If you combine small-town drama and sexy vampires, the result would be True Blood, the forthcoming HBO series from Alan Ball, the man behind Six Feet Under. The show's cast and creator — along with Charlaine Harris, who wrote the Southern Vampire book series on which the show is based — showed up at Comic-Con on Thursday to explain to a cheering crowd what makes their show different from other vampire stories.
True Blood, which premieres Sept. 7, is the story of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress in a Louisiana town who meets a vampire when he walks into the bar where she works and she discovers she can't read his mind. The trailer we watched showed a mix of vampire effects (spiky teeth, bite marks) and small scenes of family life that would look familiar to any SFU fan — I could have sworn one dinner scene was shot in the Fisher family kitchen.
Ball promised the show would be free of "vampire cliches," which he defined as "blue light, contact lenses, and opera music." Instead, "we're trying to keep the magic as mundane as possible," he said, showing how it's just a regular part of the universe where the characters live. In this world, vampires have come back to live among humans now that a synthetic blood substance can keep them satiated, but (as Sookie learns) that doesn't mean there's no danger.
To meet the main characters, and to hear about some of the viral marketing HBO is doing for the show (including setting up a vampire/human dating service), read more