We caught the premiere of a new HBO television series, True Blood, this week, and, well, I was distinctly underwhelmed. Set in "backwoods" Louisiana, the series is based on the premise that a Japanese scientist has created a synthetic form of human blood. It's so close to the real thing that vampires can live on it, which means they can finally come "out of the coffin" and let us mere mortals know they exist.
Anyhoo, they don't see many vampires out in backwoods Louisiana, so when a vampire walks into the bar where she waitresses, innocent Sookie Stackhouse (and I swear to God that's the character's name) is interested. (Anna Paquin plays the unfortunately-named Sookie.) Sookie's no run-of-the-mill waitress, either. She can hear people's thoughts.
Needless to say, Sookie and Bill (and I swear to God, the vampire's name is Bill) are drawn to one another. That's the main set-up of the first episode.
Now let me rant for a minute. First of all, I thought there was waaaay too much sex in this program. There's a side plotline of Sookie's randy brother and his escapade with a woman (who, incidentally, has also slept with a vampire), which is all too graphic. I don't mind sexual content when I think it adds to the story, but it just seems really gratuitous here. I get the idea that vampires have been characterized as very sexual beings in the past, that it's part of the vampire mythology, but the sex in this episode wasn't focused on that. It was just regular old mortals being trashy.
Secondly, WTH is up with the names? Do they think people in Louisiana are all named crap like Sookie and Maudette?! (I swear, Maudette is another ACTUAL NAME of a character.) And some of the accents are really bad, which I guess I notice more because I'm from the South.
Based on my viewing of the first episode, I don't think that even Anna Paquin will be able to save this toothless thing.