I have to admit that although I am not a big fan of the vampire genre, I had high hopes for True Blood. Maybe it had something to do with the Creator and executive producer Alan Ball (writer of American Beauty and executive producer of Six Feet Under).
I heard Alan Ball speaking on the subject of True Blood during an NPR interview. He explained that one of the goals of the series was to use the tensions between vampires and humans as a means to comment on race relations in the past and present United States. This attempt, however, falls completely flat.
The reasons for this are numerous, not the least of which would be a poorly assembled cast of side characters whose acting skills only serve to make the mediocre performances of the main characters seem almost believable by comparison. Perhaps the largest issue is the poorly written script and painfully dull dialogue which is only bearable when ridiculous enough to merit laughter-something that happens often. And, as if the dialogue weren't bad enough on its own, the fake Southern accents only make things much worse. Sometimes its like watching a dramatic remake of Hee-Haw. And there's one more thing that really gets my goat. Most of the anti-vampire actions stem from the need to obtain their blood, which happens to be an addictive drug when ingested by humans. I'll admit that I could stand to brush up on my history, but I really don't remember any time period in which African Americans were violently targeted for their hallucination-inducing blood.
True Blood isn't all bad, there are enough partially nude scenes and skimpy outfits to keep people watching. Throw in some violence and a false sense of satisfaction for watching something which is presented as being at least mildly "intelligent" and you have a brand new HBO kind-of-but-not-really hit! So if you have some spare time, low expectations and are in need of a good laugh, I wholeheartedly recommend you watch True Blood.