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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

True Blood: Season 1 Review

For the past week or so, when I haven't been slaving away at work, I've been watching the first season of True Blood. Several of my friends had recommended it, so I finally got to watching it.

For those of you who don't know anything about the show, I'll give you a brief synopsis.

The show follows Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress living in the fictional town of Bon Temps, LA.

The show takes place two years after vampires have "come out of the coffin." They now live among humans and demand equal rights. This is one of my favorite things about the show; the vampires are not some secret cult that only some people know about. Everyone is aware of their existence, although many people are still reluctant about granting equal rights to vamps.

Sookie works at a bar/restaurant (just like me!) called Merlotte's, which serves as a sort of meeting place for the town. As customers come in, Sookie's telepathy often reveals what citizens of the town are thinking and thereby alerts the viewer to the atmosphere in town.

Sookie's boss is Sam Merlotte.

Yeah, Sam isn't that interesting at first. But he gets more interesting as the season continues.

One day, Merlotte's gets its first vampire customer, Bill Compton.

Bill is 170-something years old and has just moved back to Bon Temps, where he lived before he became a vampire. Sookie is immediately drawn to him and their relationship is one of the main storylines of the season.

The other central storyline revolves around a string of murders in the town. Someone is killing off a bunch of the women in Bon Temps and coincidentally (?) they are all linked to Sookie's brother, Jason Stackhouse.

Jason spends about 80% of his on-screen time naked. He is a womanizer (womanizer, oh womanizer) who is not exactly the brightest resident of Bon Temps. He is also the lead suspect in the murders.

The other main character in the show is Sookie's best friend.

Tara Thorton is a .... loud young woman who always speaks her mind. While her rudeness sometimes turned me off, she is one of the funnier characters on the show and often provides comic relief. She also tends to think everyone is racist (look out for the Serena Williams reference in episode 8). Tara's personal storyline doesn't really start until a few episodes in, so I won't ruin anything.

Anyway, I really enjoyed season 1 and am looking forward to season 2.

I found the mystery surrounding the serial killer to be interesting and at times surprising. In the end, I was satisfied with the outcome. I also really like the characters. Except for the drug dealing prostitute character, I like every character and feel like they are nuanced and interesting. I also think that the acting is mostly solid throughout. I'm not quite sure how Anna Paquin won the Best Actress Emmy though; she's one of the weaker actors in my opinion.

I feel like the Sookie and Bill love story is not fleshed out enough. Whenever I talk to people about the show, they seem to say "OMG Sookie and Bill are soooo in love and the perfect couple!" I don't understand where these ideas come from. They don't really spend that much time together on the series and their relationship still seems like a relationship that has just begun. I'm hoping that next season there is either a larger focus on the couple that justifies their out of control emotions OR less drama surrounding them. Either choice is fine with me.




Now, for anyone who has already watched, here are my more spoilerific thoughts.

- Is that Lafayette in the car? I HOPE SO! But I kind of doubt it.
- Wasn't Bill climbing out of the ground and embracing Sookie oddly ... thrilling?
- Why does Tara think her bad attitude comes from a demon? Alcoholism, ok. But rudeness? That baffled me.
- While I'm satisfied with the serial killer conclusion, why did it have to be him? I really liked him. Oh well.
- I don't think I like where Jason's storyline is going. Didn't he just finish telling that creepy anti-vampire guy that he met a vampire (the one he imprisoned) and now likes them? It seems uncharacteristic that he'd join the anti-vamp club.
- I wasn't sure at first, but now I like Sam and Tara together. And the woman with the pig? I'm thinking she's a witch and the pig is her familiar. I would love that since I took a class last year about witches and would be paying close attention for inclusion of witch lore.


The new season starts June 14th, so if you haven't watched, you have enough time to catch up!


Jere Keys said...

I'm sad you don't like Lafayette. He's one of my favorite parts of the show and thought he was underused. I also think he's really hot. I understand the big Nordic vamp is going to be a big part of next season, which is good because the show needs more hot vamps (I'm really not all that attracted to Bill and most of the rest are deliberately not-hot).

Marc said...

Hmmm I had no interest in True Blood whatsoever until just now. I think I'm gonna start watching.

alm said...

You MUST read the books now. The first season will make a bit more sense. Jason, however, being a completely senseless person, will probably not make sense. He's gonna act stupid while thinking he's doing the right thing.

hoteltuesday said...

Jere: He's funny SOMETIMES and I did like the scene where he attacked those rude customers. But I mean... he gave Jason V when he was trying to get off it. I'm just so anti-drug that Lafayette continually makes me mad.
Big Nordic vampire? I don't know who you're referring to. Eric? He got his own character poster for season 2 so I assume he'll be featured more.

Marc: Good!! I'm glad I could persuade you. Hurry and catch up!

alm: Aren't there nine books? That's way too many. I never have free time to read for fun (I read for homework too much). And Jason doesn't need to make sense when he looks like he does.

David said...

I've seen bits and pieces, but I don't get HBO so I can't watch Season 2. I have enjoyed what I've seen so far, and Ryan Kwanten confirms my belief in God. Actually, he is God.

Anonymous said...

Yay!! I'm so glad you finally watched it. I really don't like Sookie, she's annoying just like Bella. Maybe its my vampire-relationship-envy talking but they always put some clueless woman to play the "heroine."

I don't have HBO either but this site has all the episodes.


-That is Layfayette in the car, remember the scene where he was painting his nails red? I'll miss him, he was my comic relief.
-Doing it in the dirt? Eww...
-Tara's mother was very convincing with her turn-around so I guess she thought it would work for her.
-He's psychotic. They are skilled at winning your trust before killing you unexpectedly.
-I think they're playing on the "easily influenced red neck joins fire and brimstone cult" idea. I was surprised that he got sucked in so quickly though.
-Tara and Sam do work but she's spending way too much time with that lady. Apparently she and Sam have some history too so that'll be interesting to see unfold.



john said...

I just finished the season. Meh, it was ok. I was annoyed by Sookie most of the season, mostly because of her acting. They also seemed to forget her telepathy for part of the season.

I wasn't surprised by the serial killer. I thought it was him early on, but got side tracked to thinking it was the guy who came back from the army (who's name escapes me).

I don't think the body is Layfayette, seems like too much of a red herring. I also think Maryann is a shape shifter and that the pig is as well.

I like Sam and Tara and hope they continue that story line. I don't buy what they are doing with Jason. I not thrilled by the increase of Eric's screen time, I found him a bit of a snoozefest.

hoteltuesday said...

David: I thought Oprah was God?


John: So we agree on Anna Paquin. How DID she win that award? She wasn't terrible at all times, but she must not have had real tough competition last year.
I also thought it was the war vet! I knew it was going to be on those minor characters, I just wasn't sure which one.
Maryann could be a shapeshifter since she is tied to Sam in some way.... But I still think she has to be a witch. Remember when she's outside soaking up energy from the pig? Totally something a witch would do with her familiar.