You’d have to be living in a box (or a coffin?) not to realise that vampires are hot right now. First there was the release of the first Twilight film (based on the Stephenie Meyer book), and more recently HBO series True Blood has garnered ex-pat Anna Paquin a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV series.
The show is based on Charlaine Harris’s Southern vampire series of novels and is less well know than the phenomenally successful Twilight but is much more to my tastes, being a bit more “adult” in nature. The man responsible for bringing True Blood to the TV screen is Alan Ball (better known as the creative force behind another death fixated series, namely Six Feet Under) and in doing so he has provided all those things that HBO does so well, sex, violence, swearing, substance abuse, dark humour, oh, and did I mention sex?
I’ve been reading the books upon which the series is based and they are saucy, humorous, seductive and are a fast, well-paced read. No delusions of literary grandeur here just good, old-fashioned blood-sucking fun. The books revolve around the character of Louisiana native Sookie Stackhouse: waitress, telepath, and one half of a pretty sexy human/vampire couple. The other half is one Civil War-vintage Bill Compton, who I’m pretty sure could kick Edward Cullen’s sulky butt (if he felt so inclined). The novels all take place in a world where the invention of synthetic blood (by the Japanese, natch) means that vampires no longer need to hide, but can “come out of the coffin” mainstreaming into human society, voting, buying blood at bars, etc. Though of course there is still deep-seated prejudice and suspicion from much of the human populace and Sookie finds that having a “pale and interesting” boyfriend isn’t without its complications (and dangers).
Hopefully, one of the New Zealand television channels will pull finger and buy the series for broadcast here. With the local interest provided by the winsome Miss Paquin I think they’d be on to a winner. It just remains to be seen how late in the night they screen it. It sure ain’t for kiddies.