While the Twilight Saga had its fans, it would be fair to say the series was divisive and turned some people away from vampires as a concept – but this more nuanced take on the iconic monster might just win them back.
True Blood is set in a world where a synthetic blood product has liberated vampires from their need to feed, allowing them to reveal themselves and integrate into human society.
Against this backdrop, telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) falls in love with 173-year-old vampire Bill, but the world remains mistrustful of his once-predatory species and their relationship will be fraught with challenges.
Praised for its metaphorical analysis of life in America, True Blood is a gothic supernatural mystery that somehow manages to entertain and ask poignant questions about nature, nurture, integration and prejudice.
How to watch True Blood online
True Blood is not available on Netflix and likely won’t be anytime soon, as HBO television shows tend to be exclusive to Sky Atlantic and, for US viewers, Hulu.
What year did True Blood start?
The first season of True Blood aired in September 2008 and kicked off a lengthy run that ended with the series finale in August 2014.
How many seasons of True Blood are there?
There are seven seasons of True Blood in total and each of them contains between 10 and 12 chapters, for a grand total of 80 episodes to get stuck into.
What is True Blood about?
Thanks to the invention of a synthetic blood substitute, vampires are finally able to live among humans. Not all vampires, however, believe integration is possible, wedging a divide between those who want to assimilate and those who believe it’s a lost cause. Humans, too, are at odds about their new supernatural neighbours; some even believe vampires should be killed.
Of course, the advent of human-vampire interaction also means inter-creature love is in the air, which is exactly what happens to human-faerie hybrid Sookie Stackhouse, a Bon Temps, Louisiana waitress who falls in love with a 175-year-old vampire named William Compton.
In series one, Bon Temps, still struggling with integration, is rocked by a series of murders. All seem connected to Sookie’s brother, Jason, but she is convinced of his innocence and seeks to find the true killer.
Subsequent seasons introduce new mysteries — and new mythological creatures — to Bon Temps, all set against the complex, evolving conflict between human and supernatural factions.
Who is in the True Blood cast?
Kiwi-Canadian Anna Paquin (The Affair) stars as the telepathic central character Sookie Stackhouse who falls for vampire Bill Compton, played by Paquin’s real-life husband Stephen Moyer. Sookie’s boss, shape-shifter Sam Merlotte, is played by Tony winner Sam Trammell (The Fault in Our Stars). Aussie Ryan Kwanten (Home and Away) plays Jason, Sookie’s brother, who is suspected of a string of murders in season one.
Rutina Wesley (Queen Sugar) plays Sookie’s close friend Tara Mae Thornton. Finally, Viking-turned-vampire Eric Northman is played by Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies), who was arguably the biggest breakout star of the series.
Where is True Blood set?
True Blood is set in the fictional town of Bon Temps, located in the Deep South state of Louisiana.
Is True Blood based on a book?
Yes! True Blood is based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, also known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries, which are comprised of 13 main instalments.
Much of the series’ humour can be credited to Harris, who told Mystery Scene: “Vampires can also be pretty funny… I try to find the humour in every situation. It’s pretty much how I cope.”
Who wrote True Blood?
No doubt Harris’ dark humour appealed to series creator Alan Ball, who also created Six Feet Under. Ball served as the showrunner for five seasons before handing the reins to Brian Buckner for the final two.
Notably, the latter two seasons received a more tepid critical response than what came before, so it could be that Ball had a better understanding of how to make the show work.
Where is True Blood filmed?
True Blood was filmed primarily in California and Louisiana. Some interiors, including Merlotte’s, where Sookie works, were filmed in a Hollywood studio. Many exteriors, however, were shot on location in Louisiana, including Bill Compton’s house, which is actually Louisiana’s Roseneath Plantation.
For Maryann’s house, however, the team used a Pasadena, California home. The exteriors for Sookie’s house were also filmed in California—the interiors were filmed in the same studio as Merlotte’s.
Is True Blood coming back?
While nothing has been announced, series star Stephen Moyer has said a revival is “very possible”, though he also suggested the original cast probably wouldn’t return.