True Blood, an original HBO TV production, achieved what many thought couldn’t be done by adding a new and unique twist to the myth of the vampire. Throughout history books, movies and TV shows about vampires portrayed vampires as lonely creatures who hovered on the edges of human society but couldn’t rejoin it. Humans were food to vampires but many vampires also longed to be a part of human culture once again. True Blood, which is based on a series of novels written by Charlaine Harris, levels the playing field between humans and vampires. In the world created for True Blood a synthetic blood has been created which allows vampires to feed without killing humans for food. The synthetic concoction, called True Blood, allows vampires and humans to live together openly because humans no longer have to fear vampires. There is still a lot of fear of vampires, and some vampires are not happy about True Blood because they have developed a taste for killing humans throughout their centuries of having to kill to survive. However, lifting the veil of forced secrecy and allowing vampires to join human culture makes for some compelling stories and great TV.
True Blood was adapted for TV by Alan Ball, who created the critically acclaimed cult hit Six Feed Under for HBO. The title sequence for True Blood was done by the same production company that did the opening sequence for Six Feed Under and the True Blood opening sequence has the same deep images, stark juxtaposition of ideas and artistic qualities that fans loved about Six Feet Under. Alan Ball has a genius for taking dark subjects that could easily make audiences uncomfortable and examining them in a way that draws people in instead of repelling them. The combination of Alan Ball’s contributions and great casting makes True Blood compelling television that has attracted a largely mainstream audience. The stories center around an empathic waitress in a fictional small Louisiana town. The waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, becomes involved with a vampire and is drawn into the vampire subculture in the town. True Blood has been renewed for a sixth season and is one of the most popular shows on cable television.
Louisiana is the perfect setting for True Blood because of the mixture of cultures that thrive in the backwoods and small towns of Louisiana. There is a widespread belief in superstitions and there is a lot of fundamental religious belief in the area that clashes with other belief systems. Louisiana is a real mixing pot of voodoo and African religions brought there by slaves, French beliefs and culture, and what might be called hillbilly culture. The tension and clashes of those different lifestyles mimics the tensions and clashes of humans, vampires and other creatures that no longer have to hide in the shadows in the world of True Blood. True Blood has changed the popular perception of vampires and modernizes the traditional vampire myth for a new generation.