Sunday, September 14, 2008

TV RECAP: "True Blood" (Ep. 1)

I wasn't expecting to like this series. They said if you like "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," or even "Moonlight," this might be the show for you, but I was still skeptical.

Anna Paquin, who I know mainly from her role as Rogue in X-Men, doesn't exactly have a well-known, diversified resume. But I probably would've overlooked that if they had immediately mentioned during promotions that her character, Sookie Stackhouse, is telephathic. I think that's the main reason I don't find the first two books of Stephenie's Myers' Twilight vamp series to be that interesting. I know Bella is special, but it would be even cooler if it were plainly obvious how special. So, needless to say, I was more excited about the relationship potential between Sookie and Bill (Stephen Moyer from "The Starter Wife"), the first vampire that she's ever met.

Apparently, a few years ago, a representative for the vampire community went on a television publicity tour to inform the world of their existence. She told everyone that they developed a synthetic blood drink called Tru Blood that would subdue their hunger, worries. Nothing to be afraid of. Go about your business. Apparently, she's unaware of how easily humans find reason to discriminate. So while vampires aren't exactly hunted, they are stared at, feared, and shunned. As expected, people treat them like novelties. Some are so intrigued by them that they engage in sexual acts, while others charge a grand. And some, like Sookie's grandmother, think they're a parlor trick, asking them to regail them with stories of hundreds of years ago or recount epic tales from specific decades in history. But while there are the harmless, there are also the harmful...

Yes, even though they have a never-ending synthetic blood supply, they still kill people. But the real dangers out there are humans who bleed vampires to sell their blood, people who drink vampire blood. Apparently, it's addicting. It makes them feel powerful and well, high. Oh, how the tables have turned. How exactly do you trap a vampire? Why with silver of course. Yeah, I'm just as confused as you are. I could've sworn that was strictly a werewolf thing. But, apparently, all you need is a silver chain and it'll sear through the vampire's skin and weaken them so much they can't move.

Plot aside, the supporting actors aren't half bad. Although I could do without the overly bitchy, angry, and antagonistic Tara (Rutina Wesley from How She Move) who seems out of place. Not because she's the only minority on the show, but because she has more energy than everyone else who seem so relaxed, low key and zen. Her new boss, who is in love with Sookie, is just creepily stalkerish, which isn't helped by our insights into his thoughts brought to us by Sookie's telepathy. There's also a mysterious dog that follows Sookie at night and I secretly suspect it might be him. I don't know for sure, but if vampires exist and people can be telepathic, then maybe they can turn into dogs too. lol Then there's Sookie's brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten from "Summerland") who Tara is in love with and will most likely never sleep with despite his Lothario ways. He just got out of jail. I didn't catch why, but he's looking to go back in by the looks of things. He had sex with a woman who recently slept with a vampire in return for a thousand dollars. She video tapes all of her escapades, including their reenactment of her vampire encounter, where she was strangled. For some peculiar reason, Jason had less self-control than that vamp, since he accidentally strangled her to death mid-coitis. Now the police have him in custody for questioning, since he was the last to see her.

But maybe Jason will get off the hook once attention turns to Sookie, who was being beaten to death by humans at the end of the episode. She stopped a thieving couple from bleeding Bill and they returned to punish her for it.

I think the series will continue to be interesting if we:
1) Find out what everyone is thinking all of the time.
2) Learn about Bill and Sookie's past that has molded them into what they are.
3) Figure out other mystical happenings in the world.
4) Examine the prejudice against vampires.
5) And maybe, just maybe, investigate whether that synthetic blood is actually synthetic. Call me skeptical.

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