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.