In a nutshell: Flesh, blood and some steamy southern shaggin’
Popcorn rating: 4/5
Hide your children! Lock your doors! Wear a scarf! We’re all doomed! Vampires are out in the open and stalking the earth. But don’t worry too much. They sleep all day, which makes them a little less scary. Oh and yeah, rather than queuing up in your local 24 hour Tesco with a six pack of O negative, they all seem to be congregating in the southern states of America – and who can really blame them? Considering the number of magical creatures, sexy clichés, and general gorgeous nakedness currently rampant in Bon Temps, Louisiania – who would want to be anywhere else?
True Blood Season One arrived on our tellyscreens a few years back, riding high on word from the US and unashamedly packed full of sex and lust and nakedness. It was trash TV and it was compulsive viewing. The kids had Twilight but True Blood, well, it was for grown-ups. See, in case you don’t know it yet, True Blood has a lot of sex and nakedness. And then a bit more sex. And nakedness. What’s not to love?
Season one centred on saccharine sweet homegal Sookie Stackhouse who fell in love with dark and deadly vamp with a conscience Bill Compton. As if the redneck yokels disapproving of the mixed relationship wasn’t headache enough, some local vamp loving strumpets were getting topped by a serial killer – and with Sookie’s new penchant for sex in graveyards and what not, it seemed her days were numbered. That’s the crux of it, a cliff hanger packed, sex filled, supernatural thriller.
However, where True Blood really wins is with its side characters who easily eclipse the starring couple: Lafayette, bejewelled chef/road worker/V dealer with attitide; his enraged mouthpiece of a cousin Tara; dumb hottie Jason, to name but a few. Even gramps was a sassy old bird, cooking up trouble with her pecan pie. Package that all up in the sweaty, sultry heat of the old south and up the pacing, with mere days seeming to have elapsed in Bon Temps across the entire season , and all you could say after each breathless show was – shall we watch the next one before bed? Sinking your teeth into True Blood was perfect escapist fare.
Season two started off strong, with some biting, bitching side characters getting the screen time they deserved. Saxon Viking vamp Eric got his hair cut, stripped off and grew a whole new fan base; his cold hearted sidekick Pam stole every scene she sashayed into and vampire teenager Jessica exploded on screen with a potent mix of teenage hysteria in a new blood sucking body. Her burgeoning relationship with momma’s boy Hoyt was a delight while Jason’s foray into religion was equally compulsive – especially when Sookie turned up unannounced.
Season two also saw True Blood slip into the worlds of other magical creatures with so-so results. While the Texas vampire battle was thrilling and the sex tempo went off the scale after smug Sookie drank some of Eric’s claret – the arrival of maenad Maryann back in Bon Temps dragged on and on before tipping the whole thing into too much weirdness.
Season three kicks off mere minutes after the cliff hanger ending of the second and, thankfully, Maryann is relegated to memory. This season sees the supporting characters given room to breathe and grow, sidelining Sookie and the increasingly prudish Bill, with their scene stealing antics. A few new folks are thrown into the bloody mix too with freaky English vamp Franklin and the werewolves gang opening up opportunities for more gorgeous characters to strip off. Once again the pacing is spot on, with barely anytime for poor lil Sookie to clean up gramps’ house before being whisked off to solve another mystery. Overall, series three seems to be back on terra firma after a mediocre series two, with the question we all want answered being – how long till series four?