I have to say I was a bit sceptical about the whole vampire thing at first, visions of Buffy and countless other 'camp vamps' sprang to mind. But True Blood has adopted a really cool angle... It's set in the fictional town of Bon Temps in Louisiana, where two years ago, thanks to the invention of synthetic blood (called 'Tru Blood' which is sold in all the local bars and convenience stores and comes in delicious 'A', 'B', 'AB' and 'O' flavours!), vampires 'came out of the coffin' and are now trying to integrate in the community alongside the living residents! Some locals have welcomed the vampires, whilst others are very hostile, and want to rid the town of their newly acquired neighbours.
The central vamp is Bill Compton... about as un-vampire a name as you could get!! But I think that's the idea, as apart from the fact he's dead, Bill is a pretty regular guy! As the series goes on you get an insight into his life when he was alive. Born in the early 1800's, he was a citizen of Bon Temps, and fought in the Civil War. You also get to find out how he became a vampire. Bill seems to have an affinity with the humans, and much of the series focuses on his 'on-off' relationship with the leading lady of the show - the telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. However there are a number of story lines all going on, the most sinister of which is a mysterious trail of murders, which one by one are getting nearer and nearer to Sookie.
There is some lovely attention to detail in the series - one that particularly impressed me was that despite hailing from the same town, vampire Bill's accent is slightly different to the Southern drawl of the humans (as is his vocabulary). Bill is more 'Gone with the Wind' Rhett Butler than anything else... it's never mentioned during the series, but it's a nice touch, and as he hails from the 1800's it's probably spot on too.
It's a really quirky show (and I've intentionally not given away any of the main plots, twists and turns), and is complimented by a great supporting cast. It's got everything to keep you hooked and can switch from dark humour to horror to kinky sex in the flash of a fang!
The oddest thing for me though is the fact that the lead character is an Essex boy! Yup, vampire Bill, or rather Stephen Moyer, hails from Brentwood in Essex, just 20 odd miles from Piley Towers! "gor blimey it's bleedin' taters in them fackin graveyards today init".... well maybe.
I intended getting this post up a couple of week back before Channel 4 started to show the series (Wednesdays at 10pm, repeated on Fridays around 11pm). But as it turned out I've been feeling rather under the weather the last couple of weeks (hence the lack of posts), and didn't quite make it. Still, if you're not already hooked and you have access to all that 'on demand' malarkey, I'm sure you can catch up if you want to!