True Blood A Winner TV Series

April 7, 2009 by  

billdrainedTrue Blood is a winner TV series and as a result it is expanding globally to be broadcast to millions of new True Blood fans. Malaysia is preparing for the premiere on April 9th by featuring news articles about True Blood in their local papers and discussing the premise of the show and what makes it one of the best new show to come out on television in a long time. The following article appeared on star-ecentral.com and is reprinted here in its entirety for you to enjoy.

When True Blood premiered in the United States in September last year, not all critics were thrilled. Some thought that a show populated by vampires, rednecks and a telepathic waitress was too lowbrow for a channel that brought award-winning heavyweights like Sex and the City, Sopranos, Deadwood and Rome. Could True Blood save HBO from its much-publicised series slump and perhaps bag it an award? Most doubted it.

But fans adored it. Perhaps it was the tongue-in-cheek viral marketing campaign that did the trick. (Vials of fake blood were sent out randomly, and there were online advertisements promoting “Tru Blood”, the synthetic blood drunk by “mainstreaming” vampires like Bill Compton.)

Or perhaps in a world beset by political turmoil and one of the worst financial crises since the Depression, True Blood offered a well-crafted escape into a world where vampires are fighting for “equal rights” and “fangbangers” – human beings who have sex with vampires – are the latest kind of groupies.

And it wasn’t difficult for viewers to be swept away by the forbidden love between psychic waitress Sookie Stackhouse and “vampire Bill”, a 173-year-old former civil war soldier – even if their romance can be painfully maudlin at times. It was just good fun.

True Blood creator Alan Ball certainly thought so when he picked up Charlaine HarrisDead until Dark, the first in the series, in a bookstore one day.

“I loved the way it was funny and scary and sexy and romantic, and it had a lot of interesting things to say about what it’s like to be other than mainstream,” says Ball, who became addicted to the series. (The series’ ninth book is coming out next month.)

So that’s how he ended up pitching True Blood to HBO.

But unlike Six Feet Under, his award-winning TV series about a family of undertakers, True Blood has a much lighter tone to it, says Ball. “It’s more of an adventure. It’s a story and a world you’ve never seen before. It’s fun.”

But while Harris’ novels are fluffy and mostly light-hearted, Ball injected more than a bit of his trademark dark humour and nihilism into his screen version.

“… there’s a lot of moral complexity in it, which is something that always fascinates me. We grow up with notions of good and evil, and the belief that good will always triumph, but if you take a look at the world around you, that’s obviously not the case,” he points out.

To create True Bloods world, Ball watched about every vampire movie there is.

“And most of them told me what I don’t want to do,” he says. “I wanted to avoid the crazy contact lenses, the opera music, the blue light.”

True Blood is not going to become a vampire cliche or a fantasy world during his watch.

“One of the things I love about Charlaine’s books is the way she treats the supernatural world so matter-of-factly. We’re trying to do the same thing in our production design and the way we shoot everything. We want to keep the supernatural rooted in nature, so that it’s just more nature than we’re used to in everyday life,” he explains.

(The first season of True Blood loosely follows the plot of Harris’ first book, Dead until Dark, but there are some changes and new stories – many of them revolving around the other characters – to enjoy.)

Ball’s vision was vindicated when True Blood became a true blue award-winning show; True Blood was nominated for best TV series (drama) at the 2009 Golden Globes and Paquin won a Golden Globe for best performance by an actress in a TV drama series for her role as Sookie Stackhouse.

With True Blood as his toy box, it is no wonder that Ball loves his job, directing and writing for the show.

“… I’m a storyteller. It’s all about the stories and the characters,” he says.

A special thank you to “The Star, Malaysia” for giving us permission to reprint the article in its entirety. Please visit their website for the latest news and updates from around the world at http://www.thestar.com.my/

SOURCE: The Star, Malaysia: A True Winner

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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