Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baby, I need fresh blood

“True Blood” is returning for season 3 tonight (see trailer here). The two previous seasons rocked, so I’m hoping I’m in for a treat once again. And if you aren’t yet addicted to “Blood”, here is why you should be.

First of all, I’m no vampire junkie. I don’t give a damn about “Twilight” and I often found vampires rather dull as characters – mirrors, silver bullets and coffins apply in every case. You can’t really go far from there. But in case of “True Blood,” – it’s not what the story is about, but how it’s told. Its opening credits alone got me hooked. It’s cool, addictive, thrilling, stylish and … veeeery sexy.

The invention of the synthetic blood substitute – True Blood – allowed vampires to live out in the open among regular mortals, since they no longer need to use them as food. Two years on after the sensational discovery, humans are still rather uncomfortable with their nocturnal neighbors. So when vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) walks into a small town bar in Louisiana, for a bottle of Red, he’s less than welcome.

However, he immediately catches the attention of story’s main character, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) – a cute little barmaid with a gift for reading people’s minds. It’s not that she has a thing for vampires (though some of her fellow humans do), but the ability to read minds is quite a drag when it comes to men – their thoughts quickly repulse you. Mysteriously, Bill’s mind is closed from Sookie. Must be love.

Like Sookie and Bill, every character of the series deserves attention. There is Sookie’s brother, Jason, constantly getting into trouble, by being in the wrong places at the wrong time and, usually, with his pants down. There’s Sookie’s friend, Tara – a brute of a lady, who cannot contain her temper and thus cannot keep any job or man.

Sookie’s boss, bar owner Sam, seems like a nice guy, hopelessly in love with his mind-reading employee, but he has his own weird secrets. The bar’s cook, Lafayette, is one of the coolest gay characters ever seen onscreen. He's intelligent, with great sense of humor, and, despite wearing makeup and fancy bandanas - a total badass.

On vampires’ side, new characters are being introduced one by one over the two seasons. But the most notable of them is Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) – perfectly sinister and obviously dangerous, but still likeable. In the end of season 2 we also get to meet gorgeous vampire queen played by redhead Evan Rachel-Wood. The fact that the gal used to date Marilyn Manson adds special charm to her character

“True Blood” is part mystery, part a classical Stephen King novel. The plot smartly mixes sex, drugs, racism, violence, ancient beliefs and religious fanaticism. But what makes a real difference in “True Blood” is that unlike common vampire stories, the bigger evil here comes from humans. It’s not about people vs. monsters. It’s about dark creatures who find it hard to fight their animal nature against rednecks - some of them good, others – driven by hate for everyone who’s different.

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