Friday, November 12, 2010

‘True Blood’ rejuvenated

(Published Nov. 8, PDI-Entertainment)

By Oliver M. Pulumbarit


In HBO’s fantasy-drama series “True Blood,” vampires affect humans in different significant ways. A Louisiana town, Bon Temps, is a hotbed of open and covert supernatural activity, its enigmatic denizens regularly encountering friendly and not-so-harmless nocturnal creatures.

The number of those beings increases further in the third season, as various elements attempt to find out the truth behind plucky waitress Sookie Stackhouse’s (Anna Paquin) telepathic powers. Questions are answered and other crucial and intriguing changes are introduced.

Sookie’s stable relationship with vampire beau Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) is rocked by the machinations of haughty vampire sheriff Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard). Her shape-shifter boss Sam (Sam Trammell) finds his long-lost relatives, and is later haunted by memories of his life before Bon Temps.

Meanwhile, “baby vampire” Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) recovers from her recent romantic woes. Gay cook Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) discovers his mystical heritage with his lover Jesus (Kevin Alejandro), who is trained in sorcery. Lafayette’s cousin Tara (Rutina Wesley) is enslaved by psychotic bloodsucker Franklin (James Frain).

It’s not very accessible to new viewers due to its expanding mythology and cast, but patient fans who endured some of the older episodes’ silly and campy subplots are rewarded. It is fast-paced, rejuvenated, and owes much to the addition of villain Russell Edgington (Dennis O’Hare). Unpredictable Russell personifies the menacing bogeyman in a show full of monsters.

“True Blood” season 3 airs nightly, 9 p.m., on HBO Signature until November 14.

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