Blood and Sex! ENTOURAGE, FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, GENERATION KILL, and now...TRUE BLOOD: HBO has created another winner! How would I describe the show? Blood and Sex!
Those of you who have read the other reviews here may have noticed that poor reviews typically come from viewers who had first read (and loved) the series of books written by Charlaine Harris. I have also read the books (but only after I'd seen the entire first season's shows), and I can tell you...the HBO series is much MUCH better.
The first season of the HBO series is based upon the first Harris book, but the show has diverged quite a bit from that book, and rightfully so, in my opinion. The producers astutely veered away from the lightweight structure of the novels towards a darker, edgier vision. Let's hope they stay the course! I'd hate to see them return to the unsatisfactory "Romance Novel" flavor of the books.
One of the ways that the producers of the HBO series have improved upon the books is through the development of several intertwining plot lines that run through the episodes. The books themselves have only one main protagonist, Sookie Stackhouse. The HBO series have elevated the status of several characters who had *very* minor roles in the novels (such as Sookie's brother Jason, friend Tera, and Lafayette (who is almost non-existent in the books)) to that of co-protagonist.
The elevation of these minor literary characters is a GOOD THING, because it has allowed the producers to weave a much richer tapestry than one finds in the books. For example, Lafayette becomes a *much* more interesting and sympathetic character, and Jason's travails with sex and "V" (the street name of the hallucinogenic drug consisting of vampire blood) result in a death scene (not Jason's death) that I found visually riveting.
In short, the HBO series has taken the background presented within the books and has created a world that is much deeper and richer than that found in the original stories.
Finally...arguably the best opening credits of any TV show, ever (MADMEN comes in a close second). Great cast, great characterizations: more fully developed (and thus much more interesting) than those in the novels, and Anna Paquin gives an amazingly convincing performance as Sookie Stackhouse. One of the best shows of 2008 -- check it out!we're new fans to the show... We recently accidentally caught the show on HBO Series On Demand and just could NOT stop watching. All the episodes were one right after the other and we were glued to the television. We just could NOT wait to see what happens next. I actually only got to see the first 4 or 5 episodes because like I said it was accidental in the first place and we didn't know it was only until the 22 of December it was on Demand. SO, we cannot wait to see the full 1st season in it's entirety!! Yeah Sookie and Vampire Bill!! Although True Blood is really great....Moonlight will always be the best Vampire Love story ever told. I miss you Mick and Beth Forever in my heart!!True Blood is awesome... and so are the books! True blood will not disappoint! I started watching the show but hadn't read any of the Sookie books. Then, when the show ended I was so distraught of having to wait all the way until Summer 2009 (geez!) to find out what happens next that I ordered the books and read them all in a week. Granted the books and show are not identical they are each equally great. I could see how book lovers would be slightly disappointed since it does veer off in its own interesting way but overall this show is addictive and will keep you wanting more. The casting and acting is top notch and of course so is Alan Ball. So glad that HBO will continue to Season 2 and hope they don't leave us high and dry like they did in Carnivàle and Rome. The Books are Better, but Eric is HOT. I got HBO to watch 'True Blood' because I liked the books so much. I canceled my HBO subscription at the end of the season. I only kept it as long as I did because I could not get enough of Alexander Skarsgard, who plays Eric. ( He was also fantastic in 'Generation Kill'. ) He and Pam are what got the 2 stars.
The personalities of most of the characters are changed from the books, and mostly not for the better. Sookie, the main character of the books, has been warped into a bi-polar nightmare by the writers and mostly over-acted by Paquin. Important parts of the vampire mythology from the books have been left out and instead we get the "V" story line and the illogical "tribunal". Some great moments from the books are in the show but without the "glue" that tied them together the story often seems schizophrenic.
Pure camp and loads of fun! This show is amazing. Yes it is a vampire soap that takes place in hicktown USA, and that is what makes it so good. The characters, the town, and the storylines are just what I wanted to see. Emmy award winning TV? Probably not. Loads of fun, escapist, vampire filled fluff? Yes!!!