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August 31, 2015

True Blood growing faster than The Sopranos

by Mike Moody, posted Nov 20th 2008 12:10PM
True Blood HBO Paquin MoyerIt's no big secret. People love their movies and TV shows based on vampire book series -- romantic vampire book series, to be exact. Proof of that will be crowding your local multiplex this weekend thanks to the release of Twilight, the teen vampire flick based on Stephenie Meyer's inescapable best-seller. (I'll guess I'll wait another week to catch Role Models. Navigating through a sea of rabid teenage "Twilighters" isn't worth it. Sorry, Paul Rudd.)

Want more proof of the popularity of blood suckers? HBO execs are saying their freshman vampire series True Blood, also based on a series of novels, is developing an audience faster than The Sopranos, aka one of the most financially successful cable series in the history of TV. Michael Lombardo, HBO's chief of West Coast operations, says that The Sopranos' viewership numbers grew slowly. The big ratings jump didn't come until season two. But True Blood has fared better, with a 66 percent jump in Sunday night viewership since its premiere in September.

Does True Blood have Twilight to thank for its ratings success? Maybe. I'm sure it doesn't hurt the show to be associated with one of the most popular franchises since Harry Potter, but True Blood is obviously aimed at a much more mature audience that its teen-centric counterpart. I think those rabid Alan Ball fans might also have something to do with the ratings spike. This is the writer-producer's first series after viewer and critical darling Six Feet Under. With True Blood, it seems like Ball has been able to tap into a whole new audience without completely alienating fans of his previous work. Now he's got the biggest hit of his career.

So, will True Blood prove to be a bigger success in the long run than The Sopranos? HBO has already green-lit a second season, and Ball seems confident that he'll have stories to tell even after he burns through Charlaine Harris' source material. Or will its momentum fade when the vampire craze calms? I think the show can continue to succeed after the trend dies down, but I don't think it will be as successful as The Sopranos. It's hard to call, but something tells me the mobsters might win this turf war. They pack sliver bullets, right?

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I have definite mixed feelings about this show. I love the vampire and supernatural themes, so that automatically does a lot for me. I love the Louisiana setting and Cajun culture, so again, big ups. What's more, I think the the premise and storyline are fantastic. Vampires mainstreaming. Brilliant! All that being said, I find the acting and dialogue absolutely horrible. Anna Paquin is surprisingly disappointing and Stephen Moyer (Bill) is fails to engage me. Even worse are the romantic scenes between the two. They're uncomfortably forced and over-the-top. At least while their talking. No complaints about the sex scenes.

I'll keep watching this show, but I really hope it gets better.

Oh, also, the theme song, Bad Things, by Jace Everett is fantastic! If that's what all country music sounded like, I'd have to stop detesting the genre.

December 18 2008 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I absolutely love True Blood! I was hooked from the 1st
episode..... humor, love, sex, violence and mystery.. it
has it all! I like all the characters but especially like the
intense chemistry between Bill and Sookie. I think this
show really "delivers" and can't wait for season 2! Long
live True Blood for all of us who love the human/vampire

December 03 2008 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't wait until next season!!
I love the show!!

November 30 2008 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

About Twilight>

November 25 2008 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I happen to know someone who has extensive experience in writing music and film reviews that wouldn't mind writing reviews for TVSquad. "Why there isn't coverage of Life?" he asks.

November 23 2008 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show's a bit too gratuitous for my taste. Things are best left to the imagination, but then I guess that's HBO. I do like the cajun flair. Nice and gritty.

November 21 2008 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NO trueblood DOES NOT have frigging TWILIGHT to thank, it has the millions of Charlaine Harris Fans who by word of mouth have spread thier love of Sookie and friends to thier friends and so on and so forth.

ANYONE who loves trueblood? would hate twilight, at least that is the case with the people i know.

November 21 2008 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Do you find it hard watching television where the characters have identities that don't bow to what the audience expects or wants?

November 20 2008 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you kidding me? Sopranos broke the mold...made The Shied possible...Damages..Brotherhood..and even Dexter. Have seen a couple episodes of True Blood...doesn't even make me to want to watch it again. Ah..miss the days of Buffy..and Angle..doubt may True Blood fans even watched those...

November 20 2008 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i love true blood to a trillion miniscule pieces. the first few episodes weren't great but the curve hasn't dipped since then. the characters just get more complex and the plots more original. definitely my favourite new show since veronica mars.

November 20 2008 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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