True Blood: Are You Listening to the Music?

August 18, 2009

lorena_billThe music for HBO’s True Blood is an integral part of the show. Whether you realize it or not, it is always there in the periphery to help set the mood for each scene. It sets us up for an important happening . It alerts our senses. We’ve already talked about the opening song Bad Things by Jace Everett. How about the music for the rest of the show?

Alan Ball and crew are beyond excellent at composing or finding the right combination of songs and music for each episode. For the “Release Me” episode, Alan Ball stumbled across an obscure track by the group Bad Livers. The band split soon after their 2000 album containing that particular song titled Death Trip, which is still available at the iTunes store.

Episode 6, “Hard Hearted Hannah” got it’s name from a song with the same title. A sultry Bill plays it on the piano while singing in an ever melodic voice. His maker, Lorena, saunters over to an unsuspecting, gullible couple while he plays. The song originated from the Tin Pan Alley style of writing, popular in the 1920s. Originally written by Martin Ager, it has been covered many times by talented artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Jim Croce to name a few.

We see the song as a flashback of Bill and Lorena playing their bait and trap game. (And yes, that actually is Stephen Moyer singing the song. He has performed in musicals prior to joining the cast of True Blood.)

The Houston Press blog leaves us with this quote:

Like the song says, “To tease ’em, and thrill ’em, to torture and kill ’em is her delight.” A perfect bit of gruesome vintage music from a show that’s already becoming a classic.

I have to agree. The song was perfectly suited to the scene, the era and the pair. Alan Ball is truly a master of setting the mood with music.


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True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll Talks With

August 17, 2009

True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll, who plays the newly turned teenage vampire Jessica Hamby, recently had the chance to do an interview with Deborah say she was originally cast for a guest appearance on True Blood. She auditioned for the part in front of Alan Ball, as well as the directors and writers.

She reveals that, although she is shy in real life, through Jessica she has the opportunity to have real confidence, passion, and fire. She thoroughly enjoys Jessica’s “I don’t care, I’m doing it my way” attitude. She plays that role especially well, I think. Jessica can be brazen yet shy, worldly yet immature – basically what every teenage girl should be. She doesn’t control her impulses well, as evidenced by her dash out of Sookie’s car to see her little sister, and her reaction to her father when she sees him for the first time after becoming a vampire.

deborah-ann-woll-as-jessica-hambyAlthough her character is not in the books, Deborah does not let that bother her. She feels that it gives the writers a blank page to work with, and really tweak the character. The problems and mayhem that her arrival has caused are so much fun – what do Bill and Sookie do with an unruly teenager? How does straight-laced Bill deal with a wide open, newly turned vampire eager to explore her new found freedom?

My favorite of lines occurs after Bill begged Eric for a favor – to take Jessica and teach her how to behave as a vampire. One night, Eric, and Pam, arrived back at Bill’s house, with Jessica in tow. Eric says, in a sardonic voice, “There are favors, and then there are favors.” Oh, how that one cracked me up.

IESB asked Deborah what her first impression of her character and the series itself was. She responded by saying:

I saw someone who was profoundly lonely. She was someone who hadn’t had a lot of fun in her life, and hadn’t had the opportunity to experience anything, really. She had been forced to believe things that she maybe didn’t believe in. If there are a few things that I really get about this character, I can understand that and feeling like you’re the only person that cares about you, in the world. In my opinion, that is a lot of what motivates what this character goes through. And then, now having been made vampire, here’s a whole other outcasted world to live in, where people are not going to accept her and she doesn’t have control over herself.

Deborah goes on to discuss learning her Southern accent at a fast rate – she said she only had 4-5 days to get it down. And the fangs were a struggle for her too. She noted that she talked like Cindy Brady for the first few minutes she had them in.

Finally, Deborah closed the interview by saying she truly enjoyed working with Alan Ball, the entire cast and crew, and was having a great time with her character. She is a fan of the sci-fi, horror, and fantasy genre.  She mentions that her boyfriend (sorry guys!) loves Joss Whedon. Deborah calls Alan Ball the most approachable and nicest person to work with.  She finally discussed what other roles she’d be open to playing, saying:

I think it would be interesting to try something else, and try to feel everything that you’re feeling, but then put such a cap on it. I think that kind of pressure cooker might be a fun part.

For now, I’m happy with her on True Blood, playing Jessica to a tee! She is so much fun to watch, and Deborah does a fantastic (or should I say fangtastic?) job of showing the viewers a wide range of emotion that teenagers have, and that becoming a vampire doesn’t make that awkwardness go away.


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A Toast to Tru Blood!

August 17, 2009

trubloodIt’s finally here! Well, almost here, anyway. HBO will begin shipping orders of Tru Blood on September 8, 2009 – just in time for the season finale (*sob*). Wondering what it tastes like? HBO bills it as a uniquely carbonated, slightly tart, lightly sweetened blood orange drink. Sounds promising! New York Entertainment offers up these tasting notes:

Tasting notes:
• “The grossest thing about Tru Blood is its name. The drink itself is fizzy, tangy, surprisingly drinkable.”
• “Compared to most soft drinks, it’s refreshing and not too sweet. It also foams just like real blood.”
• “It’s kind of got an orange-Hi-C-mixed-with-Sprite kind of taste going for it.”
• “The cane sugar makes it sweet without it being cloying.”
• “While nowhere near as tasty as I imagine the blood of Eric to be, it has a tangy little kick to it. Consistency-wise, I was pretty happy it wasn’t syrupy and thick. Also, no sickly aftertaste like regular blood.”

Interesting description, huh? There are already fan sites devoted to making cocktails with Tru Blood (Google it, they are out there, I promise!). And fans cannot wait to get their hands on this drink! I have pre-ordered mine – a 4 pack retails for $16 plus shipping. A 24 pack retails for $96 plus shipping. The HBO store has the drink available for preorder. Since I’m a cheapy (economical, I like to call myself) I started with a 4 pack. At $4 a bottle, it will be saved for special occasions, like when Bill and Eric come to visit (oh, how I wish that would actually happen!).

The bottle itself is made of glass, with Chinese symbols around the top. Interesting, since the formula was supposed to be perfected in Japan. I’m willing to let that one slide. In my experience, things that come from a glass bottle are usually pretty darn tasty. Apparently it isn’t bad for you either – under 100 calories and the recommended daily amounts of several vitamins. Brownie points in my book!

HBO has done an excellent job of marketing this product, and I think I speak for all of the fans when I say that we are beyond excited to get a hold of this! When mine gets here, I’ll be toasting all of you, as well as the show!


Rutina Wesley Dishes Out A Helping Of Spoilers

August 16, 2009

rutina-wesley-4Rutina Wesley recently spoke with the New York Posts’s “Pop Wrap” about her character, Tara Thornton, on the HBO hit show True Blood. While the vampires are all focused on action in Shreveport and Dallas, things in Bon Temps are heating up for Tara. Stuck in the web that has been woven by Maryann, Tara has some real fighting to do.

Happily, Rutina says that the Hunter’s souffle prepared by Mayann actually contained no heart, only tomatoes, other vegetables and meat (I’ll admit I was totally grossed out during that scene). Rutina goes on to compliment her love interest Mechad Brooks (who plays Eggs). She says she has lost count of his ab muscles and jokes that the producers were serious when they told her they’d found the perfect match for her character.

When Pop Wrap asked her why she thought the show’s ratings improve with each episode, Rutina answered:

Rutina: People have latched on to the show in a very amazing way and I think it’s because this season, the story grabs you right away. If you blink, you’re going to miss a lot. Plus, we all have our own storylines this year and it’s much more interesting when you’ve got, like, 25 character floating around. Plus, Anna [Paquin], Ryan [Kwanten], Stephen [Moyer] and I are so into our roles now, we found our beat with these people, so we’re a lot more comfortable.

She notes that the black contacts everyone wears during the orgy scenes were uncomfortable at first, but much better now. She acknowledged the whole crew had a pep talk before filming the orgy scene(s).

We had a big talk about respecting each other because there were about 50 naked people on the set. It’s a very vulnerable situation, so there was no other option than for us to come together. Granted it was freezing when we shot those scenes, because it was like 4 a.m., which made it harder because there’s no shivering in Louisiana!

Rutina also lets us in on a few spoilers for the rest of this season! Ready for some revelations?

  • Maryann’s chaos is only just beginning – there is much more to her character
  • This week’s episode is where the violence begins
  • The season ends with an even bigger cliffhanger than last season (OH MY GOSH I am on edge about that!!)
  • Tara loses more of herself to Maryann

WOW!!! I can’t wait to see where this is all going – can you? I think Rutina does an amazing job of playing Tara. She’s sharp-tongued, has a wicked sense of humor, and out of Maryann’s clutches she is quite self assured (as long as she isn’t dealing with Lettie Mae).  I’m bracing myself for an explosive season from here on out!!

Source: Pop Wrap

Photo Credit: HBO Inc.


Trick ‘r Treat with Anna Paquin

August 16, 2009

Anna Paquin’s 2008 movie, Trick ‘r Treat, will be coming to DVD and Blu-Ray a few weeks earlier than expected. We will be graced with on the shelves on October 6, 2009.  What is the film about, you ask? gives us this description, quite anna-paquin-sookiepossibly from the back of the jacket cover:

The doorbell rings, the cry goes out: Trick ‘R Treat! But, wait. What’s actually going on during this ghostly All Hallows Eve? Something eerie and unexpected. Something splattered and spooky. Something that brings ghouls, vampires and werewolves into the night. From producer Bryan Singer (director of X-Men and Superman Returns) and writer-director Michael Dougherty (co-scripter of X2 and Superman Returns) comes a goodie bag of wicked yarns, four cleverly interlocked stories built on Shocktober admonitions like always check the candy and don’t extinguish the jack-o-lantern before midnight. So answer the door now: Experience horror made for today’s fright fan.

The movie also stars Quinn Lord, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Leslie Bibb, Tahmoh Pennikett (of TV’s Battlestar Galactica and more recently Dollhouse), as well as a host of other actors. The Internet Movie Databse (IMDb) site rates this movie at a 9.3 out of 10 stars.

trickortreatThe Blu-Ray version of the movie promises more than a few extras, including an animated short film, the many legends of Halloween, Blu-Ray exclusive commentary with Michael Dougherty,  additional scenes, and more.

I’m not usually a squeamish person, but the cover of this creeps me out. I hate scary jack ‘o lanterns. I also don’t like things with no actual faces! I don’t think I’ll be popping any popcorn and watching this on home alone. If I do, I’ll be checking the locks on the doors and windows several times before I go to bed! This does seem to be a very promising thriller though. Happy Halloween!

Photos Courtesy of: HBO,


True Blood is Delicious in Blu-Ray

August 16, 2009

coverartseason1blurayAs if we could love Sookie, Bill, Eric, Lafayette, Arlene, Pam, and the rest of HBO’s True Blood any more, they’re trotting out Season One in Blu-Ray. I have died and turned into a vampire I am so excited. Although I have it on regular DVD, the Blu-Ray experience is soooo much better!

An editorial review of the DVD set from says:

What makes True Blood smarter than pure soap opera is the parallels it draws between its monster mash and actual, familiar societal problems. Sookie and her friends watch the news, where Evangelicals bash vampires and prohibit mixed marriage, and everyone is addicted to V, a.k.a vampire blood, that effects like psychedelic heroin. Even its gore reflects a mix of serious and silly, as vampires explode into red, sticky goop.

This new boxed set comes with a full complement of extras – commentaries by the actors for six of the episodes, production notes, fake advertisements. The music will be crisper, and the neon above Merlotte‘s will shine even brighter thanks to the new formatting. The creators stuck to the three episode per DVD format, to ensure there would be no compression issues.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this, and Season Two, which I’m sure will come out immediately on Blu-Ray!! As always….all the fans want more, more, more!


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The Unsung Hero of Bon Temps: Sam Merlotte

August 15, 2009

sam-trammell-samHe’s always around when they need him. He stays quietly in the background, watching for any signs of danger when he isn’t needed. Who is he? Bon Temp‘s unsung hero, Sam Merlotte, played by Sam Trammell. Loveable, affable, and sometimes hateable, he’s a steady reliable, and predictable presence in Bon Temps.

He says to the Sudbury Star:

“Yeah, I have thought about that,” Trammell said. “I understand what you mean about my character.

“I’m the bedrock of town.”

He truly is! Sam, aka Dean – his shapeshifter alter ego, is Johnny-on-the-spot when he’s needed. He is always ready with his baseball bat and a menacing glare. Sam runs Merlotte’s bar, the only hot spot in Bon Temps. Sookie, Arlene, and Tara work at the bar where all the locals are frequent visitors. Lafayette provides comic relief to Terry’s unbalance in the kitchen, and Sam effortlessly manages them all.

Where Sookie is concerned, he may be a bit overprotective. He’s not the biggest fan of vampires. Especially the ones that he thinks are endangering Sookie, who he has a thing for. Despite that crush on Sookie he has managed to push it aside long enough to have a go at a relationship with Tara. It  definitely did not end well.

Sam is also perpetually in trouble for things he didn’t do. Last season it was the deaths of several women, this season it is the death of Daphne, who was found in his walk-in freezer. We all know that Eggs gutted her, under Maryann’s influence – but why would the not-so-bright Sheriff Dearborne believe that? And poor Sam – he really adored her. Her thought they had something good going on, what with her shifter ability and all.

Sam brings all of his emotions to the table in True Blood. He was a great casting choice by the show’s creators. I hope we continue to see more of him, and his role is really fleshed out this season or next!

Source: The Sudbury Star

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True Blood’s Jace Everett Talks About Bad Things

August 14, 2009

jaceLet’s talk about Jace Everett. He is a country music singer influenced by Willie Nelson, and he sings the unforgettable opening song on Alan Ball hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood. Let me give you a disclaimer before we go any farther: I love this song. It’s my ringtone on my Blackberry. It’s a prominent presence on my iPod. Ok, now that I have gotten that out the way, let’s move on to actually talking about him!

Where else does the 37 year old singer/songwriter draw creative influences from? His website biography says this about him:

“I love Willie and Waylon; late-model Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Roger Miller, for their directness of lyric, and the common-day things and people in their songs. Also, the cinematic side of rock — Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin, the urgency and hero-waving-a-flag quality of Clash and U2. In soul music, sexuality and spiritual redemption aren’t opposites on the coin, but actually the same. I aspire to get all those things in one song: Intelligence, some power and energy, and a spiritual, sexual quality.

Yes, he manages to evoke all of that in True Blood’s opening song.  With just one song he paints a picture of the nature of the hidden south, and the tension that that truly exists down there.

Jace Everett is a man who does not care to be mainstream. To the Des Moines Register, he noted that:

“If what I do happens to be mainstream at some point that would be gravy. But I am not going to assimilate,”

He’s a man that knows what he wants, where he is going, and how he’s going to get there — his way. The True Blood creators could not have picked a more appropriate song to open the show with. It is powerful, evocative, pure rock country sung with a true throaty twang that only Jace Everett has managed. Did I mention that sometimes I let my phone ring and don’t answer it, just so I can listen to the song?

This track has propelled him into the spotlight. Whether he was ready for it or not, million of True Blood fans hold this as their “anthem” if you will. His popularity is quickly on the rise, and I’d wager that his new album is going to sell quite well.  Check out the video below to see him on Jay Leno’s show.

Source: DesMoines,

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True Blood Season 2 Spoiler: A Glance At Episode 9

August 13, 2009

sookie-bill-true-blood-tv-couples-2922922-338-400True Blood‘s Episode 9, titled “I Will Rise Up“, is full of surprising twists and turns. The episode begins immediately after Luke‘s detonation of an explosive device while time strapped with silver. You have to love a show that always picks up right where it leaves off!

Apparently Allan Hyde’s character Godric plays a very important role in this episode. Hopefully we will see him really push Godric to his limits and become a larger presence on the scene. says this of the upcoming episode:

So what is “I Will Rise Up” about then? For one, it’s about the notion of forgiveness, both in terms of the divine and the mundane. None of the characters on the series have been saints (it’s rather hard to do so in a series overflowing with blood-thirsty vampires) but there are several scenes that speak to the redemptive power of compassion and grace.

We should expect to see many secrets revealed – secrets that rock relationships to their core. The dynamics of the show, and more than a few relationships, will undoubtedly be forever altered. Alliances not seen before will emerge, family bonds will be affected, and friendships will end.

normal_ericnorthman__001_hboAnd what of Sookie and Eric’s newly strengthened bond? We all know by now that Eric on the surface is never what Eric on the inside is – he maneuvers situations to play out the way he wants them to be. So don’t be surprised if he toys with Sookie a bit. Sookie is nothing if not sometimes blind to the wiles of the mysterious sheriff.

Where do Hoyt and Jessica stand? We know Maxine, Hoyt’s overprotective mother, would never approve of her precious baby boy dating a vampire. Hoyt may just decide to take a stand on this one – he seems to really love Jessica. The two of them together is one of the sweetest relationships on the show. Both are shy, unsure of how to be in a relationship, and nervous about how to be with one another. Both play their characters extraordinarily well.

In the world not exactly related to vampires, Lafayette and Lettie Mae join forces to overcome Maryann’s hold on Tara. Strange alliance there, but nice to see the family coming together for the good of a woman they both love.

I Will Rise Up” promises to be a game changer this season. Expect twists and turns, major shifts in characters, maybe a few surprising deaths, and an appearance by squeaky clean Nan Flanagan. Exciting, yes?


Photo credit: HBO Inc.


Alexander Skarsgard Talks with Interview Magazine

August 12, 2009

alex1Alexander Skarsgard spoke to Interview Magazine recently. He spoke at length with Miguel Enamorado and Rebecca Sinn about his role as Eric Northman in HBO’s True Blood. During the interview Alexander discussed the bond between his character and Godric, his maker.

ENAMORADO: And there’s such a strong bond between your character and Godric.

SKARSGÅRD: Look, I’m 32 years old, and I’ve got a couple friends back home I’ve known for 25 years. Can you imagine a guy like Godric—they spent a thousand years together, and they were kind of a tag-team up until just  a hundred years ago. Just imagine what kind of bond you achieve in not 25 years but 800, 900 years. They have so much in common that they’re almost the same person.

He also spoke about the relevancy of vampires in today’s culture, saying that they represent consistency and permanence. Alexander knows Eric has killer instincts, and could act on them at any time. Also, he feels that today’s vampires are easier to relate to for audiences. Eric and Bill can go shopping at the mall and fit right in.

As far as Eric’s clothing goes, Alexander meets with Audrey Fisher, his costume designer, before each episode. They discuss ideas for each scene, and what Eric should be wearing. Alexander has quite a bit of input into Eric’s attire (such as the sweatpants and flip-flops outfit in Episode Two of this season), and doesn’t shy away from injecting a bit of humor into his portrayal of Eric.

He takes his role very seriously, maintaining an aura of mystery, on the edge suspense, and genuine curiosity –he’s believable every step of the way.  His fascination with Sookie always leaves fans wanting a little more from him, as does his perpetual indifference towards almost everything else. Above all else, Alexander knows Eric is a true killer, and is not afraid to exploit his darker side torturing victims. It’s nice know that Alexander Skarsgard enjoys his role as Eric Northman as much the legion of True Blood fans do!

Source: Interview Magazine

Photo Credit: Jim Pease


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