TRUE BLOOD chronicles the backwoods Louisiana town of Bon Temps… where vampires have emerged from the coffin, and no longer need humans for their fix. Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, Academy Award -winner for “The Piano”) works as a waitress at the rural bar Merlotte’s. Though outwardly a typical young woman, she keeps a dangerous secret: she has the ability to hear the thoughts of others. Her situation is further complicated when the bar gets its first vampire patron – 173-year old Bill Compton (Steven Moyer, “Quills”) – and the two outsiders are immediately drawn to each other. Delivering the best of what audiences have come to expect from Creator and Executive Producer Alan Ball (writer of Oscar -winning Best Picture “American Beauty”, creator of the Emmy Award-winning HBO series “Six Feet Under”), TRUE BLOOD is a dark and sexy tale that boldly delves into the heart – and the neck – of the Deep South.
HBO Home Entertainment simultaneously released the DVD and Blu-ray version of the HBO original series when True Blood: The Complete First Season on May 19, 2009.
True Blood is the best thing that happened to television last year, and you can quote me on that. The wait for the DVD and second season of the show has been unbearable for most fans; I know it has been for me. The series is based off the sultry Sookie Stackhouse novels written by Charlaine Harris which are literally the only thing that has helped my need for Season 2 to return.
Before taking on True Blood, creator Alan Ball was previously well-known for his series Six Feet Under which also aired on HBO. Alan came across “Dead Until Dark,” the first book from Harris’ series, and promptly fell in love with it. After signing a deal with HBO to create original programming for the network, he naturally wanted to bring Charlaine’s vision to life. This is exactly what happened. The Sookie Stackhouse novels became the basis for True Blood, and Charlaine’s vision stayed completely intact. The first episode is almost word for word the dialogue from the book, and the story unfolds almost the same way. There are minor differences such as Bill getting in trouble for the Longshadow’s death in episode nine and being sent before the tribunal. This folds out differently in the book, which actually has Eric killing Longshadow. Tara doesn’t show up until late in the second book, and Amy doesn’t have a large role at all and has no relationship with Jason. Overall, the differences are quite minor and don’t distort the sheer awesomeness that Charlaine Harris has created. It’s the same hot, witty, and imaginative tale.
True Blood focuses on the life of Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress with the ability to read minds. One day, while working at Merlotte’s, a vampire walks in and sits down at Sookie’s booth. The lighting, the looks exchanged between them, and the sexual tension in the air promises that the relationship that will develop between these two will be nothing short of mindblowingly hot. And that it is.
Vampires are “out of the coffin.” They’re fighting for equal rights and wanting to be accepted among the general population. Claiming they’re no longer a threat to humans due to the mass production of “True Blood,” a synthetic blood from Japan, the vampires are no longer hiding and insisting they’re no different from humans – except for their diet.
Beautiful characters, hot sex scenes, ironic discrimination, and witty banter aside,True Blood is about a lot more than Sookie falling for Bill Compton, a 173-year-old vampire. There is a murderer in town who seems to be going after everyone close in Sookie’s life. After suspecting Jason may be at fault but then realizing he couldn’t be, she decides to use her powerful talents in order to find the real person (or vampire) at fault.
Kudos to HBO for such nicely designed packaging. The graphics are absolutely stunning on the case and mirror the image of Bon Temps vampire hotness in its rugged appeal quite nicely.
The one thing I’m disappointed about though are the extras on the Blu-ray version. There are a number of special features but they’re all commentaries and “enhanced” episode viewings with Lafayette spilling secrets about the characters, helpful hints that pop up, and animated maps. I would have been happy with some behind the scenes footage, a sneak peek at Season 2, and maybe a featurette comparing the show to the book series. I mean come on, I need more!
Review by Emma Loggins