HBO’s TRUE BLOOD “Strange Love” – Get Sucked In…

True Blood - Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer

TRUE BLOOD sucks… in a very good way.

HBO’s new original series about vampires, True Blood, premieres this Sunday, September 7, at 9pm.

If there is one show you have to watch this season, it’s True Blood. After two episodes, this show has totally won me over to the point that it is now my favorite this Fall (and yes that includes returning shows as well).

True Blood is a mix between Stephen Meyer’s Twilight and CBS’ Moonlight. Although we do not get the god-like vampire character that is Edward Cullen, we do get one hot vampire a la Mick St. John without the detective thing.

Let me start by introducing Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) a 173-year-old vampire, who just moved to the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps where waitress, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), lives. But Sookie is not like other girls, she has the ability to hear people’s thoughts. Things take a new turn when Bill enters Merlotte, where Sookie works, and she realizes that she can’t hear him. Needless to say that sparks fly between these two.

Based on Charlaine Harris’ series of books, True Blood creates a world where vampires live among us, thanks to the invention of synthetic blood. However, not everyone is down with vampires walking among us, even if it’s only at night.

The first episode sets up the town and characters that will make up True Blood. In addition to Sookie and Bill, we also meet Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), whom we see in his birth suit 90% of the episode; Sookie’s best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley); Sookie’s boss, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell); Merlotte’s cook, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis); and Sookie’s grandmother, Adele (Lois Smith).

The characters in True Blood are very compelling and so well written. They all have different personalities, which creates a very interesting dynamic. For example, Sookie and her brother, Jason, couldn’t be more opposites, but somehow it makes it that much more interesting and realistic.

Sookie is such a great character and Anna Paquin portrays her perfectly. Sookie has this innocence to her, while at the same time being able to hear everything that people think (which is not always rated PG). There is also the fact that although people accept her, there is this part of them that just don’t understand her “gift.” This can be seen in a very well written moment, where Sookie learns something about her brother that everyone already knew about. When she asks why nobody told her about it, one of the waitresses responds that they thought she already knew. And this is where I praise Anna Paquin for her delivery of the line that comes after that, which is “I am not a psychic!” In that single line, you understand the character so much more and everything she has to go through daily.

This type of scene explains her attraction and fascination with Bill. And this is where I need to praise Alan Ball for being able to pull this off. He just knows how to write three-dimentional characters that you care about.

As for Bill, well let’s just say that vampire fans will be very pleased. He has everything that we could hope for, he is mysterious, hot, and a vampire. Oh and the bonus, he doesn’t want to bite you.

I have also seen the second episode, and it’s even better than the first one. We get some pretty great scenes between Bill and Sookie, but more on that in my next review.

Before I finish, I do need to mention a few things that didn’t work for me in the episode. So far, I don’t understand what the point of Jason is in the show, apart from sleeping around with different women. I really hope they develop his character. Second, the vampire fangs take a little getting used to. At first I didn’t like it at all, but I guess I’m ok with it now, although I wouldn’t be against them making it a little cooler. That’s about all I can think of.

And so, all that’s left for me to say is that True Blood is a MUST-SEE this fall.

Don’t forget to read our recap from the True Blood panel at Comic Con.

Check out a promo for True Blood below.

Synopsis: “Strange Love” – Across the country, vampires have “come out of the coffin” following the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood. In Louisiana, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a waitress with telepathic abilities, falls under the spell of sexy, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) – whose thoughts she can’t read. After saving Bill from the Rattrays (James Parks, Karina Logue), a pair of ruthless “vampire drainers,” Sookie tests the limits of Bill’s gratitude when the two are left alone in the dark. Meanwhile, Sookie’s best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) goes to work for Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) at his bar and grill, while Sookie’s roguish brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) finds himself in hot water when a “fangbanger” with whom he’s been intimate meets a tragic end.

(Photo: Jamie Trueblood/HBO)