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"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.


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.

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