True Blood: The First Taste

True Blood, HBO, Airs Sunday 9pm

Episode: “The First Taste” (Season One, Episode Two)

Synopsis: The relationship between Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) progresses after Bill returns the favor of her rescuing him in the first episode. The deviant Rattrays get their comeuppance via Bill while Jason Stackhouse is cleared of the murder of Maudette Pickens. More information about the vampires comes to light, including their powers, abilities, and social hierarchy. Bill’s past as a Civil War soldier comes to light while talking with the Stackhouses.

Review: True Blood continues to impress in its second week, investing in a storyline that stays interesting while pouring on character backstory and further insight into the new, vampiric world. We get more of the same from episode one, with a violent beating spilling plenty of blood as well as nudity and some aggressive sex that features a cool shout-out to American Psycho when Jason points at himself in the mirror. The show also begins to lay down lots of clues as to what may come in the future. Jason’s hatred of vampires grows and he begins experiencing lost time, which may indicate something wrong with him. Compton reveals that some vampires can change form, which may explain the appearance of Sookie’s guardian dog that “lives nearby” showing up whenever she’s in trouble. Couple that with bar owner and Sookie admirer Sam Merlotte’s painting on his trailer (which is conveniently “nearby” to the bar) depicting a familiar looking dog standing guard over a girl. Coincidence? Maybe – Sookie has heard Sam’s thoughts before, leading us to believe he is not a vampire, but who knows what twists lay ahead. We get a further examination of Sookie’s history and powers – she is revealed to be a telepath, able to read minds and manipulate objects with her own.

The show ends on a cliffhanger again, which is both interesting but cruel, forcing us to wait another weak to find out what happens. The show continues with its witty dialog and interesting premise – if you liked the pilot you’ll enjoy the second episode. “The First Taste” may not be the episode to win over skeptics, with its emphasis on character rather than ass kicking, but it is a good drama, shot beautifully, with excellent performances across the board. It is somewhat ironic to me, though, that a show that uses vampires to illustrate our own intolerances of other races or religions, plays Southerners for laughs or uses them as beacons of intolerance without a second thought. All in all, a good show that dangles a lot of information and teases in front of you, glamouring us to come back each week.

Just as an aside, Jason is seen wearing an “Alabama Thunderpussy” T-Shirt. As part of my due diligence and love of combining natural phenomenon with slang for female genitalia, I looked the band up and found their website and they fucking rock hard. Visit the band here and wake up the neighbors: Alabama Thunderpussy.

Up Next Week: Sookie may be in over her head as he pays a visit to Bill Compton’s home, only to be confronted by a trio of bad looking vamps, including the “Crazy Vampire” from the pilot episode. The show promises to give us insight into the vampire hierarchy and the possibility of “bad ass vampire hunters” serving as vigilantes or some such and tracking down the bloodsuckers.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you watch True Blood this week? If so, feel free to discuss below.

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