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, Widescreen, NTSC
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




Ever 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!




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