Saturday, September 06, 2008

'Blood'-y Good Fun

I'm reposting this here, because the new blog isn't working yet.

Anyway, one of the most interesting new shows on TV kicks off Sunday night with the debut of "True Blood" (HBO, 9 p.m.), the new series from "Six Feet Under" creator Alan Ball.

Based on the series of Southern Gothic vampire novels by Charlaine Harris, "True Blood" posits what would happen if a new synthetic form of blood was developed and vampires decided to come "out of the coffin." Ball isn't particularly subtle about having the attitudes toward vampires reflect real-life attitudes towards gays, such as having a vampire advocate debate a Jerry Falwell-type minister on a "Nightline"-style show.

The plot centers around Sookie (Anna Paquin), a waitress born with the ability to hear everyone's thoughts. This isn't as cool an ability as one might think, since it drives her batty (so to speak). Her life is turned upside down when she saves the life of a vampire (Stephen Moyer), who is being drained of his blood. (Vamp blood is a very valuable narcotic on the black market).

Sookie becomes fascinated with the vampire and his lifestyle as her small, Louisiana town becomes more divided over the bloodsuckers. Are they evil or just misunderstood?

"True Blood" isn't "Buffy," "Angel," "Moonlight" or any of the other recent vampire shows on TV; while there is action on the show, it's not an action-adventure every week of people fighting each other and facing monsters.

It's more of a social commentary, mixed in with a lot of humor (mostly from a scene-stealing Rutina Wesley, who plays Sookie's BFF Tara). Being an HBO series, there's also quite a lot of sex.

Is "True Blood" the next "Sopranos" for HBO? Probably not. But it does compare pretty favorably with "Six Feet Under," and that isn't bad.

Also of note: Macon actress Carrie Preston is a series regular, playing a waitress at the same bar that Sookie works at. Also, Chris Offutt, a writer who taught a semester at Mercer University, is one of the show's writers, as is Oscar nominee Nancy Oliver.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Normally, I don't promote game shows. But tonight's installment of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" (Fox, 8 p.m.) should be a lot of fun, since the contestant is Georgia Secretary of Education Kathy Cox. Considering the state of Georgia's public schools right now and the controversy Cox has brought with her to the job, this could be pretty interesting.

Time flies when you are having fun: "Monk" (USA, 9 p.m.) celebrates its 100th episode with a lot of returning guest stars, including John Turturro as Monk's brother and Sarah Silverman as his No. 1 fan. Interestingly, they didn't bring back Sharona (Bitty Schram) as film producers do a documentary about Monk's life. It's followed by a new "Psych" at 10 p.m.

ABC Family is getting into the action-adventure gig with the six-part miniseries "Samurai Girl," which runs each of the next three nights from 8-10 p.m. This comes on the heels of "The Middleman," it's well-regarded superhero/spy show.

All of the Big 3 networks are running "Stand Up To Cancer" at 8 p.m. On CBS, the network is airing a preview show of its new fall series at 9 p.m., followed by a new "Swingtown" at 10 p.m. Having seen some of CBS' new offerings, it's a bit of a mixed bag.

Saturday features a new episode of "Primeval" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) as well as college football. Georgia faces Central Michigan (Fox SportsNet, 3:30 p.m.), and Georgia Tech visits Boston College (12 p.m., WPGA), while Morehouse visits Fort Valley State on Sunday (ESPNU, 2 p.m.)

On Sunday, there's a new "Mad Men" (AMC, 10 p.m.) while the season premiere of "Entourage" (HBO, 10 p.m.) follows "True Blood."

The new Fox game show, "Hole In The Wall" (Fox, 8 p.m.) debuts. It involves people jumping through a weird-shaped hole in a wall that is moving towards them. I'm not making this up.


calvierude said...
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calvierude said...

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