I previously saw one episode from the middle of the first season, and found it interesting but kind of oddly B-movie-ish. That is, it had a lot of bloody, sexy energy but people said and did ridiculous things and were prone to overacting.
Last night I rented episodes 1 and 2 from season 1 and found them more or less the same — kind of like a southern gothic vampire B movie. Which was, actually, perfect, because I was in the mood for a horror movie, and rented True Blood when I was worried The Uninvited and The Strangers would both suck in the wrong way.
True Blood passes the most basic television test — do I want to see the next episode? I do. And, also, as vampire romances go, it’s way better than Twilight. (Which, as you may recall, was still better than syphilis.) The vampires are a bit scary, at least. Stuff happens. It doesn’t play sexual desire and temptation as indistinguishable from being about to pass out. Vampire superpowers are demonstrated by vampires throwing people around at super-speed and hurting them really badly, not by the vampires playing a wholesome game of vampire super-baseball.
On the minus side, I feel like some of the elements are just way too obvious — the show goes too far, too quickly with things like "her boss is in love with her" and "her best friend is in love with her brother" and "oh, by the way, her boss is the dog." I might be interested in how things develop, but I feel like I can’t be surprised.
Although it’s funny, I’ve read a couple of the Charlaine Harris books and know how some of the plot threads turn out, so technically I can’t be surprised by those at all. It’s like re-watching Buffy episodes. Obviously, since I have seen every episode at least twice, and many episodes three or four or five or six or a dozen times, there is not one thing on that show that can actually, technically, surprise me at this point. But the developments that were surprising at the time still have a dramatic payoff. I can’t really explain how that works.
But it’s probably related to the fact that I, apparently, have no spoiler filter. I insist it’s simply not a spoiler if the work in question has been out in public longer than a month. Which is why
In other vampire-related news, at the Montreal Worldcon I got put on a "Twilight fans" panel and didn’t recuse myself, because I thought it would be funny to show up wearing this t-shirt. Also, I think it can make for a better panel to have a skeptic or a devil’s advocate or whatever, as long as she’s not a complete jerk, so I promise to try not to be a complete jerk.
But now I think I have to actually read the book(s). I don’t want to actually pay any money in order to do this, so if anybody has a copy sitting around that they’d like to lend me, offers welcome.