TrueBlood – Review


I was pleasantly surprised to see the first episode of TrueBlood for rent at my local Blockbuster. It is a promotional copy which means it is watermarked with HBO’s logo in the middle of the screen, and annoying reminders pop up at the bottom of the screen every 15 minutes reminding you that your watching a promotional copy. But beyond these technical annoyances, I am happy to report that it is yet another excellent original TV series created by the folks at HBO. In case you haven’t heard, the premise of the program is that vampires have come out of the coffin, so to speak. They are undead and living among us. They claim not to be the blood thirsty killers we’ve all grown to loathe and fear. True they need blood to survive, but thanks to a synthetic blood invented by the Japanese, they have no reason to suck the blood of humans. The show documents the vampires’ struggle to fit into society. They are even fighting for a vampire equal rights bill in congress.

TrueBlood is Buffy the Vampire Slayer on steroids. There’s a plucky waitress with psychic abilities and a mean left hook. There’s a pale and brooding vampire who takes an immediate liking to the pretty blonde waitress who saves his life. There’s a supporting cast that includes a foul-mouthed best friend, an over-sexed brother, a bartender who owns a bar and an unrequited love for his head waitress. And there are baddies – rednecks with an addiction for vampire blood.

I’m not a big vampire fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Be warned, this is a series for adults, there is sex, nudity, blood, and violence. It is not for the kiddies. The show is based on novelist Charlaine Harris’ world of vampires.

TrueBlood – 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Premiers September 7, at 9:00 PM EST

*** Don’t forget to take the Vampire Poll

45 thoughts on “TrueBlood – Review

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  2. I thought this might have been written by a few horny high school studdents. I was very disappointed with the first episode and may–or may not– watch the second episode. In no way does this match the quality of The Sopranos or many of HBO’s other offerings.

    A real disappoinrtment–after all the hype.

  3. I was very disappointed. It was like a romance novel with fangs. It was supposed to be in Louisiana, but it could have been anywhere down south. No Cajun accents, no snatches of Zydeco playing in the background, and none of that steamy, exotic, voodoo quality that Ann Rice expressed so well in her vampire novels. The writers made every character into a Deep South trailer-trash stereotype. The one gratuitous sex scene was totally out of context. I expected more from an HBO drama.

  4. nanette: I don’t know if I would count the sex scene as gratuitous. It established the brother’s character in very graphic terms, and gave you glimpse into how extreme vampires can be in a situation we normally don’t get to glimpse.

    I’ve visited the backwoods of Louisiana and Mississippi with a friend who was from that area. It was very similar to the show. Just as scary even though there were no vampires to contend with.

    Ken: Can’t compare it to teh Sopranos. Apples and oranges. Horny teenagers are responsible for some great art. After-all the rumor is Mozart wrote the opera Mitridate Rè di Ponto at the age of 14 to impress some girl.

  5. I was disappointed in the first episode.

    My mother and I read the Charlaine Harris books together and we were excited to watch the TrueBlood episode. It upset me to an extent when I learned that there were graphic sex scenes. I liked the rest of the episode but the sex threw me off and eventually my mother turned it off, saying she didn’t like the storyline. But we turned on later and watched it anyway.

    I didn’t think that EVERYONE would have such a heavy southern accent and it frustrated me slightly. We will watch the second episode and hopefully it was just the first episode. Obviously there will be future sex scenes in the upcoming episode, but maybe they won’t be so hardcore as they were in the first one.

    Other than that I would say it was enjoyable to watch, but definitely NOT a series to watch with your family. >.<

  6. Serenely, you’re right It is not a family show. I’m 42 and I could never watch it with my mother. Yikes!

  7. While researching the World War II film genre I asked myself “Why are vampire movies always big in America”, to get my head into this genre thing.

    Answer: Well I think it is a very sexual thing – drinking someone’s blood. But in terms of the horror/vampires genre you have to start by analyzing them as being the “other” just like Aliens was in the 80s film, other than us. Remember vampire movies started very early in the entire horror genre. Their sources were often portrayed as the dark barbarians of Eastern Europe from specific places like Transylvania. They were seen as ungodly and categorized by Western Europe and America, as the “other” to be feared.

    They also have the power of conversion, which resonates at the core of American culture. In fashion, politics, religion, consumerism, entertainment we all want to be part of something larger and more powerful than we are. The actual conversion, this act of intense initiation is satisfying to the viewer because it is both sexual and violent. They insert their fangs into you and you become part of a greater evil.

    Frankenstein is different, because he a monster created by science on the screen with roots in western literature. Still he is a monsters but with less cinematic staying power than vampires and zombies because he is missing a sexual component. Even though he has faded, he may have links to criminal robots like in the ones in Blade Runner. Maybe? They were synthetic and Frankenstein was made from human parts.

    I think Frankenstein was sort of a mirror or ourselves, and just combine that with the concept “sometimes we are our own worst enemies” and you have something interesting. But still they are not as interesting as vampires.

    On the other hand there seem to be plenty of zombie movies today though they are not as sophisticated as vampires. The American viewer has a hard time dealing with zombies. It is its edginess that producers think will sell the movie but what I think they are selling is the Frankenstein nature dressed as a zombie. The modern zombie does not just appear, we create them and then they come back to punish us. In the beginning there were just random zombies from an unknown origin with no reason to exist. Then science steps into the later movies and we get science fiction mixed with horror. There was even an attempt to remove sex as the normal reproductive process in “ Village of the dammed”

    But in the end vampires are still kind of cool. They can even be sad and loving like Gary Oldman in Coppola’s Dracula, a sort of good guy just like the fallen angel Satan before he went bad.

  8. I think when it comes to a certain sector of Vampire fans you’re right, and it’s not just the sexual aspect. The pure romance factor comes into play. I believe the fastest growing segment of vampire fans is women. And it’s not so much the sex for them as it is the desire. In other words, not the physical, but the mental.

    Being a man to nth degree, I don’t like that aspect of the vampire world. Vampires have become too panzified. In my mind, they should be ruthless and ugly. They’re too pretty to be scared of.

    Frankenstein was done in by George Romero and Richard Matheson. A big clumsy guy who runs from the angry crowd is far less scary than an angry crowd of dead people chasing a flawed and often times clumsy anti-hero.

  9. I’m so glad you posted about Blockbuster. I need to add HBO to my cable selections but for now, I may go check out the first episode on DVD.

    Thanks again,

    Destiny Blaine

  10. Major error: Sookie isn’t psychic; she’s telepathic. As she points out in the second episode, there is a big difference.

  11. Noted. In my defense, I haven’t read the books, and I wrote this review even before the 2nd episode aired. I’m neither psychic nor telepathic so I didn’t know the distinction. 🙂

  12. first i would like to state that i live in southern louisiana and we do not talk like that.lol. now i know how the texans feel. anyway i loved the books and the first episode the second could have went with less sex scenes because they are messing with the plot line but other than that i liked it alot

  13. I don’t understand how all the people who read the books can complain about the sex scenes, they are all over the books. Jason’s whole character is a sex crazed playboy who can charm any woman. And sookie was sexual abused by her uncle as a child. I think the show follows really well with the books so far. The characters were cast really well. The show flows nicely. I am excited to see the rest especially if they move onto the other books from here.

  14. I haven’t read the books, but the sex scenes are building a great picture of Jason’s character. He’s addicted to sex. That’s all he does. He will do anything to have it. It is leading him down a very bad path.

  15. I AM TRULY IN LOVE. WHO COULD WATCH THIS AND NOT FALL IN LOVE IMMEDIATELY WITH SOOKIE AND BILL. I HAVE WATCHED EACH SHOW ON DEMAND FOR THE LAST TWO DAYS. I AM SO HAPPY THERE IS SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO ON TV AGAIN. THANK YOU, YOU HAVE FILLED MY FANTASIES ALL OVER AGAIN. LINDA

  16. OH YEH, ONE MORE THING. I WILL BUY ALL THE BOOKS NOW AND READ THEM ON MY TRAVELS. AGAIN, THANK YOU. LINDA

  17. How much were you paid to give a good review for this garbage? After airing amazing shows like the Wire, Deadwood, and Entourage. HBO seems to have lost its path, crap like john from cinn & true blood, make me want to cancel cable altogether.
    If you think Trueblood is “excellent original TV series created by the folks at HBO” Maybe you should also look into that thrill ride called a bullet to the brain, Im sure youll feel that exciting and excellent, you nimrod.

  18. Wow, Denmark is supposed to be a happy place. Seriously, you’ve got to stop taking reviews of TV shows so personally. There’s a whole big TV world out there. You’ll find a show that will turn that frown upside down soon enough.

  19. I LIKE THIS SHOW I GET EXCITED TO WATCH IT BUT I CANT SEEM TO WATCH THE REBROADCASTS!!! WEIRD BUT THATS ME. I THINK THO THAT SOOKIE’S BF COULD TONE DOWN HER ATTITUDE ITS TOO MUCH BUT THATS THE CHARACTER MAYBE I’LL GET OVER THAT.

  20. I agree about the friend. It’s a little over the top.

  21. I think the show is intense in a playful way, and this both attracts and repels viewers. After having watched three episodes, I feel drawn to Sookie and Bill while at the same time annoyed by some of the other characters. But I think somehow the show’s imperfections make it more compelling to watch. On one level it is ridiculous and the characters lack depth, but on another level it’s fascinating. I can’t believe Anna Paquin is in this role, but I think she is doing a great job. Also, I think the soundtrack (not just the opening song) is excellent and improves some of the scenes.

  22. An excellent soundtrack always help.

  23. I love TRUEBLOOD! I think it ia my new favorite show. Vampire stories mixed with true life love makes me mesmorized by this show! thanks for making it. Now I can’t wait to read the books.

  24. *is
    * thnks to whoever made it

  25. Great to hear you’re going to be reading the books. Support the author whenever you can.

  26. I am crazzy about this show. In faact I DVR it and have watched it several times. I loved Six Feet Under too, but this one, this is sexy.

  27. I think TrueBlood is a wonderful show.
    It has sex,drama,comedy,romance,drugs(v-juice),fear and an excellent
    soundtrack.What more could you ask for? For those who don’t like the show, I say
    turn the channel…

  28. Like many of those who’ve commented, I’m a bit disappointed in the HBO series. My sister and I are both avid readers, have read all of Charlaine Harris’ books, and were looking forward to this series. There are some pretty significant differences between the books and the TV series. I realize that print and film will never match entirely, nor would any of us necessarily want them to. Not only do I too feel that HBO has gone way overboard with the whole “graphic vampire sex” thing, but the way they’re choosing to develop a lot of the characters is just not in synch with the books. Yes, Sookie was sexually molested as a child, but she’s also a virgin when she meets Bill…not only in practice, but in mentality as well. And yes, Jason is a horn-dog, but he’s not obsessive and he never drank any vampire blood to improve his prowess (in fact, that would be OUT of character for him, since he seems to think he’s got enough prowess already!). Tara’s not black, she’s not hung up on Jason, and she’s not that big a factor in the books at all. Bill may have farmer roots, but he doesn’t dress that part in the books and he’s CLEAN and WELL-GROOMED. Sam has feelings for Sookie, but they’re pretty darned-well hidden for the first few books and he’s definitely not a love-sick puppy. Also, Eric is supposed to be a Nordic Viking god…sue me, but I always pictured him as good-looking. I could ignore a lot of the liberties HBO took with the characters, but the whole sex-thing is far too overblown. If I wanted that, I would have continued to read Laurel Hamilton novels…maybe HBO would have done better to make THOSE into a series if they think all their audience cares about is gratuitous supernatural sex.

  29. Grand Isle…we agree on one thing…I do LOVE the soundtrack. I’ve been scanning the credits to find out who does the opening song…have you found out?

  30. I love this show so much. The song is amazing and is perfect for the show. By the way nathan barr is the singer.

  31. Jace Everette sings the opening song called Bad things hes country baby!!

  32. Great info. I’ll look into Jace.

  33. I have been watching True Blood from the beginning and I am absolutely enthralled with the series. Anna Paquin is infectious as Sookie Stackhouse and the rest of the characters, annoying or not, are making the show what it is. I do not have children, but if I did, they would not be allowed to watch the show, however, I do not find the ‘gratuitous sex’ offensive. To me, it is building the characters and plot lines very well.
    I completely enjoy the show and will continue watching it, because I am a fan!

  34. i love true blood its my new favorite show i also love bill and sookie being together they make a really cute couple and i hope lets their relationship progress and they stay together. i really hope the show stays on the air for a long time cuz i dont want to see it end.

  35. I love the series but I am really sick with Jason, always on top of a woman or having sex. I will say as he says: Shit, shit! I see it in Spanish and understands better than the English they speak, I speak both languages but since the English-speaking is so difficult to understand so I prefer Spanish. I am reading the books of this series, it is a pity that chapter six where Sockie is with Bill for first time (I mean sexually)(because she is virgin) is so fleeting and not as romantic as the book

  36. I believe Bill handsome long as his annoying. When his is relaxed is not that handsome. I thought that Eric would be super handsome as the books but is just normal that you can see everywhere. Tara bother me because she is always talking dirty.

  37. I absolutely LOVE this show. I have watched alot of HBO series, but this one just completely has me hooked. i really enjoy pretty much all of the characters as well as the story lines. The Bill/Sookie relationship is great.

  38. I love the show:) I look forward to watching every week. At first I wasn’t sure about but now I’m def. addicted:)

  39. ive never been a vampire fan but I absolutely love the show! Meanwhile, my husband is into Vampire novels and hates it! I dig the characters and think that the show wouldn’t have as much flavor without Lafayette and crazy Tara! I look forward to Sunday nights again……

  40. Brilliant!! My wife and I are massive fans.

  41. I have read thru the comments and I have to say I love Trueblood. You can’t take the show too seriously or you will lose out on the fun. I think it is very well done. I look forward to every Sunday. It’s fun to imagine someone like Bill in your life. He is just very sexy, dead or not. 😉 Sure there are some pretty intense sex scenes. However, the Bill and Sookie scene was incredible. Something that can make the mind wander. 😉

  42. After viewing the first season I realised how great this show is. I definitely can’t wait for season 2.

  43. Pingback: Web Premieres Can’t Save Networks From Sucky Fall Lineups | Business | Wired

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