I am a bit of a late comer to the whole True Blood phenomenon. Like many I was originally of the opinion that it was just a Twilight rip TV series. Just another Human / Vampire love story.
Over the past couple of months I have crammed the first 4 seasons of the TV series and I am definitely a convert.
Yes there is the vampire love story, but this theme was present in the now legendary Buffy, and this is not remembered as being a soft tweeny love story. In fact the world of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) has some of the pain and humour of Buffy Summers’ exploits.
True Blood is a gruesome and often soft porn vampire drama, exploring the development of the vampire race as they try to integrate with humanity after an artificial blood substitute, TRU BLOOD, means they do not NEED to feed on humans. Vampires like Bill (Stephen Moyer, C4’s Ultraviolet) want to ‘mainstream’ and fit it with humanity, using the Tru Blood and only willing blood donors to survive. As I am sure you have guessed, this is not an opinion held by many vamipres.
On the route to the fourth season we have had vampires, serial killers, shapeshifters, werewolves and other supernatural beings. In 13 episode series this may seem like a lot to pack in, but the beauty of the series is that each episode runs into the next, without any ‘previously on..’ or pause for breath. The cliffhanger from each episode leads direct to the next, and this is even seen when the season beaks.
Due to this intense ‘soap opera’ type story telling mechanism the events of the first 3 series actually cover very little story time, and this is one of the reasons that the True Blood series 4 is a bit of the game changer.
Without revealing too much, although Sookie’s time line runs straight from series 3 to 4 a hear has passed for the rest of the characters. This gives all the characters a bit of time to grow past the first 3 series where their they have only have had a couple of months to develop.
I am very keen to not give too much away about the series as a whole, as I would hope that everyone can give the series a go with fresh eyes, but the other main game changer is that after 3 series of being asked ?What are you?? Sookie finally finds out what she is. Any earlier and this type of leap in the narrative would really stretch the already elastic reality created.
True Blood is an involving pacey dark, sexy and humorous mix and compulsive viewing. Now caught up with season 4, season 5 (due to start in autumn in UK) seems an age away, maybe not to reach for the Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels…