OK, confession time, I have never watched True Blood until recently. I have only watched the first season thus far. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Definitely moving onto season two. Matter of fact, I will probably end up doing a True Blood marathon, considering I just ordered the whole set of DVD's.
Characterization: They did a phenomenal job of casting this show. Its obvious to me that a lot of time and consideration went into the casting, because they really extracted the essence of Charlaine Harris's characters in the novels. But, I did notice several characters whose parts felt much more prominent than my recollection of the books, Jason, Lafayette, and Tara.
Now, Jason, I never really cared for his character in the books, so I probably skimmed over his scenes as fast as possible. He is the perpetual fuckup that Sookie has to endure because they're related. There isn't very much about Jason that's likeable, not to me. But, they really nailed his character in this first season. Still, I felt far too much screen time was spent on Jason.
Lafayette was awesome. I really regret that he died. I just loved the guy they cast in for his part, and, I really enjoyed how much screen time he received, but, I don't recall him being that big of a player in the actual novels. He was out there in the peripheral. In the books, I could barely even recall that Merlott's had a cook named Lafayette at the point that he was murdered. In the books, he was nowhere near as prominent or entertaining as he was in True Blood.
I really enjoyed him in the show, he brought some much-needed levity to every scene he was in. The man was funny, and so in your face. He was the quintessential aggressive gay male that makes homophobic southerners cringe. Loved him.
Tara was always that annoying friend who I tolerated only slightly more than Jason. So, I suppose, I may have skimmed over her parts in the novels. Tara had way too much screen time.
This story is about Sookie, and the vampires, and yet, this first season felt like it was about Tara and Jason more than anyone else. It started off so awesome, with Sookie and Bill, and then it all slid downhill into Tara and Jason.
My biggest gripe is that the main focus, the plot and characters of Sookie and Bill, felt drowned out by Jason and Tara.
The Vampires: Bravo to the producers of True Blood for giving us vampires that feel exactly like what they are supposed to be. These are predators, and humans are prey. They feed from us and use us, and we are nothing more than cattle to them, for the most part. True Blood vampires are the real deal. Its such a breath of fresh air to have these creatures given their due. I give a big fat Siskel & Ebert two thumbs up for the vampires.
The Sex: This has got to be the first time ever in the history of film-making where the movie enhanced the sexual components that were almost non-existent in the book. Charlaine Harris doesn't write a sex scene. She writes fantasy-thriller with a splash of romance. There are no explicit sex scenes in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Are they implied? Sure. But there's nothing erotic about these novels, not even so much as an erotic little pinky toe. I was very surprised to see how much screen time the sex scenes got, considering they didn't really exist in the books. Charlaine glosses over her sex scenes.
You don't believe me?
I write sex scenes, violent, animalistic, erotically charged sex scenes. You're going to have to trust me on this. Read some erotica, then read Sookie Stackhouse, you'll see what I mean.
And, they didn't fuck around about it in True Blood. Right out the gate, we get to see a vampire sex scene that is just as intense as any hardcore porn ever produced. The only thing missing is the penetration camera angles.
True Blood made up for all those missing sex scenes, and then some. Its like the screen writer realized sex was the one thing that Charlaine Harris had left out of her books, then dived in to correct that problem right away.
Even though I whined about this and that, do not be fooled, I did enjoy the show.
True Blood, Season 1, gets FIVE FATASS STARS FROM ME: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★