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True Blood


HBO's getting back in to the Sunday-night drama series business with Alan Ball's highly anticipated return to television, True Blood. Click in for a sneak peek, and weigh in with your take...


Premieres Sept. 7, 9 p.m. HBO
Time-Slot Competition: American Dad, Cold Case, Desperate Housewives, Family Guy
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgård
Status: I've seen the first four episodes

Welcome to the screaming match inside my head. Honestly, despite my best efforts, I cannot determine precisely how to recommend (or not) this series, because it is unlike anything we've seen before on television. Some of you will go insane for it, while others of you will not, because True Blood is a mix of so many genres—Southern Gothic, murder mystery and romantic comedy among them—that there's just no way it will click with each and every viewer.

What you can be sure of is this: True Blood will inspire the most heated debate of any new series this fall.

Primarily the story of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a good-hearted, telepathic waitress living in rural Bon Temps, La., and her romance with Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a 150-year-old vampire who comes to town, the series also features a serial killer and any number of sexcapades (around the office, we are fondly referring to this series as "Vampire Porn" or "VamPorn"). It offers up a hard-hitting, serious approach to the material, despite being stocked with several naturally hilarious characters: Sookie herself; Ryan Kwanten as Sookie's slutty brother; Rutina Wesley as Sookie's witty, messed-up best friend, Tara; and Nelsan Ellis as Tara's divalicious, drug-dealing cousin.

Is this more a supernatural guilty pleasure or an elegant mediation on modern life (like creator Alan Ball's previous series, Six Feet Under)? I personally need to sink my teeth into more episodes to figure it out, but I will be holding out hope.

My Verdict: You'll either love it or hate it...and I cannot wait to hear what you think. If you've already seen it somehow, please comment below.