Posted by: Peter Hall
Created by Alan Ball, 2008
Pilot episode STRANGE LOVE Written and Directed by Alan Ball
HBO doesn’t make bad shows. Mind you the bar may not always lock up a notch, but a bad show they’ve never put to series. After the pilot episode, my personal jury is still out on whether they’ve raised the bar or merely grazed it with Alan Ball’s southern gothic adaptation of modern literary series SOUTHERN VAMPIRE MYSTERIES. It is a fascinating show hinting at inspired promises hidden in the wings, no doubt, but waffles between flights of fancy that either pay off beautifully or not at all.
Set in small town deep in Louisiana, Anna Paquin plays a perpetually optimistic, occasionally psychic waitress in an alternate reality in which vampires have recently “come out of the coffin” thanks to a Japanese synthetic plasma beverage called TruBlood that gives the undead all the nutrition they need. The small town is all shook up by the arrival of a vampire, the town’s first, that takes a mutual interest in our chipper gal Paquin. That and a local woman dubbed a FangBanger found dead in her apartment soon after our dashing immortal’s arrival.