Thursday, 1 October 2009

I Wanna Do Bad Things With You

I was initially dubious about True Blood, the new vampire show from Six Feet Under's Alan Ball. For one thing, its timing smacked of jumping on the Twilight bandwagon for some easy money; for another, it appeared to have my beloved Anna Paquin (of Oscar-winning The Piano fame) cast as the blonde eye-candy.

From the first episode, however, True Blood subtly announces itself as the thinking person's vampire-based entertainment (granted, not that hard a sell, when you consider the competition). Set in the Deep South (and with the accents to match) its vamp situation nicely draws parallels with both civil rights and LGBT issues, from newspaper headlines such as 'Angelina Adopts Vampire Baby' to placards reading 'God Hates Fangs'. Introducing the best friend character as a Naomi Klein reader is cool, but pretty lazy characterisation, when you think about it- I still haven't forgotten One Tree Hill presenting Chad Michael Murray as a 'brooding serious type' by having him quote Shakespeare and Hemingway. Hmm.

On to the mightily photogenic leads: 100-odd year old Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) and the telepathic, cute-as-a-button Sookie (Paquin). If I didn't know the series was based on a book I'd think they'd given Sookie that ridiculous name just for how brilliant it sounds when Bill says it- 'Sookehhhh'. Moyer won my admiration recently by riling the 'Twihards' with an interview in which he dismissed that sparkly Pattison bloke as "a pussy... the diet coke of vampires". From the gore to the (fairly graphic, fairly frequent) sex, True Blood blows Twilight out of the water in the sexiness stakes. Throw in a gorgeous title sequence and great bluesy theme song, and I'm sold.

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