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True Blood premieres September 7 on HBO and yet, the hype has been relatively low.  Or, maybe I just haven’t been paying attention.  True Blood is the new series from Alan Ball, the mastermind who wrote American Beauty and created and produced Six Feet UnderTrue Blood is based on the a series of novels by Charlaine Harris.  They are about vampires.  In the alternate modern universe of True Blood, vampires have brought themselves out in the open, and walk amongst the living.  They can do this because the Japanese have created a synthetic blood, called Tru Blood, which dampens the threat of vampires biting humans.  Alan Ball, lead actress Anna Paquin, author Charlaine Harris and the rest of the cast held a panel at Comic-Con this evening, unveiling a trailer and discussing what we can expect from season one of True Blood.

Alan Ball did not want to follow up Six Feet Under with another television series, but one day he was late for a dentist appointment and walking around Barnes and Noble, when he came across the book Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.  He couldn’t put the books down and gave Charlaine a call.  Soon enough, HBO green lit True Blood.

Anna Paquin (the most fetching gap-toothed actress in Hollywood), plays Sookie, a waitress living in the bayou of Louisiana.  She’s blond and can read people’s minds.  One of the major themes of the show is that all the supernatural elements are dealt with in the most off-handed, matter-of-fact way imaginable.  The series kicks into gear when Sookie meets a vampire in her restaurant whose mind she can’t read.  They strike up a relationship, he takes her to a vampire bar, and True Blood goes from there.

The panel kicked off with the aforementioned trailer for the series.  The trailer is intriguing, and unwavering in its frank sexuality and violence.  There is sex, lots of sex, and lots of violence.  You see, ever since the vampires came out in the open, a certain subset of humans have become obsessed with bedding them, if you will.  According to Alan Ball, these people are called “Fangbangers.”

In the interest of Six Feet Under fans who want to come into True Blood clean, I’ll stop with the story stuff here.  Since a lot of the panel audience were big fans of the book series and came to see Charlaine Harris, a lot of the questions revolved about plot details from the books and how they would, if ever, translate to the screen.  Personally, I felt I got some good stuff spoiled for me, but I’m still going to watch.  This is a series you want to go into cold.

Alan Ball is a cool dude.  He’s funny, and the kind of guy who you just trust with a TV series after hearing him talk.  True Blood may not be for everyone – the sex and violence is going to be extreme – but it could also turn into the evolutionary Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Bits in the preview were quite funny, and throughout the panel Ball constantly stated how he wanted to make a fun show after the dourness and morality-questioning themes of Six Feet Under.

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-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of HBO)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV