I’m traveling (yes, as millions were fleeing Hurricane Ike, we were actually flying to Texas) so I had HBO last night and managed to catch the first episode of the new Alan Ball vampire series True Blood. Well, sorta. Since there was a three year old girl we were trying to get to sleep in the same room, I had to watch it with the sound off and the close captioning turned on, and distractions forcing me to miss bits. So I cannot judge it completely and fairly.
The basics rules for the road here is:
- vampires can live on synthetic blood, and thus aren’t inherently a danger
- humans can get high drinking vampire blood, making that the drug of interest
- silver restricts vampires
At base, they’re vampirism this as an allegory for homosexuality. A very blunt allegory. Vampires are now “out”, and society is changing around that, but in the small town at the show’s cernter they don’t think they’ve had any vamps. Certainly, they don’t have any of those vampire bars like they have in the city. Folks like hooking up with vampires for sexual thrills, and their position in society and rights and freedoms are items of strong controversy.
The focus is on a bar in a small town where all the young folk are so good looking that series lead Anna Paquin (the only faced I recognized in the cast) is the ugliest one there. Anna is telepathic because, well, vampirism isn’t enough for a show. (But there aren’t werewolves. At least, as far as we know.) She’s the waitress serving when the hunky vampire stumbles into the bar, and when he turns into a vampsel-in-distress, she’s there for his rescue… and Things May Get Rolling For Them. Meanwhile, there’s violence and sex (and not just plain vanilla sex, aggressive topless bondage, so you really may want to sit between the television and the three year old you’re hoping will get to sleep, just in case she perks up and tries to look at the screen, at least that was my strategy) and plenty of good looking young people lusting after the person they do not have.
It’s not a drama one can take really seriously, but some of the young folk who populate it are likable enough that I could understand wanting to see what happens to them. However, I don’t have HBO at home, so I’ll be skipping this at least until it’s time to consider Netflixing the DVDs.