Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Episode 204: “Shake and Fingerpop”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
With Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) in tow, Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) head to Dallas to carry out Eric’s (Alexander Skarsgård) vampire-reconnaissance mission – but a surprise awaits them at the airport. At the Light of Day Institute, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) falls victim to a practical joke, but has the last laugh when the Newlins anoint him for a higher calling. Maryann (Michelle Forbes) throws Tara (Rutina Wesley) a birthday party at Sookie’s, attracting much of Bon Temps to its Bacchanalian revelry. Sam (Sam Trammell) postpones his departure from town to attend the bash, connecting with Daphne (Ashley Jones) in the process. Having barely escaped Fangtasia, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) finds himself reluctantly pulled back into Eric’s orbit.
Written by Alan Ball; directed by Michael Lehmann.
Episode 205: “Never Let Me Go”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 19 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
In Dallas, Sookie connects with one of her own, then joins Bill and Eric for a strategic summit at the lair of the missing vampire, Godric (Allan Hyde), attended by his lieutenants, Stan (Ed Quinn) and Isabel (Valerie Cruz). Meanwhile, Jason shows his mettle at a Light of Day boot camp, and is rewarded for his hard work with a gift from Sarah (Anna Camp). Rebuffed by Tara in her relocation efforts, Maryann decides to cast her spell on the staff of Merlotte’s, softening Tara up towards her new “family.” Eric shares a little-known secret about his past with Bill, and Sookie makes a decision that might solve the Godric mystery – or get her killed.
Written by Nancy Oliver; directed by John Dahl.
Episode 206: “Hard-Hearted Hannah”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 26 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Accompanied by Isabel’s human boyfriend Hugo (Christopher Gartin), Sookie embarks on a dangerous mission to locate Godric. Meanwhile, Bill is shocked when a vampire from his distant, more violent past resurfaces in Dallas. In Bon Temps, Daphne presses Sam to get comfortable in his own skin(s); Hoyt (Jim Parrack) continues his unlikely courtship of Jessica; Andy (Chris Bauer) interrogates Lafayette about his disappearance; and Tara and Eggs (Mehcad Brooks) take a detour while on a road trip. At the Light of Day camp, Jason faces difficult emotional and physical choices.
Written by Brian Buckner; directed by Michael Lehmann.
I just can't tell you how much this tickles me -- Eric's ability to fly and the times he flies in the books are some of my favorite passages.
Small-town Southern life a muse for author Harris
The Associated Press, June 17, 2009
MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) -- Vampires typically roam the fogged streets of London or the humid nights of New Orleans, opulent worlds filled with beautiful monsters and formal balls.
Trailer parks and honky-tonks didn't fit — until author Charlaine Harris took a chance with a telepathic barmaid named Sookie Stackhouse.
Now, Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries series has hit The New York Times' list of best sellers, gained fans far beyond her south Arkansas town and inspired a television series on HBO. Though fueled by sex, violence and hints of humor, Harris' novels hold a mirror up to a South where race and societal change permeates through her prose.
Still, the mother of three said her only concern at first was finding something that would sell.
"I'm no crusader," Harris says. "I just like to make a point. If people get it, good. If they don't, OK."
Stackhouse's fictional hometown of Bon Temps, La., resembles the South in which Harris grew up, filled with waitresses who wear Keds sneakers and shop at Wal-Mart. Trailer homes dot the rural pastures of the north Louisiana town and pickup trucks fill the parking lot of the bar where Harris' heroine works.
For Kevin Durand, an associate philosophy professor at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, life in Bon Temps evokes where his family once lived in Louisiana.
"As she describes the place, it's a place I've been," said Durand, who specializes in pop culture ghouls and vampires. "I've seen all of those things before."
That sense of place allows the fantastic to seem commonplace, especially as wereanimals, fairies and witches crowd into the story around Stackhouse and her vampire associates. Even the vampires, though satiated with artificial blood produced in Japan, struggle with scheduling nocturnal home repairs.
In a way, Harris, 57, says she wanted to serve as an "anti-Anne Rice," allowing humor and reality to drive her novels.
"I just drew on my knowledge of what it's like to live in a small town from the viewpoint of a person who
has very little disposable income, ... a person who's really having to count their pennies, plan ahead to pay their property tax," she says. "That's most people, I believe."
That pretty much is a picture of Magnolia, a city of 11,000 only 20 miles away from Louisiana. There, the small county courthouse sits in a square near a gazebo. Murals of magnolia flowers and oil derricks, once the town's lifeblood, cover building walls. A diner across the street hosts a workday crowd, but don't look for a bottle of beer — it's a dry county.
It's here where residents stop the roughly 5-foot-tall redhead in the grocery store, even if they've never read one of her books. She volunteers at her church,
where members don't raise eyebrows at her violent and racy tales.
The county library, a converted Assembly of God church that has a steeple in the parking lot for sale, stocks a whole shelf of Harris' novels, including her early mysteries.
"Everything Charlaine writes goes over like a helium balloon in Magnolia," said assistant library director Dana Thornton.
Harris' Stackhouse novels read quickly, ramping up at chapters' ends in the pattern of her many trade paperback mysteries. While pulpy love entanglements and murders snare Stackhouse, the novels also provide a glimpse of social criticism. Vampires, once in
self-imposed exile, "come out of the coffin," an intended parallel to the acceptance of gays in the world.
"It just seemed like a very similar situation to me," Harris says. "It's just admitting publicly the existence of something that we've always known existed privately."
Those vampires attract Stackhouse, a mind reader, as she can't hear their thoughts like normal people. They brood like other vampires flooding bookstores and move theaters, but Harris endows them with a dark power harkening back to Bram Stoker, Durand said.
"They're still not the cuddly little teddy bears with teeth kind of deal; they're still a threat," he said. "The
only reason that they don't wipe out everything is because they restrain themselves."
Race also plays a part in the novels. Few black characters exist on the pages, a problem Harris acknowledges. The first Stackhouse novel also hints to the need for a black and a white funeral home in Bon Temps, something Harris writes is tradition rather than racism.
Harris herself grew up in Tunica, Miss., during the 1960s. Now home to casinos lining the bank of the Mississippi River, the Tunica of her childhood was 80 percent black and surrounded by rice fields. The town's high school finally integrated in 1969 when Harris was a senior.
"It was very painful and frightening. Honestly, I congratulate the two young black women who graduated from my class," she says. "I don't know how they did it."
Those angry with sweeping societal change make their way into Stackhouse's town after supernatural creatures reveal themselves. Stackhouse finds herself targeted by them, her "disability" of being able to read minds often placing her in harm's way. A terrorist bombing against vampires finds her helping firefighters recover victims as the smell of "hate" hangs in the air, an allusion to 9/11.
"I saw so many people (like that) when integration came in, people who hated change without really
understanding what it was going to mean or really looking at it from any other perspective than their own comfort," Harris says.
Another disaster, Hurricane Katrina, hits close to home for the book's characters. Vampires struggle to cover damaged roofs with blue plastic tarps. Stackhouse takes storm victims into her home — though they are witches, of course.
Some readers got angry about using hurricane in her novels and accused Harris of exploiting the tragedy. However, she believes it would have been impossible not to mention it.
says the same thing as the other articles but this is from the New York Times
A ‘True’ Hit for HBO
By Bill Carter
HBO’s long search for a post-“Sopranos” popular hit may be over.
The season premiere of the pay channel’s vampire series, “True Blood,” attracted the largest audience for HBO since the “Sopranos” finale two years ago.
HBO ran the show twice Sunday night to help make it easy for fans to come back to the show, once at 9 p.m., once at 11. (The first episode will have more runs throughout the week.)
The combined audience was 5.1 million. That is not exactly near the 11.9 million who watched the “Sopranos” finale, but nothing on HBO since has hit a number like that.
The channel also pointed out that the first-night audience for “True Blood” had grown more than 50 percent from the finale of season one, a sign that more viewers are coming to the series. Another sign HBO pointed to was that DVD sales of the first season of “True Blood” have made it to the top of the DVD list at Amazon.com.
from the Los Angeles Times
The Golden Globe-nominated drama series "True Blood" earned a slew of good reviews and socko ratings for its second season premiere last Sunday. And last month it picked up a nod from the TV critics association for best new program. However, to earn an Emmy nod, "True Blood" will have to overcome the TV academy's bias against shows about the supernatural. Remember how that critical darling "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" had a stake driven through her heart for seven successive seasons.
"True Blood" could benefit from the canny scheduling strategy that has reaped Emmy rewards for HBO in the past. While voters considered the merits of previous seasons of HBO series such as "Sex and the City" and "Entourage," new episodes were running on the paycaster. That could well help "True Blood" register in the popular vote of academy members.
True Blood’s executive producer Alan Ball took some time out to discuss what season 2 holds in store, his emotional connection with True Blood, the writing process and more. Based on The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, True Blood, which ended its first season with a large cult following and dedicated fan base, chronicles the life of telepathic bar maid Sookie Stackhouse, the love of her life, Vampire Bill, as well as a ton of other colorful characters. The cast, including Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Alexander Skarsgård, Deborah Ann Woll and Rutina Wesley, along with Alan Ball and Charlaine Harris will be appearing at this year’s Comic-Con in a panel discussion, but for more immediate insight on the show, read on.
Q: How do you come up with the story for each episode?
A: It’s a 50/50 combo, using material from book, and using our own material. We stick pretty closely to Sookie’s story, a lot of the story line is original. There are some changes here and there to help streamline the story, however we do try that it remains true to the spirit of the book and spread it out over 12 episodes. I work with four really great writers – Brian Buckner, Nancy Oliver, Raelle Tucker and Alexander Woo, they are as much a part of the story telling of the show as I am.
Q: Have you read all the books and how close do you plan to follow them?
A: I have not read the newest book, that has just released because I haven’t had time, I fell in love with these books, and I thought this is a great tale one of the reasons they are so successful is that they work – you’re walking a fine line, you want to be as faithful to the book as possible, but then there will be no surprises for the audience, I definitely stay faithful to source material because it’s really good and it works.
Most of the faithful fans of the Loving True Blood in Dallas Blogtalk Radio show will tell you the chatroom is one of the funnest parts of Monday evening!
Sometimes listeners have to go back and listen to the show later or the next day as it does get to be too much fun sometimes ;-)
Blogtalk just made it possible for me to save the chat room as a transcript so I will make it available to everyone to read ...
I have episode 23 - 26 chat up and you can see them all here and listen to the podcast
All my documents can always be found on Scribd
You can also just serve fried apples, they are great for breakfast.
FRIED APPLE PIES
3 med. Golden Delicious apples
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. Crisco
1/3 to 1/2 c. milk
Vegetable oil for frying
Peel, core and cut each apple into 1/2 inch cubes. In 2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir in apples until moistened. Cover and cook apples over low heat until tender and bubbly, about 20 minutes, stirring to keep from sticking. Remove from heat and cool at room temperature 1 hour and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Gradually stir in enough milk while mixing with fork until dough forms a ball. Form ball, flatten and wrap in plastic, chill 30 minutes.
Cut dough into 16 pieces. Shape each into ball. With floured rolling pin on floured surface, roll each piece to a 4 1/2 inch circle. Put a tablespoon of filling in center of each circle. Moisten edge of dough with milk. Fold dough in half to form semi-circle. Press curved edge with top of floured fork to seal, other side too. Fry in deep fryer in 375 degree oil about 1 minute, 2 or 3 at a time. Drain on paper towel. Yields: 16 pies.
1). If you do not want to fry your pies, they may be baked on lightly greased baking sheets at 425° (220° C) for 12 minutes.
2). 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts may be used instead of making the pie dough from scratch, or you can also substitute with ready-made store bought refrigerated biscuit dough.
3). Coarsely chopped nuts, such as pecans, can be mixed in with the fruit pie filling giving these fried pies an extra crunch.
In episode one of season 2, Bill says to Jessica "I need you to go upstairs and get cleaned up...Remove your makeup and make yourself presentable. I will not have you looking like a slattern."
Now of course that gets a quizzical look from Jess, somewhat like the use of " call on you" did with Sookie last season ..he goes on to explain that it is "A, uh...A lady of the evening."
To which Jess responds "Awesome!"
- Etymology:probably from German schlottern to hang loosely, slouch; akin to Dutch slodderen to hang loosely, slodder slut
- Date:circa 1639
- : an untidy slovenly woman ; also : slut, prostitute
Why are vampires so bloody hot right now?
The question was put to Anna Paquin, who plays the fearless vampire lover in the hit series True Blood (returning for a second season tonight at 9 on HBO Canada). "For one thing, all the people that we cast as vampires are incredibly attractive," she says. "You know, the drop-dead gorgeous thing?"
There's no doubt she would include Stephen Moyer in that group. The handsome English actor plays courtly vampire Bill Compton, the 173-year-old soulmate to Paquin's telepathic Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Compton is so stuck on Sookie, he risked turning to dust late last season in a daring daylight attempt to protect his lady love.
Moyer himself was practically dusted and fingerprinted on The View last week, when he acknowledged that he and Paquin are very much a couple in real life. Which Paquin is reluctant to do.
"I don't talk about my personal life," the 26-year-old woman says, practically gasping at the audacity of the question. "You can ask, but honestly, I always find that when I know a lot about the actors I'm watching on screen, I stop thinking about them as characters and I'm just thinking about some stupid thing I read in a magazine and I don't believe them – even if they're really good."
From The Wall Street Journal ( I am not kidding they look to be doing a weekly recap -amazing!)
Secret dungeons and cults and ripped-out hearts, oh my. Welcome back, “True Blood.”
When the first season of HBO’s Southern Gothic vampire series, created by Alan Ball (”Six Feet Under”) and based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, ended last November, Rene Lenier was revealed as the serial killer terrorizing Bon Temps, Louisiana, and telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) was so touched that her 173-year-old vampire boyfriend Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) was willing to be burned to a crisp for her, she decided that a reconciliation just might be in their future. Meanwhile, her falsely-accused (and frequently shirtless) brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) found God, short-order cook/dealer/prostitute Lafayette went missing, and a dead leg was discovered sticking out of detective Andy Bellefleur’s car. All caught up? Let’s proceed.
In the second two premiere, the offending appendage is quickly identified as that of Miss Jeanette, a.k.a. the faux voodoo priestess who performed an “exorcism” on both surly-but-sensitive bartender (and BFF to Sookie) Tara (Rutina Wesley) and her alcoholic mother. Not only has Miss Jeanette been murdered, however, but her attacker has also taken the liberty of physically removing her heart as well. Fun! The event pushes a shaken Tara further into the ominous world of the mysterious “social worker” Maryann (Michelle Forbes). We know Maryann is up to no good because she was discovered naked in the middle of the road — with a giant pig, no less — last season. Plus, when her manservant Carl accidentally interrupts a tender moment between Tara and “Eggs,” another lodger staying at Maryann’s mansion, she channels her inner Faye Dunaway and slaps him, screaming, “Nobody needed towels!” Maryann’s connection to Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), Sookie’s boss and erstwhile canine protector (as a shapeshifter, he can transform into a dog at will), is also explained via flashback. Unsurprisingly for this show, rough sex is involved.