Sunday, September 7, 2008

True Blood recap S1E1 (09/07/08)

A young couple driving through the Southern woods pull over at a convenience store when they see the sign reading “We have tru[e] blood.” We get some exposition via a Bill Maher interview with a vampire re: how civilized current vampires are: since they all now drink synthetic blood, they can be part of regular society. A hillbilly vamp comes into the store and chases out the young couple. We see that in this universe, vamp fangs just snap down like a switchblade.

Good credits and great song.

Anna Paquin is a bar waitress and she’s blonde. And she can read minds. She’s friends with a very sassy and gorgeous black woman. And the owner of the bar has a crush on her. And she may be a little repressed, sexually speaking.

A woman, Maudette, with real breasts is having sex while watching television until her partner notices fang marks on her thigh. He’s both repulsed and slightly intrigued, but is ready to leave until Maudette admits to having taped herself having sex with the vamp. This is enough to entice him to stay. They watch the tape and then have fairly ugly sex. The next shot is of a video camera sitting on a bookshelf. That Maudette!

Back at the diner Sookie (Anna Paquin) notices a vamp and rushes to wait on him. She’s like a little fangirl. The vamp flirts with her a little, in a quiet, surly way. Those broody vampires. Two rednecks start to talk with the vamp and a jealous Sookie mind-reads them planning to drain all his blood. Apparently vampire blood is a drug or aphrodisiac or something. When she realizes the vamp and the rednecks have left the diner, Sookie runs out after them. The rednecks have him tied down out in the woods when she finds them, with an IV bag sucking the juice out of him. Sookie works some chain-fu and chases the rednecks away. They are pretty cranky about it.

The rednecks had "tied" the vamp down by laying a silver chain across his wrists and necks. Sookie peels the chain off and watches in awe as the wounds heal. Just then, a random dog runs up, barking at the vamp. The dog licks Sookie on the cheek a couple of times, barks at the vamp again and runs off. The vamp says, “He’s checkin’ on you,” but Sookie demurs that it’s just some ol’ dawg who lives around the bar. “Is that right?” says the vamp with a sarcastic eyebrow and I immediately think that the dog is actually Sam the bar owner who has a crush on Sookie. You know, a weredawg or something.

Sookie then tries to read the vamp’s mind but as we all know from Buffy S3, you can’t read a vampire’s mind: it's like the thing with the mirror - no reflection to pick up. She’s amazed by this. The vamp wonders if she’s not afraid to be outside with a hungry vampire. He then offers her the blood that the rednecks drained from him, saying that it makes humans feel healthier and improves the sex drive. “I have no sex drive to speak of … so I wouldn’t touch it,” stutters Sookie. Told you she was repressed. The vamp’s name is Bill and Sookie finds this as funny as I do. Bill’s feelings are a little hurt when she laughs. He does check out her ass as she walks back to work, however.

Annoying: Sam the bar owner pronounces her name “Sucky.”

The kid who was having sex with Maudette walks into the bar: his name is Jason and he’s Sookie’s brother. He seems to be a wicked horndawg.

Sookie arrives home and gleefully tells her grandmother that a vamp came into the bar; her grandmother had been hoping that she’d gotten a date instead. Sookie awakens from a sound sleep some time later to find Bill in her backyard. As he starts to unbutton his shirt, I decide this is probably a dream. Yup, it’s a dream.

The next day, Jason confronts his sister about whaling on the rednecks, who are dangerous local drug dealers as well as vampire-drainers. Jason insists that she needs to stay away from vampires, quickly picking up that she’s got a big old crush. Anna Paquin is doing this bizarre combination of sexy and uber-innocent – it’s not quite working. When Sookie senses a weird vibe coming from her brother, she tries to read his mind and snatches a fragment of his worry that he may have inadvertently strangled Maudette during their sex and videotape session. Hope he wasn’t caught on the camcorder set up in the bookcase.

Ooh - E.B. Farnum is the town’s sheriff! The sheriff finds Jason on his road crew job and asks him about Maudette. Oops: yes, he was caught on videotape. Jason needs to go into the sheriff’s office now. Later at the bar, Sookie finds out about her brother’s possible arrest. Ooh again! She calls him a horndawg! I totally called that.

In the midst of Sookie's rampage of trying to find out what happened to Jason, Bill the vampire walks back in. She walks over as if in a trance, to join him while the bar patrons stare and snipe. For his own part, Bill seems to be a little fascinated by her as well, saying that she must be something more than human. They plan to meet later on (her grandmother wants to know if Bill is old enough to have been around for the Civil War).

After work, Sookie waits for Bill outside the bar, but he is nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, the redneck drug dealers are there, and they ambush her, dropping her to the ground and pretty much kicking the bejeezus out of her. Way to show up on time, Bill.

Verdict: B-. It’s no Deadwood or Sopranos, that’s for sure, but it didn’t alienate me the way John from Cincinnati did. I’ll probably recap it again – there are only twelve episodes in the whole season. Plus “Bill the vampire” is just plain funny.

Next time on True Blood

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