true blood hbo tca
By: Kevin Kelly, Special TCA Correspondent

Well, it’s Friday night, and you know what that means. A fresh episode of MOONLIGHT! Sorry, was that a bit too cruel? It would have been a reality if bone-headed CBS hadn’t cancelled the show, which was pretty damned fang-tastic. But I know, I’m preaching to the choir here.

HBO is hoping that they can fill the gap left by the stake of cancellation with their new Alan Ball series TRUE BLOOD. Ball is moving deftly from working with the dead in SIX FEET UNDER to the undead in this adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire novels. A psychic waitress, a 173 year-old vampire, lots of sex… what could go wrong?

Ball came across Harris’ books when he showed up early for a dental appointment and went to the Barnes & Noble to kill time. The tagline “Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend wasn’t such a good idea” caught his eye, and he couldn’t put the book down. Apparently when you’re Alan Ball and that happens, it means there’s a TV series in it.

Anna Paquin plays the psychic waitress with the unfortunate name, Sookie Stackhouse, and Stephen Moyer plays the vampire with the smoldering eyes, Bill Compton. Apparently Charlaine Harris doesn’t put a premium on really sexy-sounding names in her books. They meet in the bar where she sees vampires as “celebrities,” and when they hit it off she begs him to take her to a local underground vampire club called “Fangtasia.” Hijinx ensue.

Ball isn’t a vampire fan, having never even seen BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, or having read anything by Anne Rice, so he’s trying to approach the vampire genre with new rules. For instance, his vampires have fangs that are “retracted like rattlesnake fangs, and then they click forward.” He also promises that what happens to vampires when they get staked or burn in a fire will be different than anything that’s been seen before.

Plus, he didn’t have kind words himself for MOONLIGHT, saying “I think it’s pretty lame when you let your vampire go out in the day just because you don’t want to shoot at night.” Ouch. Oh yeah? How lame is it that you ended SIX FEET UNDER? That’s right, I went there.

He does, however, think that vampires make better lovers. “Oh yeah, they’ve had hundreds of years to figures things out and to learn things,” to which Stephen Moyer added “That’s real staying power.” Zing. How about just making a vampire porno? There’s a whole demographic who would enjoy that, and just think about the numerous “suck” jokes you could work into it?

Anna Paquin has shed her brunette status, and that while lock in her hair from the X-MEN days, and gone blonde for this role. She’s also learned that “boys like to stare at blonde girls. Apparently it’s totally true. It’s amusing and quite lovely.” Maybe blondes do have more fun. While dating vampires and being able to read people’s minds.

TRUE BLOOD is a twelve part HBO series that begins airing September 7th, and is praying that viewers still have love for bloodsuckers in their souls by then.

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  • SimplyKimberly

    Kevin, I think I speak for all Moonlight fans when I say that it is way too early to be cracking those kind of jokes. The pain is still too fresh. We are too raw. It hurts us so.

    And I can’t wait to see this series. I’ve had the books on my must read list for so long and have yet to read them, this might get me off my butt and into the local bookstore to nab a few.

  • Eh, I was as big a Moonlight fan as anyone, taking part in all the fan campaigns I could, etc. But at some point, fans have to realize that as fans, we will be disappointed many more times. That once we’ve done everything we can to save a series, it’s out of our hands. Even when we fans are successful, it doesn’t always bode well. Jericho got 7 episodes and even with the fan support, ratings sucked. Do I think Moonlight was cancelled way before its time? Absolutely. Do I think CBS sucks? Yes. But am I in pain or unable to laugh at silly jokes like that? Nah. If you can’t get over a bitter cancellation (such as Moonlight or Everwood *cough*TheTVA*cough*), you need to think of everything else going on in the world that is truly worth the pain. (SimplyKimberly, this wasn’t totally directed at you, but at everyone really. heh)

  • Neena

    I’ve seen the pilot for True Blood…it was okay but nothing special. However i’m still looking forward to this. Hopefully the rest of the show will improve on the pilot.

  • J

    I’ve read the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, and it’s pretty good. So I’m looking forward to the series, but not getting my hopes up, I’ve a tendency to expect too much from TV. Oh, and as for cancellations I’m still not OK with? Veronica Mars, anyone?!

  • assuit

    I saw the pilot and Im excited because its different but still sexy and interesting. I like the fact this show will be able to go places all the major networks won’t touch in terms of plot, nudity, sexuality and violence.

    HBO is a great network and I get the feeling they give their shows more time and support than the major networks.

    I loved Moonlight and was a loyal fan, CBS pulled it and replaced it with a piece of crud. I hope Nina cops some flak for the bad choice when the ratings come in.

    I loved Blood Ties and again was a loyal fan supporting all the efforts to have it renewed. Lifetime choses to stick with “Will and Grace” reruns and the Golden Girls on Friday nights. Yea, like Im staying up to watch those.

    The good news is since both were cancelled I’ve got my Friday nights back. The bad news is I would gladly trade my date night for those two shows and would LOVE to have them back on TV.

    Currently I watch about 2 hrs of TV a week and spend the rest of my time on-line and reading books. There are many wonderful paranormal authors out their who cater to my needs better than any network. Charlaine Harris, J R Ward, J K Rowling, Amy Lane, Lara Adrian. Check em out if you too are fed up with TV!

  • assuit,

    thanks for taking the time to post. who is this JK Rowling you speak of 🙂

  • Nva_gvup_Mick

    Yes, Kevin, Fridays used to hold a special meaning for us Moonlight fans, some neighbors and I used to banter and wait for the special 9 o’clock show time. I can’t believe in one swoosh of the pen, it’s all gone. IMHO, the fans have done all we can do, now it’s up to Joel Silver to use his magic touch to bring Moonlight back.

  • Nva_gvup_Mick


    Isn’t she the author for Harry Potter book series. Very successful, I might add.

  • Nva_gvup_Mick

    “who is this JK Rowling you speak of ”

    I meant to say Rowling is the author for Harry Potter series.

  • Rai

    Ah… I love this series more than any other barring the Dark-Hunters… I wish I got HBO, but sadly, I’ll have to do without. Maybe HBO should allow us to watch it online too rather than just on tv. Then we’d be etting somewhere. Moonlight coming back would be a plus too. XD I like vampires.

  • Texas

    Blood Ties…loved the show! Hated cancelled without closure!
    Moonlight …another great show that was cancelled before its time and it to without closure!
    TrueBlood – Great in it’s on way. With a cable station a lot more can be added. I want to see a long running series with TB!