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10 reasons to watch True Blood

I admit it.  We got sucked into another great TV show.  And once again, we were a bit behind the times.  Although to be fair – this time it’s because we don’t have pay cable.  I’m going to justify it all by saying we just gave up two major addictions that have come to an end (Battlestar Galactica and Pushing Daisies).

Anywho, our new obsession is the vampire show True Blood on HBO.  The basic premise is that vampires have “come out” to live in modern society, because a Japanese company has found a way to manufacture synthetic blood.  This eliminates the need for vampires to feed on humans (in theory).  All of this sets up all kinds of subculture ideas – vampire bars, “fangbangers,” people who choose to drink vampire blood as a drug…it’s fascinating.

If you think you want to try it out, the whole first season is available on DVD (thank you, Netflix), and the second season is currently airing.  Sadly ScottE and I don’t have HBO, so we may be hunting down a friend with On-Demand, so we can camp out at their home for a day!  (Hey – you folks that have seen the show – no spoilers here, please!)

“But why should I care about this show?  It’s just another Twilight thing, right?”  Not so much.  Forthwith, I present:

10 Reasons To Watch True Blood

1.  It’s on HBO.

Sure, it’s pay cable, and that’s a downside if you’re budget-conscious like us.  But you know that for the most part HBO = quality.  This is the network that brought us Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under.  They are known for quality shows, memorable miniseries, and risk-taking.  Which leads me to…

2.  Lots of skin.

It may be a show that’s primarily about the interaction between humans and vampires, but they sure do have sex a lot.  A lot.

Lafayette3.  Gays as subtext and more.

In case you hadn’t heard, I am the gay.  It’s not like I just seek out gay content, but I appreciate it when I see it’s been done well.  On this show there is a clear analogue between how vampires are treated in society, and how gay people are in our own society (example – Vermont becomes the first state to legalize human-vampire marriages).  There is also a lead gay character named Lafayette, and he ain’t no fool.

4.  Fun accents!

The show takes place deep in the bayous of Louisiana, so the accents are thick.  For a Yankee that loves a good Southern accent, this is like heaven.  I done been walkin’ round the house talkin’ like it fer days.  In season 1 we even got a nice Cajun accent from Rene, which was awesome.

Photo courtesy HBO

Photo courtesy HBO

5.  Anna Paquin doesn’t suck (no pun intended).

This girl really, really should get on my nerves.  Her take on Rogue in the X-Men movies was most annoying, and certainly the worst part of them.  But for some reason as lead character Sookie Stackhouse, she just works.  Perhaps it’s her transparent, no-nonsense attitude.  Maybe it’s the accent.  Or is it that she got older?  I just know she’s fun to watch.

6.  The attitude!

When you take some sassy Southern gals and pit them against a bunch of hick rednecks, you get yourself some serious attitude.  And most of that is wrapped up in lead character Tara – a whole new kind of diva.  Love!

Photo courtesy HBO

Photo courtesy HBO

7.  Sexy men!

It wouldn’t be HBO without some hot beefcake.  And this show has it – take your pick.  Like your man a little gruff and mysterious?  Sam the bartender is for you.  Like him brooding and pale?  Bill the vampire.  Blond nymphomaniac?  Jason Stackhouse, c’mon down.

8.  Drama with a sense of humor.

I like a good drama and all, but what makes this show work well is it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  After every scene of mounting tension, we get some comic relief which could come from any corner – it might be Sookie popping up with her sunny disposition, Lafayette laying down some attitude, or blue collar Hoyt being sweet and clueless.

9.  Redefines the vampire myth.

Part of what makes all these vampire things so dreary is that it’s almost always the same.  What’s great about this show is it “debunks” many of the vampire myths.  Crosses?  No big deal.  Garlic?  A minor annoyance.  Sunlight?  Well…OK, that one’s still a serious problem.

10.  It’s all wrapped up in a mystery.

What has made so many new shows really spark viewer interest?  A good old-fashioned murder mystery that spawns the length of the season (Desperate Housewives being a pioneer in that respect).  True Blood centers around just such a mystery in season 1, and it won’t be a spoiler if I tell you it takes all season to find out who the killer is (and no, I didn’t suspect correctly).

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for season 2!  Could it have anything to do with Maryann?  (Who is so Admiral Cain from BSG, and the Oceanic spokesperson on Lost by the way.)

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