Thursday, September 4, 2008

Review - HBO - True Blood - Episode 1 - Strange Love

True Blood
Strange Love
Season 1, Episode 1
September 7, 2008
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 7 (10:30 p.m.), 9 (11:30 p.m.), 10 (10:00 p.m.), 11 (8:00 p.m., 2:30 a.m.), 12 (midnight), 13 (10:00 p.m.) and 25 (8:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Sept. 8 (8:00 p.m.), 14 (4:00 p.m.) and 28 (4:00 p.m.)

Episode Blurb:
Across the country, vampires have “come out of the coffin” following the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood. In Louisiana, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a waitress with telepathic abilities, falls under the spell of sexy, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) – whose thoughts she can’t read. After saving Bill from the Rattrays (James Parks, Karina Logue), a pair of ruthless “vampire drainers,” Sookie tests the limits of Bill’s gratitude when the two are left alone in the dark. Meanwhile, Sookie’s best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) goes to work for Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) at his bar and grill, while Sookie’s roguish brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) finds himself in hot water when a “fangbanger” with whom he’s been intimate meets a tragic end.

Written and directed by Alan Ball

My thoughts:
Sookie Stackhouse is telepathic and in a small town setting like Bon Temps, Louisiana, she stands out as someone to fear. When Merlotte’s, the bar she waitresses in, has their first vampire visitor Sookie is instantly interested in the difference there is between his presence and that of the living humans around them.

Bill Compton has returned home to his family’s old homestead and seems to be the first vampire to call Bon Temps home. Intrigued by Sookie and her ability to read minds, Bill sets out to get to know her better. Drawn together because of their differences, Bill is soon happy to have Sookie on his side when he nearly looses his undead life.

Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, has a way with women. His steamy nightlife and choice in partners has just gotten him into trouble with the law. Not surprisingly it barely puts a crimp in his style and hasn’t stopped Sookie’s best friend, Tara, from having an interest in him.

Created by Alan Ball and based on the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris, True Blood is unlike anything you’ve seen brought together before. There’s a bit of everything in the mix from the possibility of romance with a vampire, to the suspense of a murder mystery. Strange Love has an intriguing storyline to say the least, and while it follows a basic outline to the book series, seeing it in all of its action-packed and graphic glory was quite an experience. There are definitely some characters viewers will love, and those they’ll love to hate, but together they keep a balance that will keep viewers coming back for more even if they gripe and say otherwise. There’s a wide variety of accents and name pronunciations, but I’m sure that these little issues will smooth out as the episodes roll on. Tara (Rutina Wesley) was the biggest surprise with her flat-out obnoxious attitude that will have you laughing from the time she’s introduced. Sam (Sam Trammell) was another surprise with his behavior on the territorial side and just being so darn cute. True Blood is an adult series, and if you’ve read the books some of the scenes will surprise you, especially Jason and his escapades. While some viewers may find a few of the scenes extreme, they’re certainly within the context of the story. Pushing the limits is what life’s all about, and I’ll be back next week for more with episode two, The First Taste.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews


jessewave said...

Wow, Kimberly, what a great review.

Even someone as chicken-hearted as yours truly would want to take in a few episodes.

Kimberly Swan said...

Thanks, I thought the show was very entertaining. :)

It's not really frightening, it's just that the fighting scenes and the scenes with Jason and his lovers are on the graphic side. (which you'll

Amie Stuart said...

Great review--I watched and loved it too. I have to say I think Tara is probably my fave character (and I haven't read the books so I'm going in blind though I do intend to pick up the first one this weekend)

Kimberly Swan said...

Amie - Thank you! I think you're going to be surprised at how tame the book seems after seeing the show, but you should really love her writing. Thanks so much for stopping back and sharing! :)