The Reel Deal: Take a bite out of True Blood

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 DEDRA CORDLE

My movie options for the weekend were extremely unappealing. I could go out of my way to find a theater that was playing the well-reviewed "Frozen River," or I could begrudgingly watch "Bangkok Dangerous," which looked monstrously stupid.

After debating with self for three minutes, blamed gas prices on not going to see "Frozen River" and decided to review something I was actually excited to watch; the new HBO series "True Blood."

Based upon the "Southern Vampire Series" by best selling novelist Charlain Harris, producer Alan Ball ("Six Feet Under"), brings to life her tale of the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress whom the residents of Bon Temps, La. think of as "crazy as a bed bug."

Sookie (played by Anna Paquin) doesn’t mind if people think of her as crazy, as long as they don’t know her real secret; that she can read their minds.

One day while at work, she notices that Merlotte’s Bar and Grill had just received their first vampire visitor (Stephen Moyer). You see, two years earlier, vampires "came out of the coffin" and are now fighting for the rights that every other citizen has. To quell the mortals’ fear that they will suck them dry, the Japanese have perfected synthetic blood, which satisfies all the nutritional needs of your average vampire, except the few bad apples who still like feeding from humans.

Sookie is drawn to the vampire Bill Compton not only because she cannot read his mind, but also because he’s extremely hot. Despite Moyer being a native of Britain, he can pull off a nice southern drawl.

In this show, vampire blood, called "V juice" is sort of a drug for humans. Drinking it enhances all of their senses and makes them healthier.

When resident trailer trash Mack Rattray (James Parks) eavesdrops on Sookie’s conversation with Bill, he and his wife plot to kidnap the vampire and sell his blood for profit, and for Mack’s V juice habit. In turn, Sookie hears their thoughts and saves her potential love interest from becoming really dead.

Not all of "True Blood" is about their blooming, unconventional relationship though. Sookie’s horn dog brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is obsessed with vampires, even though he hates them, and is the main suspect in the death of a few women in Bon Temps.

Sookie’s best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) can’t keep a job because of her mouth, and her boss Sam (Sam Trammell) can’t keep his feelings for Sookie to himself any longer, especially with the vampire showing mega interest in her.

Putting aside my grudge against HBO for canceling "Carnivale" and "Deadwood," I must admit they have another great show on their hands. Now, I’m willing to watch just about anything relating to the undead ("Blood and Donuts," anyone? Stupidest vampire movie ever.), but this show already has me hooked.

It’s mysterious, campy, humorous, fun, and best of all, quirky. I only had two small problems with the show, such as the accents of a few of the people (Paquin’s has improved from her days as Rogue), and her eyebrows. Strange, I know, but I think they need to be a darker blonde. They are so bleached they look almost non-existent. Other than those minor annoyances, I now have something other than football to look forward to watching on Sundays.

I only hope they don’t cancel it, as that would really bite.

I gave the new series a B+.

Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.

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