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September 21 2008

(SPOILER) True Blood namechecks Buffy. Go read the story..

Nice to see a show like this one having the tongue-in-cheek guts to reference ANOTHER tv show about a tiny blonde girl with superpowers involved with vampires--LOL!

Yeah..this week's episode just convinced me even more of how much 'True Blood' is -not- 'Buffy.' The reference just drove it home.
Yeah, it's not Buffy. But still--they keep canceling vampire shows. I need some teeth in my TV. Thank heavens Supernatural is still on.
It's certainly not Buffy but I'm loving it more with every episode. Sam wants Buffy or Blade to come to town, and eliminate his personal problems. That he would have had even if there were no vampires (love that Tara calls him on that).
I'm watching but really, read the books, much much better, especially after the first 2 the series takes off. It would have been great if the TV series could have had Bubba { I won't spoil just in case he shows up}

Anyway, I have hope the series will pull itself together. I know it's HBO but they are pushing the Jason SEX way too much! I really don't need 15 minutes of nekkid Jason in every show even if he does have a amazing body.

Seriously, this show really has nothing to do with any of the Buffy themes.
Well, TV lacks sci-fi hotties. I miss Captain Kirk.

[ edited by Hope on 2008-09-22 06:21 ]
Seriously, this show really has nothing to do with any of the Buffy themes.

It does and doesn't. I haven't read the books, btw, but the show's making it clear that the whole pop culture about vampires exists in its universe. Buffy and Blade exist as fiction. I think that some of the Buffy themes are definitely still going on here. And I guess I never get tired of them.
That was a fun reference. And "Sookie's kookie" - owy zowy.
.I'm going to spoil the reference in the description below...

Unfortunately that gets picks up in our RSS feed now so I've removed it so people won't get spoiled elsewhere.
Hey, Simon...I didn't get a warning about the extended description showing up in RSS readers when I posted. Maybe some kind of warning to not put spoilers up at all? It said to not spoil in the description, but to put spoilers in the extended description. I saw my spoiler in my own RSS feed, as a matter of fact. What can be done about that?
I really want to like this show (because I also need some teeth in my TV) but Sookie's infatuation with whats-his-name annoys me. So she falls for the first vampire she sees... how original.

I miss Buffy's conflicted relationships!
Based on the casting information and having read the books, I highly doubt that Sookie's relationship(s) will stay un-conflicted for long.

Oh and here is a second vote for Bubba.
Inarguable point in my opinion: Buffy after three episodes was no better off than True Blood is after three. Think back to how much plot, relationship-building, and character development you got in those first three episodes of Season 1. I think they're on pretty equal footing so far. Have some perspective.

Vinity said:
"I really don't need 15 minutes of nekkid Jason in every show even if he does have a amazing body."

I don't either, but I appreciate the constant eye-candy and Kwanten is doing an awesome job at playing him, so I can't complain.

Also, I think the sex-in-every-episode has a purpose so far. Jason's character is sex, his ego is completely dependant upon it. It looks like he's threatened by vamps moving in on his territory (they're stronger, more virile, the women he keeps up with are messing around with them). Partly that, and he also may be obsessed to the point of being curious about wanting to either be with one or become one. Interesting to see what comes of that. We've seen flashes of how Jason perceives himself in each of his sex scenes (imitating what he saw on the sex tape with the faux-strangling of Maudette, pointing at himself in the mirror with Dawn, dressing up and acting out with Dawn, etc).

Irrel, it's not that she fell for the first vampire she saw. It's that she fell for the first person who's mind she can't read, which is understandable given the problems she's had by with the men she's dated who's minds she could read (although from what we've been shown, the telepathy helps weed out the creeps and in-denials, so it can come in handy sometimes, despite putting her at a distance from most of the rest of humanity).

I think it's a little early to imply that True Blood doesn't have conflicted relationships. I'd say Tara's hang-ups over her best friend's brother, Sam's hang-ups, Lafayette's unique situation (how often do you see a matter-of-fact portrayal of a male prostitute-on-the-side with the character also being a lot of other things besides that), and Sookie being rightfully cautious of Bill especially after the events in tonight's episode, qualify the show for featuring "conflicted relationships".

I don't really feel the need to compare this to Buffy. They both have strong casts, that's all they really have in common. Buffy wasn't a vampire show, it was a show that happened to feature two or three main vampire characters and the odd villain (barely any after Season 3 of Buffy. Barely any that counted, anyway). If you wanna put Buffy into a "creature genre", it was about Lovecraftian-inspired demons and (moreso on Angel), a new crinkly forehead of the week a la Star Trek's make-up effects for its aliens-of-the-week. Of course the shows were about way more than their plot-of-the-weeks, but on the surface, I'm just trying to say that the shows aren't that alike (so far). True Blood definitely looks to be exploring its vampire mythos in more depth, as there may not be as many "other" creatures in this 'verse.

People get too up in arms about "their" show being better when a new one comes along and the media gives all their attention to it (maybe justified in the case of something that outright sucks, like Moonlight).

I know a few folks here saw the leaked pilot during the summer, but apparently they cleaned it up a little (and re-cast Tara) and the second episode was far better (as seems to be agreed upon in our discussions at and other online sites I hang out on that're way more prone to complain than us). Episode 3 tonight was great as well. TV review columnists got to see the first five episodes in advance before the season started and word is that the series really takes off with Episode 4 and 5 (I'm enjoying it just fine as of now though).

I urge anyone who only tried out the first episode to give it another try, there's definitely something there.

My criticism so far: we've alrady had two Sookie dreams about going to Bill for comfort and/or sex that turned out to be fake (one obvious, tonight's seemed like it was gonna turn out to be real though, to me). We get so many actual Sookie/Bill scenes, and the hour flies by pretty quickly, I could do with less of Sookie's dreams (her flashbacks, on the other hand, tell us a lot more about her and entertain me more).

[ edited by Kris on 2008-09-22 09:18 ]
I like "True Blood." I don't think it's especially like "Buffy," except for the blonde heroine with *a* power being interested in a vamp and vice-versa -- that's hardly all *either* show is about, and the other stuff they're about and their tones are wildly different from one another, even though both have humor, romance and drama. And Lafayette is certainly an interesting (and very well-acted) wild card -- the character exists in the books, but not nearly so prominently.
Maybe some kind of warning to not put spoilers up at all? It said to not spoil in the description, but to put spoilers in the extended description.

Caroline has taken care of that.

I saw my spoiler in my own RSS feed, as a matter of fact. What can be done about that?

Should be ok now touch wood and all that.

Does anyone know if True Blood has been picked up in the UK? I'm intrigued by what Kris has said about it.
I really want to see True Blood. Pity the show hasn't been picked up by any of the Australian networks; and I suspect it probably won't be anytime soon.

But still--they keep canceling vampire shows.

You'd be happy to hear that HBO has already ordered second season of True Blood.
I wish I had HBO to watch this. But from all I've read, it sounds as if it's staying very loyal to the books. I've read all the books, and I've really enjoyed them. :)
I quite enjoy this show, and lord help me, but it's Tara who I find most appealing. Again! That is one sassy woman. And Sookie is just, well, cute. This is not Buffy, and it's not trying to be Buffy, and we all know that Buffy will always be the sine qua non of all vampire shows, so comparisons are always going to be made, but this show lacks the cultural insights that Buffy had and simply needs to be taken for what it is, a good and enjoyable- and sexy- escapist show.

ETA: riy- HBO On Demand will broadcast the shows for free, and I believe they will soon put episodes online as well.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-09-22 13:18 ]
What spoilers? Nothing new in that link.
Bill, looking every one of his over 140 years ...

Glad the reviewer liked the show, but this makes no sense at all. He looks like what he was when he died, a handsome 30-year-old, or whatever age he was.
Both the Buffy and Angel television shows exist in the books. Sookie owns some of the Buffy episodes. The Whedonverse is very much part of pop culture in her world.

I like the books a lot. And I'm hoping for Bubba too.
True Blood isn't trying to be Buffy. It's quite different, and I actually like it now that they fixed the pilot. In fact, after last night's episode, which I just finished watching, I think I'm addicted. Loved the Buffy shout-out too.

ETA: Does anyone else think it's funny that the only person Sookie can't read is Vampire Bill (and, I'm assuming, other vampires), and when Buffy could read people's thoughts in Earshot, the only thoughts she couldn't read were Angel's?

Sam wanting Buffy or Blade to come to town to take care of Bill is funny, because in the Buffyverse, Bill would be a vampire with a soul. The most Sam could ever hope for would be for Buffy to fall in love with Bill and steal him away from Sookie. ;)

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2008-09-22 19:08 ]
I haven't seen the third episode yet (I will soonish), but I disliked the pilot (apart from seeing promising possibilities for future stories) and I liked-not-loved the second episode.

What looked like a silly juvenile 'girl falls in love with mysterious vampire and makes him the centre of her world for no apparent reason other than that he's possibly hot' story, turned out to at least have some deeper layers and while the pilot didn't do a good job of selling the characters and their story, the source material apareantly does, which shows in the next episode.

If the reactions in this thread are anything to go by, I'm happy that the rising line is continuing. I'm thinking I'll probably end up really liking the show.
You know, some folks 'round here, whose opinions I value highly, absolutely hated the pilot, and I can respect that. But, I'm finding myself getting sucked in to this show more and more (heh, I said, "sucked"), to the point where someone called me on having a fake southern accent the other day. (I unwittingly mimic accents, real or otherwise, when I'm exposed to them.) I have not read the books, so I don't know where True Blood is heading, but I'm liking the ride more and more with each ep.
Buffy fell in love with the first vampire she saw in the TV series, too :)

I actually like "True Blood" so far. The overt and gratuitous sex scenes get annoying, but Jason's situation is getting so dang freaky it's hard to argue with them -- it just keeps piling up on him. Was Jason in that first scene of the series?

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-09-22 20:53 ]
The book on which the series is based is entertaining and not too deep. The show is entertaining and not too deep. I like it so far. I would rather have a third season of Deadwood, but for what this is, it's well done.

One way in which the show actually improves on the book is by making it obvious why Sookie regards her mind reading as a disability rather than a talent.

I agree with the reviewer that Bill looks like he's been dead for a hundred years, and I don't think he's particularly handsome. I'd pick Sam over Bill any day, if he weren't my boss.

OT: I started a topic in on Sons of Anarchy (FX). Isn't anyone watching that show besides me?
I love this show- its filled with Faiths! the HBO part of it is a little embarrassing, but I can always look away really loudly. its the only thing I watch... well except for americas next top model, of course.
KingofCretins asked:
"Was Jason in that first scene of the series?"

Nope, the teaser in the premiere showed characters we haven't seen since. A college couple (I guess that guy looked a little bit like Jason), the clerk, and the "Good ol' Boy" vamp that was buying his synthetic blood (True Blood). It was just there to, well, act as a teaser I guess and give us a glimpse of the setting/awareness of vamps before we were introduced to the main characters.

Dana said:
"...this show lacks the cultural insights that Buffy had and simply needs to be taken for what it is, a good and enjoyable- and sexy- escapist show."

Yeah, it's good escapism (any show is, really, regardless of how deep and dark it sometimes goes), but I fail to see how it lacks cultural insight. Seems to me we're getting plenty so far, as hammer-happy as some of it might be. Again, you have to put it in perspective--True Blood at only 3 episodes so far, versus 12 seasons of the Buffyverse. There's no telling how much or how little cultural insight we're in for. I know Alan Ball is having fun with this show, and he's admitted that this is lighter fare after the "exhausting existentialism" (his words) of Six Feet Under, but he's also stated in interviews that there'll be the usual exploration of the human condition. I trust him, given what he provided in all five seasons of his first series.
It is way better than I thought it would be, I'm glad to see its being watched and given a chance to expand. There's plenty of room now to develop characters. I'm very interested in Sookie's "handicap", and how it affects her and others. I think there's already more to her than just "cute."
I have now seen the third episode and think it was the best one on offer so far, although the pacing was a little off, having most of the story dynamic at the beginning and end of the episode, and a lot of long conversations in the middle. Then again, the conversations did engage, as they gave a lot more insight into the characters (a job the rather shabby pilot failed to do) and gave more nuance to the factions on display.

No longer is Bill just the good, mysterious vampire-lover, he's also a willing part of a violent and evil world, with ties to that he can't cut. And he could've "helped" Sookie a lot sooner at his apartment, should he have wanted to.

I also like what they're doing with Sookie, showing not just a helpless girl in love with a big, strong, dreamy vampire, but showing a strong, independent, smart girl (who, is - yes - influenced by her hormones, but doesn't that go for everyone?).

I love how 'walking and talking penis' Jason is having problems, and how his hate/obsession/complex-vampire-thing is evolving. And I really liked how natural that 'one time sex deal' with Tara and what's-his-name happened. And they had a nice conversation too ;).

All in all, this third episode introduced more layers and is slowly tranforming 'True Blood' from the rather underwhelming pilot to a show I could really start to like, exploring - as they say - 'the human condition' through interaction with non-humans, which as a concept may be old, but is used in interesting ways here. I'll keep watching :).

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