True Blood 1.02 "The First Taste"

Even if True Blood never becomes the great show viewers were hoping for, the second episode give us some indication that it might be a perfectly watchable and entertaining bad show. I'm even starting to wonder if all of the wooden dialogue and all the bad Louisiana by way of Hollywood accents aren't going for some kind of meta soap opera camp vibe. Maybe we should stop measuring the show against Buffy and start comparing it to Dark Shadows. Hell, maybe even Passions.

After rescuing Sookie from the V-Juice junkie couple from the pilot, Bill the Vampire heals her wounds with the regenerative powers of his blood, a property that most humans don't know about. I guess we're meant to assume that when vampires came out, nobody bothered to do any, you know, scientific tests on them or their blood. Oo-kay, whatever. As Sookie later finds out, not only does vampire blood heal wounds instantly, it also enhances human senses to the point where they can smell a rotting Cheez Nip under the furniture (Cheez Nips rot? Uh-oh, I'll be right back.).

Most of the episode is about Sookie and Bill's big first date, (also attended by Sookie's grandmother, brother and best friend) and the two of them getting to know each other while helpfully filling in the viewers on the "rules" for vampires in the world of the show. For those keeping count, their strength and speed increase as they get older, they have mesmerizing "glamour" powers, and they have to be invited to come inside a house.

We've also got some fall-out to deal with from a few murders. Sookie's brother Jason gets off the hook for Maudette's murder and goes on to have graphic kinky with Sookie's co-worker Dawn while also playing along with Tara's advances. Bill's also got trouble looming because when he killed the junkie couple he tried to make it look like a tornado, apparently unaware that tornadoes "hop" and that these days we have we have something called Doppler that tends to let us know if there are tornadoes around. Nice one Bill.

The episode ends with a few intriguing developments including the possible murder of a prominent anti-vampire religious nut and Sookie finding a nest of not-so-friendly looking vamps (including the one who apparently killed Maudette) hanging out at Bill's house. After two episodes of setting the scene, let's hope there's a little conflict coming next week.

The Good
I'd like to see Jason's role get fleshed out a little more than "hates vampires/loves kinky sex". He's a d-bag, but he could be an entertaining d-bag. I'll give him props for the Patrick Bateman-esque "pointing at himself in the mirror while having sex" scene as well as the Alabama Thunderpussy t-shirt.

The Bad
"I can smell the sunlight on your skin." What?

The Weird
I guess that slow pan and zoom from Sam to the picture of the dog is supposed to hint that he's the dog we saw throughout the episode. Not exactly subtle. They might as well have shown him munching on a doggie biscuit.

John Shelton

Writer/Podcast Host/Professor

Born and raised in the back of a video store, Shelton went beyond the hills and crossed the seven seas as BGH's foreign correspondent before settling into a tenure hosting Sophisticult Cinema. He enjoys the finer things in life, including but not limited to breakfast tacos, vintage paperbacks and retired racing greyhounds.

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