Sunday, May 18, 2014

True Blood vs Sookie Stackhouse Novels a #Review and Comparison #Vampires #ASMSG

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:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


  1. I read an interview with Alan Ball (creator of the TV show) who said he expanded the other characters' parts to make filming the series easier. He said it was unrealistic to have the show from only Sookie's perspective like the books because it meant Anna Pacquin would be working 24 hours a day while everyone else sat around.

    I liked the series a lot at first. You thought the sex was hot in season 1; wait until you get to season 2. The series went downhill majorly after Alan Ball left though. I couldn't watch the last season. He filled in the parts which Charlaine Harris left out. She fully admits she's a short writer and always turns her books in under page count. Alan Ball filled in those sections, and honestly some of his ideas were better than hers. She's lucky to have found such a creative person to adapt her material. Other adaptations have not been done as well. Eragon anyone?

    1. I just hit the halfway mark in Season 2. Its pretty entertaining so far. So laugh-out-loud moments, and SURPRISE! Lafayette isn't dead! I really liked the fact that they kept him going, but, it changes things quite a bit.

      I guess this is where the show really starts to deviate from the books, because the way they are handling the Maenid is pretty weird too. So, this thing has a unique story all its own, almost independent of the novels.

      And yes, Eragon was such a poor adaptation. If you want to make another example of a wildly popular book that went to film with horrible production outcome, THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY.

      Fans of the books were willing to tolerate the film, but, the rest of the world did not.


  2. I have been bing watching True Blood. I never read the books. I am up to 4 in Season 6. I liked the season that Eric forgets who he is the most. Remember HBO is known for having lots of sex. ; )

    I did google the last book to see what they said and how it ended. Fans were not happy. I got the "she just got tired" feel. My friend who read all of them up to a point didnt read thr last one and she said the ending she read about would have ticked her off.

    Yes the second season starts thr divergence from what I understand. In the book some dead folks are not dead like on the show.

    I even got the theme song from the library lol.

  3. I began reading the books just as it was released as a HBO show. The actors and screen characters are very strong and the screenwriters have done an excellent adaption often merging plot lines for different books.

    I've enjoyed reading and watching both in tandem and the show holds its own - looking forward (and not looking forward) to the final season this year.

    I often like to spot the differences, but I had not spotted the difference between the sex scenes - what's wrong with me?

    I am amazed it had not drawn you in until now.

    1. I have long enjoyed the books, and I always said to myself, "I'm gonna watch True Blood someday."

      But, we don't get into cable TV, we stick with Netflix and DVD's, and now we stream video via Google Chromecast and other devices. I have shunned cable TV for years, and so I missed out on True Blood.

      No more I said. I bought a box set of DVD's on ebay, and now I am totally hooked, just as bad as I was ever hooked on the books. LOL.

      And yes, they each hold their own, but, honestly, I am liking the show more than I enjoyed the books, which is usually the reverse for me.