It seems that there are only two opinions about this show, Love and Hate. I never read the books that the show is based on, Charlaine Harris’s Dead Until Dark. I also wasn’t a huge fan of Ball’s previous show, Six Feet Under. It was ok but not enough to get my attention; all this to say that I had very little expectations going into the pilot episode.
Southern US town is introduced to vampires. A Japanese company has developed a synthetic blood substitute and vampires start living like everyone else. There’s a really interesting subplot, using the media, about vampires wanting equal rights and fighting for those rights in congress.
It’s obvious that this is an HBO show from the first scene. The sexuality is unequalled on network TV and most other private stations.
The main story revolves around Sookie, the loveable/sexy waitress played by Anna Paquin, who just happens to be a psychic and falls madly in love with Bill the Vampire. Other then his name, he optimises the stereotypical sexy male vampire. He’s brooding, awkward, sexy, and entrances Sookie the minute he walks into the bar. She loves that she can’t read his thoughts and he finds her so weird as to be attractive.
There’s some hinting at a shape changer in the show, probably Sookies boss who’s madly in love with her, we learn later that some vampires can change shapes. I will back up Jen (My fiancée) that he is most likely a lycanthrope.
The rest of the cast seems to come from a teenage boy’s wet dream, Sookies oversexed idiot brother, her hot best friend, and a plethora or sexiness; the only exception being her grandmother who seems both innocent and loving, probably hiding a deep dark secret.
Overall, it was interesting and very easy to follow, the shape-changing thing wasn’t too obvious, and I wouldn’t have caught on till the third episode. There is one scene that bothered me, Sookie saves Bill from blood drainers (Vampire blood gives humans a high and fetches a pretty penny on the black market), and at one point it looks like she telekinetically strangles a guy with a chain. I discovered with the beauty of the internet that there is supposed to be a dark shadow in the background of that scene. I didn’t get and I was all excited for a female character with telekinetic powers.
This show seems to be a little everywhere with its pacing; going from hard core BDSM to a sweet talk with granny. I did look at the time about 50 minutes in and wonder when it was going to end. I hadn’t realised it was a 60 minute show with no commercials. The pacing being erratic actually made it more interesting because I had no idea where it was going. So often I can guess the order of the next three scenes in normal shows.
The acting was ok. There were some points where the sexual tension between the two characters threatened to melt my TV. The secondary characters come off a little exaggerated but the whole show has a feel of the surreal.
This is a show you want to see in HD, it’s simply beautiful. The colours and contrast are fantastic showing real depth in nighttime scenes without being to dark. The special effects are subtle but well done.
This show has a lot of potential if given the chance. It’s pretty damn interesting and makes me want to watch it. I curse the fact that I don’t have advance copies of the whole season. It will be getting better with every episode if it isn’t cancelled to early. It had a dismal 1.4 million viewers for the Pilot. Here’s hoping it’ll stick around long enough to form a cult following.
So far this season I’d say it’s my favourite new show but the season’s early.
I give it 7 out of 10, it’s beautiful and intriguing.