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True Blood: The Complete First Season (BLU-RAY)

True Blood

Season: 
1
Regular Air Date: 
Sundays @ 9PM ET
Network(s): 
Air Date: 
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Grade:
D+
Seasons: 
5
Episodes: 
60
SOURCE MATIERIAL

The first season is based mostly on the first book of Charlaine Harris' book 'Dead Until Dark'.

True Blood was one of those shows I had interest in when their teaser campaign for the "Tru Blood" drink started hitting magazines and then, after not tuning in, it peaked again with the buzz surrounding the show once it premiered.  Unfortunately, after finally catching the show on DVD, I was far from impressed.

QUALITY:
The picture is great and the sound is phenomenal, especially when put to 7.1 surround.

BONUS FEATURES:
Commercials, a faux documentary, featurettes, commentary.

The bonus features are actually pretty decent as is the quality of the DVD...the structural and technical quality, that is.  The show itself, is just short of awful.  The first two episodes are decent if you can get past "Oscar Winner" Anna Paquin's horrible accent.  By the time you get to episode 3, the entire show goes to hell.  Introducing a slew of cheesy "hissing" baddie vampires and the "fang-banger" storyline, True Blood quickly goes from campy ok to just flatout horrible.  The only saving graces of the show are Stephen Moyer's charismatic Bill Compton, a pre-Civil War vampire who takes a more than friendly interest in Paquin's Sookie Stackhouse, Sookie's sharp-tongued best friend Tara played by Rutina Wesley and Tara's gay drug-dealling cousin Lafayette, played with brilliantly by Nelsan Ellis.

The major offense this show commits is the aforementioned accent needlessly "portrayed" by Paquin.  An accent so bad, you would think it was done in a comically mocking way, Paquin shows absolutely no signs that she is worthy of holding on to that Oscar from years ago.  She, and she alone, takes this show down to irrecoverable depths of bad.

The mini major offense is the "taking advantage of being on pay cable" curse that many shows have seen and True Blood takes it to a new level.  Throwing in sometimes violent, sometimes graphic and always unneeded sex scenes, the show attempts to be controversial while only really sidestepping whatever storyline they may be running.  The only thing that could have really saved this show is if, at the beginning, they decided to use the Twilight storyline instead of Alan Ball's forced narrative.

The other big let down to this set is that blu-rays can hold nearly 10 times the content of it's DVD counterpart, yet HBO only put 2 episodes on 3 discs and 3 on 2 discs, instead of shortening this set (and the price) down to 2-3 discs, easy.

Peter Oberth
Review by Peter Oberth
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