful aphrodisiac] and she interrupts them as they try to drain Bill in the bar's parking lot.
* The First Taste *
The Rattrays have a accident and the police suspect the only vampire in Bon Temps - Bill.
Bill attempts to fit in locally by spending the evening with Sookie and her grandmother, which Jason and Tara both invite themselves to.
Speaking of Jason, his womanizing ways will land him in trouble.
* Mine *
Sookie is introduced to the nasty side of vampires when she meets three of Bill's 'friends'. Elsewhere Jason gains another bedpost notch and Tara walks out on her mother and ends up spending the night with her boss Sam.
The serial killer lines up his next victim.
* Escape From Dragon House *
Jason is suspect number one with the police after the second murder, so Tara lies for him and provides him with an alibi.
Sookie asks Bill to take her to Fangtasia vampire club as she tries to find evidence that will clear Jason in the murders, and puts herself onto the radar of Eric - the vampire sheriff of the area.
Jason buys vampire blood [known simply as V] from Lafayette and he overdoses.
* Sparks Fly Out *
Sookie decides that dating a vampire isn't a great idea, so informs him that she won't be seeing him again. Sam has a huge crush on Soookie and wastes no time in asking her out.
Bill keeps his promise to Sookie's gran and speaks at the monthly meeting of the Descendants of the Glorious Dead, becoming popular will the local residents after he reminiscences about the Civil War.
Jason's twin additions of taking V and his sex drive spins out of control.
* Cold Ground *
The serial killer has claimed another victim, this time very close to home, causing a ton of high emotions; Jason is suffering withdrawal and lashes out at both Sookie and Detective Andy Bellefleur, before bedding yet another woman.
Sookie runs to Bill for comfort and Tara - after a shock announcement from her mother - asks Sam for another night together.
* Burning House Of Love *
Sookie has to deal with the thoughts of her co-workers and the customers as rumors spread of her relationship with Bill.
Tara has problem's of her own, as her alcoholic mother is convinced that she needs an exorcism to rid herself of the demons she thinks are making her drink.
Jason visits Fangtasia in hope of scoring some vampire blood and meets another user; a young woman, named Amy.
Bill's three one-time friends show up again after buying a house locally and three of the bar patrons decide to do something about the situation.
* The Fourth Man In The Fire *
Four vampire's are dead after the house fire - Bill's old friends and... ?
Jason and Amy are desperate to get more vampire blood and they decide to follow Lafayette to his source to get it.
Tara's mum has become a new person after having a exorcism, so Tara begins to ponder over getting one herself when her own emotions start playing around.
Bill has no choice but to agree to let Eric borrow Sookie for an evening at Fangtasia, to use her mind-reading powers to root out a thief.
* Plaisir d'amour *
After Sookie identifies who is responsible for stealing from Fangtasia, Bill has to step in to protect her and breaks a vampire taboo. Now he has to face the consequences from Eric and the other vampiric elders. Before he leaves he asks Sam to keep an eye on Sookie.
Meanwhile, Jason and Amy take their vampire captive and confine him in Jason's basement.
Tara asks Sam to loan her $800, planning to get her own exorcism.
* I Don't Wanna Know *
Sam is forced to reveal his Big Secret to Sookie. That evening Arlene and Rene have their engagement party at Sam's bar and Sookie is attacked by an unseen person in the bar's kitchen.
Tara decides to undergo the exorcism, but later discovers something about the exorcist.
Jason and Amy can't agree over what to do about the vampire in the basement.
Bill appears before a vampire tribunal over his crime and the Magister has a unusual punishment for him.
* To Love Is To Bury *
After reading brief flashes into his mind, Sookie and Sam travel to a adjoining county to see if they can uncover more information about the serial killer.
Bill completes the tribune's sentence.
Tara is arrested for drunk driving and after her mother refuses to bail her out a stranger - Maryann Forrester - comes to her aid.
The serial killer strikes again and leaves Jason in the frame again.
* You'll Be The Death Of Me *
Jason is in jail for murder and isn't sure if he did it or not. Whilst there he is visited by a representative of the Fellowship of the Sun, the anti-vampire church, who gives him a new perspective on life...
Maryann bails Tara out of jail and lets her stay at her mansion, where she meets another resident named Benedict [Eggs] Talley.
The killer is free to go after Sookie.
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Anna Paquin - Sookie Stackhouse
Stephen Moyer - Bill Compton
Sam Trammell - Sam Merlotte
Ryan Kwanten - Jason Stackhouse
Alexander Skarsgård - Eric Northman
Rutina Wesley - Tara Thornton
Chris Bauer - Andy Bellefleur
Nelsan Ellis - Lafayette Reynolds
Carrie Preston - Arlene Fowler
Michael Raymond-James - Rene Lenier
Todd Lowe - Terry Bellefleur
Kristin Bauer - Pam De Beaufort
Lizzy Caplan - Amy Burley
Lois Smith - Adele Stackhouse
Jim Parrack - Hoyt Fortenberry
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6 episode commentaries
[I admit that I haven't bothered listening to these]
7 spoof commercials
These include True Blood synthetic blood and a vampire dating service.
A 14 minute mock news program on the recent history of vampires in America.
This is especially helpful for viewers who haven't read the books as it talks about the invention of synthetic blood, when the vampires went public and the current debate about the Vampire Rights Amendment.
True blood at first was a bit much to get my head round it is full of violence and sex pretty much from the word go and it has Vinnie from Home and Away in which was also a little strange lol.
I am a fan of Vampire related books and movies obviously else I wouldn't have choosen to watch this but the main reason I did is my friend kept going on and on about it until I caved and gave it ago.
Now True Blood is different to your Twilights and other vampire related films as it shows a different more darker side of Vampire life. I do like that each Vampire film or TV show that comes out has it's own twist be it how Vampires walk in the sun or how in this one humans use Vampire blood as a drug V.
In season 1 of True Blood we are introduced to the main characters Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton (Vampire Bill), Sookies brother Jason and a variety of Sookies friends. Sookie is telepathic and hears the thoughts of those around her which in a hill billie type town which the series is based in is not always good. Bon Temps is the town the plot revolves around which is meant to be a small Louisiana town. Sookie works at Merlotte's bar within the town and alot of the other characters whom smaller stories are about are also memebers of the Merlotte team.
In True Blood the humans know that Vampires exist and serve them True Blood in the bars heated to taste like humans. Some of the characters are sleeping with the vampires 'fang bangers' and some let the vampires bite them for blood for there own pleaseure. We learn about glamouring where the vampires can make humans do whatever they want them to do and we learn that Sookies special powers mean she can not be glamoured. Sookie needless to say is our girl who falls in love Vampire Bill and they are the main focus of the episodes although there is also something else going on acually there is always plenty of other things going on. Without giving to much of the storylines away there are pretty much murders in every episode and some of the scenes I have to say I did find a little uncomfortable watching especially the violent ones.
Each episode of True Blood is an hour long some episodes left me wanting to watch the next one straight away whilst others left me needing a little break before continuing. That said True Blood was a series which me and my boyfriend could both watch together which tends to be rare though watching this together has left him more willing to try other vampire realted series which I will review soon.
I will give True Blood 4 stars some of the scenes were a bit much it is rated an 18 and I think that is pretty accurate I wouldn't recommend anyone lets younger children watch this.
True Blood is an American HBO broadcasted programme. The series is written by Alan Ball is who the writer of the Emmy award winning series 'Six Feet Under' and Oscar winning 'American Beauty'. It is rated 18 by the Film Censor's Office and sells on Amazon for £9.99.
About the Programme...
Welcome to Bon temps, a small town in the north of Louisiana where the Locals often lead a strange and colourful life. Meet Sookie Stackhouse, a pretty blonde and sweet waitress who has a strange ability to read minds but not all minds, Vampires are silent and not many people know about her ability- only her close friends and family; such as Jason Stackhouse, Sookie's brother is the ladies man of Bon Temps and can never seem to stay out of troubles way when it comes to those he dates.
Sookie works in the local bar, Merlottes, run and owned by Sam Merlotte. Sam and Sookie have a close relationship and Sookie often hears Sam thinking about her in more than a 'just friends' way much to her disliking. Soon enough, Sookies best friend Tara gets a job working with Sookie. Tara comes from a run down and abusive family and throughout her life the Stackhouse family have helped her get through it. Tara has a good relationship with both Sookie and Jason but yet struggles with keeping her stronger feelings for Jason to herself. Sookie also works with Tara's cousin, Layette, a strong willed, gay, African American who likes to dabble in a few drug dealings once and a while.
And of course you cant forget Sookie's new and first romance; Bill Compton, a 173 year old vampire who's just moved back to his families house, just across the grave yard from Sookie's house. Along with Bill comes a whole new chapter in Sookie Stackhouse's life, often finding out more than she cares to know, she is forced to help out the Area 5 Sheriff Eric, a handsome and broody Viking vampire and his 'child' the quirky and seductive Pam.
When a series of murders of women from Bon temps happens and Jason is accused of it, Sookie is made to investigate and soon enough comes face to face with the surprising killer and has to make some tough decisions, to save her and others in Bon temps lives.
The DVD includes bonus features such as 'In focus: Vampires in America' which is a mock-u-mentary about vampires in America as well as six audio commentaries with the cast and crew; Alan Ball, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.
The box set includes 5 DVDs with between two and three episodes on each one. Disc five includes the Bonus features.
Sookie Stackhouse- Anna Paquin
Bill Compton- Stephen Moyer
Sam Merlotte- Sam Trammell
Jason Stackhouse- Ryan Kwanten
Tara Thornton- Rutina Wesley
Andy Bellefleur- Chris Bauer
Lafayette Reynolds- Nelson Ellis
Hoyt Fortenberry- Jim Parrack
Arlene Fowler- Carrie Preston
Eric Northman- Alexander Skarsqard
Sheriff Bud Dearborne- William Sanderson
Pam De Beaufort- Kristin Bauer
I love it! being a big fan of the books I was expecting to be disappointed but its a great programme in its own right with the perfect amount of gruesome horror, romance and plenty of quirky humour!
The American TV series True Blood is based on a series of books originally known as the Southern Vampire Mysteries, (reprinted as The True Blood series), by Charlaine Harris. I was vaguely aware of the series which was shown on Channel 4 in October 2009, having made it's UK debut earlier that year on FX, but wasn't interested enough to watch it until recently, when a vampire fond friend loaned me this DVD, along with the first two films in the Twilight series.
After being coerced into watching the first episode, which I mildly enjoyed, I left it a week or so until, in on my own one night and bored, I played the second. The third followed quite quickly and I ended up watching the entire 12 episode series within three weeks.
Early thoughts were that it has a lot in common with Twilight, so much so that it's easy to see why True Blood has been called 'Twilight for Grown-Ups'. Stylistically they are quite different and True Blood has a lot more sex and violence, but the storyline has many similarities and the relationship between True Blood's Sookie and Bill is strongly reminiscent of that between Twilight's Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Having said that, the Charlaine Harris books were written before Stephanie Meyer's Twilight books, so perhaps it could be said that Twilight is in fact a watered down teen version of True Blood.
True Blood is set in a world where vampires are acknowledged members of society, having gone public a couple of years ago. There is a Vampire Rights organisation to help them fight discrimination and, rather than openly drinking human blood, there is a synthetic drink called Tru Blood which they can survive on. (The drink has been de-fictionalised and can now be bought from online retailers, although I'm not sure it is meant to be microwaved to body temperature as it is in the show.) Vampires live by certain rules. Some which would be expected in the genre, such as avoiding daylight, remain, while other traditional rules have been discarded. To account for this, vampires are credited with having spread untrue myths about themselves in order to be able to move freely in human society. Not all vampires are happy with being 'out of the coffin', and prefer to live by the old ways.
It's quite explicit, with boobs and bums galore and plenty of blood and gore, but there's a vein, (sorry), of humour running through it which stops it from being nasty. I think a large part of the pull comes from the intelligent script written by Alan Ball, (writer of Six feet Under and American Beauty). It's hugely popular and won all sorts of awards, including a Golden Globe for Anna Paquin for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series. As far as I'm aware, at the time of writing, season three is now showing on HBO in the USA, but is yet to start in the UK.
The series is built around the character of Sookie Stackhouse, (played by Anna Paquin), who is a waitress in Merlotte's bar, small town Louisiana. On the surface she seems like a sweet, naive ideal of the 'girl next door', but she has a secret. She can read minds. Sookie has to make a conscious effort to block out the thoughts of those around her which can be tiring, so when vampire Bill Compton, (Stephen Moyer), walks in to Merlotte's one night and Sookie realises she can't read his thoughts, he becomes her ideal partner.
Bill Compton is a 'mainstreaming' vampire. That means he gives the appearance of being integrated into human society without resorting to drinking human blood. (Notice I said 'give the appearance of'.) Intense, romantic, stuck in old fashioned ways of speech, Bill is 173 years old. Moyer makes a good male lead, although I sometimes think he seems a touch awkward when playing the role of seducer, (or maybe it's just his hairstyle).
Jason Stackhouse is Sookie's good looking but feckless brother and his brains are lodged firmly in his balls. He's not the brightest and a lot of the humour in the series comes during scenes involving him and his little fella. He plays around with a lot of women and gets himself into a lot of trouble.
Tara Reynolds is Sookie's sharp tongued best friend who we first meet when she is giving an undeservedly cruel, but quite funny mouthful of abuse to a customer in the store she works at. Tara has trouble holding onto a job, or a relationship, and ends up working in Merlotte's bar by the end of the first episode. She has issues with her drunken abusive mother and has long had a secret crush on Jason, since he stood up to her mother for her when they were children.
Tara's cousin Lafayette Reynolds works in the kitchen at Merlotte's, as well as having various, (very), dodgy deals going on the background. I love this character, gay as a window and as acid tongued as his cousin, he is played superbly by Nelsan Ellis who has won various best supporting actor awards for this role.
Sam Merlotte is the owner of Merlotte's bar and Sookie's boss. He has an obvious crush on Sookie from the start and follows her around with puppy dog eyes. There are hints that there is more to him than meets the eye, but the strange truth is not revealed until toward the end of the series.
Adele Stackhouse is Sookie and Jason's grandmother who brought them up after their parents died in an accident. The epitome of a sweet, cookie-baking old lady, she's also about the only person who supports to Sookie's relationship with Bill, and even invites him to speak at a local historical group. Most people don't trust vampires, hardly surprising given their drink of choice, so Sookie is grateful for Adele's support and is very close to her loving grandmother.
As is the way with American TV, most of the cast are ridiculously attractive. (It seems even vampires are not immune to the lures of botox and collagen injections, despite the fact that they never age.) The acting is generally of a high standard with strong emphasis on character development throughout the series. Before long this begins to feel like a quality vampire soap. Oh yeah, and there's a murderer on the loose, but is it a vampire or a human? There are several plots and sub plots which are wrapped up nicely at the end of the season, but not before a few more are started to entice the viewer on to season two.
The special effects are generally well done. Apparently the fangs are digitised, but I didn't really think about it until I started writing this review, which would suggest that everything flows believably for the most part. Sometimes it all gets a bit too silly, particularly where Jason's involved, but never enough to lose it's grip.
It would be misleading to say that this show is anything other than ridiculous, but it's ridiculous in a good way. It's also action packed, romantic, violent, sexy, funny, clever and entertaining. You could get away with saying it's trash, but it's trash of the highest kind. I already have season two on loan.
A special word must be given to the opening credits which are superb. Country singer Jace Everett's 'Bad Things' is the perfect song to accompany the flashed up scenes of depravity; sex, blood, speeded up rotting maggoty fox and all. This is the American South at it's worst. It's the south of 'Deliverance', the evangelistic, dirt poor, home of the Klan, dumb, incestuous, seedy and deeply nasty South. It sets things up nicely for a creepy vampire viewing experience.
There are six audio commentaries with the cast and crew. I started watching one of them, but I'm not really that much of a fan of anything to watch these - I see little point to them.
There is also a 'mock-u-mentary', 'In Focus: Vampires in America', which is a pretend news programme about vampires. It's only about fifteen minutes long, cheaply done and badly acted, but it still manages to be quite amusing. It gives a quick round -up of the national reaction to vampires since they moved into the public arena. Viewers of the show will recognise 'Nan Flanagan' as a television spokeswoman for the American Vampire league - in this show she gets to complete an interview, as does the Japanese inventor of synthetic blood. There are also interviews in and around Bon Temps, (the town the series is set in), including a quick interview with the character Sam at Merlotte's bar.
There are twelve episodes in a five disc set and each episode runs for between fifty minutes and an hour. If you wanted to, you could currently buy a copy of this DVD for £16.99 from Amazon.
Further Details (from Amazon):
Format: Box set, PAL
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Swedish
Region: Region 2
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: 26 Oct 2009
Run Time: 691 minutes
While True blood isn't based on the most original concept, it somehow seems like the most original show around at the moment. I think it has something to do with good writing and casting. Also not being constrained by having to make the show family friendly means creativity occurs unhampered.
The main characters Sookie and Bill are brilliant and deep characters which have enough mystery about them to supply many series worth of stories. The supporting cast are just as interesting, most of which are deeply disturbed individuals in some way.
The mythology of vampires is very well established in True blood they have their own justice system, hierarchy and class system, even a monarchy. I like how we join the story when Vampires have just come out to the world and as a new race, are fighting for their rights.
The show is dark and gritty and complements the storylines. The stories keep you guessing and there is no way you'd guess what's coming in a million years. The show also has a habit of getting brilliant guest stars such as Lizzy Caplain who really stood out, it's a shame she was killed off.
The series is on 5 discs with extras such as:
* 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)
Following the recent trend of vampire romance taking over, well, pretty much everything, True Blood seemed at first to be the latest in a long series of predictable, irritating vampire-falls-in-love-with-petty-mortal stories that I'm sadly growing to hate. However, after watching a couple of episodes, I realised I couldn't have been more wrong.
True Blood is adapted from a series of books also known as 'The Sookie Stackhouse Novels' or 'The Southern Vampire Series' by Charlaine Harris, the first of which, 'Dead Until Dark', was published in 2001. Set in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, True Blood follows the adventures of a telepathic waitress named Sookie. When a handsome vampire named Bill moves into the town, Sookie is fascinated by him, despite the warnings of her somewhat anti-vampire friends and the trouble Bill brings with him. You see, in the True Blood society, vampires are an accepted part of life, having 'come out of the coffin', surviving on synthetic 'True Blood' and fighting for their rights.
That's not to say the vampires in True Blood are by any means tame - quite the opposite. This isn't a series for youngsters. With its intimidating 18 certificate, we're treated to very explicit sex and no small amount of gore, not to mention drug use, brutal murders, kidnap and exorcisms, amongst other things. The main plot in this first season, aside from the relationship between Bill and Sookie, concerns the murders of several women in Bon Temps. It's undoubtedly a very graphic series, but it also has a wonderful sense of humour, even if it is a little dark at times. After all, True Blood was adapted for the small screen by Alan Ball, writer of award winners 'American Beauty' and 'Six Feet Under'. True Blood doesn't take itself too seriously - it has some rather laughably strange moments, such as Sookie's brother, Jason, taking 'V Juice' - vampire blood that when tasted is an incredibly strong hallucinatory drug that also enhances the libido - with some rather disagreeable outcomes.
The characters are varied, mostly likeable, and well played all round. Sookie, played by Anna Paquin (most would know her as Rogue in the X-Men films), is an innocent and somewhat naive waitress who can hear people's thoughts - a gift that takes its toll on her relationships, as she finds it difficult not to 'overhear' what she probably shouldn't. She's astounded when she first meets Bill the vampire (Stephen Moyer) and realises that she can't hear a word he's thinking, and this forms the basis of their relationship, which develops throughout season one. Bill is mostly gentlemanly and polite, but has a darker side that we see glimpses of in moments of violence later on. His story - which is revealed later in the series - is tragic, and gives his character a whole new facet.
Other main characters include Sam Merlotte, Sookie's employer; Sookie's brother Jason, and Sookie's best friend, Tara. The series is excellent in that it doesn't just focus on Sookie and Bill - every character has a plot line, and each is in itself interesting and holds your attention just as much as Sookie's.
The twelve episodes that make up season one of True Blood are each around an hour long and move at a good pace. Each episode ends with a bang to keep you hooked, and new characters and plot lines are introduced regularly to bring some variation. Sometimes these characters and plot lines will fizzle out naturally, and others will reappear later to throw something new at you. Rest assured that the True Blood world will keep you on your toes, never becoming repetitive, although it does suffer from a slight dip in energy just over half way through.
True Blood's soundtrack is just as edgy and Southern-style as the series itself, with a focus on country and blues music that really compliments the overall feel of the show. The theme tune of the series - 'Bad Things' by Jace Everett - is the perfect song to get across True Blood's themes and flavour, and fits wonderfully with the stunning opening credits which deserve a special mention - combining images of Louisiana, violence, religion and sex in a chaotic editing style, they start each episode on a high all by themselves.
So, if you want a TV series that's exciting, sexy, stylish and fun (with a healthy dose of violence), look no further than the latest in the exceedingly popular vampire franchise. The only difference is that True Blood has bite.
True Blood Season 1 is a DVD box set that includes the whole of the first series of this popular television series. They've spread the twelve episodes over five discs, as each episode is almost an hour long. Including the handful of extras, the total run time for this boxset is a massive 691 minutes! That's a lot of blood ;o) The RRP for this is around £40, which is understandable for such a long run time, however Amazon have it presently available for only £17.88.
This series is based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse books which were written by Charlaine Harris. They tell the story of a small American town called Bon Temps, where a telepathic waitress called Sookie Stackhouse lives. Right at the start of the series, a new vampire moves to town. It's a contraversial affair because it's the town's first since vampires came out of the coffin and made themselves known as real beings a few years earlier. They drink synthetic blood, most of the time, so they've been accepted into mainstream society - after dark of course.
True Blood takes us on a journey through this realistic but supernatural town. We see Sookie falling in love with a vampire, and a couple falling in love with her. We get to meet a Maenad, a few shape-shifters, and of course, a god-squad trying to send all these Lucifer-sent abominations straight back to hell. There's a lot of drama, thrills and blood-spills, not to mention a couple of pretty steamy love scenes. The action is every bit as fast paced in the series as it was in the books.
You don't have to read the books to watch these DVDs, and vice versa. What's more, even if you've read the books and know how the story goes, you've still got a whole new side to Bon Temps to discover through watching these DVDs. It's as though the screenplay has picked out a few core points from the plots in the books, and then re-written a lot of the little sub-plots that lead up to those milestone points. Ultimately, the series will lead where the books have lead, but through a series of sometimes very different events. I was especially entertained by getting to see the stories I was aware of from the books, through a different set of eyes. The True Blood books are mostly written around Sookie Stackhouse, who is the book's central character / heroine, but the series takes us all around the town and shows us what's going on with the whole cast, and not just Sookie.
The special effects are first rate, and the overall quality of the acting is very high. There are a couple of characters who appeared a lot differently to what I was expecting, but if you've never read the books then this won't matter to you. The only character that really does annoy me is Eric Northman, but in fairness I think he's supposed to. Sookie, played by Anna Paquin, and Bill Compton, played by Stephen Moyer, are the two actors who have surprised me the most. They weren't at all what I was expecting, and yet I've loved watching every minute of their solid performances from start to finish. That's probably helped by the fact that the pair fell in love off screen as well as on though!
This is truly entertaining supernatural thriller series that's well worth even the full RRP of £40. It's got everything from blood and guts, to romance and drama with a few serious moments and witty one-liners happening somewhere in between. It's well made, well acted and very original. Twilight will come and go, True Blood will probably (hopefully) be here to stay.
True Blood is the latest hit series from American television channel HBO. The same channel that brought us the likes of The Wire, The Sopranos and Deadwood, three of the best TV series ever made and there is no reason why True Blood shouldn't sit right up there with them. Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris the series is created by Alan Ball who also created the critically acclaimed series Six Feet Under. It all sounds like a recipe for success.
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in Merlotte's Bar and Grill but she isn't normal, she can hear people's thoughts. She struggles to block the thoughts out and longs for them to go away, so when Bill Compton walks in to Merlotte's and she can't hear his thoughts she is instantly drawn to him. He isn't normal either, he is a vampire and has been 'mainstreaming' ever since Japanese scientists invented synthetic blood that would satisfy vampires nutritional needs, and they 'came out of the coffin' two years ago.
The main plot of the first season follows the developing relationship between Sookie and Bill and a series of murders that all seem link to Sookie's brother Jason Stackhouse. Set in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana we meet a variety of intriguing characters. Tara is Sookie's best friend she has self esteem and parental issues, Sam Merlotte, owner of Merlotte's and Sookie's boss, is a mysterious character who seems to be hiding a secret but makes no secret of his love for Sookie, there are other vampires throughout the series, Eric probably being the most entertaining but he becomes more prominent in season 2, there are many other characters throughout the series and they are all wickedly entertaining although a few are quite irritating, luckily the irritating ones only play bit-parts.
The main characters here are brilliant, throughout the season they are developed magnificently and by the end you feel like you know them personally. Sookie is great as we see an innocent girl begin to fall in love with a vampire that has been around for over a century. Tara is a very complex character and we see her battling her demons and struggling with her mother throughout and she is one of the characters that you feel real empathy for. Jason is good, he is Bon Temps ladies man and seems to have a new woman every other night, he provides some humour and gets caught up in a very messy situation and although he means well he seems to constantly run into trouble.
Lafayette, Tara's cousin is great and provides a lot humour throughout; hopefully he will play a bigger part in the later seasons. Sam is also a pretty decent character, he is very mysterious, he doesn't share anything about his past and just longs to be with Sookie, but is he hiding a secret?
The books that the series is based on are also very popular, and although I haven't read them, through watching the very interesting director's commentaries on a few episodes and reading a few articles I know that the series is only loosely based on the books. Tara for example doesn't enter the books until later on in the series but here she is present from the beginning. It doesn't matter though because everything that is different is different to make the television series more entertaining, Tara is brought in early so that we have another strong female character and I do feel that without her the show wouldn't have been as entertaining.
Another great thing about the show is that each episode ends where the next one begins which provides great continuity, compared to other programmes where a few days or even weeks can pass from one episode o the next. The plot is great and the writers really have done a super job of adapting the novels for the small screen. The dialogue throughout is also very entertaining, there is some bad language but it isn't on the same level as other shows such as Deadwood. The dialogue is still pretty slick and each character has a unique way of getting there points across it is very, very good.
All the actors involved do a great job, Anna Paquin as Sookie is stunning and superb, she plays the role perfectly and this really is a career defining role from the X-Men star. Stephen Moyer who plays Bill Compton is probably just behind Paquin as one of the shows stand out performers, he is very intense and his old-fashioned dialect is executed with perfection. Alexander Skarsgard as Eric, another vampire is also superb he is more intense than Bill and you don't really know what to make of him, he has a sensitive side but then he his demonic vampire side and Skarsgard flits between the two effortlessly. Like most television series like this it is hard to mention everyone involved, but none of the main cast disappoints, Ryan Kwanten as Jason, Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte and Rutina Wesley as Tara all deserve a mention, they are great.
The film is shot brilliantly. The colours used are great the dark grim neighbourhood, contrasting the bright and summery look of some of the characters or matching the dark look of the vampires. Every scene looks perfect and it all comes together to make one hell of a good looking show, particularly in high definition.
The series at times is extremely graphic and it may be too much for some people, there is a lot of blood, a lot of sex and a lot of nakedness, even the sounds in some scenes are explicit. It all adds to the realism though and helps you buy into the fact that everyone accepts that there are supernatural beings in the world and no one questions it anymore. If you don't like things too graphic though, I'd stay away from this one.
The first series consists of 12 episodes each with a running time of 50 minutes to an hour and in some ways every episode is like watching a mini film. It really is great, it isn't quite as edgy as the likes of The Wire or as character driven as The Sopranos and it doesn't quite reach the heights of either. Although in a culture that is currently being saturated by vampire films, television shows and books, True Blood stands head and shoulders above everything else.
The show has received wide critical acclaim and received numerous awards including an Emmy and a Gloden Globe as well as being nominated for numerous others and are fully deserved. If you like your TV shows graphic and sexy then I would recommend this to you, if your not keen on graphic and sometimes quite shocking images I would say stay away, but if you think you can watch it then it is not to be missed. I would definitely recommend keeping it away from anyone under 18 and I wouldn't recommend watching it with your Mother.