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TRUE BLOOD (spoilers)
I've waited to see when this show would hit its stride and develop a formula but I realized that it hit its stride on day one and never stopped hitting strides and that it would never develop a formula. The show twists and turns and is so unpredictable, one can never tell what is going to happen.
Of course, my favorite character is Godrick but being the peaceful and all powerful, unity causing vampire who wants peace between humans and vampires and wants to have humans considered their equals, he's probably slated to die either this week or next week. Characters I like tend to die and never come back.
Take a firm mix of the sexual openess of QUEER AS FOLK, make it hetero and mix with bits of DARK SHADOWS's sense of history and unfair play, WEEDS, the psudeo religion of BIG LOVE, bits of FOREVER KNIGHT and BLOOD TIES, a fair amount of setting from SWAMP THING and AMERICAN GOTHIC, bits of WEREWOLF and yeah, that lame TWIN PEAKS and you still won't have what TRUE BLOOD is about. It mixes the best elements of all of these and adds its own freshness of modern day...
First of all it can be sexy but sometimes it can also be very gory and tasteless. Take Maryann's dinner tonight where she serves a heart pie to Tara (shouldn't this actress win an emmy!?) and Eggs (shouldn't he win a Mr Universe, no body fat award!?). It's disgusting. I also find it gross when vampires mix sex with so much blood but that's TRUE BLOOD.
Sam has emerged from a serial killer suspect to a changling shapeshifter (he mostly settles on a dog but has also turned into an owl) HERO. Who's now a suspect again in a murder that was set up on him. Before I thought he was the killer so this show knows how to build and hold...and make you wait...I honestly thought he was the killer in season one. He wasn't but there was someone who you'd never expect. Anyway then I thought maybe he was a werewolf. I was the only one who guessed right from the start of his first apperance that OZ on BUFFY was a werewolf. It's in the forehead. Anyway, I thought the guy was a werewolf and the dog that followed him was just aware of it. I was wrong but he was a shapechanger. He's become a great character.
Then there's all the extra side characters,many of whom are more interesting than the three leads but the three leads should not be short changed...they are great, too. The teen girl who's a vampire and a virgin for eternity; Layfette, the homo sexual who is a dealer in vampire blood and who's been kidnapped by vampires; and...
the digusting Maryann. Can a villainess be any worse than she is? Think of a female version of JR Ewing mixed with Alexis Carrington, the demon from the Exorcist, and Sharon Stone from THAT movie. And she's worse. Some kind of demon/demi god with Greek origins in myths or something, she's just awful and horrible and evil but thinks that it's good. And she's powerful. And gross. She brings in a dead rabbit, controls people to have sex with trees and each other when they don't want to, has links to shapechangers and ...pigs and goat masks and sacrifices and she's anciently ancient. NONE of the things in DW have a handle on her. She's truly horror personified and how the characters are going to extricate themselves from her will and her powers is beyond me. Scenes with her and her influence on the others almost make me sick!
The show is not for everyone, obviously. Bill and Sookie's love is central and the maker of Bill...an Angelique like vampiress is truly the scariest vampire I've ever seen just in the way she's portrayed, especially in the flashbacks of season one but season two's as well. Chilling. Then there's Eric and then there's the main sheriff/judge...and complications galore for all of them.
Sookie's brother is played by SUMMERLAND's Ryan Kwanten with a reckless, feckless, innocence with a lot of sex and sex appeal and charm. And he's not too smart but this doesn't effect the character's usefulness and the audience's heart goes out to him...mostly. He makes some poor choices in girlfriends and yet he has a heart of gold for a gay vampire that his girlfriend killed in the first season.
Then there;s Eric: the sheriff in the area that Sookie is in. Wow. So many characters and so many ways they can all interact and go and the ways that are depicted are so...well presented most of the time. I could do with a little less heart chewing, neck kissing/biting blood all over while smoohcing scenes but that's TRUE BLOOD, take it or leave it. Like BIG LOVE, DEXTER, and WEEDS but mostly BIG LOVE, you never know what is going to happen next and that's riveting TV.