It's a Vampire Thing

Yes, I have a fascination with Vampires. For the most part, folks grow out of this stuff when they get out of high school but for me, the vampire mythos has a lot more going for it than a bunch of sexy 100+ year old guys. Maybe it's because I started my love with the horror creatures started with Anne Rice but any way you cut it, I'm always on the lookout for a new take on the vampire. I've already talked about how much I loved "Moonlight" but I've been expanding my horizons.

Earlier this week I saw the first episode of the UK miniseries "Ultraviolet" and I'm not as drawn in. I'll see it, mostly because I recognize a few faces and the first episode was intriguing, but it's exactly the type of show you expect from the Brits: smart and understated. I usually like these so I'm thinking I was in the wrong frame of mind when I saw the first episode. I plan on catching up with this one over the next few days.

One show that I've really been looking forward to is Alan Ball's new HBO series "True Blood". Based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris, Ball's show takes place in a fictionalized present where Vampires have "come out" to the world - thanks in part to the invention of Tru Blood, a synthetic blood that fulfills all of a vampire's dietary needs. This particular story takes place in a Louisiana town and focuses on a Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress with mind reading abilities, her family and friends and a vampire named Bill.

The first episode was pretty interesting. I loved the opening few minutes before the credits but must admit that I'm still getting used to seeing Anna Paquin as "sexy" though I do love her mix of vulnerability and ass-kickery. As for Stephen Moyer as Bill - I'm not quite sure about him. He's no Mick St. John but there's a maturity to his character that I appreciate. What I'm having particular trouble with is how quickly their relationship has developed (2 episodes and they're dating) but I think that's something I can get used to. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out the connection between Moyer and another show I mentioned earlier in this post.

The real gems of the show are the supporting characters namely Rutina Wesley who had a fantastic introduction to film with this year's How She Move and who rocks the role of Tara, Sookie's best friend. The other stand out for me so far is Nelsan Ellis who plays the restaurant's gay cook Lafayette. He's loud and flamboyant and he makes me smile each and every time he's on screen.

I've seen the first two episodes and so far, I'm not completely impressed, mostly because the show defies my expectations, but that's also the reason I'll keep watching. I've loved all of Ball's previous projects so I'm expecting that this one will grow on me and HBO will give it a chance to do so. "True Blood" has been picked up for a second season!

Another thing I quickly want to touch on is the show's opening sequence which, again, defies expectation yet beautifully fits in with some of the themes and moods of the show. I've posted the video below. Be sure to check them out if you haven't seen them yet. If you're looking for a higher resolution version, one can be found at Digital Kitchen.


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