The line between the vampire-haters and those more accepting of our blood-craving brothers and sisters has been drawn in HBO's long-delayed series True Blood. Set in the near future, it shows the uneasy peace between vampire and man after Japan finds a way to create synthetic blood called Tru Blood. It's been two years since the vampires have come "out of the coffin," when we meet our characters Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) a telepathic waitress, and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Click through for details from the first episode and pictures (including vampire at-home porn).
Based on watching the first episode, this vampire show has the angst of The OC, with lots of Bill and Sookie longing and looking at one another with puppy eyes. But with the scifi smarts of the X Files. It takes place where in a little town where vampire juice, Tru Blood is sold in quickie marts, and most humans have rarely even seen a fanger. Most stories of vampires are more urban legend, someone who knew someone's friend who drank vampire blood during Greek Week and clawed their face off. But sure enough, they're real and not just pretty and young.
Sookie and her gang of friends are all carving out a little existence for themselves in this small village. Which means jobs and bars and Wal-Marts. Pretty Sookie is saccharine and has a secret: she can read minds. Which kind of blows when you wear tight shirts and shorts to work at a gross bar filled with dirty men. Her love knows no bounds, and she is quite friendly to the stranger (Bill) that rolls into town and orders a cold one of Tru Blood, thus outing himself as a vampire. But such labels matter not to Sookie, and their courtship begins almost immediately.
It's later revealed that not only are vampires are the ones jonesing for blood, but some humans use it to get high or make themselves healthy. Bill gets suckered into a black market moment as two bar rats try to harvest his pints to make a sweet profit.
Sookie's brother, Jason Stackhouse, a bit of a slut, also dabbles in the vampire lifestyle. He meets a young lady who reveals that she is a bit of a "fang-banger" and had sex with a vamp for cash, and taped it. Within moments they've cued up the vampire porn and are reenacting it HBO sex style. The tape is scary and the vampire looks right into Jason.
The next morning the lovely vampire slut is deads-ville and Jason is arrested under suspicion of her murder, did the vampire porn make him do it? Sookie is upset, and but still mystified by the appearance of Bill: surely he'll be blamed for this murder.
One character we, sadly, did not get to meet in this episode was Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) the thousand-year-old vampire VIKING. Hooray for finally putting those to things together, HBO.
All in all True Blood is being handled more like drama and less like a horror series. I'm interested to learn more about what happened over the previous two years between the vamps and humans. As well as learning more about the Vampire Rights Amendment Sookie mentioned off hand. But the whole Bill and Sookie star-crossed lovers that society just won't understand, I could so without.