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TRUE BLOOD: THE COMPLETE SERIES BLU-RAY REVIEW

True Blood wasn’t Twilight, and it definitely wasn’t The Vampire Diaries. In fact, the only thing HBO’s hit supernatural drama had in common with these other two pop culture big wigs was that it rode the same trendy vampire wave. But True Blood was something different altogether – an adult friendly version of what fans demanded at the time with the same origin, a popular book series. Although the novels themselves served as little more than a jumping off point and a basic outline, the show became another testament toward Hollywood’s tenacity for recycled material. Yet, there was something about True Blood (arguably, up to a point) that made it well worth watching, none of which was lost when it became readily available in its entirety on Blu-Ray after the show wrapped up a seven-season run last August.

Synopsis:

Thanks to a Japanese scientist’s invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures “coming out of the coffin.” In the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, local waitress Sookie Stackhouse is open-minded about the integration of vampires – particularly when it comes to Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year old living up the road. But at the service of Bill’s less virtuous vampire associates, Sookie is drawn into a series of catastrophes that will put their love to the test. Religious leaders, government officials, and vampire fundamentalists around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out. From Alan Ball, writer of the Oscar®-winning Best Picture American Beauty and creator of the Emmy® Award-winning HBO® series Six Feet Under, comes the critically-acclaimed world of True Blood.  

true-bloodVerdict:

There’s a lot to say about this show, and after devouring it on and off for the last few months (thanks to the lovely  folks at HBO), it’s nice to be able to finally weigh in. Season one and two of this show, arguably the strongest in terms of story arc, were also the hardest for me to watch. It wasn’t really until Sookie (Anna Paquin) discovered the origin of her unusual talents that her character really came into its own. Although she spent the rest of the series in an internal debate about the merits of being a telepath, having a basic understanding of her roots made her much more tolerable. It was also around this time in the series that werewolves were introduced in a more permanent way, and witches were starting to play a series role in the narrative.

Season three and four ultimately became my favorite, with more of a love square situation playing out. I never cared for Bill (Stephen Moyer) as Sookie’s love interest, even though I could understand his utility on the friend level, so when either Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) or Alcide (Joe Manganiello) were in contest for Sookie’s affections, my interest perked up a bit. This is also the point in the series where after losing his maker, Eric’s background began to make it more heavily into the mythology of the show, giving him the human quality he’d been missing, and made it more believable that Sookie would fall in love with him when he became a stripped down version of himself. The jump in time between the seasons also helped to make them stand out. The character growth was more noticeable, and overall, it was in interesting storyline.

After the witches, the narrative took a hefty turn away from being even remotely believable. The mythology became over-saturated with new material until finally the departure from what the show started as became glaringly obvious – and not in a good way. The only positive thing I can really pull out of the last couple seasons was Jason (Ryan Kwanten), who miraculously pulled himself out of his sex-induced idiotic stupor just in time for the show to wrap up. The conclusion of the series, however, was strangely appropriate. Although there were a few odds and ends I felt were missing from the final supper – mostly, Eric being in attendance – it was a sense of finality that fans could rally around (even though I’m aware not everyone did).

True Blood pulled from an ensemble cast that over the years came to include a number of memorable faces. From actors who were barely known when the show premiered in 2008, to recognizable Hollywood stars, the show was really a beacon for talent. Of course there were scenes that in hindsight weren’t anyone’s favorite, True Blood created a fantastical world for fans to submerse themselves in season after season.

true-bloodTrue Blood looks great on Blu-Ray and come with plenty of extras – detailed below by season. The special features are really the only thing that make it worth the purchase price. Each season comes with it’s own selection of docudrama-like options to expand your viewing experience. Other than those, the show on Blu-Ray disc has the same overt appearance as it would if you played the 80 episodes from any streaming service (assuming you have a decent connection). Although for any hardcore fan, and there’s probably more than a few out there – in spite of the later seasons – True Blood: The Complete Series is definitely something you’d want to add to your collection for if nothing else than the convenience factor.

Special Features:

True Blood Season 1 Blu-ray

  • Get the dirt on everyone in town when Lafayette lets loose with secrets about Tara’s unrequited crush on Jason, the history of the Stackhouses of Bon Temps and more!
  • Take a bite out of True Blood’s history and find out how your favorite vampires were “made”
  • Read helpful hints and FYI’s that pop up to unravel mysteries
  • Explore the colorful locations of Bon Temps with animated maps
  • Watch a vampire “documentary,” Tru Blood commercials and vampire rights public service announcements
  • Six audio commentaries with the cast and crew, including Executive Producer and Creator Alan Ball, Anna Paquin (Sookie) and Stephen Moyer (Bill)

True Blood Season  2 Blu-ray

  • Character Perspectives: Learn more about what’s going on straight from the mouths of Hoyt, Pam, Karl, and Steve Newlin.
  • Pro/Anti-Vampire Feeds: Receive news updates and information from both organizations throughout the episode and decide which camp you support.
  • Flashback/Flash Forward: Move through time in the world of Bon Temps. Flashback to relive pivotal moments or Flash Forward to reveal the significance of a certain scene.
  • Hints / FYIs: Don’t miss a beat with these FYI trivia facts and show hints and clues.
  • The Vampire Report: Special Edition – Check out the past year’s biggest stories in vampire news, politics and popular culture in the special edition of The Perspective with Victoria Davis.
  • Fellowship of the Sun: Reflections of Light – Rules to live by with Fellowship of the Sun leaders Steve and Sarah Newlin
  • Seven Audio Commentaries with the Cast and Crew including Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Michelle Forbes, Alexander Skarsgård, Rutina Wesley, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell and many more

True Blood Season 3 Blu-ray

  • Character Perspectives: Learn more about what’s going on straight from the mouths of Jessica, Andy, Tommy, and Alcide.
  • Flashback / Flash Forward: Move through time in the world of Bon Temps. Flashback to relive pivotal moments and watch exclusive minisodes that you’ve never seen before. Flash Forward to reveal the significance of a certain scene.
  • Vampire Histories / Character Bios: Get the background stories on your favorite characters.
  • Hints / FYIs: Don’t miss a beat with these informative facts, show hints, and clues.
  • True Blood Lines: An interactive on-screen guide highlighting the connections between the many worlds of True Blood.
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Take an in-depth look at the introduction of werewolves, as Alan Ball and the cast and crew take us through the journey of filming the exciting werewolf fight in the beginning of the season.
  • True Blood Post Mortems: Stick around after each episode for a bonus helping of True Blood.
  • Snoop Dogg “Oh Sookie” Video
  • Seamless Play: A disc-to-disc seamless menu system that provides a complete season viewing experience.
  • Six Audio Commentaries with the Cast and Crew including Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Joe Manganiello, Kristin Bauer Van Straten, Denis O’Hare, and many more.

True Blood Season 4 Blu-ray

  • 14 Character Perspectives: Find out the backstory of what happened in Bon Temps while Sookie was missing in Faerieland, and get the inside scoop on all the comings and goings from your favorite characters.
  • Character Bios/Vampire Histories, Hints/FYIs, Flashbacks/Flash Forwards
  • True Blood Lines: Uncover secrets from relationships past and present in this engaging, fully interactive guide and archive.
  • Seamless Play: A disc-to-disc seamless menu system that provides a complete season viewing experience.
  • Inside The Episodes – Get the backstories on each of the episodes with revealing interviews with the show writers.
  • Audio Commentaries – Six Audio Commentaries with the Cast and Crew including Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Deborah Ann Woll, Sam Trammell, Fiona Shaw, and many more.
  • True Blood: The Final Touches – Join Alan Ball as he reveals an exclusive, never-before-seen glimpse in the post production process of True Blood

True Blood Season 5 Blu-ray

  • Authority Confessionals: Learn more about the mysterious institution known as The Authority, from Nora, Kibwe, Rosalyn, Salome, Steve, and Russell
  • Character Bios, Vampire Histories, Hints, FYIs, Flashbacks, Flash Forwards
  • True Blood Episode Six: Autopsy: Join the cast and crew as they dissect the major events of episode six and provide an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how True Blood is made.
  • True Blood Lines: Uncover secrets from relationships past and present in this engaging, fully interactive “re-Vamped” guide and archive.
  • Inside the Episodes: Get the backstories on each of the episodes with revealing interviews from the show writers.
  • Audio Commentaries: 5 Commentaries with the Cast and Crew including Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O’Hare, Carrie Preston, and many more!

True Blood Season 6 Blu-ray

  • Vamp Camp Files: Get an inside look at the secret trove of documents detailing the effort to eradicate vampires via the institution known as “Vamp Camp.”
  • True Blood Lines: Uncover secrets from relationships past and present in this engaging, fully interactive guide and archive.
  • Inside The Episodes: Get the backstories on each of the episodes with revealing interviews from the show writers.
  • Audio Commentaries: Five Audio Commentaries with the Cast and Crew including Brian Buckner, Stephen Moyer, Carrie Preston, Amelia Rose Blaire, and many more.

True Blood Season 7 Blu-ray

  • True Death: The Final Days on Set: Witness the final moments of True Blood through the eyes of your favorite cast members as they document their last days on set.
  • True Blood Lines: Uncover secrets from relationships past and present in this engaging, fully interactive guide and archive.
  • True Blood: A Farewell to Bon Temps: Say goodbye to True Blood with this behind-the-scenes special on the series as it enters its seventh and final season.
  • Audio Commentaries: Five Audio Commentaries with the Cast and Crew.

True-Blood-Complete-DVD-Blu

True Blood: The Complete Series is available on Blu-Ray/DVD now.

The Author

Lindsay Sperling

Lindsay Sperling

Lindsay Sperling has A.D.D. and her tastes reflect it. Her movie collection boasts everything from Casablanca to John Tucker Must Die to every season of Sons of Anarchy to-date. She adamantly supported a Veronica Mars Movie, hopes that the Fast & Furious franchise continues far into the future, and has read every popular YA book series turned film in recent years (except Harry Potter..). When she's not on an indie film set or educating the youth of America, she uses her time arguably productive as a freelance writer.

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