Skip to main content

"True Blood" to Remain True to Books, Says Alan Ball

Don't expect any blue light, contact lenses, or opera music in the upcoming HBO vampire drama series True Blood. So says creator Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) who won't be using any of the familiar vampire cliches in his new series, based on Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire novels. (For my advance look at the first two episodes of True Blood, click here.)

What Ball does want is to appropriate Charlaine Harris' use of the supernatural as utterly mundane and accepted by the general population, now that vampires have "come out of the coffin," as it were.

While he'll be hewing closely to the plotline of Harris first novel, "Dead Until Dark," which introduced telepathic waitress Sookie Sackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her vampire paramour Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), Ball plans to open up the novel's focus to include the world of the other characters while still remaining true to the spirit of Harris' original creation. (Ball himself stumbled onto the books by accident at a bookstore and couldn't put them down.)

While Sookie and Bill's relationship will remain a focal point for the series, Ball plans to draw on other aspects of vampiric life in the American south, from the rise of "fangbangers" (regular humans who enjoy sex with vamps) to a political group fighting for equal rights for vampires.

Ball plans on drawing inspiration for the first season from Harris' first Stackhouse novel, "Dead Until Dark," and using the second book for the sophomore season. Fans of those novels will be happy to learn that there are plans for characters Bubba, Eric, and Quinn to show up later in the series. (Ball hasn't yet cast Quinn who was Harris' "personal homage to Vin Diesel.")

And will we be seeing the werewolves and maenads (beings from ancient Greek mythology) in the series? Ball confirmed that we will see a maenad before the end of Season One but fans will have to wait to see werewolves until at least Season Two... and the mystery of why Sookie is telepathic won't be revealed until at least then.

Ultimately, fans of Ball's Six Feet Under will encounter a very different beast in True Blood. "After Six Feet Under, I was tired of people talking about their problems," said Ball. "I wanted to do something fun."

True Blood is set to launch September 7th on HBO.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Ghost Whisperer
(CBS); Most Outrageous Moments/Most Outrageous Moments (NBC;); Friday Night SmackDown! (CW; 8-10 pm); America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC); Anger Management (FOX; 8-10 pm)

9 pm:
NUMB3RS (CBS); Dateline (NBC; 9-11 pm); Duel (ABC)

10 pm: Swingtown
(CBS); 20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be TiVo'ing

9 pm: Doctor Who on Sci Fi.

Season Four of Doctor Who comes to a conclusion tonight with Part One of its two-part season finale ("The Stolen Earth)," in former companions--including Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)--and old and new allies alike must band together to save the world, while the Doctor and Donna confront the Shadow Proclamation, and an old enemy waits in the wings...

10 pm: Swingtown.

On tonight's episode ("Puzzlerama"), Trina throws her annual Puzzlerama party, where the clues for the game are in fact the neighbors' dirty little secrets. Not exactly the same sort of fun achieved by playing, say, Candyland.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Still not totally decided about this show. I didn't care for the pilot but, based on your review of the second ep, it appears to get a little better and might be worth checking out.

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have