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Sunday, June 26, 2011

TRUE BLOOD RETURNS



TRUE BLOOD returns to HBO tonight and you can color me excited! I recognize we are all hitting the high time where supernatural TV shows with themes of vampires, zombies, mutants, aliens and everybody else is due to suffer a cultural burnout any day now. As for me and the other “Truebees” I think we will survive just fine. Tonight kicks off Season 4 and while I won’t give away too many secret plot points (Witches? Check! Do Sookie and Eric hookup finally? Yup!) I’ll just say I’m psyched to see where the show is going next.

Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse.

Based on the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries series of book by Author Charlaine Harris, TRUE BLOOD hit the scene like a lightning bolt in 2008 and has grown in popularity exponentially ever since. Since Executive Producer and show creator Alan Ball optioned the show following his run on SIX FEET UNDER he has vastly improved over the stories in the books to create a mature, sexy show full of exciting plot turns and the high production value HBO programming is known for. Honestly I tried reading the books and got about through two and a half before giving up. The writing of the show is so superior to the books I’d say don’t bother with them at all unless you feel you need to. Every season has elements of the plot marrow of those books, but is vastly different overall.

True Blood does a lot of "viral" marketing heh.

The majority of the cast is back with star Anna Paquin as the telepathic fairy Sookie (now married to her costar) and Stephen Moyer as the brooding  Vampire Bill Compton.  Two of the main story arcs of season four will be Sookie's growing relationship with Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgaard) as well as her other suitors and usual enemies, plus some new ones. Although the series definitely has its moments that are too campy and silly for words, they are balanced perfectly by the sexuality and violence of the world of the greater ensemble cast. There are also underlying themes in the show such as racism, sexuality, misogyny, gay rights, ethical relativism, philosophy and politics which from time to time take over and give the program more emotional depth than your average show.  

Last fall at Boston University, The School of Communications welcomed in the shows’ Executive Producer Greg Fienberg to visit the school and host a presentation. He detailed how episodic television shows run during production, script writing and also to talked about the coming season. He also revealed some key insights to how the show continues to reinvent itself and grow which has added to its popularity. He talked about the how the roles of staff are defined and how intensive a show like TRUE BLOOD works behind the scenes. 


Another thing I really love about the show (and this is true of most HBO series) is the brilliant advertising and marketing campaigns leading up to every season has tied in perfectly and energized the fans. From the minisodes leading up to tonight’s’ premiere as well as the Twitter hash tag #waitingsucks that really suck (pun intended) in the fans. I predict as long as the show remains interesting it will last and considering the axing of many recent fantasy/sci-fi programing like V and HEROES last year, TRUE BLOOD is your destination for amazing story telling.   

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