It was 10 years ago this month that viewers tuned in to the first season of HBO’s new vampire television show, True Blood, a series created, written, and produced by Alan Ball. Soon viewers would have an insatiable desire that needed to be quenched every Sunday night to catch a glimpse of the lives of some horrifically seductive characters. Let’s revisit some of the most memorable characters from the first season that made us want to do real bad things.
True Blood centers around characters in the small town of Bon Temps which was dealing with the assimilation of vampires into their community. This was made possible by the creation of a synthetic blood drink called True Blood, which lessened the threat of vampires to humans. Each season, viewers tuned in to watch this process and learn more about this creature (and others) that goes bump in the night.
The show revolves around the romance of two major characters, Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Bill (Stephen Moyer). Sookie is naive waitress who works at Merlotte’s Bar and Grill. She is overjoyed when Bill, the town’s first vampire, walks into her work. Viewers quickly become invested in the relationship that forms between them, and the trials their love endures.
The show has a number of supporting characters that bring flavor to the storyline, the first of whom is Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). He is the local drug dealer, road worker, prostitute, and short order cook who likes to add a side of AIDS with the burgers that he serves with a smile to the local homophobes. This character’s quick wit and style is something that definitely adds to the success of this series.
The next two unforgettable characters from season one are Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and his right hand vampiress, Pam (Kristin Bauer Van Straten). Eric is the epitome of all that is vampire: handsome, seductive, mysterious, and dangerous. Pam has a sharp tongue and dark façade, but as the series goes on, viewers learn there is a soft spot in her cold, dead heart, too.
A few other supporting characters to mention are Jason (Ryan Kwanten), Tara (Rutina Wesley), and Sam (Sam Trammell). Jason is Sookie’s dim witted brother whose intentions always seem good, but misguided… and those abs. Oh, those abs! Tara is Sookie’s best friend from childhood. She is smart-mouthed and feisty, but uses this attribute to protect her family and friends. Finally, there is Sam, Sookie’s boss and friend. Viewers quickly learn that he is more than what he appears to be.
Finally, there’s the love scenes. Those love scenes were quite torrid. Although not a character of the show, they were definitely a component in why viewers tuned in. The love scenes are some of the steamiest performances to date in a television series.
At the time that True Blood hit television, the box office was offering a disappointing and watered down version of vampires. True Blood took a different route with its raw and vulnerable characters, violence, and sex. It was everything a series about vampires should be and more. Take the time to revisit True Blood’s first season – if you are even able to stop there – and celebrate the 10th anniversary 0f such a salacious show.