True Blood: The Complete First Season
True Blood
Do Bad Things (season 3)
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Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
Director: Michael Lehmann, Scott Winant, Daniel Minahan, Howard Deutch, John Dahl, Michael Ruscio, Anthony Hemingway, Alan Ball, Lesli Linka Glatter, David Petrarca, Romeo Tirone, Stephen Moyer, Daniel Attias, Nick Gomez, Nancy Oliver, Marcos Siega, Michael Cuesta, Adam Davidson, Jeremy Podeswa, Gregg Fienberg, Simon Jayes, Angela Robinson, Lee Rose, Jesse Warn
Writer: Alan Ball, Charlaine Harris, Brian Buckner, Alexander Woo, Raelle Tucker, Nancy Oliver, Kate Barnow, Angela Robinson, Mark Hudis, Elisabeth Finch, Chris Offutt, Daniel Kenneth, Craig Chester, Robin Veith
Language: English
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Duration: 720
Rated: Unrated
DVD Release: May 2009

Alan Ball’s True Blood series works well for television, as it has enough sensationalism to tantalize and enough story girth to make the viewer care about the characters. That one can finally invest emotion into monsters, including an undead Civil War victim, a transformer who can shapeshift into various animals, and a female mind reader, speaks volumes about America’s willingness to accept fantasy. Of course, television has always produced good fantasy shows (I Dream of Genie), but True Blood’s Southern Goth brand of fun horror is more macabre and more perverse, not to mention gorier, than most shows of its kind to date. Adapted from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, True Blood thrills because of its equal blend in each episode of erotica, humor, tragedy, mystery, and fantasy. 
Set in a rural, swampy Louisiana parrish, the show centers around Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her clan, sweet grandmother Adele (Lois Smith) and air-headed brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten). Illicit love is spawned early on, when Sookie saves vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) from having his blood stolen in the parking lot of Merlotte’s diner, owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) who completes what will form a complex love triangle. As tensions between Sookie’s suitors loosen or tighten, many side plots, such as her African American best friend Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) struggle with an alcoholic, Bible-thumping mother and her brother’s dangerous crush on drug addicted hippie, Amy Burley (Lizzy Caplan), keep one wondering who will succeed in this podunk place. The main tension throughout, however, is a race war waged between vampires and humans. As murders of “fang bangers” occur (human girls who let vampires bite them) and dumb policeman Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) fails to find clues, one sees the metaphorical implications of vampirism and feels deeper resonance with what can be a downright trashy show. Gossip galore, especially about what kinds of babies interbreeding will produce, is rampant. One of the funniest characters is Tara’s flamboyant cousin, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), who deals drugs, works as a fry cook, and services the local white politicians, while making sure he’s always up in everyone’s business.
What makes True Blood smarter than pure soap opera is the parallels it draws between its monster mash and actual, familiar societal problems. Sookie and her friends watch the news, where Evangelicals bash vampires and prohibit mixed marriage, and everyone is addicted to V, a.k.a vampire blood, that effects like psychedelic heroin. Even its gore reflects a mix of serious and silly, as vampires explode into red, sticky goop. Though it may not be attempting to qualify for the best vampire footage ever shot, True Blood is as addictive as that substance the town’s youth obsesses over, which is a metaphor in itself. --Trinie Dalton

Stills from True Blood: The Complete First Season (Click for larger image)

Anna PaquinSookie Stackhouse
Stephen MoyerBill Compton
Sam TrammellSam Merlotte
Ryan KwantenJason Stackhouse
Chris BauerAndy Bellefleur
Nelsan EllisLafayette Reynolds
Carrie PrestonArlene Fowler
Rutina WesleyTara Thornton
Alexander SkarsgårdEric Northman
Deborah Ann WollJessica Hamby
Kristin Bauer van StratenPam De Beaufort
Todd LoweTerry Bellefleur
Jim ParrackHoyt Fortenberry
Lauren BowlesHolly Cleary
Joe ManganielloAlcide Herveaux
William SandersonSheriff Bud Dearborne
Michael McMillianSteve Newlin
Adina PorterLettie Mae Thornton
Kevin AlejandroJesus Velasquez
Janina GavankarLuna Garza
Dale RaoulMaxine Fortenberry
Anna CampSarah Newlin
Tara BuckGinger
Jessica TuckNan Flanagan
Marshall AllmanTommy Mickens
Lucy GriffithsNora Gainesborough
Denis O'HareRussell Edgington
John RezigDeputy Kevin Ellis 20 episodes, 2008-2014
Amelia Rose BlaireWilla Burrell
Jurnee Smollett-BellNicole Wright
Patricia BethuneJane Bodehouse
Tanya WrightDeputy Kenya Jones
John BillingsleyMike Spencer 17 episodes, 2008-2012
Bailey NobleAdilyn Bellefleur
Michael Raymond-JamesRene Lenier
Aaron Christian HowlesRocky Cleary
Noah MatthewsWade Cleary 16 episodes, 2012-2014
Michelle ForbesMaryann Forrester
Gregg DanielReverend Daniels
Karolina WydraViolet
Laurel WeberLisa Fowler
Chloe NoelleEmma Garza
Mehcad BrooksEggs
Lindsay PulsipherCrystal Norris
Kelly OvertonRikki Naylor
Brit MorganDebbie Pelt
Alec GrayCoby Fowler
Mariana KlavenoLorena Krasiki
Fiona ShawMarnie Stonebrook
Robert PatrickJackson Herveaux
Dale DickeyMartha Bozeman
Tess ParkerRosie
Lois SmithAdele Stackhouse
Valentina CerviSalome Agrippa
Jamie Gray HyderDanielle
Marque RichardsonKenneth
Scott FoleyPatrick Devins
Nathan ParsonsJames
Carolyn HennesyRosalyn Harris
Arliss HowardTruman Burrell
Robert KazinskyMacklyn Warlow
Allan HydeGodric
Adam LeadbeaterKarl
J. Smith-CameronMelinda Mickens
Giles MattheyClaude Crane
Ashley JonesDaphne Landry
Courtney FordPortia Bellefleur
Peter MensahKibwe
James Harvey WardFelton Norris
Evan Rachel WoodSophie-Anne Leclerq
Jeffrey Nicholas BrownCorbett Stackhouse
Dean ChekvalaRoy
Fiona DourifCasey 8 episodes, 2011
Aisha HindsMiss Jeanette
James FrainFranklin Mott
Brendan McCarthyNate
Paola TurbayAntonia Gavilán
Jessica ClarkLilith
Grant BowlerCooter
Wes BrownLuke McDonald
Theo AlexanderTalbot
Daniel BuranMarcus Bozeman
Lindsey HaunHadley Hale
Louis HerthumJD
Cooper HuckabeeJoe Lee Mickens
Jenni BlongMichelle Stackhouse
Lynn CollinsDawn Green
Lizzy CaplanAmy Burley
Rutger HauerNiall Brigant
Luke GrimesJames
John ProskyDavid Finch
Annie FitzgeraldKirsch 6 episodes, 2011
Lara PulverClaudine Crane
Gregory SporlederCalvin Norris
Don SwayzeGus 6 episodes, 2010
Christopher HeyerdahlDieter Braun
Melissa RauchSummer
Tina MajorinoMolly
Damion PoitierDuprez
Camilla LuddingtonClaudette
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Media: Blu-ray
Sound: Dolby
IMDb: 0844441