True Blood. Saw the drink ads all over LA and thought, "HBO promo". Then I heard the whispers -- show about vampires! -- and wasn't thrilled. Then saw the promo clips and thought, hmmm, seems kinda funny. It is Alan Ball. Okay, I'll watch.
Man, the pilot show was fatiguing. All that over emoting. All that hyper atmosphere. All those accents. All those weird people. And then there were the vampires.
The series is based on the vampire books of Charlaine Harris, which I hear is pretty good, which is a shame, because now I won't read them -- not with that lingering unpleasant taste of the series in my mouth. True Blood's hook is the relationship between a telepathic waitress and a vampire -- for those of you who don't know, vampires and humans can live together openly now because the Japanese have invented synthetic blood (oh, those Japanese! always looking for a marketing opportunity!), so there's no need for vampires to hunt humans, unless it's for fun. And unless it's in Louisiana. Vampire stories don't seem to interest writers unless there's a Romeo and Juliet component -- vampire longing for human longing for vampire. But if they're going for romance, the show's a little short. At the moment, where it's lodging itself is in the campy Gothic porno genre. Apparently vampires like to screw humans. For money (they pay, and they pay well). And it's violent. Go figure. (In the books, the theory is that human blood makes vampires horny. Okay.) Well, True Blood is on HBO, the porno channel without the money shot. Personally, I think HBO is secretly run by Puritans and they have a mission: to turn the human race permanently off sex, which on HBO is as tedious as it comes. Isn't anyone at HBO having good, emotionally rewarding sex?
Anna Paquin plays the telepathic waitress Sookie. She's really blonde and I hardly recognized her. I suppose she's a good choice because I've always found her a little spooky, even as a kid in The Piano. She's surrounded by the required chorus of good-looking guys. What's weird, though, is most of them look like Brad Pitt. Have you noticed that on TV, everyone looks like everyone else now? The first step to digitizing actors? Hey, listen, studio heads -- digitized actors will still have reps.