This series is based on the Southern Vampire Series aka Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris. I have in fact read all of the books , and they are written with imagination and southern flavor that could only belong to Charlaine. Both shocking and inviting, filled with vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures these novels are paramount for urban fantasy.
The show however, plays out a little differently than the books. Despite the difference the show like the books is addictive. Like Vampire blood for the soul. Or chocolate. Alan Ball has brought his own creative genius to HBO with True Blood.
The action takes place in Bon Temps, where we meet Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin) a telepathic waitress at Merlotte's. She is sassy, loyal, kind, and determined to take care of herself. Unfortunately she's suffered a lot of loss, her parents died when she was young, her Gran (played by Lois Smith) was murdered by the vampire hating psycho Rene in season one. Most people don't know what to make of her because they know she's different, but not sure how. But now some vampires know more about her, and they're going to try and use that to their advantage.
The vampires have come out of the closet, scoring fans and haters alike. She falls for a vampire named Bill Compton (played by Stephen Moyer), the fact that she can't hear his thoughts as opposed to the constant "blah blah blah" is a welcomed retreat for her. He is a mix of southern charm and danger which both excites and concerns Sookie and me. The way he says her name just sticks with you. So, when anyone else says it. It's just not right. He has to say it. Except, in one episode where she's imitating him saying it. That was funny and pretty darn close. Basically though, they have chemistry, romance, and some major issues when it comes to honesty and she doesn't like being kept in the dark.
I think Jason Stackhouse (played by Ryan Kwanten) lacks common sense sometimes, but you can't help but be charmed by his "dopey" antics.
Sookie's best friend Tara Thornton (played by Rutina Wesley) has been through some serious hell. Alchoholic mother, maenad psycho mentor, boyfriend was murdered, and she was kidnapped by a sociopath vampire. No wonder she's so bitchy.
Then there's Sam Merlotte (played by Sam Trammell), the owner of the bar where some of the cast either works, or frequents. He is a shapeshifter, which is pretty awesome on its own. He's been in love with Sookie for a long time, but for now accepts that its not going to happen. He's just met his real family. They are quite something, something he should have left alone.
One of my favorite characters is Tara's cousin Lafayette (played by Nelsan Ellis) he is as sarcastic as they come. He cracks me up, His body language, his pazazz, and his "Deal with It" attitude. Yeah, he owns who he is. Finally, it seems like he has found a little more than a boy toy in his mother's nurse Jesus. He was also kidnapped by a vampire, that family has no luck.
Then there is Eric (played by Alexander Skarsgard) vampire Sherrif of Area 5, owner of Fangtasia, and viking in his former life. He has become infatuated with Sookie. He is one fine specimen of a vampire. This man reeks of testosterone. He knows what he's got, and he uses every bit of it to his advantage especially to avenge his murdered family.
Finally, for the moment anyway, there is Pam (played by Kristin Bauer) this vamp is stone cold awesome. Eric is her maker, and she would do anything for him. I think she packs an invisible whip because she dominates her role with ease.
Season 1 captivated my interest and held it through to the end. I must say I wasn't all that psyched about the Maryann plot (The actress Michelle Forbes did fine, I just wanted to kill her character myself many episodes before she finally bit it), thankfully there was the dash of Godric storyline meshed in there that saved season 2 for me. Season 3 however? Rocked. I love the whole mix/mash up of weres/vampires. In fact, Russel Edgington (Denis O'Hare) was superb, even though he went a bit "Jack the Ripper" after his soul mate died.
There are so many characters in this show that I adore. I think that's one of the reasons I love this show. You find compassion for characters you shouldn't. Relevance for ones that are normally just cast off and forgotten. The plot is constantly evolving into something bigger and better. And you just can't wait for a taste of the next season.