TV Review

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  • TV Series: True Blood
  • Episode: Mine
  • Starring: Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
  • Written By: Alan Ball
  • Directed By: John Dahl
  • Network: HBO
  • Series: True Blood


Who's The Boss?

By Stephen Lackey     September 23, 2008

Anna Paquin From True Blood
© Mania.Com/Josh Gordon
True Blood has been on for three episodes now and it has already been picked up by HBO for a second season. The show does appear to be settling into the world it has created. The problems of the pilot including flat stagey production and lighting, horrible accents, and weak acting from some of the main players are all still present but the show is still easy to love. The comedic elements of the series are often flop but just as often they are successfully smirk inducing,
The show is a mix of dark drama and quirky lighthearted characters, sort of a In the Garden of Good and Evil with Vampires. Walking this kind of line is difficult and it could get old fast but with Alan Ball behind it there could be more here than meets the eye. This week more of the vampire world gets revealed including a hierarchy based on age. Apparently vampires also be come more animalistic if they live together in nests segregating themselves from the rest of humanity. There’s a commentary in this series similar to X-Men comics covering prejudice and racism. Also like those comic books this show is doing that commentary right by not making one side good and the other side evil. It would be easy to tell a story where the vampires are so powerful but ironically with all of their power they are still put upon and more helpless than not in the world. Instead, some of these vamps are ruthless and they look at humans as nothing but objects for providing sexual release and food. There’s a whole other commentary there that’s not worth covering in this particular review. The bad side of humans is much more typical and predictable – due to fear they attack the vampires, or they attack them out of sheer profiteering.
There’s a lot of drama in this episode going on with the side characters that just doesn’t seem intriguing. Sookie’s friends, her brother, and others in the town are all deep in their own issues that are all mildly humorous at time but not as addictive as they should be. The side stories have to be gripping enough to make viewers not care that they aren’t seeing a vampire ripping someone’s throat out and more often than not it’s not quite working here. Not to say these side stories are bad because they aren’t – they just aren’t god enough. One of the stories involves Tara having sex with her boss just because, and the boss pining for Sookie while Sookie is starting to get involved with a vampire. This whole thing sounds a little too Gossip Girl. Meanwhile, Sookie’s brother’s white trash romps have absolutely no depth of storytelling but they are entertaining.
There’s fun to be had with True Blood, and the vampire stories are getting more interesting each week. The secondary stories and side characters need more attention from the writers right away. These extra stories are going to be used as filler later in the series so they need to have some depth and they need to be interesting. At this point they really aren’t. One last thing – Bill seems to really like Sookie but should he really be revealing all of the weaknesses of the vampires to her so quickly?


Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
hanso 9/23/2008 6:32:15 AM
Jason's sexcapades are the best thing of the show cause they always got boobies!! That sex having vampire is pretty funny also. "Someone needs to get on my johnson", lol. I liked the fact they have a chain of command within the vampires, can't wait to see this "Eric" and the lady vamp who is higher on the food chain than him. Maybe it's them organizing the hits on the humans that are anti vampires. What I would like to know is, how the hell do humans turn into vampires cause getting bitten or drinking vamp blood don't turn them.
celt_6@yahoo.com_home 9/23/2008 6:59:52 AM
Bill explained that in episode 2 after Sookie fed off him to heal. She has to feed off him and then he has to drain her. I want to know why every hot woman with big boobs in that town sleeps with that useless, mildly retarded white trash Jason... and then gets assassinated by a vampire. It's breast-icide and I protest!! (Meanwhile Sookie and Tara have small ones, which they don't even show, and they live on. It's prejudice, I tell you!) It's like they're following the rules of all the 80s slasher films: have sex, show boobs, and die.
hanso 9/23/2008 7:19:11 AM
LOL. Very true, I had failed to see that pattern. Those bastards! Thanks for the vamp turning info, didn't remember Bill mentioning that.
fft5305 9/23/2008 7:20:22 AM
Actually, Tara's boobies look pretty decent, they just haven't shown them. Yet. *crosses fingers* I agree that the vampire hierarchy is interesting. That's the part of the show I'm finding most intriguing - the vampire society and politics. It is interesting that not all the vampires agreed with "coming out." Who made the decision, then? Who has the authority to make that decision for all vamps? And why did this Japanese corporation develop this synthetic blood? Did they know about vamps? Or was it for medical purposes for humans, and vampires just discovered it? As far as Bill revealing the weaknesses to Sookie, my guess is that after 170 years, he's just a pretty good judge of character and knows she can be trusted. Besides, they need a narrative device to inform the audience, so they have him tell her. This is where suspension of disbelief comes in. Even if a "real" vampire wouldn't reveal the info so quickly, it's ok here because the audience needs information, so we have one character tell another and we find out. Aside from all that, it's in the script.
Redheaven 9/23/2008 8:36:49 AM
Honestly, right now I'm not feelin' this show. It's a little too campy for me. I like the idea, I'm not sure if I like the direction it's going so far. To me for every good idea they might have they'll have like two or three corny ideas to go with it. For an HBO vampire series I would like to see somethin' a lil' different. I know the show is just starting so I'll still give it a chance and see how I like it by the end of the season. However, the real shows to watch right now is Terminator, and heroes.
invisioner 9/23/2008 9:52:20 AM
I think the ironic twist of Bill telling so much, is that Sookie can read minds and get whatever info she wants from humans, but this one vampire tells what he thinks honestly through his mouth to her. So, she can read HIS mind because he is free to tell her too, his choice.
MIKWOZ 9/24/2008 7:36:56 AM
The series is starting to grow on me. I thought the 2 & 3 episodes were head and shoulders above the pilot. One little piece of info i found very interesting was when the bald vamp (sorry forgot his name) mentions the synthetic blodd and says "as if we could live on that". He could just be saying it's not very good (taste wise?)or he could be actually saying that it's a lie that they can exsist on that. Meaning people are not as safe as they think, and the vamps have a hidden agenda and probably are all still feeding on people! What do you think?
fft5305 9/24/2008 8:32:02 AM
I took it to mean that the synthetic stuff did ok to sustain their "lives" but that it is a poor substitute for the real thing. Kind of like the glop in The Matrix that had the nutrients, but looked and tasted like runny snot.
muchdrama1 9/24/2008 5:31:18 PM
I watched the pilot through a "free rental" deal between Blockbuster and HBO...I really dug it.
mortego 9/26/2008 1:19:43 PM
This Stephen Lackey guy needs to travel a bit before he critiques. I'm a Cajun. I'm from Louisiana. The exteriors and the accents are dead-on accurate for central La. Watching this show makes me feel like I'm back home...well...except for the vampires. The only blood suckers I grew up with were mosquitoes.....


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