This series was adapted by Alan Ball from the vampire novels authored by Charlaine Harris. Ball wrote and directed the pilot episode - along with taking the helm of the show for the foreseeable future. True Blood is centered around Sookie Stackhouse who is played by Academy Award winner Anna Paquin, a barmaid living in Louisiana who can read people's minds. When Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) shows up at the bar she is entranced by him; due to not being able to read his thoughts. Vampires have been 'out of the coffin' for a couple of years due to a synthetic blood drink that was developed to fulfill all of their nutritional needs - so they can live normally in society - I'm sure a lot of them don't take to assimilation too well. Vampires that are prominent in society and the media claim that they just want to be understood, and have the same rights that any human has. This show will probably use Vampires as a metaphor for other minority groups: homosexuals, African-American's, even Aboriginals; if they decide to delve into the complexities of assimilation. Sookie is joined by her over-sexed brother Jason, played by Ryan Kwanten (Vinnie from Home and Away), and her 'Gran' that they live with. At the bar there is Sam Merlotte, the owner of Merlotte Bar, where Sookie works. He is 'secretly' in love with Sookie, but how could you keep anything a secret from somebody who hears others thoughts. There is also Sookie's loud-mouthed best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley - who replaced Brook Kerr from the pre-air pilot) who has a thing for Jason.
It is very hard to judge how this series will turn out, but, so far I like it; the acting has been good, and the direction solid. I can't say too much on the writing because everything is still very vague - is that a comment in itself? With Alan Ball in charge I will definitely stick around for the season. Those expecting Six Feet Under will be disappointed, but that isn't to say that it will have any less depth - as Buffy did in it's time: there was so much depth hidden under and around all that genre-busting and camp. HBO must have seen something in this... there was a full season order, that has already been shot.