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TAC Reviews...True Blood

 

True Blood is a television series based upon the Dead Until Dark novel written by Charlaine Harris. The first season consists of 12 episodes each approximately 55 minutes long. The story takes place in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, and is set two years after vampires announced their existence to the world on national television.

 

True Blood

 

Vampires being flavour of the month a few years ago lead to the likes of Twilight and a thousand shit imitations, True Blood deals with far more adult based vampires, but when I say “adult” I mean pretty people simulating sex…[sigh]…however, before I start ranting I shall first set the scene…

 

Sookie (Anna Paquin) is a waitress who works at Merlotte’s Bar in Bon Temps. She is a telepath who struggles with hearing the thoughts of those around her all the time. Things change when a vampire named Bill (Stephen Moyer) walks through the door, Sookie is immediately smitten with him, especially considering that she cannot hear his thoughts.

 

Meanwhile Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is having sex with a woman who later mysteriously ends up dead. The police suspect he is a killer, and as things close in around him he copes by having more sex with random women and becoming addicted to V (vampire blood)

 

Tara (Rutina Wesley), Sookie’s best friend is also struggling with her identity and her abusive, drunk mother who believes that she might be possessed by a demon that compels her to drink.

 

So to summarise the first season, the humans characters are pointless, the majority of which are either stupid or just plain unlikable and showing the sex is done solely for cheap titillation, does True Blood do anything right??

 

Yes, it does…

 

True Blood Season 1 does have a couple of things going for it, and both revolve around the vampires that the show is supposedly about. To begin with Bill is an interesting character, and unlike Edward (of Twilight) he doesn’t brood and seems to be at peace with who and what he is. He survives mainly on Tru Blood, a substitute to real blood, but has no problem with drinking blood and killing people when he needs to. The second is the insights into the vampire world, a vampire named Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) is the sheriff for the territory Bill lives in, and consequently Bill has to do what Eric demands regardless of whether he wants to or not. The reason vampires revealed their existence is also left quite open because most of the vampires encountered don’t seem to relish being in the public eye.

 

Whilst the vampires themselves are interesting and carry the limelight when they are on screen, True Blood falls down is that it spends far too much time focussing on characters that have nothing to do with anything. Jason, Sookie’s idiot brother, gets into trouble mainly because he is such a moron and can’t keep his trousers on.

 

Tara, Sookie’s best friend, is a complete bitch with a massive chip on her shoulder. She treats everyone, except Sookie, like dirt. There is no way to connect with her because she is so thoroughly unlikable, and the audience can be forgiven for hoping that one of the vampires (or the killer wandering around town) chokes the life out of her.

 

Basically True Blood doesn’t know what to focus on and fills the majority of the 55 minute episode run time with drivel that is ultimately pointless. It shows graphic sex scenes that boarder on soft core porn, why does it do this?? Oh yes, to attract an audience that want to pretend they are watching something new and original but really just want an excuse to watch soft core porn. We are also forced to endure following Tara as she bitches and moans through the series telling everyone what to do and accusing everyone who thinks about talking back of being racist, I ask again, why?? I guess we are supposed to sympathise with her because her mother is an alcoholic but that does not give her the right to treat other people like complete dirt and playing the “race” card over and over gets really irritating

 

The most frustrating thing about True Blood by far is that the audience are only given brief glimpses into the vampire world, a world that seems interesting and a little bit different to what has been seen in vampire literature before. Regrettably the rest of the time is filled up with rubbish that the audience will struggle to stay awake through, and towards the end of the series Sookie’s constant whining will also start to grate on the audience’s nerves.

 

The vampires in True Blood are good and original, their fangs may seem to click out in the same way a pen does, but that can be forgiven. What cannot be forgiven is the amount of time taken up by irrelevant, boring, or pointless characters. Indeed if all of those characters were removed the entire series could be condensed down to about an hour or so, but it would have been an excellent hour or so.

 

For a new slant on the vampire genre, True Blood delivers the goods, unfortunately by filling the screen with the annoying or irrelevant people all the makers have done is create a show in which the audience watches pretty people getting naked and simulating unnecessary sex scenes or they watch characters they don’t really care about complaining.

 

Stephen Moyer is an interesting vampire (as are the other vampires around him) unfortunately he is not given the screen time his character deserves. The rest of the characters are pointless, irritating, unlikable, stupid or basically all of the above and whilst I have been told later seasons are better I have no interest in watching them, as a result True Blood gets a definitive Thumbs Down

 

 

2/10 - Basically True Blood is a decent idea with a creative lore that is executed very, very poorly, I don’t give a crap about the other characters and focussing so much on sex just gets on my nerves. Just like 50 Shades of Grey if you want to watch porn then go watch porn, don’t try and hide claiming you are into the story when clearly there is precious little actual story here.

 

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© Chris Sharman