Monday, August 16, 2010

True Blood: Season One

Think Northern Exposure for the South. With a twist of Twin Peaks darkness and mystery. Then add cliched dialogue and over the top performances a la Days of Our Lives. In all honesty, True Blood is everything good and bad about television. This series is truly a guilty pleasure if I have ever seen one.

Creator Alan Ball is still finding ways to cope with death among the living. Ball first explored this territory with the amazing Six Feet Under. I would be lying to say I wasn't hoping for something similar. A soap with depth. But, True Blood never really goes beneath the surface (no pun intended). There are attempts, conversations that come close. But, in the end, the show focuses on sex and death as innocence and sin. It's an interesting concept not fully flushed out.

All the actors are beautiful. With the exception of Anna Paquin. She maintains a pretty plain jane appearance throughout the first season. And, I kind of like this about her. Where the rest of the cast walks around in sized too small t-shirts, their abs and breasts hanging about... Paquin keeps her character a little more down to earth. I'd be interested to see if they glam her up throughout the series as she flirts with death and falls further into the sexuality of the vampire world.

The opening credits are a true delight. Images of Southern churches, swamps, and back woods dance halls fill the screen while a quirky dirty county rock song plays through the credits. Ball must really love his opening credits (see the Six Feet Under credits).

I don't find any of the characters really likable. And, that is what makes the show such a guilty pleasure. The bad acting and the silly story lines keep me coming back for more? If it weren't for the mystery running throughout the first season, I'm not sure I would have made it all the way through. Shape shifters, vampires, and other worldly creatures aren't quite my bag. But, somehow, True Blood grabbed my attention through all 12 episodes.


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