Tracy and I recently finished watching the first two seasons of True Blood on DVD. I suspected we’d end up watching it sooner or later because it’s based on one of the vampire series of books she reads. I can’t keep them straight, but it’s not the Anita Blake books or the Twilight series, it’s the ones she calls the “Sookie Stackhouse novels.” If I’d’ve known that I would have been even less eager to watch the show than I already was. Back when the show first started, a couple of friends of held weekly True Blood parties, and wouldn’t watch Heroes because the two shows were on at the same time. I just thought they had no taste.

From what she tells me about them, I gather that the books aren’t particularly well-written. (That’s okay; I read a lot of junk literature, too.) Luckily, except for the character names, the location and general premise, the show bears little resemblance to the books upon which it is (loosely) based, to the point at which even Tracy, who has read the entire series of 10+ books more than once has no idea of what’s going to happen next. (It makes her angry when I refer to the books as “rough drafts” for the TV show.) If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, two years prior to the beginning of the series, the Japanese created a synthetic blood substitute. Its intended use was for medical purposes, but it turns out that vampires can subsist on it, too.

With the need to prey on human beings eliminated, vampires worldwide came “out of the coffin” (as they say on the show), and are now recognized as citizens. Not everyone accepts them, of course, and that’s where the conflict of the show arises. The True Blood universe is populated with shape-shifters and werewolves (although we have yet to see one) and other supernatural creatures; the main character herself is a telepath. What I like most about the show is that the vampires (most of them, anyway) are depicted as unquestionably creatures of evil.

I was concerned that watching 12 collective seasons of Buffy/Angel might have softened my view on vampires, but I am pleased to report that it has not. Although I did eventually (and reluctantly) come around to accepting Spike as a “good” vampire, my tolerance has not carried over to vampires in general (except insofar as I may be more willing to accept a “good” vampire if the writers set out to make him so). True Blood is like BtVS on steroids.

I can almost imagine that these two series take place in the same shared fictional universe but follow the development of two different races of vampires which exhibit different racial traits. The Sunnydale vampires’ foreheads go all crinkly when they attack, for example, whereas the Bon Temps vampires’ fangs are their lateral incisors rather than their canines as is usually the case. Hell, maybe the glowy “vampires” from Twilight are distantly related. Little by little, bit by bit, more and more of vampire lore as it relates to True Blood is revealed.

Season three is available on DVD on May 31. See you back here then (if not sooner).

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But where does Grampa from The Munsters fit in?
I think Grandpa is very much an "old country" kind of vampire. His forehead doesn't crinkle and he doesn't glow, but he can transform himself into a bat or a wolf.

I just got HBO last night, mostly so I could watch the new series, Game of Thrones. HBO onDemand has the first series of True Blood for available for viewing. I watched the first episode last night and I'm watching the second episode right now on my lunch break.

 

The jury is still out for me on whether I like this or not. I like the concept of the show. The two leads are likeable enough. The rest of cast however is quite unlikeable. They're all just so dumb and seemingly poud of it. It's hard to get past that.

I felt the same way about the characters at first, but if you keep watching, admirable qualities begin to emerge. Besides, it's the mixture of character flaws that make it interesting. The only one who is truly, gloriously stupid is Sookie's brother, Jason. I hope you continue to watch so we can get a discussion going while it's still fresh in my mind. Who are you counting as the second lead?

 

I consider Sookie and Bill as the two leads.

Right. I didn't think Bill emerged as a lead that early. There are a lot of other interesting characters you have yet to meet. Both seasons have their own overall story arc, season one's being the identity of the "fang banger" serial killer.

I've only watched two episodes. While Bill isn't in it that much I still consider him and Sookie the main characters. I find myself interested in their story but when they're not on screen I found my self zoning out of what was happening. I will likely keep watching at least the first season.

 

I will say I like the opening credits and the song, very fitting.

Tracy and I have a disagreement about the opening credits. Soon after they show the black and white footage of the kid in the clan robes, the frame disolves into a grinning redneck swining on a poarc swing. I maintain it's the same person; the producers od the show tracked him down in order to include a little "statement" in the opening credits. Tracy thinks I'm crazy. What do you think? (Not about me being crazy; about the possibility of the kid and the adult being the same person.) I even ran it for her in slo-mo. (She won't let me run the decomposing fox in slo-mo.)

 

Good soundtrack album.

I just watched the opening on youtube.I think the opening credits make enough of a statement without having that extra bit added in though. I'm going to agree with your wife and say that they aren't the same person. I never made the connection before. I will now for evermore wonder if they are the same person. This should be information that is easy to find. You can't be the only person who thinks that. Maybe you should email the creators?

 

What does everybody else think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxINMuOgAu8 Here's the video. I'm going to say it's not workplace safe.

Ok I looked it up on wikipedia here. There's nothing about the kid being the grown man. Still an interesting article about how the opening was filmed.

Wow!  I knew nothing about True Blood til I looked at that credit sequence.  I love all that old-South 'down in the Bayou' Swamp stuff.  That sets a great tone for the show.  Does it live up to it?  Also it's got Anna Paquin.  Also it's made by HBO.  All good things.

 

I'd say the kid in the Klan gear would be almost impossible to track down 40 years later.    It's good footage, rather than something from someone's home movies, so it would have been found in a TV stations stock footage with minimal background info.  (He probably ended up in the electric chair, or possibly politics...)  The guy on the porch seems very 'authentic' though, rather than an actor.  Maybe a friend/acquaintance of one of the creatives, or possibly a locally famous musician or character.

 

And popular culture's love of the vampire (if not Jeff's) shows no sign of waning.  It's been pretty ongoing since the lead up to Interview with the Vampire in 1994.  That's a long time for a 'phase'. Wonder what that's all about?

I just finished episode 4 and I'm starting to like the show more now. It may have been because the episode ended with my favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd song, That Smell.

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