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True Blood the Complete First Season Blu-ray Review - -

Feature 10
Video 8.8
Audio 9.5
Special Features 7.0
Total 9.7
Distributor: Warner
Running Time: TBC
Andrew Bistak
Classification: R18+


True Blood the Complete First Season

Although vampire stories are a dime a dozen and some are quite cool, most modern interpretations on this classic myth are generally just "revamps" of stories already seen before. Thankfully, HBO's True Blood series manages to surpass some of the clichés that are associated with vampires and have created a truly definitive story in the 21st century. It should be noted that TRUE BLOOD is based on the novels by Charlaine Harris called the Sookie Stackhouse Novels which thankfully is a series of well-written books. The first season of True Blood mirrors the first novel which subtle differences.

Set in the backwoods of the fictitious town of Bon Temps in Louisiana, True Blood focuses on Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), an awkward young woman who has never fitted into society, probably due to the fact that she can read the thoughts of others.

Fortunately for Sookie, her life is soon about to change and on a strange night, a vampire (Steven Moyer) called Bill Compton works into the bar where she is working and from there, these two estranged members of society are intractably drawn together.

Although the story is set in the deep south, there are larger repercussions for society as Vampires are now part of mainstream society and after years of hiding and creating tales of vampire myth, these creatures have finally gained some acceptance, thanks to a Japanese company who have created a synthetic blood called "True Blood". This is in turn means that vampires no longer need to prey on humans, although not all vampires have embraced this "truce", whereas some still feel the bloodlust of their nature, whereas others, like 173 year old Bill Compton are attempting to "mainstream".

The creator and producer Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) truly transcends this series as so much is happening at once and the backdrop of this story is quite political at times, however the star of his story are the characters themselves which are likeable, interesting and extremely varied. The supporting cast of True Blood include Jason (Ryan Kwanten), Sookie's brother who is addictive to "V", vampire blood which causes strange changes to human from increased sexuality to increased senses. Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) is Sookie's boss who is overprotective of his employee and has a crush on her as well, however to compound the situation, Sam is hiding a dark secret. Tara (Rutina Wesley) is Sookie's best friend and confident, however her temper and issues with her alcoholic mother has made her a bitter young woman. And lastly we have Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis), a cook who works at the bar, is a road worker and is also a prostitute and drug dealer that keeps his worlds quite crossed. Wow? That best describes the variety in this series.

In terms of back-story which involves the Fellowshowship of the Sun, a group of Christian vampire haters and the American League of Vampires, a vampire collective or media presence in order to promote them positively, this becomes more prevalent in the last two episodes.

Of course the main theme that runs in True Blood, apart from the relationship between Sookie and Bill is the murder of various women in the town of Bom Temps who are fang bangers, humans that seek sex with vampires. Although at first the locals believe that Bill Compton is the perpetrator, clues lead to the murders being human.

There are a mixed number of genres running in True Blood that include drama, action, horror, romance and crime and from the very first episode, I was immediately drawn into this tale of bloodlust, murder and politics and nothing is what it seems in the town of Bom Temps. With some brilliant acting by all involved, Alan Ball has truly created the next memorable stage of Vampires and as Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the definitive vampire story of the 90's, True Blood is the definitive tale of the 21st century.

On Blu-ray, the video quality of True Blood is phenomenal and the attention to detail is amazing. The colours are vibrant, with realistic skin tones and some amazing use of lighting easily makes this the most impressive TV series on Blu-ray. There is some grain and artifacting but in its essence, it's perfect as is the audio with supports a cinematic 5.1 surround track. There are some interesting extras on the disc that include cast and crew commentaries that does give you a little more insight into the series itself and of course the enhanced viewing experience  that features some PIP goodness, maps, advertisements and insights from Lafayette. Interesting but no way as entertaining as the main series.

In conclusion, True Blood the Complete First Season is a truly momentous occasion for lovers of this genre and Alan Ball should be awarded for creating an interesting and very entertaining 21st century vampire experience that is not littered with tween stories, however gives the mature viewer a truly engaging experience. Just be warned, if your squeamish of blood or find sex scenes offensive, than I suggest you look elsewhere. My only gripe with the series is that the final episode is a little lackluster but still, it was a dark and sexually charged ride into madness.


Strange Love
The First Taste
Escape from Dragon House
Sparks Fly Out
Cold Ground
Burning House of Love
The Fourth Man in the Fire
Plaisir d'amour
I Don't Wanna Know
To Love Is to Bury
You'll Be the Death of Me


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