THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (HBO SERIES) (2009)
True Blood: The Complete First Season
Actors: Anna Paquin,
Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Ryan Kwanten
Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled,
Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish
(Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 5
Studio: HBO Home Video
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
Run Time: 720 minutes
notice how there isn’t any sex in movies anymore? Well, it seems that HBO
has also noticed and is now hell-bent on making up for this in shows such as
True Blood and Rome!
Yup, True Blood has
sex – lots of it. But it never feels gratuitous: the sex always seem
intrinsic and necessary to advance the plot and, er, flesh out the
characters. That is probably the most refreshing thing about True Blood:
how “adult” (as in mature) the show handles sex. There isn’t sex in the show
to titillate teenagers. It is all presented rather matter-of-factedly. It is
great to be treated as an adult for once by the entertainment industry.
Make no mistake though:
this ain’t no Buffy or
Twilight. If you are prudish, then you will be offended. (There is some
gore too, by the way. But we liked the sex better.)
True Blood is part
science fiction (Japanese scientists invent artificial blood, which brings
vampires “out of the coffin” so to speak to be integrated into normal
“human” society) and part horror / fantasy (in addition to vampires there
are telepaths and shape-shifters too).
It follows a waitress named
Sookie (who can also read peoples’ thoughts) and her group of friends,
family and co-workers. Sookie falls in love with Bill, a 173-year-old
vampire who actually fought in the Civil War. In the meantime a serial
killer is on the loose, targeting “fang-bangers” (the delightful
nomenclature in the series for normal people who, er, consorts with
vampires). Sookie’s airhead, over-sexed brother gets hooked on “v” – vampire
blood, which is a highly addictive drug for humans. And so on.
The series reminded us most
of a Vertigo graphic novel. At times it is in danger of becoming a
soap opera, but its fantastical elements always manage to uplift the
material. In the tradition of the best science fiction & fantasy True
Blood has created its own rich fictional universe and doggedly sticks to
the possibilities it offers.
Much has been made about
how the vampires are actually an over-obvious metaphor for persecuted
minority groups such as Blacks, homosexuals and online gamers. The truth is
however that the series is more complicated than this. Most of the vampires
in the series aren’t exactly nice folks. True Blood never goes for
the tired “some of them are quite decent if you get to know them” cliché –
instead it recognizes that people will be people and that good ones and bad
ones are to be found within any ethnic or racial group. No impossibly noble
suffering minority groups here as is often the case in PC Hollywood . . .
WORTH IT? If you’re
prudish or squeamish, then this isn’t the show for you. If not, True
Blood is a well-acted, scripted serialized television show, which always
heads off into unpredictable directions. If the idea of a human / vampire
romance makes you roll your eyes and go, “Twilight” then think again.
True Blood has fangs - make no mistake!
Check it out.